Executive Director

Science, science strategy and science policy (EPSO, GPC, ISE, Plant ETP), members, observers, association relations

Karin has been the Executive Director of EPSO since its creation in 2001. She works with the EPSO members and partners to promote plant research in the European science and science policy arena by overseeing the EPSO Working Groups, providing advice and recommendations to policy makers at European, multinational and national level. Karin is member of the Board of the Initiative for Science in Europe (ISE) and represents EPSO in in the Global Plant Council (GPC). She is also a member of the Board of the European Technology Platform ‘Plants for the Future’ and  one of the global coordinators of the Fascination of Plants Day. Karin has a M.Sc. in Biochemistry and a PhD in Plant Genetics.


Executive Assistant

Personal membership, office, accounts, website management, meetings

Sofia is responsible for the day-to-day management of the EPSO office, website management, personal membership and any administration and general queries. Sofia administers the EPSO and EU project accounts. In addition, she supports Karin with the organisation of our events such as workshops.


Publications Officer

Website & social media management, EPSO briefings and newsletter, Fascination of Plants Day coordination

Main responsibilities include management of EPSO’s website & social media, drafting briefings, & writing/editing articles for the EPSO newsletter. John supports communication in EPSO’s EU projects. He is one of the Global Coordinators of the “Fascination of Plants Day” & Chair of the Outreach Working Group.



EPSO is continuously looking for PhD students in biological, agricultural or food sciences for a remote or on-site (scholarship/grant holders) traineeship of 3 to 6 months. This traineeship offer is for PhD students in biological, agricultural or food sciences.



Policy Intern

Expert from an EPSO Institutional Member

Each EPSO Institutional Member can offer an Internship Expert to EPSO for a stay of at least 6 months. See the EPSO call for internship experts from institutional members and the ‘Internship Agreement’.

See the EPSO Internship call including our former Internship Experts on Internship Expert Alumni Page.



Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

EPSO President

I strongly believe that plant science will play a major role in solving the grand challenges defined by the UNs Sustainable Development Goals. We need to develop more sustainable food and feed systems. I am very much concerned with understanding genetic diversity and the use of genomics, phenomics and biotechnology to utilize this diversity for breeding resilient, climate adapted and resource efficient cultivars. Translation of knowledge from model species to crop plants, implementation of new breeding technologies and international collaboration are essential elements for innovations in the plant sector. I have a keen interest in feed crops and sustainable grassland systems, and a better integration between livestock and crop production is needed to improve overall agricultural sustainability in Europe. Finally, I think EPSO needs to focus on students and plant science study programmes also need to integrate technology and data science to attract the best students.


CNR – ISPA-Lecce, IT

Vice President

I strongly believe that nutritional security will be a challenge topic to reduce the impact of important human pathologies in Europe and improve people’s perception regarding the application of new breeding technologies in agriculture. Plant scientists are working strongly to improve the quality and nutritional value of main crops. I’ll work with EPSO to bridge the existing gaps among plant scientists, clinicians, politicians, consumers, industries and achieve this strategic goal.

Marie-Theres Hauser

University of Natural Resources & Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria

EPSO Treasurer

The motivation to serve EPSO is my passionate belief that plant sciences are highly important for a sustainable future and thus need a powerful independent advocate in Europe to increase visibility. As professor at the only University in Austria teaching Agricultural Sciences and Forestry among Food and Biotechnology, Environmental and Bioresources Management, Civil Engineering and Landscape Planning, I am trained to communicate and teach together with experts of these different fields which I consider as beneficial for several goals of EPSO. I feel that a fully environmentally friendly future depends on us plant scientists. My focus lies on education and the support and promotion of innovative ideas on how this goal can be reached.



INRAE, France


Stimulate communication with French scientific colleagues and contribute to establish networks. 

Strengthen scientific initiatives raising technical solutions to mitigate climate change and promote plant adaptation to changing environment.

Stimulate interdisciplinarity and basic research to the benefit of sustainable agriculture and agroecology.


CSIC, Spain

My main motivation to serve EPSO is a strong belief in the key significance of plant sciences for society. My main goals as a board member are to advocate for the acknowledgment of both plant basic science and applied plant biotechnology as indispensable tools in addressing the challenges of sustainable agriculture and food security in the 21st century. I will also engage actively with policymakers, working to promote a more supportive legal framework for New Genetic Technologies (NGTs) within the EU. Furthermore, I am dedicated to contributing to the outreach and dissemination of the latest discoveries in plant science, and the expanding applications of plant biotechnology, ensuring that society is informed and aware of these advancements.


