Executive Members


Justus Wesseler

Wageningen University

I graduated in agricultural, environmental and natural resource economics in Göttingen. My research is on the economics of biotechnology, value chains, and regulatory economics including issues related to coexistence. I focuss on the contribution of value chains to sustainability, and the impact of new technologies.

A copy of my oration booklet is available in PDF.


Stuart Smyth

University of Saskatchewan

Dr. Stuart Smyth is an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Saskatchewan, where he holds the Agri-Food Innovation and Sustainability Enhancement Chair. His research focuses on sustainability, agriculture, innovation and food. Dr. Smyth publishes a weekly blog on these topics at: www.SAIFood.ca. With well over 150 academic publications, Dr. Smyth is recognized as a leading expert on barriers to innovation and regulatory efficiency. Dr. Smyth specializes in research on regulatory barriers to food security, especially those that restrict investments into new plant breeding technologies, such as genome editing and that delay, or prevent, the commercialization of genetically modified and genome-edited crops. Dr. Smyth was recognized by the Agriculture Students Association in the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture and Bioresources as the 2022 Professor of the Year. Additionally, he was presented with the 2021 Champion Award by Farm and Food Care Saskatchewan and with CropLife Canada’s Grassroots Award for 2021.
I have been involved with the ICABR conference since I first attended as a graduate student in 2000. The conference brings together the world’s leading academics in both bioeconomy research and biotechnology research, resulting in this being the best conference to attend on these topics. I find it is possible to gain as much knowledge in three days of attending the conference as can be gained in a month’s worth of reading. For the past three years, I have been the Secretary General of the ICABR. This involves working with the President and Vice-President to set the agenda for the monthly board meetings, recording the discussion and sharing the minutes of each meeting with all members of the Executive and Board. I additionally contribute to annual conferences through the organization of panel sessions and pre-conference sessions. Having been extensively involved with the ICABR for more than 20 years, I believe that I will able to make a positive contribution to the future of the ICABR, which is why I am putting my name forward for Vice-President. As the conference begins to be held in new locations, I firmly believe this will contribute to growing the awareness about the conference and improve and increase the presentations each year. This will contribute to expanding the ICABR network of academics and researchers, creating greater opportunities for collaborations. A key part of being able to hold the conference in differing locations is to be able build a strong base of financial support for the conference. As Vice-President, I would intend to focus on establishing a consistent base of fiscal support for the conference, which can be utilized to assist in keeping registrations as low as is possible.

Diego M. Macall


Diego M. Macall is a second year PhD student at the Institut de Ciència i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA‑UAB). Diego’s BA is from the Catholic University of El Salvador and his M.Sc. from the University of Saskatchewan. He has co-authored 14 peer-reviewed articles and written multiple blogs on issues relating to food and agricultural policy. He is a founding member of the Salvadoran biotechnology network. Diego has been helping organize the ICABR conference since 2019.
  • I want to have a monthly webinar where a student that has been to an ICABR conference presents her/his research, and we upload this to the ICABR YouTube channel.
  • I would like to expand the Central American researcher participation in the ICABR by hosting webinars in Spanish, from Central American Researchers that we could also upload to the ICABR Webinar.

Dušan Drabik

Wageningen University

Dušan Drabik is an Associate Professor in the Agricultural Economics and Rural Policy Group at Wageningen University, The Netherlands. His research interests are in agricultural economics and the economics of the circular bioeconomy. Dušan has published widely on the market and environmental effects of biofuel policies in several parts of the world and food commodity prices in the biofuel era. He is also interested in how the land markets in Central and Eastern Europe determine the agricultural production structure in that region. Since 2019, he has been a member of the Editorial Board of the European Review of Agricultural Economics and the President of the Association of Agricultural Economists in Slovakia.
The intense debate about the importance of the circular bioeconomy for the EU’s future has also been echoed in Central and Eastern European countries that are believed to have a competitive advantage in biomass production. However, policymakers and researchers there are just beginning to form the strategies and analyze the circular bioeconomies in their countries. As a member of the ICABR Board, I want to facilitate the knowledge transfer from the ICABR consortium to those European countries. I will also strive to engage more researchers and policymakers from that region in the ICABR activities.

