Dr. Susan E. Offutt is an independent consultant, most recently to the Global Strategy to Improve Agricultural and Rural Statistics at the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Until her retirement from federal service in 2015, she was chief economist at the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) for 8 years. Before joining GAO, she served as administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Economic Research Service for 10 years. Prior to that, she was executive director of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Board on Agriculture, which conducts studies on a range of topics in agricultural science. She was chief of the Agriculture Branch at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). During her tenure at OMB, she coordinated budget and policy analysis of the farm bill and trade negotiations in addition to the operations of USDA. She began her career on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she taught econometrics and public policy. She is a fellow of the American Applied Economics Association and the National Academy of Public Administration. She received an M.S. and a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Cornell University.
Dr. Vikram E. Chhatre is a forest population geneticist interested in understanding how demographic and evolutionary forces shape the genetic structure of natural populations. Dr. Chhatre’s research has addressed contemporary issues in the population, conservation, and quantitative genetics of long-lived ecologically and economically valuable forest tree species such as spruce, pine, and poplar. His recent work, which leverages methods in genomics and computational biology, has focused on developing a better understanding of the distribution range context and the role of interspecific hybridization in adaptation to climate and survival under suboptimal conditions in plant populations. Dr. Chhatre is currently a senior research scientist with the National Institutes of Health’s Wyoming IDeA Networks for Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE) Bioinformatics Core at the University of Wyoming. In fulfilling the INBRE mission to support biomedical research
and education development, he has been assisting biologists throughout Wyoming to incorporate high-performance computing in their work. Dr. Chhatre received a Ph.D. in genetics from Texas A&M University and conducted postdoctoral research at the Southern Research Station of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service and in the Department of Plant Biology at the University of Vermont.
Dr. Jason A. Delborne is an associate professor of science, policy, and society in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources and a member of the executive committee of the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University. His research focuses on the challenges and potentials in public and stakeholder engagement surrounding emerging biotechnologies. Drawing on the highly interdisciplinary field of science, technology, and society (STS), he engages various qualitative research methodologies to ask questions about how policy makers and members of the public interface with controversial science. Dr. Delborne currently serves on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Synthetic Biology and Biodiversity Conservation Task Force, and he is an academic member of the Engineering Biology Research Consortium. He also served on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Gene Drive Research in Non-Human Organisms, which produced the report Gene Drives on the Horizon (2016). Dr. Delborne holds a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University (1993) and a doctorate in environmental science, policy, and management from the University of California, Berkeley (2005).
Dr. Stephen DiFazio is a professor in the Department of Biology at West Virginia University. He conducts research on the genetics and genomics of forest trees, with a special focus on poplars and willows. For his doctoral research, he conducted an environmental risk assessment for genetically engineered poplars. Previously he worked as a staff scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, focusing on a variety of functional and structural genomics projects, most notably the sequencing of the Populus genome. He has served on several scientific advisory boards, including those of Greenwood Resources LLC and the Forest Health Initiative. Dr. DiFazio received his B.S. in biology and English from Northeastern University and his M.S. in ecology and Ph.D. in forest genetics from Oregon State University. He also did forestry outreach as a Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala.
Dr. Doria R. Gordon is a lead senior scientist, with a focus on ecosystems, in the Office of the Chief Scientist at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). Prior to EDF, she spent 25 years working in science, conservation, and management for The Nature Conservancy in Florida. Dr. Gordon is also a courtesy professor of biology at the University of Florida and a research associate at Archbold Biological Station. She has conducted research on the restoration of forested ecosystems, including blue oak woodlands in California and longleaf pine systems in Florida. She has also developed and evaluated risk-assessment tools for predicting invasiveness in plant species. Dr. Gordon completed an M.S. and a Ph.D. in plant ecology at the University of California, Davis, following an undergraduate degree in biology and environmental studies at Oberlin College.
Dr. Inés Ibáñez is an associate professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Michigan. Dr. Ibáñez’s research aims at developing the knowledge and the experimental and analytical frameworks necessary to generate near-term predictions of the effects of global change on forest ecosystems. Her work integrates existing knowledge and data into forecasting ecosystems’ dynamics under future environments. Outcomes from her work are geared at informing management decisions that optimize conservation, restoration and sustainable practices for a wide range of ecosystems varying from natural areas to tree
plantations and urban vegetation. She received her B.S. in biology (botany) from Universidad Complutense de Madrid, an M.S. in range sciences from Utah State University, and a Ph.D. in ecology from Duke University.
