20-22 February 2018
The Venue, Waiheke Island,
New Zealand



Dr David Teulon

Dr David Teulon is the Director of the Better Border Biosecurity (B3) research collaboration involving 4 Crown Research Institutes and one University Research Centre in New Zealand as well as MPI, DOC and representatives from the pastoral, horticultural/cropping and forestry sectors.  B3 is the primary research provider for science-based plant border biosecurity solutions in New Zealand.  David is also an Adjunct Professor at Lincoln University.  He has postgraduate degrees in horticulture and entomology and has worked at research institutes or universities in the Netherlands, USA and Germany.  He has a broad experience in plant protection and plant biosecurity having worked in fruit, vegetable and arable and forest systems specialising in thrips, aphids and psyllid pests.  David co-leads the NZ US Invasive Species Working Group.


Dr Kristiina Mäkinen

Dr Kristiina Mäkinen is university lecturer in applied biochemistry at the University of Helsinki, Finland. Her research has focused on cellular and molecular biology of plant virus infection over 20 years. She has supervised several doctoral students and organized post graduate courses on plant virology e.g. recently on plant-pathogen co-evolution. Currently, her work focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanisms underlying potyvirus infection. She has been involved as a principal investigator with a number of multicenter, multi-investigator consortia including projects with sectorial institutes and industry partners, bilateral international projects in Plant Biotechnology (Indo-Finnish) and Sustainable Production and Products (French-Finnish), and participated in EU-funded programs (Intas and Erasmus Mundus Brave). She serves as a senior editor of Molecular Plant Pathology, an ad hoc reviewer of several international journals and an evaluator of grant proposals for many funding bodies abroad. She has co-authored around 70 journal articles and book chapters in respected international journals e.g. Plos Pathogens, Plant Cell, Plant J, J. Virol., and presented her research findings as an invited speaker in many international congresses like in Gordon Research Conference. More information can be found from https://tuhat.helsinki.fi/portal/en/person/krmakine and http://kristiinamakinen31.wixsite.com/plantvirology.


Prof. Santiago F. Elena

My scientific interests are related with the evolutionary and systems biology of viruses.  More precisely, on the mechanisms that generate, maintain and modulate the genetic variability of RNA viruses and their contribution to adaptation to novel hosts.  Our approach to virus evolution combines experimental evolution, molecular phylogenomics and mathematical modeling.  To unravel the mechanistic basis of adaptation of emerging viruses to novel hosts, we are also applying a systems biology perspective by which we characterize how the networks of interactions between host and virus factors evolve, resulting in the optimization of viral fitness in the novel host.  Our model pathosystems are tobacco etch (TEV) and turnip mosaic potyviruses (TuMV) and their natural and experimental plant hosts.


Dr. Ioannis Tzanetakis

Dr. Tzanetakis studied Soil Science at the Agricultural University of Athens before moving to Oregon State University, to pursue a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology working on berry viruses. He continued with a postdoc focusing on translational enhancers of tymoviruses and bioinformatics analysis of coupled translation in eukaryotes. He is currently a Professor of Plant Virology at the University of Arkansas. He is a member of several national and international groups including the National Clean Plant Network, the International Council for the Study of Virus and other Graft Transmissible Diseases of Fruit Crops and the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. His research focuses on the epidemiology and detection of plant viruses and particularly on the development of vertical pipelines starting from wet lab protocols to custom-designed bioinformatics tools for detection and discovery of pathogens using large scale sequencing.


Pascal Gentit

After almost 20 years dedicated to the French fruit tree certification program at the CTIFL private institute, Dr Pascal Gentit is a Senior Scientist at the Plant Health Laboratory, ANSES, in France where he is in charge of the virology and phloem limited bacteria team and deputy head of the Virology, bacteriology and GMO laboratory. Member of the scientific committee of ICVF, he is a specialist in plant virus diagnosis and has almost 20 years of experience both in biological and molecular researches on plant viruses mainly on fruit trees. He contributed to more than 20 publications in peer reviewed journals and books in the field of virology. He is currently developing research programs on the detection of various regulated non quarantine and quarantine viruses by high throughput sequencing methods or by polyvalent degenerated PCR. Since 2012, he has also developed an important research program on the detection, the epidemiology and the genetic characterization of Candidatus liberibacters solanacearum.

Marc Fuchs

Marc Fuchs received his Master’s and PhD degrees from University Louis Pasteur in Strasbourg, France.  He joined the Department of Plant Pathology at Cornell University in 2004 with research and extension responsibilities on viruses of vegetable and fruit crops.  Marc’s program is translational, based on discovery-oriented research and the transfer of discoveries into practical applications.  A major focus of his program is on virus-host-vector interactions with the ultimate goal of devising optimal management strategies.  Marc is currently leading multidisciplinary team efforts on major grapevine virus diseases such as fanleaf, leafroll and red blotch, and on major vegetable diseases such as yellow spot in onion and mosaic in snap bean.  Marc published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in international journals, 35 book chapters and review articles, and made multiple presentations at professional society conferences, as well as at growers meetings and conventions.

Rodrigo Almeida

Rodrigo Almeida is a leading scientist studying the biology and ecology of insect-transmitted plant pathogens. He is professor and ecologist of emerging infectious diseases in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. Rodrigo is a Fulbright and Marie Curie Fellow, and recipient of the early career award from the American Phytopathological Society, among other awards. His team’s current research areas are the ecology of emerging diseases, pathogen transmission biology, and insect-microbe interactions. In particular his research uses two pathogen-insect systems: the xylem-limited leafhopper-transmitted bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, and the mealybug-borne grapevine leafroll virus complex.

William Dawson

William Dawson is a world-renown scientist studying the molecular genetics of virus-host interactions and methods to control citrus diseases caused by virus and bacteria. He is an Eminent Scholar and the J. R. and Addie S. Graves Endowed Chair in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of Florida, Citrus Research and Education Centre. William is also a current Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society and Fellow of the International Organization of Citrus Virologists. His current research program focusses on three related goals: to develop methods to manage diseases caused by citrus tristeza virus (CTV); to dissect the molecular mechanisms involved in replication and gene expression as a means to understand large RNA viruses; and to utilise the technologies developed with CTV to create a genetic tool for citrus improvement. Notably, a CTV-based transient expression vector is currently being trialled in-field as a tool to control the devastating citrus greening in Florida.