ISTRC Councillors

President of the ISTRC

Professor Keith Tomlins
Natural Resources InstituteProfKeithTomlins s
University of Greenwich
Central Avenue
Chatham Maritime
Kent
ME4 4TB
United Kingdom
Tel: +44-1634-883460
Fax: +44-1634-883386
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Profile
Professor Keith Tomlins has been President of the ISTRC since 2012 and was Councillor for Publications from 2003 to 2012. He is a Professor of Food Science at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich. He is currently managing a number of EU funded projects on root and tuber crops relating to capacity building of early career scientists in ACP countries, research on turning waste from root and tuber crops into higher value products in Africa and Asia and research into adding value to cassava products. Other interests include sensory and consumer acceptance of foods and food safety and quality management. Over 100 field visits in Europe, Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Pacific, South America and North America.


AugustoBecerraLopez LavalleFirst Vice President of 18th ISTRC Symposium

Luis Augusto Becerra López-Lavalle
Principal Scientist
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Km 17 Recta Cali-Palmira, Cali, Colombia (A.A. 6713)
Tel: +57 2 4450000 Ext. 3356
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Skype: Augustob1966

Profile

Augusto Becerra Lopez-Lavalle is a Plant Molecular Geneticists and has been the Principal Scientist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT - Cali) for the past three years. Prior to that he was a CIAT’s Senior Scientist for five years undertaking cassava molecular genetics and next-generation breeding schemes. In his current role, he is the leader of the Global Cassava Program in Colombia, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and is responsible for leading the cassava research strategy, manages the program’s budget and a staff of 130 people including 15 PhD-level scientists, laboratory technical support, agronomic engineers, and administrative support. He guides his team and the talent management portfolio. At the CGIAR-level, he is Global Research Leader for Enhanced Utilization of RTB Genetic Resources (RTB phase-II).

Vice President Fund RaisingDrJanLow

Dr Jan Low
International Potato Centre (CIP), Nairobi, Kenya
CELL: 254-733-411010;
OFFICE:254-20-422-3601
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Profile
Jan Low is currently a principal scientist with the International Potato Center (CIP), based in their regional office for Africa in Nairobi, Kenya. She manages the Sweetpotato Action for Security and Health in Africa (SASHA) project and co-leads the Sweetpotato for Profit and Health Initiative (SPHI) with the director of the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA). The SPHI seeks to improve the lives of 10 million African households in 17 target countries by 2020, through access to improved varieties of sweetpotato and their diversified use. An agricultural economist by training, Dr. Low has a strong background in nutrition, and has focused with her team on developing and promoting biofortified orange-fleshed sweetpotato to combat vitamin A deficiency. She served as President of the African Potato Association (APA) from 2011-2013.


Secretary/Treasurer

Professor Lateef Oladimeji Sanni
Food Science and Technology
Lateef Oladimeji SanniFederal University of Agriculture
Abeokuta
Ogun State
PMB 2240, 110001
Nigeria
Tel: +234 – 803-346-9882
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Web: www.unaab.edu.ng

Profile
Prof Sanni Oladimeji Lateef is a Professor of Food Science and Technology and Former Head, Department of Food Science and Technology, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Nigeria. He has over 20 years' experience in research, consultancy and collaborations as a postharvest expert on tropical root crops mostly in West Africa coupled with missions to Latin America, Asia, Europe and other parts of Africa mostly implemented by the International Institute of Tropical Root Crop and Natural Resources Institute, UK, respectively. He won the 2008 Consultative Group of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) Award Regional Technology Development in Sub Saharan Africa (http://www.cgiar.org/newsroom/scientific.html). He is a mentor to the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development, National President, Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (http://www.nifst.org/), President, African Branch of International Society of Tropical Root Crops (ISTRC).


Councillor for PublicationsDrMaruthiMNGowda

Maruthi M N Gowda PhD
Professor in Molecular Plant Pathology
Head of the Plant Health Group

Agriculture, Health & Environment Department
Natural Resources Institute
University of Greenwich
Medway Campus, Central Avenue, Chatham Maritime, Kent, ME4 4TB, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1634 883957 | Fax: +44 (0) 1634 883386
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Web: www.nri.org
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Professor Maruthi Gowda is a molecular plant virologist and vector entomologist with 20 years of research experience in plant-virus-insect interactions, especially those involving geminiviruses, potyviruses and their whitefly vector, Bemisia tabaci, infecting cassava, vegetables and other staple food crops in the tropics. He is a Reader in Molecular Plant Pathology at the Natural Resources Institute of the University of Greenwich in the UK. He’s currently either leading or being part of four externally funded projects, and leading a core team of researchers (nine PhDs, and one research fellow) investigating the reasons for the recent outbreak of cassava brown streak disease (CBSD) in the eastern and southern African region. He employs multi-disciplinary research, from field epidemiology to molecular biology and tissue culture to functional genomics, to better understand plant-virus-vector relationships and mechanisms of disease resistance to enable developing improved disease control strategies. He is an active member in the plant virology community, both in the UK and overseas. In the UK, he is the chair of the Plant Virology Committee of the Association of Applied Biologists, responsible for organising international symposia every 18 months. Please see http://www.nri.org/nri-staff/gowdamaruthi for more details about Professor Gowda.


Councillor Past President 2003 – 2012

Professor Andrew Westby
Natural Resources InstituteAndrew Westby
University of Greenwich
Central Avenue
Chatham Maritime
Kent
ME4 4TB
United Kingdom
Tel: +44-1634-883478
Fax: +44-1634-883714
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Professor Andrew Westby was President of the ISTRC 2003 to 2012. He is a Professor of Food Technology and Director the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich. A post-harvest technologist with 19 years post-doctoral experience working mainly, though not exclusively, with root and tuber crops on a wide range of issues concerned with handling, processing, marketing, food quality and food safety. Field experience in many countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.
Andrew was Councillor for Publications from 2000-2003.