Mr. Gregory Jaffe is the director of the Project on Biotechnology for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Mr. Jaffe joined CSPI after serving as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division and as senior counsel with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Enforcement Division. He is a recognized international expert on agricultural biotechnology and biosafety and has published numerous articles and reports on those topics. He has worked on biosafety regulatory issues in the United States and throughout the world, including the African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mali, Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, Burkina Faso, and Nigeria. He was a member of the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture from 2003 to 2008 and was reappointed to a new term from 2011 to 2016. He was also a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee from 2004 to 2008. In addition, he has provided his biosafety expertise for projects involving the International Food Policy Research Institute, the World Bank, and the Biosafety Project of the United Nations Environment Programme–Global Environment Facility. Mr. Jaffe earned his B.A. with high honors in biology and government from Wesleyan University and then received a law degree from Harvard Law School.
Dr. Mark D. Needham is a professor in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University (OSU); an adjunct professor in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at OSU; and an adjunct and affiliate professor in the Department of Geography and Environment at the University of Hawaii. He is a social scientist who focuses on understanding human experiences and behavior within the context of nature and uses this to inform land management and advance scientific thought. Dr. Needham’s most recent work on forest-related issues includes studies of public attitudes toward using biotechnological (e.g., genetic modification) and nonbiotechnological (e.g., tree breeding, assisted migration) interventions to address forest health threats (e.g., diseases such as chestnut blight, pests such as the pine beetle, climate change). He is also working on a study of public trade-offs of ecosystem services associated with aerial herbicide spraying and other intensive management practices on private forestlands. He is editor-in-chief of the international journal Human Dimensions of Wildlife and director of the Natural Resources, Tourism, and Recreation (NATURE) Studies Lab at OSU. Dr. Needham received the Academy of Leisure Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award for 2016, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society Graduate Students’ Award for Outstanding Faculty for 2013, College of Forestry Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching and Advising Professor for 2009, and the College of Forestry Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research Professor for 2007. He received his B.A. and M.A. in geography and environmental studies from the University of Victoria in Canada and his Ph.D. in human dimensions of natural resources from Colorado State University.
Dr. Clare Palmer is a professor of philosophy at Texas A&M University. She was awarded a B.A. (First Class) with honors from Trinity College, Oxford, and a D.Phil. from Queen’s College, Oxford, and has since held academic positions at universities in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. Her primary areas of research are environmental ethics, animal ethics, and the ethics of emerging technologies, in particular ethical questions raised by the use of biotechnology for conservation goals. She held the elected position of president of the International Society for Environmental Ethics from 2007 to 2010 and currently serves on the editorial boards of interdisciplinary journals, including Environmental Values, the Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, People and Nature, and Environmental Humanities. She is the author or co-author of four
books, including Animal Ethics in Context (Columbia University Press, 2010) and has edited or co-edited seven other volumes, including, in 2014, Linking Ecology and Ethics for a Changing World, a collaboration between philosophers and ecologists. She has more than 100 other publications. She was the founding editor of the journal Worldviews: Environment, Culture, Religion (Brill Academic Press), and was co-principal investigator on the National Science Foundation–funded project Genomics and Society from 2012 to 2016.
