Dr. Yiannis Ampatzidis is an assistant professor in the Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department of University of Florida (UF). He leads the Precision Agriculture Engineering program at Southwest Florida Research and Education Center (SWFREC). His current research focus is on artificial intelligence (AI), automation and robotics, UAVs, machine vision for plant stress and disease detection, mechatronics, precision agriculture and machine systems with special interest in development, implementation and evaluation of agricultural machines and control systems for high value crops.
Britt Burton-Freeman, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the Illinois Institute of Technology (Illinois Tech). Dr. Freeman is also the Director of Illinois Tech’s Center for Nutrition Research (CNR). Dr. Burton-Freeman’s research interests are in addressing risk factors of cardio-metabolic disease through dietary approaches focused on whole foods and their unique nutritional/bioactive attributes. Current research characterizes the polyphenol profile of various berry types and traces their metabolic consequences after human ingestion, including their dynamic relationship with the gut microbiome affecting human biology and health status. As the CNR Director, she leads a nutrition and health initiative with food industry partners and government collaborators to provide critical science that supports policy and dietary recommendations and innovative solutions promoting nutritional quality and healthy food choices to improve the health of Americans. Dr. Burton-Freeman is actively involved in multiple professional societies dedicated to health and disease abatement including the American Society for Nutrition, the Obesity Society, the American Chemical Society and the Institute of Food Technologist. Dr. Freeman publishes in top journals and is co Editor-in-Chief of Nutrition and Healthy Aging. Dr. Burton-Freeman received her BS in Dietetics from the California State University, Chico, MS and PhD in Nutritional Biology from the University of California, Davis and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Internal Medicine at University of California, Davis. Dr. Burton-Freeman has held professional appointments in academia and the biotechnology industry leading research programs and teams to deliver on basic and clinical science objectives.
Daniele Del Rio is an Associate Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Parma, Italy, and the Head of the University of Parma School of Advanced Studies on Food and Nutrition. He acts as Scientific Director of the Need for Nutrition Education/Innovation Programme Global Centre for Nutrition & Health, in Cambridge, UK. He serves as Editor in Chief of the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition (Taylor & Francis). He has been listed among the Web of Science Highly Cited Researchers in 2014, 2015 and 2019. He is a proud Commendatore (Knight Commander) of the Italian Republic, and he is happily growing a team of very brilliant scientists.
Dr. Béatrice Denoyes is a senior scientist at National Institute of Agronomical Research (INRA) at Bordeaux. She has worked in the field of genetics and genomics for 30 years. More recently, she focused her work on the flowering/runnering decision in strawberry because this trait is strongly linked to plant (for nursery) and fruit (for growers) yields. Understanding this process through different approaches, including the study of plant architecture, will allow the modulation of the runnering/flowering balance in the cultivated strawberry.
Prof. Juan Carlos Díaz Ricci is a senior scientist at the Argentinean National Research Council (CONICET) and the Universidad Nacional deTucumán. At the present he is the Director of the Instituto Superior de Investigaciones Biológicas (INSIBIO, CONICET-UNT). Initially he worked on topics relates to plasmid maintenance and metabolic engineering using the bacterium Escherichia coli. But for the last 20 years his research was orientated to plant biotechnology, particularly to the investigation of biotic stress, and the mechanism of activation of plant innate immunity in strawberry plants. Results obtained are being applied for the design of new environmentally safe strategies for the control of fungal diseases in strawberry crop, as an alternative to toxic contaminant agrochemicals currently used.
Prof. Qing-Hua Gao is a senior scientist at Institute of Forestry and Fruit Tree Research, Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences (SAAS) at Shanghai, P. R. China. He has worked in the field of genetics and breedings for 23 years. More recently, he focused his work on the molecular mechanisms underlying strawberry resistance to fungus disease in order to improving strawberry health and productivity and enhancing quality attributes through the application of innovative breeding techniques and practices. So far, four strawberry cultivars including ‘Jiuxiang’, ‘Shanghai Sunrise’, ‘Shanghai Angel’ and ‘Shanghai Sweet-Beauty’ with a sweet aromatic flavour and ‘melt-in-the-mouth’ texture have been authorized. They are most promising due to meeting the habits of oriental consumer and being appreciated in China very much.
Steven J. Knapp (Professor and Director of the Strawberry Breeding Program, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis) is an expert on plant breeding, quantitative genetics, and the application of genomics in plant breeding. His current research focuses on the breeding, genetics, and genomics of strawberry. His laboratory has been engaged in the development of genomic resources for octoploid strawberry, including reference genomes, and the development of high-yielding, long shelf-life, disease resistant cultivars for short-day, day-neutral, and summer-plant production systems. His previous research focused on the breeding, genetics, and genomics of sunflower, peanut, and industrial oilseeds. He was previously Global Director of Breeding Technology for the Vegetable Division at Monsanto (2009-2015), Professor and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and Graduate Program Coordinator in the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics at the University of Georgia (2004-2009), and Professor and Paul C. Berger Endowed Chair at Oregon State University (1985-2004).
Dr. Liston is a Professor of Botany and Plant Pathology at Oregon State University and the Director of the OSU Herbarium. He has worked in the field of Plant Systematics for 30 years and has published over 120 peer-reviewed papers. His transition to Plant Genomics was motivated by the Fragaria vesca genome project. He assembled the chloroplast genome and contributed the comparative analysis of the strawberry vs. peach genome for that landmark publication. He has subsequently focused his research on strawberry genomics. These studies have advanced our understanding of phylogeny, the role of polyploidy in adaptation and speciation, and the evolution of sex-determination in wild strawberry species.
