Eva Reinhard has been Head of Agroscope since 1 April 2018. Prior to this, she was Deputy Director of the Federal Office for Agriculture FOAG. Born in 1961, Dr. Reinhard conducted basic research in Developmental Neurobiology at the ETH Zurich under the supervision of Prof. Denis Monard and Prof. Hans M. Eppenberger, and obtained her PhD at the Friedrich Miescher Institute in Basel. She has extensive experience of researching abroad: the European Chemicals Bureau in Ispra (Italy), Duke University (USA), the University of Oregon (USA), Stanford University (USA), and Sandoz (Austria). Dr. Reinhard has held leadership positions for over twenty years, eighteen of which have been in the Swiss Federal Administration.
Thomas Gentil has been Deputy Head of Agroscope, Head of the Resources Unit and an Executive Board member since 1 March 2022. As Head of the Resources Unit with no fewer than 130 members of staff he runs the IT, Infrastructure, Finances, Human Resources, Quality and Safety, Procurement Management and Legal Service divisions.
Previously, the 37-year-old native of Jura was responsible in particular for corporate development at the Swiss Federal Office of Police (fedpol), and in charge of legal and scientific bases at the Federal Office for Public Health (FOPH). Thomas Gentil studied Political Science and Public Administration Management at the Universities of Lausanne and Bern.
Marc Andrey has been Head of Communications since June 2020. He has many years of professional and management experience under his belt. According to Andrey, “The remit and responsibilities of Agroscope Communications are very exciting, future-oriented and multi-faceted.” Marc Andrey worked at Valiant Bank between 2014 and 2020. He was Head of Corporate Communications and in charge of media relations. Andrey set up the Corporate Communications department at Valiant, adapted it to changing requirements, and continued developing it on an ongoing basis. Prior to his employment at Valiant, he worked for ten years as Media Spokesman and Head of Media at PostFinance, the financial services unit of Swiss Post, amassing experience in the political environment of a large state corporation. As a former video journalist and presenter at TeleBärn, he is thoroughly familiar with the journalist’s craft. Marc Andrey’s professional career is underpinned by his degree from the University of Bern, where he majored in Economics and Media Sciences.
Joël Bérard has been Head of the Animal Production Systems and Animal Health Strategic Research Division since 1 April 2020. Before this – from 2017 – he was Head of Research at AgroVet-Strickhof, the education and research centre created by Strickhof, the Vetsuisse Faculty of the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich. A multilingual food engineer with a degree from the Faculty of Agriculture of the University of Parma, Joël Bérard hails from Valle d’Aosta in Italy. He obtained his PhD in Pig Husbandry from the ETH Zurich, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Leibniz Institute for Livestock Biology in Dummerstorf, Germany.
Corinne Boss has been head of Agroscope’s Animals and Products of Animal Origin Competence Division since 15 July 2019. A biologist and official expert in animal health, she previously worked as a staff research scientist at the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture in the Products of Animal Origin and Animal Husbandry Division. In this capacity, she was responsible inter alia for the further development and implementation of Swiss animal breeding legislation. In addition, she was involved in animal health projects, and worked actively to improve livestock health in Switzerland. Since 2016 she has been head of the National Animal-Breeding Strategy 2030 project, and is thus fully conversant with the current and future challenges facing the livestock-oriented agriculture and food sector. With her solid knowledge of animal breeding, livestock movement and animal health, as well as her national and international connections, she is an acknowledged personality in the livestock sector.
Manuel Boss took over the reins as new Head of the Plants and Plant Products Competence Division on 1 June 2021. As a former Embassy Counsellor for Agriculture at the Swiss Mission in Brussels and thanks to his previous posts at the Federal Office for Agriculture and Syngenta, he brings wide-ranging experience in both agricultural policy and in research and development to his new job. The implementation and further development of agricultural policy according to scientific principles will continue to be a main focus of the Plants and Plant Products Competence Division in future. Manuel Boss’s network ranges from federal agencies to cantons and sectoral associations, all the way to the people responsible for agriculture and science in the EU. His career to date rests on the foundations of his biology studies at the Universities of Bern and Freiburg. Boss aims to contribute to the development of innovative approaches to transforming today’s agriculture and food sector into a thoroughly sustainable system, from production to food.
Christoph Carlen has headed the Plant Production Systems Strategic Research Division since 1 January 2017. After a degree in Agronomy at the ETH Zurich, he earned his PhD in the Ecophysiology of Crop Plants in 1994. After five years as a Research Associate in the field of Plant Production at the Department of Agriculture of the canton of Valais, he took up his post at Agroscope in 1999. Until 2005, he headed the Berries and Medicinal Plants Research Group in Conthey. Between 2005 and 2016 he was responsible for the Covered Crops and Crops in the Alpine Area Research Division at the Conthey and Cadenazzo sites, and was occupied in particular with research into special crops and the management of international and national research projects.
