Professor Heather Bruce
Chair, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science,
University of Alberta, Canada

Title: Enhanced Food Security through Controlled Environment Agriculture

Dr. Heather Bruce is Professor and Chair of the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta. Dr. Bruce received her B. Sc. (Agriculture) with Honors and M. Sc. in Animal and Poultry Science from the University of Guelph, and her Ph. D. from the University of Alberta. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Australia, where she led the Muscle Food Quality Section until she joined Maple Leaf Foods in Woodstock, Ontario, as External Research Manager. Dr. Bruce has over 60 scientific publications, and has garnered over $14 million in research support. Dr. Bruce is a past president of the Canadian Meat Science Association.

Professor Hidetoshi Nishimura
President, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia

Title: Digital Pathways for Improving Productivity, the Profitability and Sustainability of Agrifood Systems


Prof Hidetoshi Nishimura has led the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA) since 2008. He was the Executive Director from 2008 to 2015, then the title of his position was changed to President in 2015. Prof Nishimura’s career started in 1976 when he joined Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry after graduating from the University of Tokyo with a degree in law. Shortly after joining the Ministry, he went back to school and received a Master of Arts degree from Yale University in 1982. That opened the way to work on European issues and trade matters for the Japanese government. Throughout his career, Prof Nishimura has assumed numerous positions, including Representative of the Asia-Pacific Region of the Japan Overseas Development Corporation, Director of the Southeast Asia and Pacific Division of the Trade Policy Bureau, Vice Governor for International Affairs of Ehime Prefecture, Director-General of the Business Support Department of the Small and Medium Enterprise Agency, Executive Managing Director of the Japan-China Economic Association, and President of the Japan-China Northeast Development Association. He was a visiting professor in several universities, including Waseda University and Darma Persada University. He was a Fellow of Meiji Institute for Global Affairs, Meiji University. Prof Nishimura has a passion for haiku, the Japanese short-form poetry, which he writes in his free time. He is also passionate about antique Chinese and East Asian ceramics.

Dr. Kioumars Ghamkhar
Director, Margot Forde Forage Germplasm Centre,
New Zealand

Title: Cracking the Codes of Plants Traits using Agritech and AI

Received Ph.D. in plant diversity and evolution at the University of New England, Australia. worked at the University of Western Australia (2003-2010) before moving to the Department of Primary Industries and Environment, Victoria, Australia (2011-2014) as a Senior Scientist. Has 18 years research experience in using different technologies in the area of agriculture and plant genetic diversity. Since 2014, Kioumars is the Director of New Zealand’s National Forage Genebank, Margot Forde Forage Germplasm Centre and the Phenmoics lead of the Pastoral Genomics Programme leading a team of about 40 plant, computing, engineering, imaging scientists to develop novel approaches for plant trait measurement – from yield to quality. The project’s phenomics team (jointly with the genomics team) won the Science NZ team award in 2020. At international level, Kioumars co-chairs the Phenomics Working Group at DivSeek International Network, which is focused on the use of imaging and sensor technologies to establish common standards and methods for collecting, analyzing and sharing phenomics data. He has been an associate editor with Frontiers in Plant Science since September 2020.