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.
Romain Jeannottat has been Deputy Head of Agroscope and Head of the Resources Unit since 1st October 2018. He brings many years of experience and all of the required skills to carry out the managerial functions that are now the responsibility of a single individual. As Vice-Director of the State Secretariat for Migration SEM, he headed the Planning and Resources Directorate since 2010. He also held managerial responsibilities in his previous positions as Head of the ‘Evaluation and Controlling’ Section of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy SFOE, as Departmental Head and Member of the Executive Board at the Federal Office of Civil Aviation FOCA, as Sales Manager at the BKW, and as a Senior Manager in consulting firms. Tertiary-level studies in Business Administration (Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris) and Political Science (Freie Universität Berlin and Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris) form the academic foundation of his professional career.
Robert Baur has headed the ‘Agroecology and Environment’ Strategic Research Division since 1 January 2017. After a degree in Biology and the completion of his PhD thesis at the ETH Zurich in 1989, he completed a postdoc at Cornell University (USA) and took part in projects at the former Wädenswil Research Station (today, Agroscope), studying how insects find their host plants among the many plant species on which they would not be able to survive. He then conducted research for Agroscope on pests, beneficials and biodiversity in viticulture, as well as on plant-protection topics in vegetable production. As a Research Group Head, he was responsible for applied research in vegetable production from 2004 onwards. A five-year stint as Head of the ‘Plant Protection and Extension, Fruit and Vegetable Production’ Research Division preceded the move to his current position.
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.
A passionate researcher, Bérard then made his mark in various Animal Production Systems research and teaching posts in Italy and Switzerland. He intends to use his skills as an organiser, coordinator and negotiating partner to promote research in this sphere. A well-known figure in the scientific community and livestock sector, Joël Bérard possesses an extensive network of contacts.
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.
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.
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.
Willy Kessler has been Head of the ‘Plants and Plant Products’ Competence Division since 1 January 2017. Coming from a farming background, he is at home with agricultural practice. After studying Agronomy and completing his PhD at the ETH Zurich, he took up a postdoctoral post in Wales (UK), followed by a three-year stint as a Research Associate and Lecturer back at the ETHZ. He came to Agroscope in 1991, initially as a Staff Research Scientist dealing with all aspects concerning permanent grassland. After a year as a Research Group Head, he became the Research Division Head with responsibility for legal enforcement and research tasks in the fields of arable and grassland farming in 2001. He has served as Director of the German-speaking area of the Swiss Grassland Society (AGFF) since 2001, and as Secretary of the European Grassland Federation (EGF) since 2004
Lutz Merbold is heading the ‘Agroecology and Environment’ Strategic Research Division from 1 October 2020. He was a Research Group Leader at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya. He brings his solid knowledge of sustainable agroecosystems to Agroscope.
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.