During this two-day event, PlantComp will bring together young researchers within the field of plant physiology, sensing and modelling in a single-track setting with plenary keynotes, comprehensive poster sessions and broadening introductory workshops.
PlantComp 2020 will take place at the iGent tower of Ghent University. This is a sustainable office building of 54 meters high which features passive cooling and solar panels on the south-facing side of the building. Furthermore, in winter it is heated by using the waste heat from the 1000 square meter data center behind the building. The venue is close to the historical centre of Ghent, with a 1,000-year-old fortress, three medieval towers, and the most beautiful double row of houses on opposing riversides in Europe, all within walking distance from one another.
Tom De Swaef (ILVO - Plant Sciences Unit) is a senior scientist working on functional-structural plant and crop models to study genotype-by-environment-by-management interactions. By using these highly detailed models, he aims to better support plant breeding and crop management practices.
Peter Lootens (ILVO - Plant Sciences Unit) is senior scientist and expert in ecophysiology, abiotic stresses, image analysis, and precision crop phenotyping. He investigates the use of drones equipped with RGB, multispectral, hyperspectral and thermal sensors to monitor field crops, plots and individual plants over the entire growing season to support breeders in the development of more resilient varieties and to improve crop management through precision agriculture.
Kathy Steppe (Ghent University - Faculty of Bioscience Engineering) is full professor with expertise in the domain of plant ecophysiology, plant monitoring and plant modelling. She manages and guides the Laboratory of Plant Ecology. Her research group uses an array of plant sensors and plant models (process-based and functional-structural plant models), along with medical imaging techniques, to study the dynamic responses of trees and crops to their environment. Plant-water relations and carbon metabolism are jointly investigated to better understand the dynamic plant-environment interplay, with a special emphasis on drought in a changing climate. She developed TreeWatch.net, an international tree monitoring network, which serves a broader societal application, and is used to teach youngsters and to create public awareness.
Michiel Stock (Ghent University - KERMIT) is a postdoctoral researcher interested in machine learning method for modelling interactions between molecules, microorganisms, plants and animals. He aims to spread the use of computational intelligence in the diverse subdisciplines of bioscience engineering.
Francis wyffels (Ghent University - IDLab-AIRO) is an early career professor with expertise in the domain of machine learning and robotics. Additionally, he has expertise in designing smart products and works on unconventional computing. Apart from his research, he strongly believes in dissemination activities. By means of international projects with children, students, and schools, he wants to ensure a more realistic perspective on what robotics can achieve, and reduce the almost innate fear for robotics.