Ros Gleadow


Ros Gleadow leads the Monash Plant Ecophysiology group. Her broad research area is on the interaction between plants and their environment. Her current focus is on the effect of climate change on crops that make cyanide, e.g. sorghum and cassava.

Bill Davies

Past President

Bill Davies is Distinguished Professor of Plant Biology at Lancaster University, UK, working within the Lancaster Environment Centre. He has a degree in Horticultural Science from the University of Reading, UK, and a PhD in Forestry and Botany from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, USA.

Bill  has a general interest in interventions that might enhance global food security, while his research group focuses on understanding how crop plants cope with adverse environmental conditions. The focus of much work has been the exploitation of novel understanding of plant hormone relations, both in crop improvement and crop management programs, aimed at increasing crop yield as the climate changes.

The Davies lab works extensively in China on food and water security in collaboration with China Agricultural University and others.

Barry Pogson


Professor Barry Pogson is Deputy Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biologyat the Australian National University. He leads the Global Plant Council’s Nutritional Security Initiativeon improving plants for human health, and has been involved in the GPC since its inaugural meeting. He is Senior Editor for The Plant Cell and Chair of the Golden Rice Technical Advisory Committee.

He is an ISI highly cited author and American Society of Plant Biology top-cited author for The Plant Cell and Plant Physiology.

He has conducted pioneering work on signaling between chloroplasts and nuclei. Among his heralded discoveries are a chloroplast-to-nucleus signaling pathway that underlies drought tolerance and an epigenetic regulator of carotenoid accumulation. He is at the forefront of genetic investigations into carotenoid biosynthesis, chloroplast retrograde signaling and their impacts on plant biology and human nutrition. A particular emphasis is on how the energy organelles sense the environment and initiate plant responses to coordinate growth, development and acclimation to abiotic stress.

Deena Errampalli


Deena Errampalli is a plant pathologist with over 30 years of experience in agricultural research in India, the USA and Canada. In the 1980s, she worked on the development of viral disease resistant germplasm of pulses (pigeonpea and chickpea) at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in Patancheru, India.

Deena obtained her PhD in Plant Pathology from Oklahoma State University, USA, in 1990. She has been conducting research on integrated pest management (IPM) of postharvest temperate tree fruits, grape, and potato diseases with cultural, biological and/or chemical control methods in Canada.

Deena was the President of the Canadian Phytopathological Society from 2014 to 2015. She is currently (from 2015 to 2019) the President of the Plant Canada Federation of Canadian Plant Science societies, an umbrella organization for Canadian plant science societies. Plant Canada is a founding member of the Global Plant Council (GPC).

Yusuke Saijo

Board Member

Yusuke Saijo is Associate Professor of Plant Immunity at the Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) in Japan.

His research interests are in danger sensing and signaling in plant–microbe interactions, transcriptional reprogramming and priming, fine control of plant immunity in fluctuating environments, and endophytic and pathogenic microbes in plants.

As well as a being a Board Member for the Global Plant Council from 2015, Yusuke is also a council representative for the Japanese Society of Plant Physiologists.

Francisca Blanco-Herrera

Francisca Blanco-Herrera

Board Member

Francisca Blanco-Herrera is a plant pathologist and Associate Professor of the Plant Biotechnology Center at the Universidad Andres Bello (UNAB) in Chile.

Her research interests are the signaling pathways involved in plant responses to pathogen infections and how the pathogen manipulates the host to its benefits.  For instance, the tradeoff between defense response and development, the structure and function of the cell wall and the involvement of hormones in the physiological process triggered by the infection/infestation of different model plants. Using system biology approaches to integrate the omics data into genome-scale metabolic models of both pathogens and hosts, to better understand the underlying mechanisms governing plant immunity and growth responses that finally leads to the pathogen success and plant sickness.

As well as a being a Board Member for the Global Plant Council from 2019, Francisca is also a council representative for the Chilean Society of Plant Biologists (CSPB). She is currently the President of the CSPB and the Research Director of Universidad Andres Bello.

Katherine Denby

Katherine Denby

Board Member

Katherine Denby obtained her D.Phil from Oxford University for work on metabolic regulation of gene expression. During postdoctoral training with Dr Rob Last at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University she investigated regulation of the tryptophan biosynthetic pathway. Through coordinated expression of this pathway during pathogen infection Katherine became interested in plant defence and unraveling how transcriptional reprogramming is controlled. Katherine was a Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town, South Africa before moving to the University of Warwick in 2006 where she began using computational and mathematical tools to understand plant disease resistance. Katherine moved to the University of York in 2016 where she is also Academic Director of the N8 AgriFood programme.

Matthew Reynolds

Board Member

Matthew Reynolds develops and transfers technologies to increase productivity of wheat cropping systems worldwide, primarily focusing on less developed countries. At CIMMYT he’s helped create a new generation of advanced lines based on physiological breeding approaches to widen the wheat genepool, increase understanding of yield potential and adaptation of wheat to drought and heat stress, develop high throughput phenotyping methodologies and train other researchers.
To further these goals, Reynold’s is developing global collaborations to tap into the expertise of plant scientists worldwide, such as the International Wheat Yield Partnership, and coordinates the formation of the Heat and Drought Wheat Improvement Consortium. He’s also leading the community of practice on crop modeling for the CGIAR Big Data platform.
Reynolds has published widely in the area of crop physiology and genomics, and mentored graduate students through affiliations with universities worldwide.

Weihua Tang

Board Member

Weihua Tang is a professor studying plant-fungal interaction and plant reproductive biology at the CAS Center for Excellence in Molecular Plant Sciences, Shanghai Institute of Plant Physiology and Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Her research interests are molecular interactions between tip-growing cells and their surrounding plant cells, using pollen tube of flowering plants and the fungal phytopathogen Fusarium graminearum as two model systems. Currently her lab is dissecting signaling mechanisms and molecular machinery underlying tomato pollen tube fast growth to achieve fertilization, as well as elucidating spatiotemporal-specific molecular cellular interactions during F. graminearum invading host plants to cause wheat Fusarium headblight and maize Gibberella stalk rot diseases.

Weihua is currently the secretary general for the Chinese Society for Plant Biology (CSPB).