wery Tropentag 2021 - Invited speakers


Tropentag 2021:

Towards shifting paradigms in agriculture for a healthy and sustainable future

September 15 - 17, 2021,
organised by
University of Hohenheim, Germany

Plenary Session addresses

Opening session 15.09.2021

Jimmy W. SmithJimmy W. Smith
Director General of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Title of presentation: Transforming Food Agriculture to Feed the People and Save the Planet (abstract)

ILRI (www.ilri.org) is a CGIAR research centre, working towards a food secure world. ILRI’s work focuses on livestock research for sustainable development. Before joining ILRI, Smith led the livestock portfolio at the World Bank. Working at corporate level, he anchored the bank’s investments on sustainable livestock development and mitigating the threat of zoonoses with pandemic potential. Prior to his tenure at the World Bank, Smith held senior positions at the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Still earlier, Smith worked at ILRI and its predecessor, the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA), where he served as the institute’s regional representative for West Africa and later as director of its global program on crop-livestock systems. Before his decade of work at ILCA/ILRI, Smith held senior positions in the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI-Trinidad) and the Livestock Development Company (LIDCO-Guyana). Jimmy Smith is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign, USA, where he completed MSc and PhD degrees in animal sciences. He is widely published, with more than 100 publications, including papers in refereed journals, book chapters, policy papers and edited proceedings.

Ingo GrassIngo Grass
Professor and Head of the Department of Ecology of Tropical Agricultural Systems at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany

Title of presentation: Reconciling agricultural production with biodiversity conservation through ecological intensification and diversification (abstract)

Ingo Grass' research focusses on patterns and dynamics of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes. A major motivation for his work is the question how to reconcile agricultural land use with biodiversity conservation. Ongoing projects in Indonesia, South Africa, India and Germany focus on multitrophic interactions and ecosystem services (pollination, biological control), food webs, and the relative importance of local vs. regional determinants for ecosystem functions in agricultural and natural ecosystems. Before coming to University of Hohenheim, he studied Biology at the University of Marburg, where he also obtained his PhD in 2014. From 2014 to 2019, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Goettingen, until being appointed full professor at University of Hohenheim in 2019.

Closing session 17.09.2021

Hale Ann TufanHale Ann Tufan
Research Professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Global Development and Plant Breeding and Genetics, at Cornell University, USA

Title of presentation: Re-examining priorities: Gender equality as a guiding goal of plant breeding

Dr. Hale Ann Tufan has a multidisciplinary background spanning Ph.D.-level research in molecular plant pathogen interactions at the John Innes Centre, UK, plant breeding with CIMMYT, international agricultural research for development program management, and gender capacity and strategy development across SSA. Her work focuses on building gender responsive crop improvement systems, through curriculum development and training, leading research on priority setting, market research, gender research and on-farm testing. She is co-Director of the Gender Responsive Researchers Equipped for Agricultural Transformation (GREAT) project, Associate Director for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Crop Improvement, Principle Investigator for the Muhogo Bora project, and survey division lead for the NextGen Cassava project. Dr. Tufan’s was awarded the Borlaug Field Award in 2019 to recognize her work to ensure women farmers and researchers are fairly represented in agricultural research for development.

Chikelu MbaDr. Chikelu Mba
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Department of Plant Production and Protection Division, Italy

Title of presentation: Enabling Farmers to Exploit Genetic Gains for Sustainable Crop Production Systems (abstract)

Dr. Mba is Team Leader - Seed policies, development, production, marketing at FAO. In his capacity, Dr Mba is involved in crop varietal development, including pre-breeding, plant breeding and biotechnology applications. The Seed policies, development, production, marketing team is in the Plant Production and Protection Division (NSP). NSP supports countries in the transition to sustainable crop production systems. NSP works with countries and a broad range of partners in developing and promoting agro-ecological approaches to sustainable crop production that build on ecosystem services while enhancing and protecting the underlying natural resource base.>


Invited speakers in thematic sessions

Patrick WormsPatrick Worms
Senior Science Policy Advisor, CIFOR-ICRAF; President, European Agroforestry Federation; Trustee, International Union of Agroforestry and Senior Fellow, Evergreening Global Alliance, Belgium
Invited speaker in the session Trees for people, Thursday, September 16th, 13:00 - 14:30, live from Prague
Patrick Worms, originally educated as a molecular geneticist, represents the world’s premier research institution devoted to the study of the roles of trees in agricultural landcapes to policy makers in Brussels and elsewhere in Europe. World Agroforestry, active since the 1970s, has reported on the astonishing benefits of multicrop agriculture involving trees in thousands of peer-reviewed publications. Patrick is also President of EURAF, the European Agroforestry Federation; a Trustee and treasurer of the International Union of Agroforestry; a member of the Steering Committee of International Land Lives Peace, which works at the interface between land degration and conflicts; a Senior Fellow of the Global Evergreening Alliance and a member of several advisory boards. Patrick has been active at the science-policy interface since the late 1980s, with a start teaching biology in the Hindu Kush. As a young European official, he pioneered a new way of using communications to deal with the environmental legacy of communism across the former Soviet Union before leaving for the private sector and engaging with the disastrous environmental legacy of China’s Great Leap forward, an effort which became the first large-scale private-sector investment in tree planting for watershed remediation in that country. With three languages, a multinational family, a career spanning four continents and a wide experience in intercultural education, Patrick received bachelors and masters degrees from Cambridge University.

Louw HoffmanLouw Hoffman
Professor of Meat Science, Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia and Professor Emeritus, Department of Animal Sciences, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Invited speaker in the session The role of wildlife, Thursday, September 16th, 15:00 - 16:30
I have two passions in life: to work with young people and to solve industry related problems. I have managed to combine these passions with my two hobbies, hunting and fishing, by doing research on meat with an emphasis on game/exotic meat and fish flesh. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to create an opportunity for a young student and to see how the student grabs this and develops into a focused researcher. Then of course there is the added pleasure of having been able to do research on Africa's mammals which filled my need to be close to mother earth; a need that has its origin when I grew up on my family's cattle ranch in Zimbabwe. My enjoyment of working with students is clearly illustrated by the fact that since 1996, 38 PhD and 145 MSc students have completed their studies under my guidance. To date I have published over 400 peer-reviewed papers and have addressed numerous local and international audiences on my research. I have a h-index of 34 (Scopus https://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.uri?authorId=7201395420) and 39 (sematic scholar, https://www.semanticscholar.org/author/L.-Hoffman/3763443).