Invited Speakers

Invited Speakers


Prof. Dr.Toyoki Kozai

Prof. Dr. Kozai is currently the president of The Agricultural Academy of Japan. After establishing his early work on greenhouse light environments, energy savings, ventilation, computer applications, his scientific interest was extended to in vitro environments and their control for sugar-free medium micro-propagation and transplant production in closed systems with artificial lighting . Since 2010, he has been working as the president of Japan Plant Factory Association (non-profit organization) and is leading R & D of “plant factory with artificial lighting (PFAL)” and “greenhouse environment control” using heat pump, fogging, null-balance CO2 enrichment and nutrient solution control systems. 

Awards: Friendship Award from Chinese Government, Lifetime Achievement Award from The Society for In Vitro Biology, USA, The Purple Ribbon Award from Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, Japan Prize of Agricultural Sciences from Association of Japanese Agricultural Scientific Societies, and many others.
Publications: He has published more than 200 refereed papers and more than 50 book chapters. He wrote and edited more than 10 books, including “Plant Factory: an indoor vertical farming system for efficient quality food production published in October 2015 by Academic Press, and ‘LED lighting for Urban Agriculture’ to be published by Springer in October 2016.

 Dickson Donald Despommier, Ph.D., professor of public health and microbiology, has been a faculty member at Columbia University since 1971. He is Emeritus Professor of Public Health and Microbiology, having retired in 2009. During his tenure at P&S, Dr. Despommier made significant contributions to the life of our campus. He served on numerous committees, including heading up the admissions committee for the Mailman School of Public Health, and still serves on the Medical School Admissions Steering Committee, to which he was appointed in 1988. He was chair of the Animal Care Committee and served on numerous doctoral qualification committees. He was a faculty advisor for the P&S Club and was the advisor to the P&S Photography Club until his retirement. From 1978-2009, he was course director for Parasitic Diseases, a required course in the pre-clinical years. During that time, he was recognized by the second year medical students as Teacher of the Year no less than eight times. He was the Dean’s Distinguished Contributions to Teaching medalist in 1989. In 2003, he earned further recognition for his teaching skills from the American Medical Student Association by becoming the recipient of their annual National Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence. Many of those who regularly instruct medical students consider this award the equivalent to the Noble Prize for teaching. It should be noted here that he is the only faculty member at P&S to ever earn this distinction. His outreach teaching has also earned for him numerous teaching awards, including Teacher of the Year for the third Grade at Roscoe Central School, in New York state. He conducted laboratory-based research for 27 years, funded by a single continuous grant from the NIH. He has published four books, and numerous peer-reviewed articles in Science, PNAS, and a host of other top science journals. He is currently engaged in a project to bring fresh produce to the urban environment by growing edible crops in vertical farms (see: The Vertical Farm, Picadore Press, New York).

 Christine Zimmermann-L?ssl, Chairwoman of Association for Vertical Farming e.V. Christine Zimmermann-Loessl M.A. has a background based on studying political science, sinology and philosophy at Munich University - and this was the starting point for her interest in Asia. She has worked in different Asian countries which has given her experience and deeper insight in the culture and people. In Germany, she benefited from this as a project manager for risk analysis and crisis management. Christine founded the Asia Network Information Center – combining her talents for projects, research and entrepreneurship. Later on, as the representative for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in China, she took responsibility in different areas and was director of the German-Chinese Management Institute, initiated environmental protection and poverty alleviation projects, as well as engaged in women’s programs.

Christine was inspired by her son’s (Max Loessl) interests in Vertical Farming and got involved. She was able to use all of her experiences and networking skills to found with a group of like minded young people the first nonprofit in the world - the Association for Vertical Farming (AVF) in 2013, since then she is acting as the chairwoman of AVF . “Through AVF we are raising awareness and building a network of like-minded people for the implementation of Vertical Farming around the world”.


Prof. Joel L. Cuelloa Professor of Biosystems Engineering and Director of the Global Initiative for Strategic Agriculture in Dry Lands (GISAD) at The University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A. A globally recognized expert in the engineering of sustainable biological and agricultural systems, his technical expertise in both engineering and biology provides the platform for engineering designs in various agricultural and biological systems with emphasis on optimizing biological and agricultural productivities while fostering resource sustainability and environmental protection.

Prof. Cuello has designed, constructed and implemented varied types of engineered agricultural or biological systems, including those applied in bioregenerative space life support, crop hydroponics, plant tissue culture, micropropagation, industrial mass production of algae and plant cell and microbial cultures for production of biomass, nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, etc. He is the Principal Inventor of the patented algae photobioreactor series -- the Accordion photobioreactors -- and is the creator of the Minimally Structured, Modular and Prefabricated Vertical Farm design (the Vertical Greenbox? Solution) that is considered an archetypal design for Vertical Farming 2.0.

    Prof. Cuello has published over 50 refereed journal publications and 11 book chapters, and has delivered over 200 professional presentations around the world. As major advisor, he has graduated 26 Ph.D. and M.S. students, and has mentored three postdoctoral research associates, five international visiting Ph.D. candidates and 10 international visiting scientists and professors. Prof. Cuello has lectured and has been invited as Guest or Keynote Speaker around the world, including in Brazil, China, South Korea, Israel, Palestine, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Chile, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, India, Italy, Jordan, Egypt, Japan, Australia, Spain, Singapore, Thailand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

