Scientific Advisory Committee


Pedro Aguiar Pinto

Full professor of Agronomy at the School of Agriculture of the Technical University of Lisbon (ISA) inthe field of General Agriculture and Field Crops. He has taught here for the past 37 years, except for the duration of his PhD degree in Ecology at the University of California at Davis (1988). He has hold several positions in University government either at University, Institute or Department level, being Chief Researcher at the Center of Agricultural and Animal Production from 2002 to 2007. Presently he is senior researcher at the Center of Botany Applied to Agricultures (CBAA) and president of the School Assembly at ISA. His main research interests are the relations among environment and crop production from which derived his applications on crop modeling, systems analysis, climate change impacts in Agriculture and decision support systems in agricultural production. Within this research lines he has been the author or co-author of more than 150 publications and has supervised the work of 43 graduate students (at the PhD, Msc. and "licenciado" levels).

Federico Albertazzi

Biologist, M.Sc. in Molecular Biology, Dr.rer.nat in Plant Molecular Biology from Albert-Ludwigs University Freiburg i.Br. Germany. He is director of Molecular and Cellular Research Center and vicedirector of Lankester Botanical Garden of University of Costa Rica. He was a member of the National Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTNBio) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (March 2002 - December 2005).His research has a particular focus on tropical trees in terms of genetic structure. He has been involved in a EU funded research projects and BBVA award research funds in  collaboration with CSIC resarchers. He was national coordinator of Project to GEF- World Bank, Biosafety in Centers of Biodiversity: Building Technical Capacity in Latin America for Safe Deployment of Transgenic Crops (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, México & Peru).

Keith Alcock

In the late nineties, Keith was the Director of the Crop Improvement Institute of the Western Australian Department of Agriculture, the major provider of crop varieties in broadacre farming in the state. With GM canola varieties under development, in early 2000 he initiated the formation of a Working Party that brought together the technology providers Monsanto and Bayer, State and Federal Government planners, farmer organisations, grain accumulators/handlers and marketers and the local canola processors to share information and to identify challenges in the path to market for the new technologies. Keithchaired the Working Party and led the discussions that ensured all relevant issues were fully explored. After widespread consultation with interested parties and the commissioning of specific studies, such as separation distances for cross-pollination under local conditions and weediness potential, the Working Party released the comprehensive document ‘Canola Industry Stewardship Protocols for Coexistence of Production Systems and Supply Chains’ in July 2003.Keithwas part of the Scientific Committees at GMCC-05 through to GMCC-11 and presented Plenary Papers on the progress of GM canola introduction in Australia at the Montpellier and Seville GMCC events. He was the Chair of the Scientific Committee of GMCC-09 in Melbourne, Australia which reported on the successful adoption of GM canola into Australian crop rotations.

Eugénia de Andrade

Dr. Eugénia de Andrade is researcher at the National Institute for Agrarian and Veterinarian Research (INIAV) and the technical responsible for the GMO laboratory for seeds. She has a PhD in Agricultural Engineer earned from cooperation between the Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Lisbon, and the Max-Planck Institut für Züchtungsforchung, Cologne, Germany, in 1996. For 13 years that her activities are focused on issues related to Genetically Modified Plants and molecular markers for the authentication of plant varieties. She collaborated with national and European research groups in the development of methods for the quantification of GMOs, the development and certification of reference materials and in co-existence studies. From 2006 till 2009, she collaborated as contracting agent with the JRC-IRMM, Geel, Belgium. Currently, she leads a national funded project on the implications of uncertain transgene insertion in maize on protein-coding and non-coding regulatory genes.

