Conference chairs

Bridget Emmett

Prof. Dr. Bridget Emmett
UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology | United Kingdom
Bridget has 35 years of experience in environmental research. She is the former Head of Soils and Land Use at the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and is President of the British Ecological Society. Her research expertise includes monitoring and reporting on the impact of land management on natural capital and ecosystem services for national governments; drivers of change in soil structure, function and soil health; impacts of air pollution and climate change; and new knowledge and modelling systems to support policy development.

Frank A. Ewert

Prof. Dr. Frank A. Ewert
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) | Germany
Frank A. Ewert is Scientific Director of the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research ( in Müncheberg and Professor of Crop Science at the University of Bonn (, Germany. An important focus of his research has been on the analysis and modelling of crop systems in relation to climate change, food security and sustainable intensification. More recently he has also worked on integrated assessment modelling and on scaling up crop system responses to farm, landscape, national and global level.

Peter H. Feindt

© Erik Stolze

Prof. Dr. Peter H. Feindt
Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
 | Germany
Peter H. Feindt is Professor of Agricultural and Food Policy at the Thaer Institute for Agricultural and Horticultural Sciences at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Peter is chair of the Scientific Advisory Council on Biodiversity and Genetic Resources at the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, member of the Scientific Advisory Board on Agricultural and Food Policy at the same Ministry, and member of the German Bioeconomy Council, and member of the board the German Alliance for Agricultural Research (DAFA), of which he is also a former co-chair. He is honorary editor of the Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning and has served as Head of Department of the Thaer Institute from October 2020 until January 2023.

Scientific committee

Jesús Barreiro-Hurlé

© Luis Perez y Perez

Dr. Jesús Barreiro-Hurlé
European Commission Joint Research Centre | Spain

Jesus Barreiro-Hurle is a senior scientist at the European Commission’s Joint Research Center. He has over 25 years’ experience in academia and international organisations dealing with agricultural and environmental policy. His work focuses on understanding farmer and consumer decisions incorporating a behavioural dimension and has been published in leading journals in the field such as the European Review of Agricultural Economics, Food Policy and the Ecological Economics. He is member of the editorial boards of the Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research and Q-Open as well as of the Research Network on Economic Experiments for the Common Agricultural Policy (REECAP).


Prof. Dr. Sonoko Bellingrath-Kimura
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) & Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Germany

Sonoko Bellingrath-Kimura is the co-head of Research Area 2 "Land Use and Governance" at the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) and a professor of Land Use Systems at the Humboldt University of Berlin. She received her PhD in Soil Science at the Hokkaido University Japan in 2005 and worked at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology till she joined ZALF in 2015. Her research extends from the tropics to the temperate regions, where she examined the effect of land uses on the environments. She is among others board member of the German Society of Agronomy and member of commission for soil protection at the German Environment Agency.

Gabriele Berg

Prof. Dr. Gabriele Berg
Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy | Germany & Graz University of Technology | Austria

Gabriele Berg studied biology, ecology and biotechnology at the universities in Rostock and Greifswald obtained her Ph.D. in 1995 in microbiology from Rostock University (Germany). In 2005 she became a full professor in environmental biotechnology at Graz University of Technology (Austria), and in 2021 an additional professorship in Potsdam (Germany). Her interests are focused on microbiome research and translation of the results into new biotechnological and microbiome management concepts for health issues. From 2018 - 2020, she belongs to the most influential researchers world-wide (top 1, Clarivate Analytics), and received numerous awards, e.g. the Knight`s Cross for research Styria (2022).

Kathrin Grahmann

Dr. Kathrin Grahmann
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) | Germany
Kathrin Grahmann got her Ph.D. in 2016 from the University of Kassel, Section of Organic Plant Production and Agroecosystems Research in the Tropics and Subtropics. Her research focused on soil nitrogen dynamics and leaching losses in irrigated conservation agriculture in Mexico. Dr. Grahmann conducted her first PostDoc at the National Institute for Agricultural Research in Colonia, Uruguay, analyzing soil quality and erosion data from long-term experiments. Since 2021, Kathrin Grahmann has been a Tenure-Track candidate at ZALF, where she conducts experimental research on crop diversification applying digital technologies and coordinating the landscape experiment patchCROP. From October 2023 onwards, she is the head of the Junior research group "SoilRob", studying the effects of autonomous agricultural robots on soil health and ecosystem services.