 Heiner Lieth professor at the University of California in Davis, California since 1984, focusing primarily on the plant science of production of greenhouse and nursery crops.  At UCDavis, Dr. Lieth’s position in the Environmental Horticulture Department carried responsibilities to directly interact with farmers and advisors on issues faced by greenhouse and nursery growers (Cooperative Extension) while at the same time conducting an active research and teaching program. Early on he developed and taught an undergraduate course on greenhouse and container nursery production. During the 1980s and 1990s Dr Lieth’s research focused predominantly on ornamental plants as this is the primary protected cultivation system in agriculture in California. The research focused on greenhouse automation, aiming particularly at automated irrigation management and state-of-the-art greenhouse environment control. He also conducted research on particular ornamental cropping systems such as roses, lilies, chrysanthemum, etc. for cut flowers or potted plants. P In the years since then, Dr. Lieth has broadened his research and extension programs to include all protected cultivation, including a wider variety of crops (including lettuce, basil, etc…) with specific focus on production that does not involve field soil (i.e. soilless production). In 2008 he co-edited a book entitled Soilless Culture which describes the state-of-the-art of the science of growing plants without field soil. As of today this is still the most-advanced and most-comprehensive book on the subject. Current and recent research areas include lighting technology, indoor plant production, and photovoltaic energy production as an integral part of agricultural plant production. Much of the work is specifically targeted to help growers achieve the highest levels of production and efficiency. At the same time his research program also trains some of the brightest young scientists; many can be found in positions in the industry and at universities through the world. He has edited two books and has published over 80 peer reviewed scientific publications, more than 380 limited-distribution reports, and twelve book chapters.


Huafang Zhou, Ph.D, is Chief Scientist and VP of technology at AESsense Corp. in Sunnyvale, CA, USA. A recognized expert in the sensing, intelligential LED grow light, and advanced cultivation technologies. His technical expertise in IOT base air sensors, nutrient sensors and grow lights provide foundation for design and development of indoor vertical farm or plant factory. He led technical team to design and develop a series of gas or air sensors and modules and develop 60+ variety cultivation by aeroponics in the plant factory, and was authorized and filed 30+ patents, published 20+ papers and speeches on several international conferences


李绍华,中国科学院百人计划和教育部跨世纪人才计划基金获得者,福建省中科生物股份有限公司光生物产业研究院院长。 1981年华中农业大学获学士学位, 1989年法国Languedoc科技大学获博士学位。1994年北京农业大学教授,1996年至2002年中国农业大学教务处处长,2007年至2014年中国科学院武汉植物园常务副主任、主任,宁夏自治区第十一届政府顾问。中国植物学会常务理事、中国园艺学会常务理事,《园艺学报》和《果树学报》副主编,第11届国际葡萄遗传育种大会主席,担任葡萄科学与酿酒技术北京市重点实验室主任。主要从事光生物学及其产业关键问题研究、葡萄抗逆与果实品质遗传及其调控机制和葡萄资源利用与新品种选育等方面的研究,承担国家自然基金重点、国家科技支撑计划、国家973及国家公益性行业专项等研究,发表论文300余篇,SCI收录刊物论文130余篇,出版专著和教材10本。

 喻景权,浙江大学教授,教育部长江学者特聘教授、国家杰出青年科学基金获得者、农业部“园艺植物生长发育与品质调控”重点实验室主任,浙江大学园艺学一级学科学科带头人、教育部现代农业合作研究中心副主任、学术委员会委员、教育部园艺植物生物学重点开放实验室学术委员会委员、农业部蔬菜遗传育种与生理重点开放实验室学术委员会委员、国家自然科学基金委员会第六届学科评审组成员,中国植物生理与分子生物学学会植物生长物质专业委员会委员。1983年毕业于浙江大学,1988-1995年在日本进行博士阶段学习和博士后研究,1995年回国工作。长期从事植物的生长发育及其调控机制的研究,期间曾主持“设施园艺高产优质的基础”等国家自然科学基金重点项目2项、面上项目7项、国家高技术“863”项目2项,主要研究设施作物对环境的响应机制与调控,在 Plant Physiology, Plant Cell Environ.,J. Exp. Bot., Plant Cell Physiol等SCI期刊发表论文58篇,作为第一完成人获得了2006年度国家自然科学二等奖。


中国生物技术学会会员;国家半导体照明工程研发及产业联盟应用推广工作委员会核心成员、农业生物照明工作组组长;中国照明学会会员;中国照明学会光生物和光化学专业委员会委员;SCI源刊Scientia Horticulturae、Plant Physiology and Biochemistry、Hortscience和botanical studies的同行审稿人、《照明工程学报》特聘审稿专家;国家科技计划高新领域网评专家、国家自然科学基金网评专家。






Dr. Ep HeuvelinkAssociate Professor at the Horticulture and Product Physiology group of Wageningen University, The Netherlands. He has extensive experience and expertise in both academic research and education on ecophysiology and simulation models for crop growth, development and yield. Dr Heuvelink is frequently invited as a keynote speaker in international scientific symposia and teaches advanced intensive courses on greenhouse production, crop physiology and crop modelling all over the world. He published more than 90 scientific papers in refereed journals and his H-index is 42



    Fangwei, Professor, Dept. of Bio-Industrial Mechatronics Engineering, Taiwan Univ. Chief Consultant, Chun-Hwa Plant Factory Association. Directing Board, Taiwan Plant Factory Industrialize Development Association, International consultanting Committee, Japan Plant Factory Association

    Dr. Erik Runkle is a Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Michigan State University.  Erik obtained a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Illinois and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Horticulture at Michigan State University.  Since he joined the faculty in 2001, he and his graduate research team have performed numerous practical experiments in controlled environments to determine the effects of light, temperature, and other environmental factors on plant growth and development.  Experiments have been performed on a wide range of herbaceous specialty crops including leafy greens and ornamentals.  Erik recently developed the Controlled-Environment Lighting Laboratory to better understand how the light spectrum can be manipulated to produce crops with desired attributes.  To date, he has co-edited 6 books and authored 14 book chapters, nearly 100 papers in scientific journals, and over 250 articles in trade magazines.

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