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European Plant Science Retreat 2018

Keynote Speakers

The following keynote speakers have confirmed their presence at EPSR 2018:

Julia Bailey-Serres
Center for Plant Cell Biology, UC Riverside, USA
“Our research is largely focused on mechanisms of sensing and response to cellular oxygen deprivation (hypoxia/anoxia) that is a major consequence of flooding, submergence or high metabolic activity (i.e., in meristems). We wish to understand the molecular and physiological processes that can enable plants to tolerate or escape an abiotic stress such as flooding, from the single cell to the whole plant level.”

Carlos Ballaré
IFEVA-CONICET, University of Buenos Aires, and IIB-National University of San Martín, Argentina
“The primary focus of the research in my lab is on plant responses to the environment. We are interested in the molecular mechanisms as well as in the implications for agriculture and global change research. Currently, we have projects that focus on the roles of phytochromes as regulators of adaptive plasticiy in plant canopies, plant-herbivore interactions and defense responses mediated by the jasmonates, and the effects of solar UV radiation on plant and ecosystem function.”

Paul Birch
Plant Pathology, University of Dundee, UK
“My group focuses the oomycete late blight pathogen of potato, Phytophthora infestans. We are particularly interested in ‘effector’ proteins that are translocated inside the host cell, in the mechanisms by which they are delivered and the means by which they are regulated in P. infestans.” “We want to know the mode of action of such virulence determinants: what are their host targets and what roles do those targets play in plant defence, development or metabolism?”

Jos Raaijmakers
Microbial Ecology, NIOO, The Netherlands
“The overall goal of my current research program is to unravel the diversity, dynamics and functions of microorganisms associated with plants. The functions of the plant microbiome we study in detail are: 1) microbial protection of plants against biotic stress (pests, diseases, parasitic weeds); 2) microbial modulation of root architecture and plant development, and 3) microbial modulation of plant secondary metabolism.”

Lyubov Ryabova
University of Strasbourg, IBMP, France
“Our laboratory is interested in uncovering the link between environmental signals (e.g., viruses and phytohormones), fundamental cellular processes (e.g., mRNA export, translation, and kinase signaling pathways), and plant growth and morphogenesis. Toward this goal we study how these cellular pathways are hijacked by the Cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) to achieve export of its 35S RNA and its translation via non-canonical mechanism of activated reinitiation.”

Christa Testerink
Laboratory of Plant Physiology, WUR, The Netherlands
“How plant root development and growth is influenced by environmental signals is a major question in plant biology. We approach this subject from different angles, ranging from biophysics of protein-lipid interactions, via cellular organization, to worldwide natural variation in plant stress responses. In particular, we focus on the effects of salinity and drought, and more recently also nutrient starvation, on root system architecture.”


Guido van den Ackerveken
Plant Microbe Interactions, Utrecht University, The Netherlands
“The interest of my group is foremost in fundamental science to understand the molecular processes that occur during infection of plants by pathogenic microorganisms. On the plant side, we study susceptibility genes that, when mutated, make plants more resistant to pathogen infection. From the viewpoint of pathogens, our research is focussed on identifying effector proteins, and aimed at understanding how the manipulate host cell processes to make plants more susceptible to infection. An equally important part of our research is aimed at application of our knowledge and results to make plants resistant to diseases.”