Dr. Jud Isebrands

​Environmental Forestry Consultants, New London, Wisconsin, USA​

Historical Perspective and Evolution of the Short Rotation Woody Crops Program at ​Rhinelander, Wisconsin​

J. G. Isebrands (Jud) grew up in Iowa on a farm and was influenced to pursue forestry as a career by his uncle, a BLM regional forester in California. Isebrands graduated from Iowa State University with a BS degree in Forestry and PhD in Forest Products with a minor in Statistics. He took a position as a project scientist in 1968 with US Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station, Institute of Forest Genetics in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. Over time he became project leader and program manager where he worked on poplar anatomy, physiology, and genetics, short rotation poplars and willows for wood and energy, and climate change. He was involved in the establishment of the Station’s Short Rotation Woody Crops program based at Rhinelander in 1971. He has over 250 publications on poplars and willows, including co-editor of two books on “Poplars and Willows.” His work led to US Forest Service Research’s “Scientist of the Year” Award in 2001 and Iowa State University’s “Distinquished Alumni Award” in 2002. He retired from the US Forest Service in 2002 after 34 years. He is currently the President and founder of Environmental Forestry Consultants, LLC in New London, Wisconsin. He was the United States representative to the International Poplar Commission of the United Nations (FAO) in Rome, Italy for 8 years and is currently serving on the Executive Committee; he has been a member of that committee for the last 22 years, including over 10 years as Vice Chairman.  He and his wife Sharon O’Leary live on a small farm near New London.​


Dr. Biljana Kulišić

Energy Institute Hrvoje Pozar, Zagreb, Croatia

Reaching Economic Feasibility of SRC Plantations by Monetarizing Ecosystem Services: Showcase Contribution of SRC to Long Term Ragweed Control in the City of Osijek, Croatia

Biljana Kulišić has a PhD in agroeconomics and specializes in biomass supply from agriculture and forestry streams. Her current position is senior biomass researcher at the Department of Renewable Energy Sources, Energy Efficiency and Environmental Protection of Energy Institute Hrvoje Pozar, Croatia. She has been with IEA Bioenergy since 2005, first as a junior assistant at Task 29: Socio-economic drivers of bioenergy projects and, since 2014, National Task Leader for Task 43: Biomass supply for energy markets. In short, her job description is overlapping energy sector with agriculture and forestry, but her research focus is on finding new business models for bioenergy projects in order to improve market competitiveness for bioenergy. She has been the lead in assessing economic attractiveness of SRC plantations in Croatia within the Intelligent Energy Europe project SRCplus: SRC Plantations for Local Supply Chains and Heat Use (2013-2016). Results were embedded in the national Law on SRC for bioenergy (2018). She has participated in numerous public debates on SRC topic, advising the Expert working group in the Croatian Parliament and familiarizing Agriculture & