George Kowalchuk is Professor of Ecology and Biodiversity at Utrecht University. He is one of the initiators of the Netherlands Plant Eco-phenotyping Centre (NPEC), which received funding from NWO’s National Roadmap for Large-Scale Scientific Infrastructure. At the DTL Communities@Work conference, he will give a keynote lecture about ‘Unlocking the power of plants’.
NPEC will enable researchers to unravel the genetics of the interactions between plants and the environment. The facility will allow for systematic, high-throughput measurements of plant characteristics and the precise manipulation of environmental conditions. NPEC will utilise advanced equipment to conduct automated, precise measurements on plants. For instance, plant growth, shape, and photosynthetic efficiency will be measured using regular and infrared cameras and fluorescence monitoring. It will also include an open field system equipped with drones and self-propelled tractors. NPEC will obviously create enormous amounts of complex data. In his keynote lecture, Professor Kowalchuk will explain how NPEC will tackle the challenge of storing, organising, accessing, and analysing these data in close collaboration with biologists, technicians, and data experts.
- July 2018 interview ‘NPEC: will a tiny country lead the next green revolution?‘
- Kowalchuk’s page on Utrecht University’s website