Yaroslav Blume

Professor Yaroslav Blume is Director of Institute of Food Biotechnology and Genomics and Head of Department of Genomics and Molecular Biotechnology. Chairman of Department of Cell Biology and Bioengineering at Kiev Natl. University. M. S. in Biochemistry from Kiev State University (1978), Ph. D. (Biochemistry) (1982), Dr. Sci. (Dr. Hab.) (1988). Full Member of the Natl. Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (2006). His scientific career started in Kiev University (1981-87), continuing in Natl. Academy of Sci.: Institute of Botany (1987-89), Institute of Cell Biology and Genetic Engineering (Acting Director, 1992-2008). Yaroslav Blume is Chairman of the Inter-Departmental Biosafety Commission, President of Ukrainian Society of Cell Biologists and Biotechnologists, First Vice-President of All-Ukrainian Association of Plant Biologists, Head of R&D Program of Natl. Academy "Biofuels”. President (from 2010) and co-founder of Black See Biotechnology Association, Member of Steering Committee of PRRI, Head of Ukrainian EPSO cluster. Having broad expertise in plant cell biology, genomics, bioinformatics, biotechnology and biosafety, during last two decades Yaroslav Blume investigated intracellular mechanisms of antimitotic herbicide action and in developed cell mutants, somatic hybrids and transgenic plants with respective resistance. He used mutated tubulin genes as marker genes for plant cell selection and for producing of transgenic soybean, flax, finger millet and barley (including lactoferrin-producing barley). Now he is involved into development of genetically engineered false flax and sweet sorghum for biofuel production. He works, too, on development of new technologies for plant transformation (carbon nanotubes and polymer carriers). Yaroslav Blume is author and co-author more than 450 research publications, 8 patent inventions and 4 plant varieties (finger millet, sweet sorghum and false flax for biofuel production). The Prize of Natl Academy of Sci. in Genetics (2002), the State Prize of Ukraine (2011).

Swapan Datta

Deputy Director General (Crop Science), ICAR, Krishi Bhavan, New Delhi-110001. Former Senior Scientist and HarvestPlus Global Rice Crop leader of CGIAR at IRRI, Philippines. Fellow  Elected 2005, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences. Fellow Elected 2006 National Academy of Sciences India. Sir Rash Behari Ghosh Professor Chair at University of Calcutta (Hon.), Kolkata, India. TATA Innovation Fellow (DBT, GOI). Awarded DAAD Fellow at Institute for Resistance Genetics, Gruenbach, Germany (1985-1986). FMI (Friedrich Miecher Institute) Fellow, Basel, Switzerland (1987). Group Leader and Senior Scientist at ETH-Zurich, Switzerland (1987-1993). Visiting Associate Professor at UC-Davis, USA (1989). Senior Scientist & Plant Biotechnologist at IRRI (International Rice Research Institute) at Los Banos, Manila (1993-2005). HarvestPlus Global Rice Crop Leader at IRRI, Philippines (2003-2005). Recipient of  Panchanan Maheshwari Medal (2006) and Awarded Paul Johnnes Brouhl Memorial Medal (2009). Awarded Indian Science Congress Platinum Jubilee lecture in 2010. Published more than 120 research papers in referred journals including Nature, nature Biotechnology, MGG, TAG, Plant Molecular Biology and Molecular Breeding, Plant Journal etc. Expert Member in many National committees dealing with Plant/Crop Biotechnology, Agriculture Policy, Food and Biosafety and Regulatory issues. World-wide known and recognized as leading Plant Biotechnologist.

Patricia Fernandes

Patricia M. Bueno Fernandes completed her PhD in Biochemistry at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and Princeton University in 1997 and a post-doc at Princeton University in 2011. She worked at Scripps Clinic & Research Foundation, USA ( 1990-92). She is currently Associate Professor, Coordinator of the graduate program in biotechnology and she chairs the Internal Biosafety Commission President of the Federal University of Espírito Santo. She was a member of the National Technical Commission on Biosafety (CTN-Bio) of the Ministry of Science and Technology (March 2005 - December 2011). She has published articles in specialized journals, in proceedings of international events and also chapters of books. She organized 5 events in Brazil, in addition to participating in various national and international events either as speaker or moderator. She regularly advises PhD, masters and undergraduate students in the areas of Biotechnology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She currently coordinates 6 research projects, on Biochemistry and Biotechnology, with emphasis in response to stress in yeast and plants.

