Plenary Sessions

The Organizing Committee of ICPP2018 is pleased to announce the following plenary session topics and speakers. These sessions are open to all ICPP2018 participants. No other programming is scheduled during these sessions.


Plenary Session I: Plant Health is the Earth’s Wealth

Organizers and Chairs:

Greg I. Johnson

The Monday Plenary Session will set the stage for the ICPP2018 theme Plant Health in a Global Economy. This theme will be approached in three talks, each prepared in collaboration with authors representing different areas of expertise and geography. The plenary will begin with an overview and case studies of what we can do now and into the future to effectively respond to plant health emergencies, which we were unable to do just a few short years ago. Following will be a talk on translational taxonomy that explores the many ways and reasons to answer the question “What is this organism?” Finally, you will hear how interdisciplinary approaches to managing cacao diseases in Papua New Guinea promise greater research impacts and lead to better lives for farming families.

Greg I. Johnson, ISPP President 2013–2018, Australia

Mary E. Palm

Mary E. Palm, APS President 2018, U.S.A.

Invited Speakers and Presentations

The Edge of Tomorrow-Plant Health in the 21st Century

Sophien Kamoun

There are many opportunities for improving plant health in the 21st century. This presentation will review new knowledge and approaches that we simply didn’t have just a few years ago. These opportunities impact areas of plant health beyond food security and truly cement plant pathology as a modern and exciting branch of biology.

Sophien Kamoun, The Sainsbury Laboratory, U.K.

Taxing Times-Plant Pathogens in a Global Economy

Carolee Bull

The answer to the question “What organism is killing my broccoli” depends on who is asking the question and why. Not only do the answers differ for producers and researchers, taxonomic solutions may differ if asked in the developed versus the developing countries. Various aspects of the application of systematics knowledge to solving plant health problems will be explored.

Carolee Bull, Penn State University, U.S.A.

The Answer Is Chocolate: People-Focused Plant Disease Management-Underpinned by Context, Community, and Collaboration

Josie Saul-Maora

Closing the session, this talk will explore the opportunities for plant disease management to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farming communities in the context of developing country production systems, politics, and former conflict zones. An integrated, one-health approach to improving plant, animal, human, and environmental health will be described.

Josie Saul-Maora, Papua New Guinea Cocoa Board, Papua New Guinea

David Guest

David Guest, University of Sydney, Australia


Closing Plenary Session: Global Food and Nutrition Security – From Challenges to Solutions

Helene R. Dillard

Helene R. Dillard, University of California, Davis, U.S.A.

It is estimated that 795 million people, roughly 11 percent of the earth’s population, were unable to meet their dietary energy requirements between 2014 and 2016. The global population is expected to grow to 10 billion people by 2050. The global challenge is to nutritiously feed everyone using essentially the same amount of agricultural land we use now, while the availability of fresh water is decreasing. Our research must focus on sustainable food production, increasing food nutrition, increasing food security, ensuring food safety, ensuring a stable accessible food supply, and decreasing food waste. Nearly one third of all food produced worldwide is wasted through food production and distribution systems pre- and post-harvest. Yields need to increase while maintaining environmental sustainability, and plant and animal based foods that can adapt to changing environments must be developed. Healthy soils are not only critical to our food production efforts, but can provide major ecosystem services by sequestering carbon, neutralizing pollutants, and deterring erosion. As land grant-universities, it is our mission to meet the needs of the public, teach students in a manner that prepares them to be leaders, advance knowledge through innovative transdisciplinary research, and apply that knowledge to address the needs of society. As scientists and leaders, we have an obligation and responsibility to recognize the urgency of this situation, seek solutions, and identify clear, precise policies and actions that can be taken to address the global problems of food now…as the effects of climate change are already altering our agroecosystems and challenging our collective ability to feed the world.


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