Keynote Speakers

Please note: Time of keynote talks are subject to change.

Ana PinedaAna Pineda, Netherlands Institute of Ecology
Keynote (Microbials in Greenhouse Production): Wednesday, June 7th, 10:50 am

My general research interest is on the use of fundamental ecological knowledge to develop sustainable and environmentally friendly strategies to protect our crops from pests. Microbial symbionts are everywhere. However, their role in shaping plant-insect interactions are only starting to be understood. In this context, I am fascinated as to how we can manipulate soil microbiomes to induce resistance against insect pests above ground, attract natural enemies, and at the same time, enhance plant performance. We are trying to achieve this by exploring the potential of the ecological concept of plant-soil feedbacks in a flower crop. I truly believe that by incorporating the beneficial properties of soil microbial diversity in our crops, we can enhance crop protection and yield.

Richard GreatRex 1Richard GreatRex, Head of Development, BioLine Agrosciences, UK
Keynote (New Opportunities, New Challenges): Thursday, June 8th

Richard obtained his PhD in insect physiology from the University of Nottingham, UK in 1981. He joined Bunting Biological Control in 1989, and remained with the company through several changes of ownership and name, from Ciba Bunting through Novartis BCM to Syngenta Bioline and finally, in 2016, Bioline AgroSciences. Initially working on the development of production systems for invertebrate biological control agents, he then became closely involved in the development of fully integrated crop management programmes for protected vegetable, flower and fruit crops. He is currently Head of Development for the company.

From 2003 – 2008, Richard was Chair of the Invertebrates Group and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Biocontrol Manufacturers Association. Here, he took a leading role in the defence of the industry against OECD proposals to regulate invertebrate biological control agents. With an abiding interest in crop protection and biological control, Richard remains closely involved with industry, regulators and academics on development of acceptable procedures, and the broader integration of biological control agents into crop protection strategies.

Ronald Valentin 2Ronald Valentin, Technical Lead Bioline Agrosciences Inc. North America; Director, Bioline Canada Inc.
Keynote (“A Scientist and a Grower Walk into a Bar”): Wednesday, June 7th, 1:30 pm

Ronald was born in the heart of the greenhouse industry in the Netherlands. His family owned a greenhouse operation and his father started using biological control in 1971. This was the stimulus that initiated Ronald’s interest for “bugs” and as a teenager he was managing and producing the biological control agents for the family’s greenhouse. After finishing his education in crop protection management, biochemistry and vegetable production at State Secondary College of Agriculture in De Lier the Netherlands, he embarked on a career in biocontrol. First providing technical support to growers in the Netherlands and several other European countries, he came to Canada for his first visit in 1996. After traveling to Canada once every 6 to 7 weeks he decided to immigrate in 1997, and in March 2004 he became a Canadian Citizen. Over the years Ronald has worked with many growers to set up sustainable and effective pest management programs using BCAs as a first line of defense. He has trained and managed technical support teams in Europe, Canada and the USA. Ronald is very passionate about making an IPM and biological control approach work for each and every grower as well as reducing the use of pesticides for the betterment of the environment and the future.

 Roselyne LabbeRoselyne Labbé, Research Scientist (Greenhouse Entomology), AAFC  Harrow Research and Development Centre (HRDC)
Keynote (Influence of Environment on IPM): Wednesday, June 7th, 8:40 am

Roselyne’s work focuses on the study of novel biological control agents to suppress established and invasive crop pests.  She is also investigating how manipulation of the greenhouse light environment can alter pest suppression under year-round crop production cycles.  Roselyne holds PhD and HBSc degrees in insect biology from Western University, as well as an MSc degree in greenhouse entomology and biological control from Laval University.   She has studied insecticide resistance traits and population dynamics of greenhouse and field crop pests.  Roselyne has worked extensively on identifying the intra-guild interactions between biological control agents used on greenhouse crops.  She has served as a contributing member to Canada’s Biocontrol Network and has also worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Wayne State University and the University of Toronto where she used new molecular tools to study invertebrate biology. Roselyne currently serves as Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Windsor.

 Shimon SteinbergShimon Steinberg, Head, R&D, BioBee Sde Eliyahu Ltd., Israel
Keynote (Innovative Strategies that Improve Biocontrol): Monday, June 5th, 9:50 am

After completing his M.Sc and Ph.D degrees in agronomy and plant protection at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Shimon completed a Postdoc at Wageningen Agricultural University of the Netherlands. He has been head of R&D at BioBee for more than 2 decades, specializing in the development of systems for mass rearing of arthropods (insects and mites) for biological pest control, pollination and other beneficial purposes. In addition, he has vast expertise in the field application of beneficial arthropods in various crops such as protected and open field vegetables, ornamentals and fruit trees. The products developed by Dr. Steinberg and his team at BioBee are well known and accepted by growers and IPM-biocontrol practitioners in Israel and around the world.

 Wainwright headshot large resSuzanne Wainwright-Evans, Buglady Consulting
Keynote (Integration of Bios into Production): Tuesday, June 6th, 8:40 am

Suzanne is an Entomologist specializing in integrated pest management.  She has been involved in the Green Industry for more than 25 years with a primary focus on biological control and using pesticides properly. She is a graduate of the University of FL with degrees in entomology and environmental horticulture. She consults and speaks internationally on controlling pests. She is the owner of Buglady Consulting, now in business for 16 years.

Vineland Michael BrownbridgeMichael Brownbridge, Research Director, Horticultural Production Systems, Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, Canada
Conference Keynote: Monday, June 5th, 9:10 am

After graduating from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, Michael left the UK to seek work and more sunshine. Initially working on the biological control of mosquitoes in Israel, he subsequently took positions in Kenya, the USA and New Zealand, with research and outreach responsibilities in microbial control and IPM in greenhouse, field and forest systems. He joined the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in 2009. He leads a diverse research team and an industry-focused portfolio of projects dealing with greenhouse and field production of new vegetable crops, nursery and landscape horticulture, and development of new biocontrol tools and integrated management systems for greenhouse ornamentals and vegetables.