Matthias Fladung

Matthias Fladung, studied biology at the universities of Konstanz and Kiel (Germany). Diploma 1983, PhD-fellowship at the Max-Planck-Institute (MPI) for Plant Breeding, Koeln, Germany, between 1988 and 1993 Post-Doc fellow of the Max-Planck-Community and Scientist at the MPI for Plant Breeding, Koeln, 1993 to 1996 Scientist at the Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products (BFH), Institute for Forest Genetics and Forest Tree Breeding, Grosshansdorf (Germany), from May 1996 to April 1999 Habilitation fellowship of the German Research Community at the same institute. Habilitation and venia legendi in Botany" at the University of Hamburg, Germany, in 1999. From 2000 to May 2004, he was scientist in charge of the section „Provenance Research and Gene Resources". From June 2004 till today, he is Head of the section "Genome Research” and from 2009 till today, he is Deputy Head of the institute in Grosshansdorf. His scientific research areas are gene technology and biosafety research in transgenic trees, genome analysis, establishment of gene maps, and development of molecular markers. He is or was involved in more than 17 national and international projects, in part as project leader or project coordinator, and was responsible for two field trials with genetically modified trees in Germany. His publication list contains more than 60 reviewed publications in scientific journals and editions of two books. Outstanding papers have been published in Nature, Trends in Plant Science, and Plant Journal.

Gerardo Gallego

Researcher and coordinator of Plant Biotechnology Laboratory of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture-CIAT ( Cali, Colombia and Regional Project Coordinator: latin america: multi-country capacity-building for Compliance With The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru)( Graduated in Biology Genetics (BSc), University of Valle, Cali Colombia and PhD in Agricultural Sciences at the National University of Colombia. Professor hours lecture Advanced Molecular Biology in several public and private universities in Colombia. Advisor and consultant in use of molecular markers and genomics tools and its application: Molecular characterization of gene banks, genetic diversity studies, isolation and cloning of genes for resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses in plants, molecular marker assisted breeding. Author of publications, including scientific articles, books, chapter books and multimedia CD. Board member and technical committee of organizations dedicated to biotechnology and agricultural development in Colombia. Partner in development of molecular tests for competent authorities and decision-making on biosafety of biotechnology including GMOs. Reviewer national and international of research projects in biotechnology of plants using molecular biology tools.

Linda Hall

My research program focuses herbicide-resistant weeds and genetically modified crops. Herbicide-resistant weeds are an increasing concern for growers in Western Canada, with renewed concern over glyphosate-resistant weeds. Solutions focus on integrated weed management (including alternative herbicide solutions). Many of the methods developed for herbicide-resistant weeds have been transferred to herbicide-resistant crops and to genetically engineered (GE) crops. We are one of the few research groups to study seed and pollen-mediated gene flow and invasiveness of GE crops. In addition to conducting research I teach weeds science, agronomy and herbicide physiology and have 5 graduate students working on diverse projects. 

Wallace E. Huffman

Professor Huffman is engaged in research and teaching. His research areas include consumers’ acceptance and willingness to pay for GM and organic foods and information effects, farmers’ adoption of new technologies and their impacts on broad production decisions, agricultural productivity and technical change analysis, returns to public agricultural research and science policy, experimental economics, economics of human capital and applied econometrics. He has published more than 80 scientific journal articles, three authored books, includingScience for Agriculture: A Long-Term Perspective (2nd edition, 2006), three edited books, three handbook chapters, and more than 30 other book chapters. He has directed 27 Ph.D. dissertations. He has received four Quality of Research Discovery Awards from the American Agricultural Economics Association and is a Fellow of the American Agriculture Economics Association.

Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes

Dr. Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes is the MSMC endowed professor of agribusiness strategy and the director of the Economics andManagement of Agrobiotechnology Center (EMAC) at the University of Missouri. His research, teaching and outreach focus on the economics and policy of agrifood biotechnology and other agribusiness innovations. Over the past five years, Dr. Kalaitzandonakes has authored articles on the economic and environmental impacts of biotechnology; its impacts on the structure of the agrifood supply chain; the evolution of the agrifood biotechnology industry; and issues of biotechnology public acceptance and regulation

Enoch Kikulwe

Enoch Kikulwe received his PhD in Environmental Economics and Natural Resources from Wageningen University, The Netherlands in 2010, and holds a Masters in Agricultural Economics and a Bachelors of Science in Agriculture both from Makerere University, Uganda. He is currently an Assistant Professor at Goettingen University, Germany. His research interests are adoption and impacts of biotechnology, food security and poverty, and decision making under uncertainty and irreversibility. He has worked in Malawi, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda, analyzing adoption and impacts of different technologies among smallholder farmers. He has also worked on collaborative research activities with IFPRI, CIAT, Bioversity, and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Godwin Lemgo

Godwin Nana Yaw Lemgo is the program officer for Food Safety with the African Union’s NEPAD Agency – African Biosafety Network of Expertise (AU/NEPAD Agency – ABNE). He is responsible for the Coordination of food safety-related activities of the African Biosafety Network of Expertise (ABNE) project at the Node(s) and the provision of technical support services to African regulators on need basis. He is currently the country leader for Ghana and Zambia. He holds a Master’s degree in Biosafety of Agricultural Biotechnology Technology from the Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona, Italy and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Food Science from the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a fellow of the International Centre for Science and High Technology (ICS-UNIDO) having conducted studies into the biosafety concerns of the use of RNA interference for the development of virus resistance in fruit trees. He is a member of the International Society for Biosafety Research (ISBR). Prior to joining the NEPAD-ABNE team, he was a Regulatory Officer in charge of biosafety at the Foods and Drugs Board (FDB) in Accra, Ghana, where he played a pioneering role in the establishment of the Biosafety Unit. His main interest is in food safety of both conventional and genetically modified foods/feed.

Antoine Messean 

Dr Antoine Messean is an agronomist by training (AgroParisTech) and has a PhD in Statistics (Paris University). He is Research Manager at the National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) where he coordinates a range of interdisciplinary projects on the impact of innovations in Plant Production and is the coordinator of the European Research Group ENDURE on Integrated Pest Management. Previously, he had worked with the Departement of Biometry of INRA and with CETIOM, the Applied Research Institute for oilseeds. His research has a particular focus on modelling impacts of cropping systems on gene flow and environmental impacts. He has been involved in a range of National and EU funded research projects on GMOs and coexistence including ECOGEN, SIGMEA, Co-Extra, AMIGA and PRICE. He organized the second International Conference on Coexistence between Genetically Modified (GM) and non-GM based Agricultural Supply Chains in Montpellier (GMCC05). For the last 15 years, he has also been a risk assessor for the French government and has joined the EFSA GMO Panel in 2009.

Peter Phillips

Dr. Peter W.B. Phillips, an international political economist, is Professor of Public Policy in the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. He undertakes research on governing transformative innovation, including regulation, innovation systems, intellectual property, and trade policy. He is co-lead and PI of Value Addition through Genomics and GE3LS (VALGEN), a Genome Canada project which runs to 2013. His latest book—Governing Transformative Technological Innovation: Who’s in charge?—was published by Edward Elgar in 2007. Phillips was a member of the organizing committee and chair of the international scientific committee of GMCC-11 held in Vancouver, Canada. 

Emilio Rodríguez-Cerezo

Emilio Rodríguez-Cerezo obtained a degree in Agronomy (1983) and a Ph. D. in Plant Pathology (1988) from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (Spain). He started his career as researcher on biotech-based plant resistance to viral diseases and molecular epidemiology of disease outbreaks in crop plants. In 2001 he left academia and joined the European Commission's (EC) Joint Research Centre (JRC), at the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) located in Seville-Spain. Since then, he has led a group of researchers providing data and support to policy makers in the field of coexistence between GM and non-GM farming. He is the Head of the European Coexistence Bureau (EcoB), a group of EU experts in charge of elaborating best agricultural practices for coexistence at the farm level. He acted as the chair of the organizing and scientific committees of the 2007 edition of the GMCC conference series in Seville, Spain.

