​​​Opening Keynote  •  Sunday, July 28

Dr. Charity Dean
CEO and Founder • PHC Global

Dr. Charity Dean is the CEO, Founder, and Chairman of PHC Global, a Silicon Valley start-up. With 24 years of experience in public health, she founded PHC Global in August 2020 to leverage AI & ML innovations for a global biosecurity platform. Two years later, PHC PharosTM revolutionized risk management for businesses worldwide. Previously, Dr. Dean played a key role in California's COVID-19 response as Assistant Director for the Department of Public Health, co-founding the Testing Task Force. She served as Acting State Public Health Officer and Public Health Officer for Santa Barbara County, earning accolades like Physician of the Year in 2018 and Women of the Year by the California State Legislature. Dr. Dean holds a Doctor of Medicine and Master of Public Health from Tulane University and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Oregon State University.​​​

Plenary Panel Discussion • Tuesday, July ​30

​Harnessing the Technology Revolution for a More Sustainable World​

This panel discussion features focused talks from three experts working at the forefront of technology in plant science. The panelists will speak to technology’s implications on plant health, and together we will discuss where we see technology taking research over the next decade. ​​​

Dr. Brian Bailey
Associate Professor • UC Davis

​Dr. Brian Bailey comes from an interdisciplinary background that spans the fields of engineering, computer science, and plant biology. He received his PhD in mechanical engineering, which focused on better understanding the physics of turbulence and energy transfer in plant systems. Before joining the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis, in 2016, he was a researcher at the USDA-ARS in Corvallis, Oregon, working on developing improved biophysical models of grape powdery mildew spread. His current research program has focused on merging his interests in biometeorology and plant physiology/pathology to develop the next generation of physically-based crop models that predict crop system-level responses to management practices and environmental variability.​

Professor Matthew D. Clark
Research Leader • Natural History Museum London

Professor Matthew D. Clark is a Research Leader in Genomics at the Natural History Museum (NHM) London, and he is currently also the genomics theme leader. Matt has 30 years of experience in developing novel molecular biology and bioinformatics technologies to help large projects, including the zebrafish, barley, and wheat genomes projects. Matt has a particular interest in the genetics of plant-pathogen interactions and has worked to improve Ren-seq technology to understand genetic resistance in plants better, and led the genomics surveillance study to identify the origin of the Ash Dieback pathogen outbreak in Europe. Most recently, he has used near real-time nanopore sequencing to identify and measure air-borne plant pathogens and other organisms using metagenomics approaches. Matt did his PhD research at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics (Berlin, Germany), postdoctoral research at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (Cambridge, UK), before starting his own group at the Earlham Institute - then a brand new BBSRC funded agricultural genomics focused institute (Norwich UK). Matt has bee​n at NHM since 2018.

Malia Gehan, Ph.D.
Principal Investigator • Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Malia Gehan did her Ph.D. research examining the intersection of cold signaling and circadian at Michigan State University. She was an NSF Plant Genome Postdoctoral Fellow and is now an Associate Member and Principal Investigator at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, whose group focuses on understanding mechanisms of crop resilience under temperature stress. To study temperature stress and natural variation, the Gehan lab develops high-throughput and high-resolution image-based phenotyping technologies, including low-cost solutions that use Raspberry Pi computers. The Gehan Lab co-develops and maintains the open-source open-development suite of image analysis tools, PlantCV, along with Dr. Noah Fahlgren's group. In 2021, she received an early career award from the North American Plant Phenotyping Network, and she is currently a Taylor Geospatial Fellow, which is awarded to distinguished researchers in geospatial science or adjacent fields.

Phytopathologist of Distinction (POD) Talks​

Monday, July 29  and Tuesday, July 30

Discover the inspiring journeys of top experts! Attend the Phytopathologist of Distinction (POD) Talks to hear from these four distinguished phytopathologists about their careers, education, and pivotal moments in their field.​


Enrico Bonello
Ohio State University

Lindsey du Toit
Washington State

Bonnie Ownley
University of Tennessee

Krishna Subbarao