CANOLA INNOVATION – PAST AND FUTURE
What got canola to the place it is today? What were the biggest hurdles we’ve overcome? How do we continue to enable innovation in the years ahead?
Commercial Leader Grains & Oils, Dow AgroSciences
Dzisiak is responsible for leading the canola, sunflower and grains food traits commercial strategy for Dow and has been involved in development of the plant genetics and biotechnology strategy for the company since the mid-90’s. As part of that, he led the creation of the Dow AgroSciences healthy oils portfolio, including the Nexera canola program. He attended the University of Manitoba and graduated in 1981 from the faculty of agriculture with a degree in plant science and economics.
Dzisiak grew up on a family grain farm in western Canada and was a Canola Council of Canada board member for many years.
Ph.D., Senior Research Director, Trait Discovery & Optimization, DuPont Pioneer
In his role at DuPont Pioneer, Tom Greene leads a group of scientists whose mission is to deliver innovative trait solutions that meet product specifications and drive differential advantage in the marketplace for the customer. Specifically, the group is responsible for developing and implementing discovery strategies, validating trait efficacy, optimizing traits and building phenotyping strategies to support trait discovery and development. Greene is also accountable for establishing and managing external R&D collaborations to support the internal delivery of defined trait targets.
Greene joined Pioneer following 11.5 years with Dow AgroSciences in Indiana where he most recently served as global leader, Trait Genetics Technologies, a role that included leadership of their molecular marker laboratory and their native traits research. Tom earned his Ph.D. in plant physiology from Washington State University and his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from North Carolina State University. He completed his post-doctoral training at the University of Florida in maize biochemical genetics.
Strategy Lead, Canola and Cereals North America, Bayer CropScience
Garth Hodges is the Strategy Lead for Canola and Cereals for North America at Bayer. Hodges returned to Canada in April 2015 after spending four years in Germany as global head of Bayer CropScience’s Business Development & Licensing Department responsible for mergers and acquisitions, licensing and investments. Prior to this, he lead Bayer’s global Canola Seed Business for nine years and served on the Canola Council of Canada board.
Hodges has been with Bayer for 30 years and has held various positions in South Africa, Germany, France and Canada. He has a Master of Science degree in agriculture from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa.
President and CEO, Ag-West Bio
Throughout his 40 year science career, Keller led many major research initiatives. These included the application of genomics in canola improvement; the development of industrial bioproducts from vegetable oils; and production of bioactive natural products in plants for enhanced human health and quality of life.
Keller grew up in Melville, SK. He earned a PhD in Crop Science at the University of Saskatchewan, followed by postdoctoral studies in Germany. He worked at Agriculture Canada in Ottawa from 1973-89, where he pursued research on cell genetics of selected Canadian crops and contributed to the establishment of a plant biotechnology research program, which he chaired from 1980-89. In 1990, he accepted a position with the Plant Biotechnology Institute (PBI) of the National Research Council of Canada in Saskatoon and served as group leader for canola biotechnology research and head of the Transgenic Plant Centre until 1999, when he assumed the position of research director. In 2007 he took a one-year posting as the acting director general of the PBI, then served as president and CEO for Genome Prairie From 2008 to 2012. Along with his position as president and CEO of Ag-West Bio Inc, Keller recently assumed the role of Chair of the Agricultural Institute of Canada.
In 2010, Keller was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by The Society for In Vitro Biology. In 2015, he received the province’s highest honour, the Saskatchewan Order of Merit.