Alain Gaume

Dr. Alain Gaume
Agroscope | Switzerland
Alain Gaume is the Head of Agroscope’s Plant Protection Strategic Research Division. He is a member of Agroscope directory board and is responsible for two research campus within this organization (Changins & Cadenazzo). After studying Agronomy at the ETH Zurich and completing his degree dissertation on controlling grey mould in viticulture, he worked in the field of vegetable production at the University of California, Davis before returning to Switzerland to do a PhD at the ETHZ. There followed a first postdoctoral fellowship at the Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and Environment at Rutgers University (USA), then a second postdoc at the University of Pretoria’s Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (South Africa). From 2003 to 2005, Alain Gaume was a Senior Research Associate and Lecturer in Agroecophysiology, Plant Nutrition and Soil Sciences at the ETHZ. From 2005, he headed the Plant Nutrition and Fertilisation National Research Programmes at Agroscope, as well as the Variety Testing of Grain Legumes Research Division. From 2009 to 2017 he worked as Head of Seedcare Research Biology at Syngenta, where he led the global biology research department responsible for developing new seed treatment technologies in support to the Syngenta 2 billion Market share in the seed treatment business. Alain Gaume is a member of the management board of the European Research Alliance  “Towards a chemical pesticide free agriculture”.

Christian Huyghe

Prof. Dr. Christian Huyghe
French National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE) | France 
Doctor in Plant genetics from the University of Rennes and Director of Research in "Plant Genetics and Improvement" at INRA, now INRAE, Christian Huyghe conducted research programs on the genetic improvement of the seed yield of a protein crop, the lupin, on the genetic improvement of the digestibility and seed production of alfalfa and on the analysis of the genetic changes in temporary grasslands and the underlying mechanisms.
He is currently Scientific Director of Agriculture at INRAE, where he is in charge of issues related to the evolution of production systems towards multi-performance, partnerships with technical institutes and cooperatives and the general issue of innovation in agriculture, including through participatory approaches and the implementation of the Living Labs approaches applied to agroecology. Genetics, crop protection and pesticide issues are high in his agenda. He contributes to the coordination of the French Priority Research Program "Cropping and Protecting Differently" and chairs the European Research Alliance ‘Towards a chemical pesticide-free agriculture’ as well as the COST Action T0P-Agri-Network dedicated to the pesticide reduction objective. He is also involved in plant variety issues. He has been Chairman of the CTPS’s Scientific Committee, covering all plant and forest species, since June 2009. He was also Chairman of GIP GEVES’s administrative Board during 11 years. In the regulatory domain, he also chairs the independent evaluation commission for CEPPs (Certificates of Economy of Plant Protection Products), a key element of the French Ecophyto 2+ system.
At the national level, he has been President of the Acta COST (Scientific and Technical Steering Committee), a structure that coordinates the network of Agricultural Technical Institutes, since 2011 and chairs the French public – private consortium on biocontrol.
At the European level, he is a member of the Scientific Council of the Public-Private Partnership program entitled BBI-JU (Bio-Based Industries Joint Undertaking), which, in 2022, became the Partnership CBE (Circular Bio-based Europe).

Steffen Kolb

Prof. Dr. Steffen Kolb
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) & Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin | Germany
Steffen Kolb is the co-head of Research Area 1 “Landscape Functioning” at the Leibniz Center for Agricultural Landscape research and is Professor at Humboldt University of Berlin. He received his PhD at the Phillipps-University Marburg in (environmental) microbiology and conducted his research at the Max-Planck-Institute of Terrestrial Microbiology. He continued his career at the Universities of Bayreuth, of Warwick (UK) and the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena. His research covers multiple topics in the biogeochemistry and ecology of soils of arable land and he has longstanding research experience with the global terrestrial methane sink mediated by microbes. Beyond these topics, he works in the field “stress response of the cereal crop holobiont”.

Fatima Lehnhardt

© Studioline

Dr. Fatima Lehnhardt
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) | Germany
Fatima Lehnhardt is a research economist at ZALF. She obtained her PhD in agricultural and applied economics from Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) in 2009. Before joining ZALF in 2020, Dr. Lehnhardt worked as a professor of Economics at the National School of Agriculture in Morocco, a postdoctoral researcher at Göttingen University and UPC, and a visiting researcher at Penn State University. Her research centers on the field of production and behavioral economics, with a particular focus on analyzing agricultural decision-making related to the adoption of sustainable intensification and biodiversity conservation strategies, and exploring how these intersect with the resilience and performance of agricultural practices. Dr. Lehnhardt is a member of the editorial board of the Agroforestry Systems.

