• Chris Bowler

    Director of Research / Director of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Section

    French National Centre for Scientific Research / l'Ecole Normale Supérieure (IBENS) (France)

    Chris Bowler is Director of Research at CNRS and is Director of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Section of the Institut de Biologie de l’Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. He completed his PhD at the University of Ghent in Belgium followed by postdoctoral studies at The Rockefeller University in New York. In 1994 he established his own research group working on signaling in higher plants and marine diatoms at the Stazione Zoologica in Naples Italy and in 2002 he took up his current position in Paris. He is EMBO member since 1995, recipient of the CNRS Silver Medal in 2010, ERC Advanced Awards in 2012 and 2018, and the Louis D Foundation prize from the Institut de France in 2015.

    His major research interest is in understanding the response of plants and marine diatoms to environmental signals. In marine diatoms he established molecular tools to assess gene function and he has played a major role in coordinating the whole genome sequencing of several species. Using functional genomics he has revealed the cellular response of diatoms to nutrients such as iron and nitrogen, to different wavelengths of light, and to allelopathic infochemicals. He is scientific coordinator of the Tara Oceans project (, performing a worldwide analysis of plankton community diversity and function in the global ocean using high-throughput DNA sequencing and cellular imaging approaches.

    Rohan Davis

    A/Professor and Academic Lead at Naturebank

    Griffith University, Brisbane (Australia)

    A/Prof. Rohan Davis received a BSc (Hons) from the University of Melbourne (1992) and a PhD from Griffith University (2001). Rohan subsequently worked for two years at the University of Utah (post-doc) before being recruited back to Griffith in 2003. His research involves all aspects of biodiscovery as well as the design and synthesis of unique screening libraries based on natural product scaffolds. Rohan has authored 151 publications, and holds two patents. He has led both industry and academic research projects that have resulted in the identification of >1000 natural products from plant, marine invertebrate and microbial sources. A/Prof. Davis is the Academic Lead for NatureBank, which is a unique Australian biodiscovery resource that is housed at GRIDD.

    Fernando de la Calle

    Head of the Microbiology Dpt. Drug Discovery (R&D)

    PharmaMar (Spain)

    Dr Fernando de la Calle is currently the Head of the Microbiology Dpt. within Drug Discovery (R&D) at PharmaMar, biopharma involved in the development and commercialization of anticancer drugs of marine origin. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from UAM (Madrid) in 1998. He also completed an Executive-MBA at IDE-CESEM (Madrid) in 2005. He has more than 30 years’ experience working in drug discovery from marine microorganisms. He is an Expert in Applied Biotechnology, Molecular characterization of bacterial Biodiversity and the use of Biotechnology tools for Drug Discovery . Co-author of the current hemisynthetic process for manufacturing the anticancer Yondelis®, the first European marine derived compound approved. In addition, he has been external advisor for biotechnology issues to the Spanish Government (INCUAL), current member of the International Advisory Group of european ERA-NET for Marine Biotechnology and Biodiversity, reviewer for H2020 and ERA-NET projects and the scientific contact person from PharmaMar for FP7/H2020 EU projects related to Marine Biodiversity such as MAMBA, MaCuMBA, MicroB3 and INMARE as WP leader. Principal Investigator in more than 10 other nationally funded projects.

    Katherine Duncan

    Assistant Professor

    University of Strathclyde (Scotland, UK)

    Dr Katherine Duncan is an Assistant Professor (Chancellor’s Fellow) in Drug Discovery at the University of Strathclyde. She obtained a Chemistry MChem (University of Aberdeen) with International Placement (Florida Atlantic University) in 2005. After three years in industry, she completed a PhD in Biomedical Sciences (University of Prince Edward Island, 2012, international scholarship) followed by two Postdoctoral Fellowships at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD in Marine Biomedicine and at The Scottish Marine Institute in Marine Biotechnology. In 2016 she started her own research group at the University of Strathclyde, studying marine microbial natural products with a focus on characterizing the biological and environmental boundaries of microbial metabolism to accelerate antibiotic discovery from marine microorganisms.

    Marcel Jaspars


    Marine Biodiscovery Centre, University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK)

    Marcel Jaspars’ main expertise is in the discovery, characterisation and utilisation of useful products and processes from marine genetic resources. This forms the core of the marine biodiscovery pipeline, and Marcel has frequent contact with people operating at all stages of this pipeline, from the collection and identification of the organisms to the testing of potential pharmaceuticals in whole animal models. Marcel founded the interdisciplinary Marine Biodiscovery Centre at the University of Aberdeen in 2010, a £2.5 M investment to focus on marine bioresources for novel pharmaceuticals. Marcel was a co-founder of the spinout company GyreOx that uses marine enzymes to generate complex modified cyclic peptides to address complex diseases. Marcel has been active at national and international levels to develop the science, its applications/industrial uptake and associated policy involved in marine biodiscovery and biotechnology. Since 2014 Marcel has been involved in the UN process, on the conservation and sustainable of biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction providing scientific input and co-authoring a proposal which provides building blocks based on good scientific practice towards a solution. Marcel took on the role of Vice President International for the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2019.

    Igor Jercovic


    University of Split - Faculty of Chemistry and Technology

    Igor Jerković is employed at the University of Split, Faculty of Chemistry and Technology, Department of Organic Chemistry as full professor. He was leader of 4 research projects at the national level and has published more than 115 papers in Web of Science Core Collection Journals that were cited more than 2000 times with an h-index of 24. He has reviewed more than 200 research papers and 5 research projects. Awards: Medal of the president of Republic of Croatia for science and promotion of sciene within the Republic of Croatia and world (2019), Award of the University of Split for natural sciences (2018), Award Rudjer Boskovic of the University of Split for science (2013), and Award of Faculty of Chemistry and Technology for achievements in science and education (2011). He is the member of The Scientific Centre of Excellence for Marine Bioprospecting–BioProCro funded by the Croatian Government and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund - the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme (KK.

    Carl "Chip" Lavie

    Professor of Medicine

    John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute Ochsner Clinical School – The University of Queensland School of Medicine (USA)

    Dr. Lavie attended medical school at LSUMC in New Orleans, and did his Internal Medicine training at Ochsner and cardiology at the Mayo Clinic. He is currently Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Prevention and Director of the Exercise Laboratories at the John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute, Ochsner Clinical School-The University of Queensland School of Medicine in New Orleans. He has authored over 1000 medical publications and 2 cardiology textbooks and serves on 40 editorial boards, including the Journal of the American College of Cardiology and the American Journal of Cardiology, and is Associate Editor and Cardiovascular Section Editor of the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. He is also Editor-in Chief of Progress in Cardiovascular Diseases and is the author of the book The Obesity Paradox.

    Bernd Striberny

    Sr Researcher

    Arcticzymes AS (Norway)

    Bernd Ketelsen Striberny, PhD, is a Sr. Researcher at ArcticZymes AS, Tromsø, Norway where he is coordinating the biodiscovery efforts concerning novel enzymes with use in molecular biology, diagnostics and biomanufacturing. He obtained a Diploma degree in biology at the University of Kiel, Germany, in 2007 and his PhD degree in molecular biology at the University of Tromsø, Norway, in 2012. Since 2014 has Bernd been active in the R&D department of ArcticZymes aiding to bring forward novel and unique enzymes such as DNA polymerases, DNA ligases and proteinases.