The Executive Board has appointed Gert Kema as Professor (by special appointment) of Tropical Phytopathology. The appointment, which takes effect on 1 January 2016, is for five years. The special chair will be funded by Stichting Dioraphte, a donor-advised fund that supports charities in six countries: The Netherlands, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan and Malawi.
The chair of Gert Kema will study the interaction between tropical crops and pathogenic micro-organisms. Kema is currently researching the global problems of disease in bananas from various disciplines, with a particular focus on genetic diversity and how it affects crop protection. The coming period he will be exploring the opportunities of this multidisciplinary approach for other crops, particularly cacao and coffee.
The chair Tropical Phytopathology will operate as part of the Laboratory of Phytopathology, headed by Bart Thomma. Gert Kema will also continue working in the Business Unit Biointeractions & Plant Health. Kema is co-founder of Yellow Pallet BV and MusaRadix BV.