Emilio Montesinos

Professor of Crop Sciences (Plant Pathology) at the University of Girona, he earned his doctorate in Microbiology from the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona in 1982. He began working professionally at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona in 1983. He later joined the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, where he formed a Plant Pathology group (1986). In 1992, he joined the University of Girona, where he is currently working. He has been a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Plant Pathology at Cornell University in the United States (1994).

 His area of research and development is focused on Plant Pathology, especially in the field of epidemiology and the integrated control of fruit-tree diseases. He has directed 30 research projects resulting from winning competitive tenders financed by the Government of Catalonia, the Government of Spain and the European Union, and 35 R&D contracts with private enterprises in the field of crop protection and plant protection products. He has been coordinator of an ERA-NET PLANT-KBBE project on plants as biofactories producing antimicrobial peptides, and is currently responsible for innovative methods for fruit-tree control as part of another European project, FP7-KBBE-2013-7 DROPSA.

 He has 5 patented inventions in the field of microbial biopesticides and antimicrobial peptides. He has published 100 scientific articles in the most relevant international journals in the area of Plant Microbiology and Pathology indexed in the Science Citation Index (SCI), which have received 1,600 citations (Index H= 23), and with which he has also collaborated as an expert reviewer. He was section editor for International Microbiology and Phytopatologia Mediterranea. He has edited 3 international books and authored 25 book chapters on biopesticides and the control of plant diseases for such publishers as Mundi-Prensa, Oxford University Press., Elsevier, Inc., and CRC Press.

Creator and director of the Official Masters in Food Biotechnology at the University of Girona, he has directed 15 doctoral dissertations. He is the director of the Plant Health Innovation and Development Centre (CIDSAV) at the University of Girona, and belongs to the TECNIO Network, founded in 2001. Since 1993, he has been the coordinator of a Consolidated Research Group recognised by the CIRIT.

He has been invited to speak at numerous international congresses, including the International Congress of Plant Pathology (Turin, Beijing), and has participated on research evaluation committees and panels (ERC, Europe; CNEAI and ANEP, Spain; AQU, Catalonia; ACSUCyL, Castile and Leon; AGAE, Andalusia; CITA, Aragon), and as an advisor in the field of fruit-tree diseases (CTiFL-INRA, France; MAPA, Spain; DAAM, Government of Catalonia) and plant pathogenic bacteria (EFSA Plant Health Panel- WG2009).

He won the “Government of Catalonia’s Narcís Monturiol Medal 2012” in recognition of scientific and technological merit for the development of agricultural microbiology and plant pathology, especially in the field of epidemiology and integrated control of fruit-tree diseases. His is an Honorary Member of the Spanish Phytopathology Society, and was its President from 2004 to 2008.

Christoph Keel

Christoph completed his studies in Agronomy with specialization in Plant Sciences at ETH Zurich in 1985. He carried out his doctoral research at the Institute of Phytomedicine at ETH Zurich, working with Geneviève Défago on biological control of soil-borne plant diseases. He received his PhD and the ETH silver medal in early 1989. He then was an OECD postdoctoral fellow with R. James Cook, David Weller and Linda Thomashow at Washington State University, Pullman, USA, investigating the molecular diversity of rhizosphere pseudomonads.

He returned to ETH Zurich to work as a group leader at the Institute of Plant Sciences/Phytopathology. In 1995, he joined the group of Dieter Haas at the University of Lausanne as a group leader (Maître d’Enseignement et de Recherche I). He developed an independent research group, studying molecular interactions of pseudomonads with plants, fungal pathogens and insects. Since 1998, he serves in the steering committee of the Swiss Society for Phytiatry (Phytopathology/ Applied Entomology) and was president from 2003 to 2009.

Jean‐Luc Wolfender

Jean‐Luc Wolfender is a chemist, who completed a PhD in pharmacognosy with Prof. Kurt Hostettmann (University of Lausanne, Switzerland, 1993). After being responsible of the analytical services of this laboratory, he performed his postdoc with Prof. Al Burlingame on Conus venom profiling (UCSF, San Francisco). He is now full Professor at the Phytochemistry and Bioactive Natural Product research unit of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the University of Geneva (Switzerland), where is presently the president of the School.

He has been strongly involved in the 90s in the introduction of LC‐MS and LCNMR for the profiling of crude plants extracts for dereplication purposes in natural product based drug discovery research programs. He is currently developing innovative MS‐ and NMRbased metabolomics strategies in the frame of projects related to phytochemistry, microbial interactions and phytotherapy. He is specialised in the de novo structure identification of biomarkers at the microgram scale and is using a miniaturised approach that combines activity‐based HPLC profiling and high content information bioassays such as those involving zebrafish.

His main research interests are focused on the search of novel inducible bioactive natural products in response to various biotic and abiotic stimuli as well for the study of the mode of action of phytopharmaceuticals from a systems biology perspective.

He has many collaborations with South America and Asia mainly in relation with bioactivity guided isolation studies for the discovery of novel natural products of therapeutic interest and his involved in the organisation of workshops for the promoting metabolomics with the natural product community.

Uwe Conrath

I’m committed to understanding how plants withstand disease. My primary focus is on defense priming. The term describes the enhanced capacity of immunized plants to mobilize defense resulting in earlier, faster, and/or more intense activation of defense. Thus, defense priming often leads to immunity.

I also address agbiotech aspects for translating concepts discovered in model systems to agriculture.

I thought that I cover molecular mechanisms of defense priming, screens for identifying priming compounds and how to apply such compounds via a novel, eco-friendly Green Release system. So, I’d cover basic research and application-related aspects.

Philippe Nicot

Philippe Nicot completed a Ph. D. degree in Plant Pathology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985. He then went to China as a postdoctoral fellow of the US National Academy of Sciences and worked in the Microbiology department of China Agricultural University for four years, carrying out research and teaching. In 1989, he joined the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) as a research scientist at the Plant Pathology Unit in Avignon, to conduct work on diseases of fruits and vegetables. He became head of the research group on fungal diseases, and later served from 2003 to 2008 as director of the Plant Pathology Unit.

His research interests are focused on the epidemiology of diseases of fruit and vegetables and on biological and integrated control.  He has been implicated in several national and EU-funded research projects on biological control and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and has taught plant pathology and IPM in graduate programs in France and abroad.

He has long been involved in activities of the International Organization for Biological and integrated Control, eventually serving as General Secretary of its west-palaearctic regional section from 2005 to 2013 and as President since (