Irina Vaseva

Title of presentation: “Drought-mitigating strategies based on hormonal regulation of stress response”.

Short Bio: Irina I. Vaseva, PhD of Plant Physiology, Associate Professor at the Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, works in the field of regulation of plant growth and development under normal and stressful conditions, combining fundamental research with practical solutions in agriculture. Also, the scope of her professional interests is the analysis of stress-induced proteins (like dehydrins, heat shock proteins, proteases, and protease inhibitors). The work history of the Prof. I. Vaseva includes several other research positions: a Marie Curie Fellowship for PhD students in the Molecular Research Group of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) Cambridge, UK; Postdoctoral internship in the group of Prof. Dominique Van Der Straeten at the Hormonal Signaling and Bioimaging Unit, Ghent University, Belgium; Postdoctoral internship in the group of Prof. Urs Feller at the Institute of Plant Sciences, Bern University, Switzerland; Research associate at the Laboratory of Functional Plant Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Ghent University, where worked on the cell-type specificity of ethylene signaling. This professional appointment motivated the scientist’s current line of research on targeted manipulation of plant hormone molecular relays that can improve plant productivity and acclimation. Assoc. Prof. I. Vaseva published articles in PNAS, New Phytologist, Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, Journal of Plant Physiology, Plant Biology, Frontiers of Plant Science, Frontiers of Environmental Science, Scientia Horticulturae and other scientific journals.

Francesco Orsini

Title of presentation: “Cultivating tomorrow: Where and how indoor vertical farming will bring a horticultural revolution”.

Short Bio: Dr Francesco Orsini is a full professor at the Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences (DISTAL), University of Bologna, Italy. The scientist has published more than 130 scientific articles in academic journals and is a FAO-UN consultant in urban agriculture projects in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. He coordinates the European project FoodE (Food systems in European Cities, funded by H2020) and the research project of national importance V-Farm (Sustainable Vertical Farming) funded by the Italian Ministry for Research and Education. From 2018, Dr F. Orsini launched the international student challenge UrbanFarm. From 2018, Dr F. Orsini is the Chair of the Landscape and Urban Horticulture Division of the International Society for Horticultural Sciences (ISHS). Dr F. Orsini was the convenor of the 3rd International Workshop on Vertical Farming (VertiFarm2024, Bologna, Italy), the 1st International Workshop on Vertical Farming (VertiFarm2019, Wageningen, The Netherlands) and the 1st International Workshop on Greener Cities for More Efficient Ecosystem Services in a Climate Changing World (GreenCities2017, Bologna, Italy). From 2020, Prof. F. Orsini, in collaboration with Prof. Murat Kacira (University of Arizona) and Prof. Leo Marcelis (Wageningen University), organises the series of webinars ISHS Talks on Vertical Farming.

Beatrix Alsanius

Title of presentation: “Horticulture in new light”

Short Bio: Beatrix Alsanius is chair professor of horticulture at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) since 2009 and leads the subject area of horticultural microbiology. Her research focuses on microbial interactions in horticultural value networks, and one of the main areas is food safety in horticultural production. Prof. B. Alsanius received her undergraduate and graduate education at the Bonn University, Germany. Her assistant professorship at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) was combined with postdoctoral visits at INRA Angers, France and USDA-ARS/Washington State University, Pullman, USA. In 1999, she was appointed associate professor of horticulture at SLU, and in 2006 – of plant protection ecology; in 2007, she was promoted to professor of horticulture (specialisation horticultural production systems). From 2010 to 2013 Prof. B. Alsanius was adjunct professor at the Laval University, Quebec, Canada. In 20082014, she headed the international postgraduate school “Microbial Horticulture”, funded by the Swedish Research Council FORMAS. Prof. B. Alsanius is a member of the Royal Swedish Physiographic Society and the Royal Swedish Academy of Forestry and Agriculture.


Naim S. Gruda

Title of presentation:  “Product Quality, Values, and Criteria for Vegetables in the Supply Chain”

Short Bio:

Nazim S. Gruda, Prof. Dr of the University of Bonn, Germany and Investigador Distinguido – María Zambrano of the Polytechnic University of Cartagena, Spain, is a renowned authority in horticulture. He obtained his doctorate at the Technical University of Munich and his habilitation at the Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany. He is a Vice-Chair of the Division of Vegetables, Roots, and Tubers and a Chair of the Working Group for Southeastern and Eastern Europe Vegetable and Potato Production of the ISHS. He co-edited four Acta Horticulturae for the ISHS and achieved an impressive track record of nearly 350 publications. His research interests include sustainable horticultural food production, soilless culture, impacts of climate change on horticulture, and fruit and vegetable quality. For his outstanding work, he received the “Dr Heinrich-Baur-Prize” from the Technical University of Munich, Germany and the “National Scientific Prize” from the Academy of Sciences of Albania. He is a member, an honorary member, and a corresponding member of three European Academies and a distinguished scientist of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Prof. Gruda is also actively participates as a consultant in international organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO-UN) and as an expert evaluator for several entities, including the European Commission.