Keynote speakers

Robyn Alders
Principal Research Fellow, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney, Australia
Robyn Alders, is an Associate Professor and Principal Research Fellow with the Faculty of Veterinary Science within the University of Sydney. For over 20 years, she has worked closely with smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and SE Asia as a veterinarian, researcher and colleague, with an emphasis on the development of sustainable infectious disease control in animals in rural areas in support of food security and poverty alleviation. Robyn’s current research and development interests include domestic and global food and nutrition security, One Health/Ecohealth, gender equity and Science Communication. She leads the Charles Perkins Centre/Marie Bashir Institute Healthy Food Systems: Nutrition-Diversity-Safety Research Node. In January 2011, Robyn was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished to veterinary science as a researcher and educator, to the maintenance of food security in developing countries through livestock management and disease control programs.

Derek Byerlee
FSE Visiting Scholar, Freeman Spoli Institute for International Studies, Stanford, United States
Dr Derek Byerlee is an internationally recognized agricultural economist who specializes in agricultural development and food security. He has held senior positions at Michigan State University, USA, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico and South Asia, and in the World Bank where he was the lead author of the 2008 World Development Report on food and agriculture. He currently holds appointments with Stanford University and Georgetown University working on agribusiness, land use, and food security. He is also Editor-in-Chief, Global Food Security journal and Chairs the Technical Advisory Committee, Global Agricultural and Food Security Program.


Jerry Flint
Vice President, Industry Affairs and Regulatory, DuPont Pioneer, United States
Dr Jerry Flint leads Industry Affairs and Regulatory (IA&R) at DuPont Pioneer – a global, integrated team focused on delivering new plant biotechnology from the R&D pipeline to the commercial business, and ultimately, the hands of farmer customers. In this role, Jerry directs global regulatory strategy, regulatory science, global policy and scientific affairs, stakeholder and community engagement, product registration and stewardship efforts. Under his leadership, Pioneer has achieved more efficient regulatory approvals for farmers in developed countries to grow and export biotech grain and is bringing biotech crop cultivation to farmers in new parts of the world. Jerry is the second vice chair of the American Seed Trade Association. He also represents Pioneer on the Crop Life International Plant Biotech Steering Committee, the Biotechnology Industry Organization Food and Agriculture Governing Board and the Council for Biotechnology Information Executive Committee. In 2013, he helped found GMO Answers, which is a new effort sponsored by DuPont, through its biotechnology industry association partners, to openly address consumer questions. Throughout his 25-plus year career in the industry, Jerry has enjoyed the challenge of working with growers, scientists and those throughout agriculture to bring new technology to market. Jerry earned his Bachelor of Science in agriculture from Purdue University and his Master of Science and doctorate in crop science from the University of Kentucky.

Judith Kimiywe
CNS Chairperson, Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics, Kenyatta University, Kenya
judith-kimiyweJudith is an Associate Professor and a Certified Nutrition Specialist in the Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics at Kenyatta University. Her research has centered on use of locally available resources and support systems to enhance food and nutrition security of individuals and communities to mitigate hunger, malnutrition and poverty in Kenya and beyond. She has worked as a consultant for various international and UN agencies on development programs  for informing policy for Kenya , Regional and Internationally, and has made a significant contribution to formulation of country policies, strategic plans and guidelines for addressing nutrition of vulnerable populations.  Prof. Kimiywe is a member of several professional organizations. Appointed as an Expert Consultant – Joint FAO/Bioversity International Expert Consultation on Nutrition Indicators for Biodiversity – 2 Food Consumption Washington DC, 8 – 9 June 2009. She is an awardee of the CGIAR Award to dietary diversity Kenya Team, awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Award in recognition of attracting high number of research grants and best performing lecturer. Nominated Custodian of Dietary Diversity by Biodiversity International and has been nominated as Kenyan delegate to various high level global forums.

Martin Kropff
Director General, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), México
Martin Kropff, a Dutch national, is currently Director General of CIMMYT, the International Maize and Wheat improvement Center with offices in 18 countries and HQ in Mexico. He has been a scientist in agroecology and modelling and later active in scientific leadership positions with a focus on the agri-food sector. Much of his career has been focused on R4D. For two years he was on the CGIAR Consortium Board, where he has worked to improve cohesion and develop a new CGIAR strategy. From 1990 to 1995 he was the systems agronomist at IRRI, where he led an interdisciplinary program on the introduction of systems analysis and simulation in rice production research. Upon his return to the Netherlands in 1995, he served successively as full Professor of Crop and Weed Ecology, Scientific Director of the University’s C.T. de Wit Graduate School for Production Ecology and Resource Conservation and Director General of the Plant Sciences Group. He was previously the Rector Magnificus of Wageningen University, today a world leading University in the field of agri-food and environmental sciences. Martin obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in biology at Utrecht University and a Ph.D. in agricultural and environmental sciences at Wageningen University, both cum laude.

Lluis Serra-Majem
Professor of Preventive Medicine & Public Health and Director of the Research Institute of Biomedical and Health Sciences, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
Lluís Serra Majem (Barcelona, 1959) is a medical doctor with a Ph.D. specialising in Preventive Medicine and Public Health Nutrition. In 1988, he became Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the School of Medicine of the University of Barcelona, and in 1995 Full Professor of Preventive Medicine and Public Health at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where he also serves as Director of the Biomedical and Health Research Institute. He is President and founder of the NGO Nutrition without Borders, as well as of the Nutrition Research Foundation. He has published 65 books and 395 peer reviewed scientific papers with an impact factor over 1500 and an H-index of 56. His main areas of research are: public health nutrition, Mediterranean diet and obesity prevention. He was the President of the I and III World Congress of Public Health Nutrition and he chairs the International Foundation of Mediterranean Diet. He is currently Member of the Experts Project Team of the Nutrition and Food Systems Report from FAO High Level Panel of Experts (2016-17) and Fellow of the Advanced Leadership Initiative from Harvard University (2017).

Neena Mitter
Professor at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, University of Queensland, Australia
Prof Neena Mitter at Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, the University of Queensland (UQ) is one of Queensland’s leading biotechnologists, having been involved in molecular biology and biotechnology in Australia and India for over 20 years. She has won prestigious awards like Women in Technology Queensland Biotechnologist Award, Queensland International Fellowship and Young Scientist Award by the Prime Minister of India. She is internationally recognised for her leadership in innovative, cross-functional research and exceptional industry engagement to address global challenges of agriculture and food security. She leads a passionate, motivated and impactful research group to deliver global innovations at UQ, namely ‘Non-GM and Non-toxic BioClay spray for crop protection’, ‘Single dose- shelf stable Nanovaccines for animal health’ and ‘Clonal propagation of avocado using plant stem cells‘. These are ground breaking platform technologies impacting agricultural production, environmental sustainability and socio-economic dynamics of farming community. Her cutting edge research in the field of agricultural nanotechnology uniquely positions her to positively influence food security and environmental challenges facing the global community. With increased scrutiny on use of chemicals as crop and animal disease control agents; Prof Mitter is focussed is on developing clean technologies.