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Celebrating Forty Years of Seeds for the Future - public webinar

Closeup of the geometric curd pattern of a Romanesco cauliflower

A webinar to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the UK Vegetable Genebank

8th October 2020 13:00 BST

We are delighted to invite you to join us at 13:00 on the 8th October 2020 for a webinar to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the opening of the UK Vegetable Genebank.

Join us to hear perspectives on genebanks past, present and future. What are the challenges to be overcome in making the vast wealth of diversity available? How can we better target our activities? We’ll hear perspectives from a plant breeding, research and global genetic resources conservation perspective – and end the session with a panel discussion where you can ask questions of the panel members.


Sujit Tha, CN Seeds

Importance of Gene Banks for Saving Genetic Diversity

Sujit Tha is a plant geneticist and crop improvement specialist. He is Senior Plant Breeder and Researcher and Head of Department at CN Seeds Ltd. (Specialist in Baby leaf salad and herbs) in Cambridgeshire, UK. He develops improved open pollinated and F1 hybrid Leafy vegetable salads and herb varieties


Hannes Dempewolf, The Crop Trust

The importance of national genebanks in the global system of ex situ conservation

Hannes Dempewolf is a Senior Scientist and Director of External Affairs at the Crop Trust. He has been leading the Crop Trust’s project “Adapting agriculture to climate change: collecting, protecting and preparing crop wild relatives” until recently and is now responsible for coordinating the Crop Trust External Affairs Department. As such, he works at the interface of science, policy, communications and resource mobilization


Luke Bell, University of Reading

Using genebank collections to improve taste & flavour of leafy vegetables

Luke Bell is a Lecturer in Temperate Horticulture at the University of Reading, and his research interests include genetics of horticultural crops, plant biochemistry, abiotic stress, flavour chemistry, and postharvest biology. He has studied at the University of East Anglia, the University of Warwick, and the University of Reading where he obtained his PhD in Food & Nutritional Science. He has also spent several years working in industry as a plant breeder


Charlotte Allender, University of Warwick

Past and Future – perspectives on the UK Vegetable Genebank and its seed resources

Charlotte Allender leads the UK Vegetable Genebank project, ensuring the management and conservation of ~14,000 seed samples while supporting their use by the plant breeding, research and farming communities. She is interested in patterns of genetic diversity in crops and their wild relatives

Question and answer session

The speakers will answer questions from the audience