Keynotes speakers

Introductive session

Keynote talk : Vanilla Voyages: The history of vanilla introductions to Bourbon (Réunion), Madagascar and Tahiti in the 19th century

           Eric Jennings / Canada 

He is Distinguished Professor of the history of France and the Francophonie at the University of Toronto (Victoria College). His World History of Vanilla is due out soon with Yale University Press in English, and CNRS Editions in French.  His previous books include Escape from Vichy: The Refugee Exodus to the French Caribbean (Harvard UP, 2018), Perspectives on French Colonial Madagascar (Palgrave, 2017); Free French Africa in World War II (Cambridge UP, 2015), Imperial Heights (California, 2011), Curing the Colonizers (Duke, 2006), and Vichy in the Tropics (Stanford, 2001). His books have all been translated into French, and one into Vietnamese.

1) Bio-ecology of vanilla, diversity of resources and uses

Keynote talk : The natural history of Neotropical Vanilla

  •  Emerson Pansarin / Brazil 

He holds PhD in Plant Biology and serves as Professor at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. He develops studies on reproductive biology, systematics, taxonomy and morpho-anatomy of orchids, focusing on the diversity and natural history of Neotropical Vanilla.

Keynote talk : Population genetics, mycobiome metabarcoding, and fungal endophyte isolation have implications for the conservation of North America’s native Vanilla species

  • Kenneth Cameron / USA

He is a Professor of Botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA where he also serves as Director of Conservation Biology. From 1998-2008 Ken was a research curator at The New York Botanical Garden where he was one of first scientists to sequence DNA across the entire orchid family, but especially within the subfamily Vanilloideae.  His popular book Vanilla Orchids: Natural History and Cultivation (2011) helped to bring a knowledge of these plants to a wider audience and today his work is regularly featured in the media and as an invited speaker on the international stage.son Pansarin / Brazil 


Keynote talk : Local perceptions of leafless Vanilla spp.


  • Aro Vonjy Ramarosandratana / Madagascar

He is a lecturer in botany at the University of Antananarivo. His work focuses specifically on the sustainable management of plant resources, particularly those which are wildcrafted for industrial purposes.  He has also interest on plant species that are threatened by trade including orchid, palm, succulent and woody species. For the past ten years, he conducted a program on the preservation of wild Vanilla species including, ecology, ethnobotany, physiology and taxonomy. He set up living repository of threatened species to ensure that next generation scientists have adequate material for the restoration of degraded lands.

2) New approaches and practices for sustainable vanilla production

 Keynote talk : How climate change is addressing tropical agriculture? Loss of suitable vanilla area

  • Paulo Parada Molina / Mexico

He holds a PhD in Agricultural Sciences from the Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico, in 2022; Master and Specialist in Environmental Management in 2016 and 2013, respectively; and Bachelor’s Degree in Atmospheric Sciences from the same University. He collaborated in research and consulting projects on soil-plant-atmosphere interaction, agrometeorology, agro-climatology, and water resources, in oriented processes of adaptation to climate change. Currently Professor of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the Universidad Veracruzana; member of the National System of Researchers (Level C) and associate researcher of the VaniClim Project, a multi-disciplinary project sponsored by Conahcyt.


Keynote talk : Improving the future of vanilla for growers, buyers, and consumers through plant breeding, genetics, and genomics

       Alan_Chambers_2.pngAlan H Chambers / USA

Dr. Alan Chambers is a plant breeder and geneticist creating superior specialty crop cultivars to positively impact agricultural productivity, support growers, excite consumers, and strengthen communities. Most of his research includes advanced molecular and genomics research on multiple species including vanilla, mango, papaya, passionfruit, banana, protein crops, and other species. His research in vanilla includes optimizing growing practices and characterizing vanilla at genetic, genomic, and consumer sensory levels. He is currently the Director of Applied Plant Breeding Innovation at KeyGene USA and has a courtesy faculty appointment at the University of Florida


3) Innovations and trends in the fields of curing and marketing of vanilla, market prospects


Keynote talk : New vanilla species in trade


  • Araceli Perez Silva / Mexico

She works at the Tecnológico Nacional de México campus Tuxtepec (Mexico) where she is responsible for the sensory evaluation laboratory. She holds a PhD in food science from the University of Montpellier II. Since 2000, her research focus on the evaluation of the aromatic potential and quality of vanilla. She currently directs the research project "Strategies for adaptation and mitigation to change necessary for the conservation of vanilla in Mexico", funded by CONAHCYT. Araceli is also a scientific consultant in the vanilla industry and member of the working group in charge of updating and developing Mexican vanilla standards. 


Keynote talk : Volatility and speculation in the market of vanilla: market trends and prices scenarios. How can farmers cope and still maintain decent incomes?

  • Michel Manceau / France

He holds an MBA from the Ecole des Hautes études commerciales (HEC), Paris France, where he taught as Professor of International Business. He is the former CEO of APROMA a soft commodity International organization sponsored by the EU with the aim to facilitate the trade of tropical commodities. He organized several vanilla Word events and is currently involved in the development of vanilla Farmers Associations in Madagascar.  He is an expert on vanilla Word market and the editor of the web newsletter The vanilla Report.




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