Peter Melis is a researcher in the cultivation of strawberry at Proefcentrum Hoogstraten in Belgium. His team does practical and demonstrative research on all aspects of the modern strawberry cultivation, both in soil and on substrate. At the centre the research program works in close contact with the growers to realize quick implementations of new techniques and systems into practice. Peter is well familiar with the different cultivation systems that make year-round cultivation possible, using short day cultivars and/or everbearers. He developed several techniques in the last few years to realize important steps in the evolution of the cultivation. Among them is the predictive outgrowth model for short day cultivars using flower bud analysis, the implementation of assimilation light for winter production in glasshouses, the capacity calculation for drain water recuperation on trayfields, the highly effective IPM strategy with control over the most common pests and diseases, the importance of timed and quantified fertilization during the plant production phase of short day and everbearing cultivars.
Sonia Osorio graduated (Master and Ph.D.) from University of Malaga and was a postdoc fellow at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology (Alisdair Fernie´s group). She is currently Professor at the University of Malaga leading the laboratory of Biotechnology of Fruits (https://www.ihsm.uma-csic.es/investigadores/118). Her research interests center on uncovering the molecular mechanisms underlying the production of plant metabolites related with aroma, taste and postharvest properties. Activities are centered on understanding early events in the regulation of the ripening transition using strawberry and tomato as a model, and exploring the conservation of ripening mechanisms in those fruits. Her lab combines cutting-edge metabolomics in fruit development and postharvest. Sonia has made a series of breakthrough achievements in fruit development and maturity molecule regulation network published in more than 70 papers in international mainstream journals such as Nature, Nature Communications, The Plant Cell, and Plant Physiology and more than 15 book chapters. Those papers have been cited for more than 8,500 times accumulatively.
Stefano Predieri, Head of CNR Institute of BioEconomy, Bologna Research Unit, is an expert in fruit crops tissue culture, breeding and postharvest physiology. Member of the scientific committee DISBA-CNR Network “NUTRHEFF” – Nutritional Health Enhancing Functional Food. Responsible of IBE Research Unit in National Project “Aging” EWHeTA (Eat Well for a Healthy Third Age). Sensory Project Manager and member of the scientific committee project “It-taste” SISS, Società Italiana Scienze Sensoriali (ItalianSensoryScience Society). Author of 54 WoS cited papers. His current research focuses on intrinsic and sensory properties of fruit, including strawberry. Expert in consumer science, recent studies are on consumer expectations and preferences for traditional and innovative foods.
Anita Sønsteby is a Research professor at the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Department of Horticulture. Her main research focus is environmental effects on growth and development of plants. Flowering and dormancy relations have been focal areas over the recent 15 years, and she has headed numerous projects and activities related to this research area and are author of 70 papers in SCI journals. Dr. Sønsteby is a leading expert on the influence of climatic factors on growth and development of a variety of fruit and berry crops, and flowering and yield in strawberry, raspberry and currants.
Research Professor of CSIC (Murcia, Spain). His current research aims to the study of the role of food polyphenols in human health, their interaction with gut microbiota and their potential in personalized nutrition with a metabolomics approach. His research has been transferred to industry (six patents of which three have been licensed and derived products are actually in the market). Associate Editor of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Author of over 360 publications in scientific journals within the fields of phytochemistry, and food science and nutrition. These articles have been cited over 23,000 times (WOK, H-index, 84). Highly Cited scientist in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018. He has developed more than one hundred competitive research projects and contracts with industry.
Dr. Tzanetakis is Professor of Plant Virology at the University of Arkansas and Director of the Arkansas Clean Plant Center for Berries. He has a BS in Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology working on berry viruses. Currently his research focuses on the epidemiology and detection of plant viruses and particularly on the development of vertical pipelines starting from wet lab protocols to custom‐designed bioinformatics tools for detection and discovery of pathogens using high throughput sequencing. Dr. Tzanetakis has been heavily involved in the development of harmonized certification rules for berries in the United States leading the efforts in two of the three major crops. He is a member of the editorial boards of several plant pathology and virology‐focused journals and holds leadership roles in several groups including the American Phytopathological Society, the National Clean Plant Network, the International Council for the Study of Virus and other Graft Transmissible Diseases of Fruit Crops and the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses.
Professor Yuntao Zhang is Director of the Strawberry Program at Beijing Academy of Forestry and Pomology Sciences and China National Germplasm Repository of Strawberry in Beijing, and Chairman of Strawberry Section of Chinese Society for Horticulture Science. He was the Convener of the 7th International Strawberry Symposium in 2012, Beijing. He led the project of the Special Fund for Agro-scientific Research in the Public Interest of China from 2010 to 2014. He led 18 the National Strawberry Festivals in different regions in China. His area of expertise is in strawberry germplasm resources, breeding, cultivation and bio-technology. Up to now, Prof. Zhang and his team have released 14 new strawberry cultivars. He has published widely in scientific journals and has authored several books, as well as translated and published 20 strawberry books (from USA, Canada, Italy, Japan, Chile and Russia). His recent research projects include: China-EU strawberry breeding and regional testing; National Key Research and Development Project.