Council Members at Large

Regina Birner

University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany

Regina Birner is Chair of Social and Institutional Change in Agricultural Development at the Hans-Ruthenberg-Institute of the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany.  Her research focuses on policies, governance and institutions that are essential for global food security and the bioeconomy. She has more than 25 years of empirical research experience in Africa, Asia and Latin America. She is a member of the Bioeconomy Council of the German Federal Government and the International Advisory Council on Global Bioeconomy (IACGB), which organizes the Global Bioeconomy Summit. Regina Birner holds a PhD in Socio-Economics of Agricultural Development from the University of Göttingen, Germany.

ICABR plays a unique role in promoting the bioeconomy, because it provides an international forum where scientific evidence on contested issues of the bioeconomy is discussed in an open-minded and constructive atmosphere. ICABR brings together senior researchers, young scientists and stakeholders from different parts of the world who are dedicated to promoting the bioeconomy for sustainable development. It would be a great privilege for me to continue supporting ICABR in this role. I would also be happy to contribute my experience as member of the German Bioeconomy Council and the International Advisory Council on Global Bioeconomy to ICABR’s Board.

José Maria Ferreira Jardim da Silveira

Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz. – USP

Agronomist (1976, Esalq-USP), Ms degree and Ph.D. in Economics (Unicamp, 1985, 2002). Currently Full Professor at Institute of Economics, State University of Campinas-Unicamp and Deputy Director of the Interdisciplinary Energy Research Center-NIPE, Unicamp, (2021-2023). Member of the Board of International Consortium of Applied Bioeconomy Research- ICABR and Member of the Board Management of International Schumpeterian Society – ISS (2022-2024). Has been publishing articles in the areas of Scientometrics, Energy, Industrial Organization, and Economics of Innovation, using methodologies based on Network Analysis and Simulation modeling (ABM), with almost 100 papers published.
For many years I have been honored with the possibility to participate in the ICABR board. My primary role on the board is to link people. It means calling attention to graduate students to the importance of doing research in the bioeconomy, preparing papers for the ICABR Conference, and profiting with the opportunity to receive comments on their work from a highly qualified audience. I think that bioeconomy in Brazil is receiving a new breath in the wake of the energy transition, the emergence of hybrid cars, the crescent role of bioenergy strengthening rural zones, and the possibilities of combining social and environmental policies. So, my motivation is increasing to attract one of the annual Conferences to Brazil with the explicit purpose of spurring the LA integration in this research area.

Hans De Steur

Assistant Professor at the Division of Agri-food Marketing & Chain Management, Department of Agricultural Economics, Ghent University

Prof De Steur is currently assistant professor at the Division of Agri-food Marketing & Chain Management, Department of Agricultural Economics, Ghent University. In 2011, he successfully finished his PhD on the market potential of transgenic biofortification. His current research focuses on consumer and stakeholder behavior related to innovations and technologies in the agri-food sector, with various research projects devoted to plant biotechnology. He was and is involved in various multidisciplinary research projects in the EU and beyond, reflecting his interest in cross-cutting issues and collaboration. About ~25% of his articles are included in the top-5%, with 2 articles as first author in Nature Biotechnology, and as co-auteur in Nature (Communications/Biotechnology) as some of the many highlights. His scope of research is situated both in Europe and the developing world, and he is currently the main promotor of 7 PhD students and co-promotor of 8 PhD students.


Aside from supporting the development of the conference program, I believe I can contribute to the conference by bringing in my expertise in evaluating, and hence, improving the conference itself. I believe it would be relevant to invest more efforts in the evaluation of the conference in order to better attract scholars from different regions. Furthermore, in my position as editor in different journals, I believe I can also help to think about potential synergies between journals and the conference, or finetune the submission process. These are some of my potential interests, but I am happy to align with the board to see where the priorities are and how we can achieve those.

Jose Falck-Zepeda


José Falck-Zepeda is a Senior Research Fellow at Transformation Strategies, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He has a Ph. D./M.Sc. Agricultural Economics (Auburn University); B.Sc. Animal Science (Texas A&M University), and Agronomist degree (Zamorano University). He has worked with the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR) in the Netherlands, Auburn, and Zamorano Universities. Author of multiple peer-reviewed and other publications. He has made presentations in high-level global and national policy fora on the issue of biotechnology, biosafety, science, technology, innovation, R&D, and plant breeding in developed and developing countries. His expertise relates to the economic analysis of governance, regulations, and ag innovation adoption impacts. Highlights of his communication and outreach efforts include membership in the Committee commissioned by the US National Academies of Science that elaborated a report on genetic engineering, and in expert committees and high-level policy dialogues convened by FAO, OECD, APEC, IADB, and World Bank.

