Francqui Chair in the Belgian title 2019-2020


Du 18 février au 5 mai 2020
Espace Senghor
Avenue de la Faculté d’Agronomie, 11 - Entrée 7
5030 Gembloux
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Gratuit (inscription obligatoire)

The Fondation Francqui invites Belgian or foreign professors to occupy a Chair and to organise teaching at the highest level, in their speciality, while promoting international university exchanges.francqui

Within the framework of the Francqui Chair ULiège 2020, the Faculty of Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech has the honour to invite Monica Höfte, Professor at the Faculty of Bioengineering of UGent.

Mrs Monica Höfte will give an inaugural lecture on Tuesday 18 February 2020 at 17:00 entitled "From Crop Protection to Plant Health Management" and will lead a cycle of lectures and workshops on the Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech campus on 12 and 31 March, 21 April and 5 May 2020.

About Monica Höfte

Monica HÖFTE is Full Professor at the University of Ghent. Since 1997, she has been head of the Laboratory of Plant Pathology of the Department of Plants and Crops of the Faculty of Biosciences Engineering. She is an agricultural engineer and holds a PhD in microbial ecology.

Monica HÖFTE is a general plant pathologist and is mainly interested in the fundamental and practical aspects of plant-pathogen interactions. Her research focuses on biological and integrated control of plant pathogens and on the mechanisms of natural and induced resistance against fungi and bacteria on a wide variety of tropical and temperate crops. She is passionate about plant pathogens and has trained many Belgian and foreign PhD students who have taken leading roles in the academic and entrepreneurial world.

About the inaugural lesson

To feed the increasing world population within the boundaries of the planet, sustainable intensification of food production is essential. In many parts of the worlds, crop yields have increased considerably in the last 60 years. This increase is largely due to the use of high-yielding varieties in combination with fertilizers and pesticides. Pesticides protect crops from (invasive) weeds, pathogens and pests and play an important role in food security.

However, their use is questioned and their effectiveness is threatened by the evolution of resistant  pathogens, weeds and pests. Pesticide resistance is an interesting case of accelerated evolution and may lead to superweeds and superbugs, similar to drug-resistant bacteria and fungi in medicine.

Nowadays, the focus is shifting from crop protection to plant health management, comparable to health promotion and disease prevention in humans. Plant health management emphasizes prevention, diversity and plant resilience, but is it really possible to feed the world without chemical pesticides?


About the lecture series

A series of conferences and workshops will be led by Mrs Monica Höfte, on the Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech campus:

Inaugural lesson "From Crop Protection to Plant Health Management".

Tuesday, February 18 at 5:00 p.m. at Espace L.S. Senghor

Program : 

17h00 : Welcome

17:30: Conference

6:45 pm - 8:00 pm: drink

Origin and evolution of plant pathogens

March 12 from 14:15 to 16:15 - Plant Biology Auditorium

Understanding the plant immune system

March 31 from 2:15 to 4:15 p.m. - PhV

Interactions between plants and beneficial microbes

April 21 from 2:15 to 4:15 p.m. - PhV

Effects of environmental factors on plant disease

May 5 from 14:15 to 16:15 - PhV

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