Nadja El Benni has headed the‘Competitiveness and System Evaluation Strategic Research Division since 1 January 2017. After completing her Master’s in Agricultural Economics at the ETH Zurich she wrote a doctoral thesis on the effect of agricultural policy measures on the income situation in the Swiss agricultural sector. At the same time, she completed a postgraduate degree in Applied Statistics at the Department of Mathematics at ETHZ. The analysis of agricultural markets and the competitiveness of the Swiss agricultural sector were elements of her appointment at ETHZ and the University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur, as well as her post at the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL. As a Senior Methodologist, she also led the Methodology Competence Centre at the German Institute for Development Evaluation DEval in Bonn. Since 2017, Nadja El Benni has been a Member of the Board of the Swiss Society for Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology.
Christian Flury has headed the Corporate Strategy Agroscope Staff Unit since mid-2018. In this capacity, he develops and is responsible for all strategic processes, such as Agroscope’s overall strategy and the Work Programme. He also heads the project for implementing Agroscope's future site strategy.
After studying Agricultural Economics at the ETH Zurich, Christian Flury obtained his PhD and worked as a Staff Research Scientist at the then Institute for Agricultural Economics of the ETH Zurich until 2005. Having finished his dissertation, he and a partner together founded a consultancy in which he still works part-time. This involves inter alia a lectureship at the ETH Zurich.
Christian Flury began working at Agroscope in February 2007. He directed the Agroscope AgriMontana Research Programme until the end of 2013. At the beginning of 2014 he moved in-house to the newly formed Corporate Research Agroscope Group as a Research Programmes and Priorities Officer.
Alain Gaume became the new Head of Agroscope’s Plant Protection Strategic Research Division on 1 May 2017. After studying Agronomy at the ETH Zurich and completing his degree dissertation on controlling grey mould in viticulture, he worked in the field of vegetable production at the University of California, Davis before returning to Switzerland to do a PhD at the ETHZ. There followed a first postdoctoral fellowship at the Biotechnology Center for Agriculture and Environment at Rutgers University (USA), then a second postdoc at the University of Pretoria’s Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (South Africa). From 2003 to 2005, Alain Gaume was a Senior Research Associate and Lecturer in Agroecophysiology, Plant Nutrition and Soil Sciences at the ETHZ. From 2005, he headed the Plant Nutrition and Fertilisation National Research Programmes at Agroscope, as well as the Variety Testing of Grain Legumes Research Division. From 2009 to 2017 he worked as Head of Seedcare Research Biology at Syngenta, where he led the research department responsible for developing new seed-treatment technologies and products
Corinne Jud has been Head of the Method Development and Analytics Competence Division since 1 January 2017. After completing a degree in Biochemistry at the University of Freiburg, she earned her PhD for research into the influence of light on the circadian clock of mice and men in 2009, for which she was awarded a Chorafas prize – a worldwide award for outstanding research. Whilst working on her doctorate, she also completed her training in Academic Didactics. Postdoctoral research appointments and a position as a Group Leader in the field of Nanotechnology at the Adolphe Merkle Institute in Freiburg followed. She came to Agroscope as a Research Division Head in mid-2013.
Lutz Merbold has headed the Agroecology and Environment Strategic Research Division since 1 October 2020. Prior to this, he was a Research Group Leader at the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi (Kenya). He brings his solid knowledge of sustainable agroecosystems to Agroscope. The biologist from Plauen (Saxony, Germany) studied Ecology and Environmental Law at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena as well as Tropical Botany at the University of Leipzig. He earned his PhD in the EU project CarboAfrica at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Jena and at the ETH Zurich.
Lutz Merbold hopes to make a more positive impact on the climate debate in agriculture at Agroscope. In particular, he wants to achieve a better understanding of how climate change influences agriculture and vice-versa. Using agroecological approaches, he hopes to highlight potential solutions.
Roland Peter took over as Head of the Plant Breeding Strategic Research Division at Agroscope on 15 Januray 2019. He graduated from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) as an Engineer Agronomist with a specialisation in Agricultural Plant Sciences. Also at ETH Zurich, he then completed a PhD in Plant Sciences as a research assistant working on stress research in maize. In 2008 he moved to the German plant breeding and biotechnology company KWS SAAT SE in Einbeck (D), where he was first Head of the Maize Breeding Programme in Southeast Europe and then Genetic Resources Project Manager and Breeding Advisor for Maize Sales for KWS China. From 2012 until he joined Agroscope, he was in charge of maize breeding in Germany and was responsible for variety development for grain and silage maize.
Fabian Wahl has been Head of the Food Microbial Systems Strategic Research Division since 1 May 2018 . After studying Chemistry at the University of Freiburg in Germany, he earned his PhD in Organic and Analytical Chemistry at the same institution. Before moving to Agroscope, Fabian Wahl worked for the Merck Group, a leading international science and technology company in the healthcare, life science and performance materials sectors. As Head of New Business in the Strategy & Transformation area of Merck KGaA, he was jointly responsible inter alia for developing and implementing a new corporate strategy.