Keynote speakers

Leo Marcelis

Horticulture and Product Physiology group, Wageningen University, The Netherlands

Prof Dr Leo Marcelis is head of the chair group Horticulture and Product Physiology at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. This group holds a strong position in research and education on greenhouse horticulture, vertical farming and post-harvest quality

Marcelis has a vast experience in studying the physiology, growth and product formation of plants and plant organs in order to improve sustainability and quality of crop production in greenhouses and vertical farms. In particular fluxes of assimilates, water and nutrients in the plant, sink/source interactions and partitioning among plant organs in response to abiotic constraints are subject of study. LED lighting in greenhouses and vertical farms is a major theme in his research.  At the moment he is leading large multidisciplinary research programmes on vertical farming and LED lighting in greenhouses in which universities and private companies cooperate.

He has (co-) authored 95 scientific  articles with an H-index of 31 (according to Web of Science) and over 250 articles for growers. He is chief editor of the section Crop and Product Physiology of Frontiers in Plant Science.

More info:

Title of presentation:

Light for life: Prospects of plant phenotyping

Light has different characteristics such as intensity, daily light integral, photoperiod, spectrum, direction and heat. All these characteristics can have profound effects on plant growth, development and quality. Plants show a huge genotype x light interaction. New type of varieties that perform optimal under LED lighting are highly needed. This requires rapid phenotyping. For rapid phenotyping sensor technologies are rapidly developing (e.g. RGB, thermal and fluorescence imaging). However, to make optimal use of sensing data these need to be combined with simulation models that take into account a number of feedback processes in the plant in relation to the growth conditions.

Production of plants in greenhouses or vertical farms allow a high level of control. The mentioned sensors and simulation models also pave the way towards autonomous production systems where the climate is automatically controlled based on predefine criteria  of yield, quality and sustainability.

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Picture of Robert G. Lopez

Roberto G. Lopez

Assistant Professor
Department of Horticulture
Michigan State University – USA


Dr. Roberto Lopez is an Assistant Professor and controlled environment/ floriculture extension specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University. His research focuses on young specialty crop (floriculture, leafy greens, and herbs) propagation and finish plant production in greenhouses, growth rooms/containers, warehouse-based plant factories, and vertical farms. The primary goal of his research program is to quantify how environmental parameters such as light (quantity, quality, and duration), temperature (medium, water and air temperature), and carbon dioxide in controlled-environment agriculture production influence crop timing, rooting, yield, quality, flavor, nutrition, color, and subsequent performance.

Robert Morrow, PhD

Principal Scientist at Sierra Nevada Corporation, 444 Salomon Circle, Sparks, Nevada, United States


Dr. Morrow received Ph.D.s in Horticulture and in Botany from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His training is in the area of controlled environment plant physiology, with an emphasis on the use of plants for advanced life support in space.  His early work involved the development of environmental control technologies for use in a microgravity environment, including the design of a LED based plant lighting system used to grow plants on the NASA Space Shuttle in 1995. Dr. Morrow has participated in development of eight plant growth systems flown on the Space Shuttle or International Space Station.  Currently two of these systems, the vegetable production system (Veggie) and the Advanced Plant Habitat, are operating on the ISS using LED lighting systems to support plant growth.  Dr. Morrow worked with a team to develop multiple LED based plant research lighting systems for NASA and for the USDA from the late 1990s through 2015. He is currently a Principal Scientist with Sierra Nevada Corporation working on large scale vegetable production systems for use in space habitats.

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Picture of Marie-Claude Dubois

Marie-Claude Dubois, M Arch PhD

Associate professor, Biosystem and Technology, SLU Alnarp (80%)

Associate professor, Division of Energy and Building Design, Lund University (20%)


Marie-Claude Dubois is associate professor (80%) at the Division of Biosystems and Technology at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Alnarp since September 2020. She has previously been expert on sustainable design for White architects (2012-2020) and associate professor (80%) at the Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, Lund University, Sweden (2010-2020). Prior to this, she was associate professor (2003-2010) at Laval University, Canada, and senior researcher (2001-2003) within the Daylight Group of the Danish Building Research Institute after award of a PhD at the Faculty of Engineering of Lund University (2001). She has contributed to more 100 scientific communications in the field of daylighting, building simulation, energy and climatic design. She has previously been Subtask leader of International Energy Agency Task 50 on lighting retrofit and Task 41 on solar energy.

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Conference dates: May 31 - June 2, 2021
Abstract submission deadline: December 20
Abstract modification deadline: December 31