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Our Speakers


Professor and Head of the Plant Biology Laboratory at Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech - University of Liège

Patrick du Jardin (PdJ) is professor and head of the Plant Biology Laboratory at Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech - University of Liège (Belgium). He was dean of faculty between 2007 and 2009. He is an active teacher in plant biology and his current research is focused on biological interactions between plants roots and their soil environment, mediated by volatile and non volatile allelochemical compounds, and on the modes of action of microbial and non microbial biostimulants in crop plants. As a consultant for the European Commission, PdJ issued two reports on biostimulants in 2012 and 2014, in the framework of a future EC fertilisers regulation. PdJ has a long-standing expertise on the risk assessment of agricultural technologies as external expert for the European Food Safety Authority. He is also a member of the ethical committees of the French Institutes INRA and Cirad, where expert advice is provided on the ethics of agricultural innovation.


Director of the Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology at Chinese Academy of Sciences

Dr. Jian-Kang Zhu is the Director of the Shanghai Center for Plant Stress Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a Distinguished Professor of Plant Biology, Departments of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture and Biochemistry at Purdue University. He earned his bachelor degree in soil and agricultural chemistry from Beijing Agricultural University in 1987; his master degree in botany from the University of California, Riverside in 1990, and his doctorate in plant physiology from Purdue University in 1993. In 2010, he was elected to be the membership of National Academy of Sciences, USA. His research interests include abiotic stress signaling and tolerance mechanisms in plants, epigenetic gene regulation, and gene targeting and genome engineering technologies.


Professor of Agricultural Chemistry and director of the Chair TIMAC AGRO (CMI Roullier) at University of Navarra

Dr. Jose Maria Garcia is full professor of Agricultural Chemistry of the University of Navarra and director of the Chair TIMAC AGRO (CMI Roullier)-University of Navarra. Manager of the Biological and Agricultural Chemistry (BACh) group of the Environmental Biology Department of the Sciences School of the University of Navarra. Deputy Director of the Research and Development Division of Roullier Group for the last 18 years and currently member of the Scientific Board of Roullier Group. Author or co-author of 136 JCR scientific articles, 47 book chapters and 46 patents. His main topics of research are focused on the chemical nature and biological activity of humic substances, as well as the fertilization and plant root uptake of iron, phosphorus and nitrogen.


Professor of Plant Sciences in the Department of Plant Sciences at University of California, Davis

Patrick Brown is a professor of Plant Sciences in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis (USA). Dr. Brown’s research focuses on function and transport of nutrients in plants and the management of nutrients in agricultural ecosystems. Dr. Brown is a highly cited researcher whose contributions include the identification of nickel as an essential element for plants, critical contributions to the understanding of the function, uptake and transport of boron in plants, identification of mechanisms of plant tolerance to heavy metals in the environment and on the mechanisms of action of foliar fertilizers. Dr. Brown has served as chairman and executive committee member of the International Plant Nutrition Colloquium, as co-chairman of the 1st and 2nd International Congress on Biostimulants in Agriculture and has held numerous leadership roles at the University of California, Davis and in state, national and international committees and panels.