My objectives for the ICABR

  1. Strengthen the ties of ICABR with public sector research especially the IARCs including the new OneCGIAR
  2. Enhance ICABR’s communication and outreach efforts
  3. Secure ICABR expertise participation and/or contribution to ongoing national/regional training, capacity building, and policy/decision-making processes in low and middle-income countries
  4. Promote the use of ICABR developed and/or supported papers and publications, data, tools, models, and other materials in LMICs capacity building/strengthening efforts with a focus on communities of practice and expertise
  5. Continue contributing to enhancing the quality of the conference development and deployment

Anwar Naseem

Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Central Asia (Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan)

Anwar Naseem is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Central Asia (Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan). He is also a visiting faculty in the Department of Agriculture, Food, and Resource Economics at Rutgers University, Prior to joining UCA, he was an Associate Research Professor at Rutgers where he managed the Feed the Future Policy Research Consortium from 2014-2021. His research interests include agricultural development, science/innovation policy, and market structure/performance as it relate to agricultural input markets. He holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Michigan State University, a M.Sc. from the University of Pennsylvania, and B.Sc. from McGill University.
I have been an active member of the ICABR community for nearly two decades, consistently participating in its annual conferences and various events. As a regular reviewer of abstract submissions, I have also contributed to the work of the scientific program committee on multiple occasions. Given my extensive experience with ICABR, I am eager to take on a more formal role as a Board Member. I am particularly interested in helping ICABR expand its network to include scholars from less developed countries while establishing a sustainable funding mechanism to facilitate their conference attendance. Currently based in Central Asia, I am enthusiastic about connecting local researchers with the ICABR network in order to conduct rigorous, multidisciplinary research on issues related to the agricultural bioeconomy—a topic that remains understudied in this region.

Cami Ryan

Bayer Science Fellow Social and Behavioral Sciences Lead, Regulatory Scientific Affairs

Cami Ryan, PhD is the social and behavioral sciences lead for Bayer Crop Science. For over 25 years, Cami has worked in agriculture and ag sciences, most of that time as a public sector researcher. In her current role with Regulatory Scientific Affairs (RSA), she is responsible for strengthening relationships and engaging with social, behavioral, and political scientists. Cami leverages an expanding scientific network in North America and around the world to more closely examine and understand policy, regulations, consumer behavior, risk communications, and public acceptance of agricultural innovations.
I would welcome the opportunity to join the ICABR board. I have a long history with the organization -presenting in, (co)organizing, and moderating panel and plenary sessions over the past several years. Additionally, I led efforts to organize a pre-conference communications workshop for the ICABR Berkeley conference in 2017. Leveraging my years of interdisciplinary research as an academic and my current role with Bayer Crop Science, I bring a unique set of skills to credibly navigate across sectoral and disciplinary boundaries. It is my hope that this breadth and depth of knowledge, along with my energy and enthusiasm, will help ICABR to continue to extend its reach and influence in the global ag bioeconomy. In particular, my capacity to navigate across sectoral and disciplinary boundaries will help ICABR seek and obtain sponsorship and support for events and conferences. I will also commit to enhancing engagement and amplification of comms and messaging for ICABR.

Pasquale Lucio Scandizzo

University of Rome “Tor Vergata”.

Pasquale L. Scandizzo holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley and is presently Professor and Fellow of the Center for Economic and International Studies, Senior Fellow and Member of the Advisory Board of the Foundation at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”. He is also President of the Villa Mondragone Development Association, President Emeritus of the Italian Society of Development Economics, and Chairman and Scientific Director of OpenEconomics, a university spin off focusing on economic evaluation and economic modeling. Formerly a holder of several academic and government positions, he is presently advising the World Bank and the International Agency for Renewable Energy (IRENA) on the evaluation of policies of sustainable development.
As one of its founding members, I am very satisfied of ICABR’s success in building a worldwide network of scholars and professionals engaged in research for biotechnology and sustainable development. In my opinion, today ICABR’s activity faces an opportunity to expand well beyond its original scope, to become a global reference point for innovative research centering on the bioeconomy paradigm and the One Health approach. For this reason, if re-elected on the board, I will try to lead a series of initiatives to further develop ICABR research and communication agenda along these innovative directions, and to promote the full involvement of relevant stakeholders and expertise from civil society, the scientific community and the United Nations system.