Dr. Jeanne Romero-Severson is a professor of quantitative genetics and genomics at the University of Notre Dame. She studies population genetics and genomics of adaptive variation for stress resistance in temperate forest trees and insects, including insect vectors of human disease. In her first career in the private sector, she identified genetic determinants of regenerative capacity from tissue culture, resistance to two major potyviruses, and resistance to European corn borer in maize. She led the final effort to produce agronomically acceptable maize inbreds from the first successful Bt transformant in maize. In her academic career, she has contributed to the whole-genome sequencing projects for the jewel wasp, a parasite of flies, and the human body louse. Her specialization in statistical genetics and genetic mapping in nonmodel organisms led to the identification of genetic determinants for saltwater tolerance in sibling species of Anopheles (malaria vector) mosquitoes. Her group generated the first genetic map for northern red oak, identified the extent of natural hybridization between the native nut tree, butternut, with Japanese heartnut, identified genetically unique populations of butternut in Atlantic Canada, discovered that the rate of regeneration in northern red oak influences estimates of population differentiation, and generated full-sib resource populations for black walnut and northern red oak. Dr. Romero-Severson is currently working on identifying genetic determinants of emerald ash borer resistance in green ash and the functional genomics of multifactor artemisinin resistance in the malaria parasite. She is a member of the governing board of The American Chestnut Foundation, the governing board of the Northern Nut Growers Association, and the advisory group for the Center for Tree Science at the Morton Arboretum. She is also a member of the American Society of Plant Biologists, the Society of American Foresters, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Dr. Romero-Severson is the author or co-author of more than 78 refereed publications. She holds two issued patents and one provisional patent involving plant breeding and analytical chemistry. She received her B.S. in molecular biology and Ph.D. in plant breeding and plant genetics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Dr. Ronald R. Sederoff (NAS) is a distinguished university professor of forestry and environmental resources (emeritus) at North Carolina State University (NCSU). He was the Edwin F. Conger Professor and director and co-director of the Forest Biotechnology Group at NCSU. After 2 years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a senior scientist at the Pacific Southwest Forest and Range Experiment Station (Berkeley, California), he returned to NCSU to establish the Forest Biotechnology Group in 1988. Dr. Sederoff was one of the first scientists to study molecular genetics of forest trees. His work has focused on gaining a better understanding of forest tree biology and using that knowledge to accelerate tree breeding. His work has included genetic studies of host resistance to fusiform rust disease in pines and chestnut blight in the American chestnut. In 1995, Dr. Sederoff was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the International Academy of Wood Science. In 2004, he received an honorary doctorate in forest science from the Swedish Agricultural University. He was named Forest Biotechnologist of the Year in 2011 by the Institute of Forest Biotechnology, and in 2017 he was awarded the Marcus Wallenberg Foundation Prize, an international award for scientific achievements in fields important to forestry. He received his B.S. in zoology and M.S. and Ph.D. in zoology/genetics from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Dr. Diana L. Six is a professor of forest entomology/pathology in the Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana. Her primary research focuses on the evolution and maintenance of symbioses, particularly those occurring among bark beetles, ambrosia beetles, and fungi. This work includes collaborative efforts with scientists in the United States, South Africa, Sweden, and Mexico. Dr. Six also conducts research on various aspects of bark beetle ecology and management, including investigations into how bark beetles may affect the ability of forests to adapt to climate change. She is an associate editor for the journals Insects, Journal of Economic Entomology, and Agricultural and Forest Entomology. Dr. Six is a member of several scientific societies including the Entomological Society of America and the International Symbiosis Society. She received her B.S. in agricultural biology from California State Polytechnic University and M.S. and Ph.D. in entomology from the University of California, Riverside.
Dr. Richard A. Sniezko has worked in forest genetics and tree improvement since 1977. Since 1991, he has been Center Geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Region’s Dorena Genetic Resource Center in Cottage Grove, Oregon. His work focuses on development of genetic resistance to nonnative forest tree diseases as well as genetic variation and genetic conservation in forest trees. His B.S. degree in forest science is from Humboldt State University, and his Ph.D. in forest genetics is from North Carolina State University. Prior to joining the Forest Service in 1991, he worked in Zimbabwe (3 years) and at Oregon State University (in conjunction with Pacific Northwest Research Station). He is coordinator of International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) 2.02.15 Working Group (breeding and genetic resources of five-needle pines) and a member of the IUFRO Task Force on Biological Invasions in Forests. Dr. Sniezko is also initiator and ad hoc coordinator/facilitator for the Genetics of Host–Parasite Interactions in Forestry working group that met in 2011, 2015, and 2018. He oversees programs that have developed genetic resistance to the nonnative pathogens Cronartium ribicola and Phytophthora lateralis, has been technical adviser to the program to develop resistance to koa wilt (caused by Fusarium oxysporum) in Hawaii, and has recently started a program in conjunction with Oregon State University to look for resistance to sudden oak death (caused by P. ramorum) in tanoak. The programs he oversees are world leaders in the applied development of resistance for reforestation and restoration, and the products from these programs are now used widely across the Pacific Northwest. Since 2001, Dr. Sniezko has organized or co-organized eight international conferences and workshops on genetic resistance, genetic conservation, and white pine genetics/breeding. He has been principal investigator (PI), co-PI, or cooperator on numerous funded grant proposals, has published numerous papers, and has been an invited speaker on the development and application of disease resistance in forest trees.
This page intentionally left blank.