Keynote Lectures

Annual Meeting of Plant Research funded by BMBF 2024

Two keynote lectures will complement the meeting, giving overview and insights into cutting-edge plant research and stimulating fruitful discussions.

Keynote Healthy Plants & Healthy People

Speaker: Cathie Martin

Research Group Leader at John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK

Professor Cathie Martin is a leading researcher at the John Innes Centre and Professor at the University of East Anglia. A major aspect of her wide research interest is leveraging plant science to enhance human health through biofortification. Using plant metabolic engineering, she enriches the nutrient content and improved the shelf-life of tomatoes.

Collaborating across disciplines, Professor Martin explores the relationship between diet and health. This involves linking clinical researchers, epidemiologists, plant breeders, and metabolic engineers to understand how fortified crops can contribute to health, aging, and chronic disease prevention.

Beyond nutrition, Professor Martin investigates cellular specialization, including genes regulating cell shaping in plants. She also explores cellular specialization in flowers, examining how traits like color and shape attract pollinators.

Professor Martin is a member of EMBO, AAAS, and a Fellow of the Royal Society. Her contribution in advancing plant science was recognized with an MBE in 2013, and more recently with the prestigious  2022 Rank Prize for outstanding contributions to nutrition research.

Website of Cathie Martin

Keynote Epigenetic Mechanisms Within Meiosis

Speaker: Raphaël Mercier

Director of the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research, Cologne

Professor Raphaël Mercier heads the department of Chromosome Biology at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding in Cologne. His research is focused fundamental processes of meiosis and meiotic recombination in seed plants and the characterization of key components within the intricate machineries that govern genetic transmission.

Among his noteworthy contributions is the identification of mechanisms limiting meiotic recombination, opening up unprecedented avenues for crop improvement through the strategic engineering of chromosome allelic compositions. Additionally, Professor Mercier and his research group have made significant strides in the engineering of apomixis opening pathways to revolutionize the landscape of plant breeding through sex-independent, seed-based clonal plant propagation.

Website of Raphaël Mercier