Sandra Elizabeth Sharry

PhD in Natural Sciences (National University of La Plata- Argentina)- Full Professor (La Plata University-Rio Negro University, Argentina)

Sandra E. Sharry. PhD in Natural Sciences (National University of La Plata- Argentina)- Full Professor (La Plata University-Rio Negro University, Argentina)- at Undergraduate and postgraduate level. Researcher Category 1. Ex- Coordinator of the USUBI Project (MAyDS-UNEP). Vice-President of ProDiversitas (Pan American Program for the Defense and Development of Biological, Cultural and Social Diversity). Member of the Member of CONABIA (National Advisory Commission on Agricultural Biotechnology). Member of the Advisory Commission on Bioeconomics of the Secretariat of Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock -Ex Dean and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences UNLP. Ex Director of the Master’s Degree in Bioethics at the University of the Argentine Social Museum (UMSA). Lead Author of IAASTAD. Author of 12 books, 40 book chapter, 35 papers.
I am interested in collaborating and participating in the ICABR committee because in recent years I have been involved in the management and development of public policies and strategic planning of the bio economy in Argentina, especially with regard to the circular forest bio economy. I have recently published a book chapter on bio economy and non- timber forest products, among other works. I am interested in the social and inclusion approach of the circular bio economy, gender aspects, green employment, youth and diversities. I currently participate in the advisory committee of the Bio economy of the SAGPyA. I believe that this new paradigm will allow us to find the solution to several of the problems that mankind has generated and that are leading us to a palpable crisis in several aspects: economic, social and environmental. I believe in the circular bio economy as a way out. However, there is still a lot to do, as the solution to this crisis must include several aspects: education, technological innovation and healthy and transparent public policies. I believe I can collaborate with ICABR activities.

Felicia Wu

Michigan State University

Felicia Wu is the John Hannah Distinguished Professor of Food Safety, Toxicology, and Risk Assessment at Michigan State University; and President-Elect of the Society for Risk Analysis. She works at the nexus of public health, agriculture, and mathematical modeling to improve global food safety. Currently Dr. Wu leads and co-leads nine extramural grants, ranging from assessing the impact of climate change and transgenic Bt corn planting on aflatoxin risk, improving resilience of food systems against shocks, reducing presence of mycotoxins, heavy metals, and pathogens in food crops, and assessing effects of dairy consumption and aflatoxin M1 on Ethiopian children’s health. Dr. Wu is an expert advisor to the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and an elected Fellow of the Society for Risk Analysis. She earned her PhD in Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and AB and SM in Applied Mathematics/Medical Sciences at Harvard University.
My objectives for ICABR are to increase the global dialogue on the potential of biotechnology and the bioeconomy to transform food systems, and to introduce scientific rationale into discussions of benefits and risks of agricultural biotechnology. With climate change, a growing population, and the attendant concerns of food security worldwide, biotechnology may play a critical role in ensuring future food security, provided it is given a chance with the appropriate cautions taken.

David Zilberman

University of California, Berkeley

David Zilberman is a Professor, holding the Robinson Chair in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, working on the economics and policy of agriculture, the environment, risk, and innovation. He is past-chair of his department, and past-President of Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA). He is the recipient of the 2019 Wolf Prize in Agriculture, and multiple awards. 

He’s a member of the US National academy of Science, a Fellow of the AAEA, and the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. He is among the Founders of the ICABR, and have consulted to governments and companies.

The ICABR served as a leading forum for introducing pioneering concepts from social and natural sciences and policy ideas relating to biotechnology and bioeconomy. It has made major contributions to introducing, analyzing, and even promoting creative policy initiatives. More importantly, it developed a network of scholars and practitioners that are engaged in the bioeconomy and its development as they evolve. I’ve been part of the organization since it started and I’m excited to contribute in terms of identifying directions for activities, sources of funding, and expanding the network. This is a unique opportunity and I hope to get it.

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