The James Hutton Institute, Dundee
United Kingdom

As an EPSO Board member I have a number of goals. I aim to raise the profile of plant soil interactions as a way for Plant Sciences to achieve progress against Global Sustainability Goals and champion below ground process in Plant Physiology and Genetics. I will be an advocate for the use of heritage genotypes and underutilised crops as sources of genes and traits and alternatives for sustainability and climate resilience, while also championing the use of real crop genotypes in real world situations to answer questions of pressing need. Finally I believe it is important to promote stakeholder engagement so that the value of Plant Sciences is known along the whole length of the value chain in agricultural crops.


National Institute of Biology, Slovenia

Promote research on plant – environment interactions including plant – pathogen interactions

Promote dissemination of plant science

Enhance collaboration between EPSO members



Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Germany

I believe in bridging interdisciplinary concepts from basic molecular sciences with applied crop breeding and ecology; communication with the public to raise awareness about plant research for the benefit of human health and food; advertise the benefits in plant research for plant resilience and plant growth to facilitate environmental friendly and sustainable conditions in agriculture and forestry.


Tallinn University of Technology,

I am convinced that plant sciences have a crucial role in achieving important goals of today’s society such as food security, sustainable agriculture and taking care of biodiversity. EPSO is paving the way to accomplish these objectives. 

It is my wish to stimulate communication between all plant scientists and policymakers to build a strong network that reaches farmers and the agricultural sector. The benefits of EPSO should reach all stakeholders, starting at home (Estonia).
I also want to encourage international cooperation in plant sciences among EPSO members: projects, PhD students and postdocs’ mobility.

As one of my passions is education, I wish to engage students in outreach activities like the Fascination of Plants Day and EPSO Plant Science Seminars. 


Wageningen University and Research

Never before has it been so important to unite efforts and decide on joint initiatives across Europe for the plant-based sciences. The challenges on e.g. climate change, biodiversity loss and soil health are huge and will impact the entire global population. I see a strong and central role for EPSO in ensuring that European initiatives are defined along the right lines and result in broad support from all across Europe. Furthermore, the interactions between science and industry and science and government are of equal importance and both deserve our full attention in our quest to design a sustainable future food production system with least environmental impact. I have a strong desire to support EPSO in uniting these efforts and ensuring European policy aligns with our goals.


LUKE University, Finland

Adviser to the Board

My goal is to help EPSO achieve public and governmental recognition that from basic science in crop and model plants transformative innovations emerge and that plants are the basis for human health and social stability. The wellbeing of Europe and the world depends not only on a few strategic crops but also on many regionally important diverse species that have received insufficient attention or funding, but contribute nutritionally to our diverse diets. In the face of a shifting climate and decreasing inputs, the EU needs both a bottom-up plant research agenda and science-driven crop improvement.





All Board Members

2022 –           Odd Arne Rognli (2022 – President)

2018-2022 – Alan Schulman (2019 – President)

2018-2020 – Angelo Santino

2018-2020 – Josef Gloessl

2018-2020 – Przemyslaw Wojtaszek

2018-2020 – Antonio Leyva

2017-2019 – Ernst van den Ende

2015-2020 – Cathie Martin (2015 – Vice-President)

2015-2017 – Robbie Waugh

2014-2019 – Svend Christensen

2013-2020 – Carole Caranta

2013-2018 – Tomas Vanek

2013-2018 – Aldo Ceriotti (2017-2018 – President)

2013-2013 – Maurice Moloney

2012-2017 – Jose Pio Beltran (2014-2016 – President)

2012-2014 – Eckhard George (2013-2014 – Vice-President)

2011-2016 – Ton Bisseling

2011-2016 – Bruce Osborne

2011-2013 – Heribert Hirt (2011-2013 – President)

2009-2014 – Christophe Plomion

2009-2014 – Eva-Mari Aro

2009-2011 – Raoul Bino

2007-2012 – Jonathan Jones (2012 – Vice-President)

2007-2012 – Chiara Tonelli

2007-2012 – Jacek Hennig

2007-2008 – Dirk Inze (2007-2008 – Vice-President)

2006-2011 / 2018-2020 – Ulrich Schurr (2009-2011 / 2018-2020 – Vice-President)

2006-2011 – Pere Puigdomenech

2005-2010 – Wilhelm Gruissem (2007-2010 – President)

2005-2010 – Erkki Truve

2003-2008 – Helene Lucas

2003-2008 – Kirsi-Marja Oksman-Caldentey

2003-2005, 2014-2017 – Mark Stitt

2003-2005 – Paolo Costantino

2001-2006 – Denes Dudits

2001-2006 – Pierre de Witt

2001-2002 – Chris Bowler

2001-2002 – Lothar Willmitzer

2001-2006 – Mike Bevan (2001-2006 – Vice-Chair)

2000-2006 – Marc Zabeau (2000-2006 – Chair)