Ino CURIK, Professor of animal breeding, conservation genetics and population genetics at the University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture (Croatia). Scientific interests and publications concern conservation genetics (estimation of pedigree and genomic inbreeding, effective population size, diversity and inbreeding depression), quantitative genetics
(quantitative aspects of coat colour inheritance, effects of mitogenome on quantitative variation and health) and archaeogenetics (genomic changes during domestication). In 2022, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU).
Prof. Dr. Jochen REIF is Head of the Breeding Research Department at the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) in Gatersleben, Germany. He received his PhD in plant breeding from the University of Hohenheim. Prior to his appointment as head of the Breeding Research Department, he was head of the State Plant Breeding Institute at the University of Hohenheim. Jochen Reif leads a research program in basic and applied research to gain insights and enable new approaches for the sustainable improvement of plant breeding. For example, he is researching how the genetic diversity of crops can be better used to achieve future breeding goals. This relates in particular to "omics"-based breeding strategies that can increase selection gain in (pre)breeding programs. In addition to these topics, Jochen Reif is looking for innovations that enable hybrid breeding in selfing species. The goal is to use the 'omics' data revolution to initiate hybrid wheat breeding programs by devising strategies to establish, improve, and broaden heterotic groups and pattern.
Dr. Britta SCHULZ is a Principal Scientist Traits & Genomics for sugar beet at KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA in Einbeck, Germany. I received my PhD from the Institute of Applied Genetics in Hannover. After 3 years as Postdoc at the Institute of Plant Breeding at University of Hohenheim, I joined KWS in 1997. At that time we started to build up genomic resources for sugar beet, mainly in the frame of the BMBF funded GABI projects in public -private partnership with other sugar beet breeders and partners from academia. Since then, I have been working on trait analysis and gene discovery in sugar beet, making use of different OMICs and genetic tools. Currently we are exploring the possibilities of epigenetics for plant breeding.
Nathaniel STREET is Professor at Umeå University, Umeå Plant Science Centre, Department of Plant Physiology. My group works on genomics research of aspen, Norway spruce and Scots pine. We perform genome assembly, transcriptome and co-expression network analyses with a focus on understanding the role of non-coding RNAs in regulation and genome function and the genetic architecture of complex traits such as leaf shape variation, wood development and specialised metabolite production. We also study the interaction between trees and associated microbial species using metagenomics and metatranscriptomics approaches.