Lasse Loft

Dr. Lasse Loft
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) | Germany
Lasse Loft studied law in Heidelberg, Lausanne and Berlin. He obtained a PhD in international environmental law and a master in sustainability management in 2009. His research interests lie in the field of governance of ecosystem services, in particular the empirical investigation of environmental justice. He focuses on incentive based policy instruments for steering land-use decisions, including climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation. After his PostDoc at Senckenberg Climate and Biodiversity Research Centre, Frankfurt a.M., Germany, and research stays at the CGIAR Centre for International Forestry Research in Bogor, Indonesia and Hanoi, Vietnam, he joined ZALF in 2015 where he successfully completed the Tenure-Track program in 2022.

David Rose

Prof. Dr. David Christian Rose
Harper Adams University | United Kingdom

David completed his Bachelors, Masters, and PhD degrees in Geography at the University of Cambridge from 2007-2015. Since then, he has undertaken a number of academic faculty positions, including as Elizabeth Creak Chair of Agricultural Innovation at the Royal Agricultural University and as a Visiting Fulbright Professor at Cornell University. He is now the Elizabeth Creak Chair in Sustainable Agri-food Systems at Harper Adams University in the UK, leading the Sustainable Agri-Food Systems group. This cross-disciplinary research group works across fields and University research centres, towards a common purpose – more sustainable food systems. The group brings together natural scientists, economists, social scientists, on-farm ecologists, livestock and crop production specialists, and experts working in the wider food chain. David’s own research focuses on the adoption of new agricultural technologies, ethics of new technologies, behavioural change, farmer mental wellbeing, and responsible innovation. David has published over 75 academic papers since 2014 and has conducted research for government in the UK, the UK Parliament, the FAO, OECD, and a number of other policy and agricultural organizations. He is also an Editor at the Journal of Agricultural Education and Extension.

Masahiro Ryo

© Tom Baumeister / ZALF

Prof. Dr. Masahiro Ryo
Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) & Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus- Senftenberg | Germany

Masahiro Ryo obtained a Ph.D. degree in Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan in 2015. After a one-year postdoc at Eawag, Switzerland, he was a five-year postdoc at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Since 2020 He is Professor of Environmental Data Science at Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus-Senftenberg and Group Leader of “Artificial Intelligence for Smart Agriculture” at the Leibniz Centre of Agricultural Landscape Research. He studies the intersection of artificial intelligence, biodiversity conservation, and smart agriculture. Target scales range from microbial to global scales.

Sandro Schlindwein

Prof. Dr. Sandro Luis Schlindwein
Federal University of Santa Catarina | Brazil
Sandro Luis Schlindwein is a Professor in the Department of Rural Engineering of the Federal University of Santa Catarina (UFSC), in Florianópolis, Brazil. He was one of the founders and coordinator of UFSC´s Postgraduate Programme in Agroecosystems, where he teaches systems thinking and practice, and supervises MSc and PhD students. He has been visiting scientist at the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), in Müncheberg, Germany, and in 2003-2004 he was a visiting research fellow at the Open University Systems Group, in Milton Keynes, UK. He is also a Member of the Board of WOSC (World Organization of Systems and Cybernetics), and associate editor of Kybernetes. His current research interests are related to the dynamics and governance of social-ecological systems, adaptation to climate dynamics and systems thinking applied to wicked situations (for his complete CV with list of publications see

Pham Thu Thuy

Dr. Pham Thu Thuy
University of Adelaide | Australia & CIFOR-ICRAF, Global team | Indonesia
Pham Thu Thuy is a senior associate at Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry Center and Future Making Fellow at University of Adelaide, Australia. She led the Global program on Climate Change, Energy and Low-Carbon Development team at Center for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry Center. Her research focuses on the political economy of climate change policies, including low-emission development strategies, payment for environmental services, reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, carbon market, biodiversity conservation, just transition and social inclusion. She has supported more than 20 developing countries, global financial institutions, multinational companies, and indigenous communities in designing and implementing effective, efficient and equitable climate changes policies and projects. Her work also targets the poor, ethnic minorities, woman including youth in capacity development and ensure they are able to raise their voices and draw benefits from climate change policies and projects.

Gaowen Yang

Prof. Dr. Gaowen Yang
China Agricultural University | China
Gaowen Yang obtained a Ph.D. degree from China Agricultural University in 2014. After three years of teaching at Nanjing Agricultural University, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. Since 2021, he is a professor in the College of Grassland Science and Technology of the China Agricultural University. The major research goal of his lab is to understand basic ecological concepts and advanced technologies for grassland sustainability. His interests focus on the role of soil microbiome in grassland restoration and ecosystem stability.


Local organising committee (ZALF)
Prof. Dr. Sonoko Dorothea Bellingrath-Kimura
Lisa Brandt
Dr. Kathrin Grahmann
Prof. Dr. Steffen Kolb
Dr. Fatima Lehnhardt
Dr. Lasse Loft
Prof. Dr. Masahiro Ryo