Vacancies on Agroscope Executive Board all filled: Alain Gaume as Head of ‘Plant Protection’

Bern, 10.11.2016 - Dr. Alain Gaume will be the new Head of Agroscope’s ‘Plant Protection’ Strategic Research Division. The 46-year-old Dr. Gaume, who hails from French-speaking western Switzerland, was appointed as Olivier Viret’s successor by Agroscope Council. A researcher educated in Switzerland, the USA and South Africa, Dr. Gaume boasts a solid knowledge of plant production, and will be taking up his new post on 1 May 2017.

Alain Gaume studied Agronomy at the ETH Zurich, and did his degree thesis at Agroscope Changins on controlling botrytis bunch rot in viticulture. He then moved to the University of California, this time to focus on vegetable production. After his ETHZ doctoral thesis, ‘Low-P tolerance of various maize cultivars: the contribution of the root exudation’, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Biotechnology Center for Agriculture & the Environment at Rutgers University, USA. The Agronomist’s second postdoc took him to the Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute of the University of Pretoria, South Africa. From 2003 to 2005 he was a Senior Research Associate in Agroecophysiology, Plant Nutrition and Soil Sciences at the ETH Zurich.

Broad Experience in the Private Sector and at Agroscope

Since 2009, Dr. Gaume has worked as Head of Seedcare Research Biology at Syngenta, where he has been responsible for the research department committed to the development of new seed-dressing technologies and products.

Before working in the private sector, Alain Gaume headed the ‘Plant Nutrition’ and ‘Fertilisation’ National Research Programmes as well as the ‘Variety Testing of Grain Legumes’ Division at Agroscope from 2005 till 2007. He also researched new approaches to sustainable plant production in Switzerland under liberalised market conditions within the context of the ProfiCrops Research Programme.

During his tenure at Agroscope, Alain Gaume represented the Research Station at the Swiss Society for Agronomy, where he served as President and Leader of the ‘Vision Plant Production 2050’ Project from 2006 to 2008. In addition, he taught Grain Legume Production at the University of Applied Sciences in Zollikofen. Besides his work experience in the private sector, over the years Dr. Gaume has built an outstanding platform of international and national contacts, and can therefore rely on a solid network in the Swiss agriculture and food sector.

As Head of the Plant Protection Division, Alain Gaume will be tasked with finding solutions for the plant-protection challenges facing the Swiss agriculture and food sector. Dr. Gaume will also be joining the new Agroscope Executive Board as of 1 May 2017.

Agroscope from 2017 onwards

As part of the restructuring of Agroscope announced by the Agroscope Council on 6 April 2016, ten new management units – seven Strategic Research Divisions and three Competence Divisions for Research Technology and Knowledge Exchange – will be operational from 2017 onwards. The restructuring will enable Agroscope to optimally deal with the concerns of the different stakeholder groups, including farmers, businesses, associations, public authorities and the scientific sector.

The new Executive Board started its preparatory work in June 2016 in order to be ready for its official launch on 1 January 2017. The composition of Agroscope’s Executive Board Committee is now also known, represented by five persons: Michael Gysi as Head of Agroscope; Michael Weber as Deputy Head of Agroscope; the Head of Resources Unit; and, in a two-year rotation, one representative of both a Strategic Research Division and a Competence Division.

Michael Weber to Be Deputy Head of Agroscope from 1 January 2017

Michael Weber, born in 1966, will become Deputy Head of Agroscope as of 1 January 2017. An Agronomist and Business Economist, Dr. Weber’s many years of work in the field of agriculture at the ETH Zurich have furnished him with wide experience in the Swiss agricultural and food sector (inter alia as Scientific Coordinator of a National Research Programme). Thanks to his previous professional activities, he is also highly experienced in business consultancy and public sector consulting. In this context, he has repeatedly dealt in depth with strategic management issues, as well as with change processes in organisations.

Michael Weber is also a Lecturer in Management and Strategic Concepts at the ETH Zurich. As part of his work for Agroscope, he deals intensively with strategic research management issues.

Agroscope Executive Board from 1 January 2017

Michael Gysi (Head of Agroscope)

Michael Weber (Deputy Head of Agroscope)

Hans-Peter Bachmann (Food Microbial Systems)

Robert Baur (Agroecology and Environment)

Christoph Carlen (Plant Production Systems)

Nadja El Benni (Competitiveness and System Evaluation)

Alain Gaume (Plant Protection)

Hans Dieter Hess (Animal Production Systems and Animal Health)

Corinne Jud (Methods Development and Analytics)

Willy Kessler (Plants and Plant Products)

Walter Stoll (Animals and Products of Animal Origin)

Michael Winzeler (Plant Breeding)

Daniel Guidon (Resources Unit)

New Executive Board Committee from 1 January 2017

Michael Gysi (Head of Agroscope)

Michael Weber (Deputy Head of Agroscope)

Alain Gaume (Research Divisions Representative)

Willy Kessler (Competence Divisions Representative)

Daniel Guidon (Head of Resources Unit)

Address for enquiries

Prof. Dr. Michael Gysi
EAER Delegate for Departmental Research into Agriculture and Nutrition
Head of Agroscope
Agroscope, Schwarzenburgstrasse 161, CH-3003 Bern
Tel. +41 58 463 81 12,