Joachim Schiemann

Prof. Dr. Joachim Schiemann is director of the JKI Institute for Biosafety in Plant Biotechnology. He has been coordinating several national and EU-funded cluster projects on biosafety research. From 2000 to 2003 he was member of the Scientific Committee on Plants of the European Commission, Health & Consumer Protection Directorate-General, and from 2003 to 2009 member of the Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Since 2002 he has been member of the Executive Committee of the International Society for Biosafety Research (ISBR), from 2004 to 2008 President of ISBR. Since 2004 Prof. Schiemann has been member of the Steering Council of the European Technology Platform "Plants for the Future”.

José Maria da Silveira

Agronomist, Ms in Economics, Doctor in Economics, University of Campinas. Assistant Professor - IE/UNICAMP. Director of the Center of Agriculture Economics and Environmental Studies,- NEA - Institute of Economics and Senior Researcher in The Study Group on the Organization of Research and Innovation/Institute of Geosciences- GEOPI, University of Campinas. Researcher of the National Science and Research Council, CNPQ. level 2. Coordinator of the Project: "Organizational Design of BIOEN Program: Intellectual Property, Incentive Mechanism and Impact Evaluation”. Coordinator of the Brazilian Components 1.2 and 2: "Socio-economic Impacts of Agricultural Biotechnology on Biodiversity”. Project to GEF- World Bank, Biosafety in Centers of Biodiversity: Building Technical Capacity in Latin America for Safe Deployment of Transgenic Crops (A multi-country approach for Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, México & Peru).

Stuart Smyth

Dr. Smyth is part of a group of academics that received $5.4 million in funding in 2009 from Genome Canada to examine the genomic, economic, environmental, ethical, legal and social (GE³LS) issues pertaining to bioproducts and biofuels. Much of his resent research has focused on marketplace liabilities created by innovation and has been compiled in a 2010 book published by Edward Elgar titled, Innovation and Liability in Biotechnology: Transnational and Comparative Perspectives.

German Spangenberg

Professor German Spangenberg is Executive Director, BioSciences Research Division of the Victorian Department of Primary Industries (DPI), and Professor (Plant Genetics and Genomics) with La Trobe University. He received his PhD from the University of Heidelberg and Max-Planck-Institute of Cell Biology in Heidelberg, Germany. He carried out postdoctoral research at the Max-Planck-Institute of Cell Biology and the Institute of Plant Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich, Switzerland. After this, he became Assistant Professor and Associate Professor at the ETH-Zürich. In 1995 he moved to Australia to establish a plant biotechnology centre for DPI. Professor Spangenberg is Chief Scientist of the Dairy Futures Cooperative Research Centre, Chairman of the Victorian AgriBiosciences Centre and Director AgriBio, the Centre for AgriBioscience. He is also Director and Chief Scientific Officer of Phytogene Pty. Ltd., a biotechnology spin-off company. He was the recipient of the Australian Thinker of Year 2006 Award ‘in recognition of his world class innovations in pasture plant genomics and biotechnology and his leadership in bringing these innovations to the marketplace for the benefit of the wider community and temperate grassland agriculture worldwide’. In 2007, he was elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering ‘for his inspiring and innovative research in agricultural biotechnology and as a world leader in pasture plant genomics and gene technology’. Professor Spangenberg is also President of the International Association for Plant Biotechnology.

Timothy Strabala

Dr. Strabala earned a PhD in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has extensive experience as a research program leader in both private and public sector R & D activities. Since 2004, he has led a New Zealand government-private industry co-funded research program directed at improvement of growth, density, pulping and wood stability, using advanced marker-based selection and genetic modification methods. The program also uses cell culture and whole plant model systems for gene discovery and testing before applying findings to radiata pine, NZ’s primary commercial forestry crop. Dr. Strabala has published more than a dozen papers in peer-reviewed journals and holds three patents. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute of Forest Biotechnology (IFB) as well as the Implementation Committee for the IFB’s Responsible Use initiative (, dedicated to the establishment of a set of principles for forest biotechnology practitioners and companies to demonstrate best practise stewardship with biotech trees and their products.

