International Scientific Advisory Board

With the International Scientific Advisory Board comprising six internationally renowned professors with an outstanding track record in the Cluster’s core disciplines, PhenoRob integrates external expertise in the Cluster. The ISAB members hold a meeting at least once a year to advise the Cluster. The main objective is to monitor where the Cluster stands and explore possible pathways for sustaining and further improving the performance and measurable output of the Cluster. The evaluation will assess whether the overall strategy and the priorities are useful, the objectives of the Cluster remain relevant and the research and scientific output of the six Core Projects is of highest international standards.

Senthold Asseng
Professor of Cropping Systems Modeling
Florida Climate Institute, University of Florida

Prof. Dr. Senthold Asseng

Asseng’s research interests are to develop mathematical modeling and computer simulation of agricultural and biological systems related to climate variability, climate change and sustainability. He aims to apply these tools to explore adaptation strategies for improving food security in sustainable agricultural systems in the context of climate change. Asseng leads AgMIP-Wheat which is part of AgMIP (Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project). He recently became an Executive Committee Member of AgMIP. He is also the elected Chair of the Expert Working Group (EWG) on Wheat Plant and Crop Modeling of the International Wheat Initiative. Asseng has authored or co-authored over 220 peer-reviewed articles on crop model improvements and applications in managing climate variability, climate change impact and adaptation and cropping sustainability, including in high-impact journals like Nature Climate Change, Nature Plants and Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences.

Barbara Caputo
Professor, Visual and Multimodal Applied Learning (VANDAL) Laboratory
Politecnico of Torino

Prof. Dr. Barbara Caputo

Barbara Caputo is Full Professor at Politecnico of Torino, where she leads the Visual and Multimodal Applied Learning (VANDAL) Laboratory, and Principal Investigator at the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT). She received her PhD in computer science from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden, in 2005. Her main research interest is to develop algorithms for learning, recognition and categorization of visual and multimodal patterns for artificial autonomous systems. These features are crucial to enable robots to represent and understand their surroundings, to learn and reason about it, and ultimately to equip them with cognitive capabilities. Her research is sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Italian Ministry for University and Research (MUR), the European Commission (EC), FCA, ItalDesign, Inxpect, nVIDIA and the European Research Council (ERC). In 2014 she was awarded an ERC Starting Grant. Since 2019 she is an ELLIS fellow and she serves on the ELLIS board. Since 2018 she has been regularly advising the Italian government and the EC on AI policies and regulations.

Tom Duckett
Professor of Robotics and Autonomous Systems
Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems, University of Lincoln

Prof. Dr. Tom Duckett

Tom Duckett is a full professor at the University of Lincoln, UK, where he leads the Lincoln Centre for Autonomous Systems. His research focuses on perception systems for autonomous mobile robots that operate in dynamic environments, with applications in field and service robotics. Duckett has co-authored over 150 scientific publications and held many peer-reviewed research grants, including the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Agri-Food Robotics (AgriFoRwArdS) and a major award from the UK Government to create Lincoln Agri-Robotics, an international centre of excellence that investigates how robots can tend, harvest and quality control high-value crops with minimum human intervention.


Madhu Khanna
ACES Distinguished Professor, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics
Associate Director of Research, Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment
Associate Director for Technology Adoption and Policy, AI Institute (Artificial Intelligence for Future Agricultural Resilience, Management, and Sustainability (AIFARMS), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Prof. Dr. Madhu Khanna

Madhu Khanna is one of the leading scholars working at the intersection of agricultural and environmental economics. Khanna examines the motivations for producers to adopt innovative production technologies to meet demands for food and fuel, such as precision farming, biofuels, and to participate in conservation programs. Her work informs stakeholders and policy makers about the cost-effectiveness of various policy approaches to improve environmental quality and their implications for farm profitability, land use and food and fuel production. Khanna has co-authored more than 150 papers, chapters and reports and co-edited two volumes of the Handbook of Bioenergy Economics and Policy. She has served as a member of the Science Advisory Board of the US Environmental Protection Agency and on the Board of Directors of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, the Committee on Women in Agricultural Economics, and the South Asian Network of Development and Environmental Economists. She is currently President-Elect for the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

Tony Pridmore
Professor of Computer Science
Faculty of Science, School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham

Prof. Dr. Tony Pridmore

Tony Pridmore’s research interests centre on the development of novel image-based plant phenotyping methods and, increasingly, the creation and operation of large-scale phenotyping infrastructures. Pridmore leads Nottingham’s Computer Vision Laboratory and serves on the Management Board of the Hounsfield Facility, a unique installation providing automated extraction of 3D structural descriptions of plants from X-ray data. He is a member of the Imaging and Image Analysis Working Group of the International Plant Phenotyping Network and the International Scientific Advisory Committee of the University of Saskatchewan’s Plant Phenotyping and Imaging Research Centre (P2IRC). Tony Pridmore is Associate Editor of Plant Methods and Plant Phenomics and Director of the UKRI Technology Touching Life Network PhenomUK.

Achim Walter
Professor of Crop Science
Department of Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zürich

Prof. Dr. Achim Walter

Achim Walter has been professor of ‘Crop Science’ at ETH Zürich, Switzerland, since 2010. He is member of scientific advisory boards of several national and international agricultural research institutions. Achim Walter holds diploma degrees in Physics and in Biology and spent parts of his postdoctoral career at Biosphere 2 Center in the US and at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany. He has 20 years of experience in developing imaging-based solutions for plant growth analysis and in developing indoor as well as outdoor plant phenotyping facilities. Current research foci of his group are phenotyping for wheat breeding and the use of imaging technologies to improve sustainability of agriculture.