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.

Hans-Joachim Braun
Director Global Wheat Program, CIMMYT, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Mexico
Hans-Joachim Braun, a native of Germany with background in wheat breeding based in Mexico, has led CIMMYT’s Global Wheat Program since 2004 and the CGIAR Research Program WHEAT since 2014. Responsible for technical direction and implementation of the program, he leads and manages 40 internationally recruited scientists, who develop wheat germplasm that is distributed to around 200 cooperators in more than 100 countries and grown of more than 50% of the spring wheat area in developing countries. He lived from 1985 to 2005 in Turkey, leading the Turkey CIMMYT ICARDA International Winter Wheat Improvement Program. He contributed to the development of more than 40 winter wheat varieties released mainly in West and Central Asia, which are grown on more than 2 million ha. Braun was instrumental in recognizing Zn deficiency and soil borne diseases as a major constraint for winter wheat production in the dryland areas of West Asia. In his 33 years with CIMMYT, he became familiar with all major wheat based cropping systems in the developing and developed world. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles, and book chapters and received various awards, including the Friendship Award of China for his contribution to develop disease resistant wheat lines for Gansu province. Braun received his Ph.D. from the University of Hohenheim, Germany in 1983.

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.


Kevin Diehl
Director, Regulatory Product Strategy, Scientific Affairs and Industry Relations, DuPont Pioneer, United States
Kevin Diehl is Director of Regulatory Product Strategy, Scientific Affairs and Industry Relations at DuPont Pioneer. He and his team develop and implement coordinated, global strategies for moving new biotech traits from the R&D pipeline to the commercial business, and ultimately, to Pioneer’s farmer customers. Kevin’s team also authors and helps get scientific journal articles published about regulatory science; works with international authorities to help ensure high standards for the science and risk assessments that are part of the regulatory approval process and partners with academics globally to enhance the science on biotechnology. Kevin also serves on the Industry Affairs and Regulatory (IA&R) Leadership Team at DuPont Pioneer and spearheads the IA&R five-year plan to ensure alignment between DuPont Pioneer’s long term regulatory strategy and commercial business objectives. Growing up on his family’s diversified crop and livestock farm in central Iowa, Kevin always wanted a career connected to his agricultural roots. His interest evolved from working on the farm to working for DuPont, starting in 1993, to bring new science and technology to farmers around the world. Kevin has held research, agronomy, marketing and sales management positions during his 20 years with the company. Prior to accepting his current role in November 2012, Kevin led the Six Sigma Sales and Marketing team for DuPont Crop Protection in North America. Kevin earned his Ph.D. in plant physiology and weed science from the University of Illinois and earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy and agricultural studies from Iowa State University.

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.

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.