Tomasz Twardowski

Prof. Tomasz Twardowski is chairman of Polish Biotechnology Committee of Polish Academy of Sciences and former head of the Polish Biotechnology Federation and [former] Editor-in-Chief of only Polish  quarterly "Biotechnologia”. Professor Twardowski has been conducting research at the PAS Institute of  Bioorganic Chemistry in Poznań since 1974. His scientific and research interests are divided between molecular research of plant system and legal and social aspects of modern biotechnology. Predominately, Twardowski is concerned  with the regulatory mechanisms of protein biosynthesis in eukaryotic systems, especially plants. The results of his latest research , carried out with a team of scientists from the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, concerned correlation of structure  and function of small non-coding RNA. In the past he with the team discovered a relationship between the structure of certain fragments of ribosomal ribonucleic acids and their function in ribonucleic acid within protein biosynthesis.  He is also interested in legal and social issues related to biotechnology, including intellectual property rights, biosafety and social acceptance.  He is a researcher who has spent the last few years promoting the achievements of genetic engineering in Poland. In his opinion biotechnology is one of five modern technologies, next to telecommunications, nanotechnology, power engineering and new materials, that will determine the world's economic development in the next several decades.     

Rene Van Acker

Dr. Rene Van Acker is Professor and Associate Dean of the Ontario Agricultural College at the University of Guelph and was previously chair of the department of Plant Agriculture. Prior to his appointments at The University of Guelph, Rene was a professor of weed science and crop management at the University of Manitoba. His research interests include weed biology and ecology, robust cropping systems, multifunctional agriculture and the coexistence of GM and non-GM crops. He conducts field-based research, supervises graduate students and teaches courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed works to-date and has made over 250 other non-peer reviewed contributions. His research work on coexistence of GM and non-GM crops has lead to international collaborations, presentations, and consulting work with governments and organizations in Denmark, Austria, Switzerland, France, Germany, Australia, the US and Canada. Rene grew up on a farm in southwest Ontario. He holds BSc and MSc degrees in crop science and weed management from the University of Guelph and a PhD in crop-weed ecology from the University of Reading in the UK. Rene and his wife Susie have three children and live in Guelph.

Justus Wesseler

Prof. Dr. Justus Wesseler holds the chair in Agricultural and Food Economics at the Center of Life and Food Sciences Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München. He has a degree in agricultural, environmental and natural resource economics from the University of Göttingen, Germany. His research work is on the economics of biotechnology, value chain economics, and regulatory economics including issues related to coexistence. The major focus is on the contribution of value chains to improve sustainability and the impact of new technologies and regulations on the value chain in this respect. He is the head of the Research Department of Agricultural Economics at the Center of Life and Food Sciences Weihenstephan, member of the International Consortium of Applied Bioeconomy Research (ICABR), co-editor of AgBioForum, and coordinator of the EU funded collaborativeproject Practical Implementation of Coexistence in Europe (PRICE). His research work on coexistence, biotechnology, and related regulations has been published in more than 80 contributions to peer reviewed journals and books.

William Wilson

Dr. William W. Wilson is a Professor at North Dakota State University in Agribusiness and Applied Economics with periodic sabbaticals at Stanford University. Recently, he was named as a University Distinguished Professor at NDSU which is an honorary position, and a great achievement. He focuses on risk and strategy as applied to agriculture and agribusiness with a particular focus on marketing, procurement, transportation and logistics, international marketing and competition. He teaches classes in Commodity Trading, Risk Analysis and AgriBusiness Strategy and has taught his Risk Class at Purdue University. He currently has projects and/or clients in US, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, China, Australia, and France. He regularly advises a number of large Agribusiness firms, several major railroads, and several major food and beverage companies and/or governments in other countries. He served as a Board member of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange for 12 years, on the FGIS Advisory Board, and currently serves as a Board member of several regional firms.



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