OHCEAC Announces Keynote Speakers for First Annual CEA Conference

March 23, 2022

The Ohio Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (OHCEAC) announces the keynote speakers for their first annual controlled environment agriculture (CEA) conference, "Advancement of Microbial Technologies for Controlled Environment Agriculture - Little Things with BIG Impacts", to be held on July 20, 2022.

The conference will feature keynote speakers Matthew Krause, Jane Patterson Fife, Ben Holt and Trevor Charles who will be speaking on the scientific, technological and regulatory background of benefical microbes including the future of this growing market and research needs. 

This full day conference will be held at Kunz-Brundige Franklin County Extension Building in Columbus, OH and will be accessible in person or online via Zoom. 

Matthew Krause, PhD; Lallemand Plant Care


Matthew Krause has over 20 years of research and development experience in biological and integrated plant and soil health management. He graduated from The Ohio State University with MS and PhD degrees in Plant Pathology and a BS degree in Agricultural Economics. In the Lallemand Plant Care Technical Marketing team, he is responsible internationally for developing and evaluating proactive microbial products and approaches that effectively control diseases and improve marketable yields of greenhouse and specialty agriculture crops.

Prior to joining Lallemand Plant Care, he led similar programs in the U.S. and Europe to develop microbial tools and technical resources for successfully managing diseases of horticultural crops.

Jane Patterson Fife, PhD; 3Bar Biologics


Jane Patterson Fife serves as Chief Technical Officer at 3Bar Biologics, where she leads R&D to improve bioformulation and delivery of beneficial microbes for more effective plant growth and biological control. 3Bar Biologics is an early stage startup dedicated to improving cost and performance of microbial products to more sustainably increase yield and productivity in agriculture.

Prior to 3Bar Biologics, Jane managed technology development in agribusiness at Battelle Memorial Institute, including efforts in bioformulation and precision agriculture. Jane has a PhD in Agricultural Engineering from The Ohio State University, with research interests in applying innovative technologies for more targeted delivery of agricultural inputs and smarter, more sustainable agricultural production.

Ben Holt, PhD; AgBiome, Inc.


Ben Holt is part of the Scientific Leadership at AgBiome, Inc. (RTP, North Carolina), where he leads the Core Microbiology Platform. Prior to joining AgBiome in 2019, he was a Professor of Plant Biology at the University of Oklahoma and a Program Officer at the National Science Foundation, where he led the Plant, Fungal, and Microbial Development Program. He received his PhD from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2002 where he worked in Dr. Jeff Dangl's Lab.

His broad research career has spanned studies of fish movement through hydroelectric facilities, crop productivity in small scale farming, signalling mechanisms in plant defense responses, transcriptional control of flowering time, and the development of synthetic biology systems. 

Trevor Charles, PhD; University of Waterloo, Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research and Metagenom Bio Life Science Inc. 


Trevor C. Charles, PhD, is Founder and CEO/CSO of Metagenom Bio, Executive Director of the LiftOff Black Entrepreneurship Program, Director of Waterloo Centre for Microbial Research, and Professor of Biology at University of Waterloo.

Trevor was trained as a microbiologist and bacterial geneticist, with a BS in Microbiology from University of British Columbia, a PhD in Molecular Biology from McMaster University, and Postdoc from University of Washington. He has held faculty positions at both McGill University and University of Waterloo. His work is situated within the context of Circular Bioeconomy.

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