Ulrich Schurr is Director of IBG-2: Plant Sciences at Forschungszentrum Jülich (Germany) and full Professor at the University of Düsseldorf. His research focuses on plant phenotyping, the role of dynamic plant-environment relationships in crop production, climate change as well as in controlled and field environment for improving crops with respect to yield, quality and efficiency of water and nutrient use. He is strongly involved in developing circular bioeconomy concepts connecting crop production and biomass utilization in s sustainable manner.
Ulich Schurr has a strong background in crop physiology and technology development from sensors to automation in plant physiology and breeding. He heads a strongly interdisciplinary team of researchers. He has initiates and coordinates numerous interdisciplinary networks on plant phenotyping like the German Plant Phenotyping Network (DPPN; www.dppn.plant-phenotyping-network.de ), the European Plant Phenotyping Network (EPPN/ EPPN2020; www.eppn2020.plant-phenotyping.eu ), the ESFRI-project EMPHASIS (https://emphasis.plant-phenotyping.eu/) to establish a pan-European research infrastructure for plant phenotyping. He is president of the International Plant Phenotyping Network (IPPN). Ulich Schurr also runs a number of large scale initiatives in bioeconomy research, like the Bioeconomy Science Center (www.biosc.de )and the BiooekonomieREVIER (www.biorevier.de)
Agriculture is central to major challenges like food security, climate change and the development of a bio-based economy in the future. This requires improvement of the potential of crops to handle challenging environmental conditions while at the same time providing sufficient (and potentially even increased) yield and quality for the various utilization routes. Plant phenotyping is central to progress in breeding and precision crop management – and therefore for achieving goals towards these societal challenges.
In the talk I will illustrate the role of novel technologies to quantify crop performance in controlled and in field conditions. This addresses the diversity of needs in the entire knowledge-generation process underlying breeding. We will start with analyzing seeds to improve the phenotyping process, but also for quantifying important traits of seeds harvested as a target of crop production. Root phenotyping for analyzing the spatial and temporal dynamics that are the basis for efficient crops in a variable environment will be addresses, as will be the shoot performance in the field – specifically in simulations of the conditions in a few decades. We will finally indicate the role of networks in the phenotyping community and beyond that are key to identify and implement synergies in research and industry.
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