Regional Councillor for the Caribbean

Dr Gregory RobinGregory RobinCaribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI),
2 Belmopan Close
UWI Mona Campus, P.O. Box 113
Kingston 7, Jamaica West Indies

Telephone: Office – (876) 927-1231 / 0652
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Skype: gregory.robin9
Website: www.cardi.org

Profile

Dr Gregory Robin is a root and fruit crop agronomist working with the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) over the past 30 years. During this period, Dr Robin has gained significant experience in technical, administrative and diplomatic aspects of agricultural research and development in the Caribbean. He also has extensive international experience in Root and Tuber Crops, a priority commodity for Jamaica and the region.

Regional Councillor South Pacific

Professor Satish ChandraSatish Chandra
3 Spowers Circuit,
Holder, Canberra, ACT, Australia, 2611.
Tel: +61-2-62885704
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Profile
Professor Satish Chandra is the Councillor South Pacific and a Life Member of the ISTRC. He is a Visiting Professor of Tropical Agriculture at the Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich, London. Professor Chandra has had over 45 years experience in tropical root crops with specialisation in research and development, including agronomy, production systems, product utilisation, and in the ability of tropical root crops to contribute to human nutrition, poverty alleviation and raising farm and enterprise incomes. Currently Professor Chandra is a Member of the Project Management Committee of the EU-ACP Science and Technology Project focused on training and upgrading the skills of young career tropical root crops scientists to win international funding for research proposals, and how to utilise appropriate research methods and improve their knowledge of intellectual property rights. Professor Chandra has BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand and DTA and PhD degrees from the University of Queensland, Australia. Professor Chandra started his professional career in tropical root crops research, soil science and agronomy in the Research Division of the Fiji Ministry of Primary Industries. Later he became the Director of Agricultural Research in Fiji. Afterwards he was a Research Fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, teaching Masters level courses in Agricultural Development Economics. More recently Professor Chandra worked for the Australian Agency for International Development for over 20 years specialising in the evaluation and appraisal of aid projects and programs. In 2006 Professor Chandra was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the President of ISTRC.


Regional Councillor for East and Southern Africa

Sarah MayanjaSarah Mayanja
Research Associate
International Potato Center (CIP)
Kampala, Uganda
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Profile
Sarah Mayanja is a Research Associate with the International Potato Center (CIP) in Uganda. She has over 20 years’ experience in promoting agricultural trade development in East and Central Africa. Her passion is improving smallholder farmers’ access to equitable and diverse markets through facilitating development of gender transformative agricultural trade networks. She currently works with root, tuber and banana (RTB) programme partners in Uganda and engages closely with farmers and hence understands their market access challenges first-hand. She is currently completing her MSc.


Councillor for West Africa

Chidiozie EgesiChidiozie Egesi
National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI)
Umudike
Nigeria
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Profile
Chiedozie Egesi serves as a Cassava breeder at the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) in Umudike, Nigeria. The main focus of his research has been breeding for resistance to the major pests and diseases of cassava such as the cassava mosaic disease. He research also deals with the biofortification of cassava roots with beta carotene. Dr. Egesi also pioneered and supervised the introduction of molecular marker assisted breeding for important traits in cassava in NRCRI.


Councillor for South Asia

Dr. James George
DrJamesGeorgeProject Coordinator
All India Coordinated Research Project on Tuber Crops (Indian Council of Agricultural Research)
ICAR- Central Tuber Crops Research Institute
Sreekariyam, Thiruvananthapuram - 695017
Kerala, India
Mobile: +91 9447111289
Tel: +91 471-2598551-54
Fax: +91 471-2590063, 2590071 (Telefax)
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Website: www.ctcri.org, www.aicrptc.in

Profile
Dr James George is the Project Coordinator of All India Coordinated Research Project on Tuber Crops under the Indian Council of Agriculture Research, located at the Central Tuber Crops Research Institute, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India. He has over 30 years of research experience in the Agronomy of tropical tuber crops (cassava, yams, aroids, sweet potato and minor tuber crops), their soil and water relations. His major scientific contributions in tuber crops are minisett technique for quality planting material production, micro-irrigation package and agro-techniques for higher economic yield, tuber crops based farming system for the livelihood security of tribal groups etc..Since last five years he is coordinating research on tuber crops in 20 States of India under various agro- climatic zones. He had been a consultant for cassava plantation in Papua New Guinea and was an invited speaker for several international conferences on tuber crops in several countries and has over 100 scientific publications including a book on “Tuber Crops of India”


Regional Councillor for Europe and USA

Dr Dominique DufourDominique Dufour
Food Science Specialist
CIRAD
France
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Regional Councillor South America

Dr Clair HersheyClair Hershey
CIAT
Columbia
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Profile

Dr Clair Hershey is a plant breeder and served as cassava breeder at CIAT for 13 years. He developed a comprehensive program that included management of the field germplasm collection, pre-breeding to extract new traits of value from the genebank, and selection with national program partners in Latin America and Asia. The program emphasized pest and disease resistance, high stable yields, good quality, and adaptation in difficult soil and climate environments, where most cassava is produced by small land-holders. The germplasm derived from this program continues to expand in area planted by farmers and as a resource for other breeders.

Clair spent 15 years managing a diversified family farm with his brothers in the US, before joining FAO in 2009 and 2010 as a plant breeder in the Global Partnership Initiative for Plant Breeding Capacity Building (GIPB). Since 2001 he has been editor of Plant Breeding News, a widely read electronic newsletter of applied plant breeding.