World Congress of Soil Science Speakers

Jun 26, 2023 | Uncategorised

Plenary Speakers

Professor Peter Gregory

Professor of Global Food Security and Chair
University of Reading and Crops for the Future UK

Russell Review Paper: Are plant roots only “in” soil or are they “of” it? Roots, soil formation and function

Peter is Emeritus Professor of Global Food Security at the University of Reading. He is a soil scientist by profession with over 40 years of experience of research and leading programmes related to food security especially crop production in the UK and internationally. He chaired the international research programme Global Environmental Change and Food Systems, directed research related to Scotland’s Food and Drink Strategy, and has recently chaired grant committees for the UKRI programme to Transform the UK’s Food System.

His ongoing academic and consultancy work includes chairing the Board of Crops For the Future UK – a company that promotes international research into the increased use of currently underutilised crops in food systems. He is engaged with the UK agriculture, horticulture and food industries via his chairmanship of the Recommended List Board for the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, membership of the Science Council of the Food Standards Agency and Science Committee of the Royal Horticultural Society, and an Honorary Fellowship of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany. His international work includes being deputy chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee of ZALF in Germany and a reviewer of the SusCrop programme of research for the EU FACCE Joint Programme Initiative.

Read the Russell Review here!

Dr Ranveer Chandra

CTO Agri-Food, Microsoft, USA

Empowering Soil Scientists with Data-Driven Techniques

Ranveer Chandra is the CTO of Agri-Food and Managing Director of Research for Industry and Head Networking Research at Microsoft Research, Redmond. Ranveer’s research has shipped in multiple Microsoft products, including XBOX, Azure, Windows, and Visual Studio. He started the FarmBeats project in 2015, which shipped as a Microsoft product in 2019. Bill Gates featured his work on FarmBeats on GatesNotes, and he has been invited to present to the Secretary of Agriculture, and on TV White Spaces to the FCC Chairman. Ranveer has published over 100 research papers and has over 150 patents granted by the USPTO. He is an IEEE Fellow, and has won several awards, including best paper awards in computer science conferences and the MIT Technology Review’s Top Innovators Under 35 award in 2010. He was recently recognised by the Newsweek magazine as one of America’s 50 most disruptive innovators in 2021. Ranveer has an undergraduate degree from IIT Kharagpur, India, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Cornell University.


Professor Suzi Huff Theodoro

Professor of Soil Geology
Pesquisadora Universidade de Brasília

Rock dust – a reverse weathering mechanism for tropical soils: physical and economic aspects

Geologist. MSc Economic Geology, PhD on Sustainable Development. Professor and researcher in Postgraduate Program at Environmental and Rural Development at University of Brasilia (Brazil). Main research topic: soil remineralizers (rock dust), agrogeology, mineral conflicts on indigenous territories and feminism


Professor Ismahane Elouafi

Chief Scientist
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, Rome, Italy

Soils and Sustainable Food Production

Professor Ismahane Elouafi is the first Chief Scientist of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, a new position created within FAO’s core leadership structure. She has two decades of experience in agricultural research and development in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. She is internationally known for her work on promoting neglected and underutilized crops, use of non-fresh water in agriculture, and empowerment of women in science.

From 2012 until her appointment at FAO, Dr Elouafi led the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture based in the United Arab Emirates. Previously, she held senior scientific and leadership  positions in the Ministry of Agriculture in Canada and at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. She has also worked as a scientist with several international research organizations and served as a board member of several notable organizations. Dr. Elouafi holds a B.Sc. in Agricultural Sciences and an M.Sc. in Genetics and Plant Breeding, and a Ph.D. in Genetics.


Professor Debra Roberts

Co-Chair of Working Group II
IPCC, Durban, South Africa

How transforming land use change could change our future

Professor Debra Roberts heads the sustainability and resilience functions in eThekwini Municipality (Durban, South Africa). She was a lead author of Chapter 8 (Urban Areas) and a contributing author to Chapter 12 (Africa) of Working Group II’s contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). She was elected as Co-Chair of Working Group II for the IPCC’s sixth assessment cycle in 2015. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in the School of Life Sciences and has been an advisor to the Global Commission on Adaptation, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) and the United Nations Secretary General’s 2019 Climate Summit. In 2019 she was included in a list of the World’s 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy.

Read more

Related articles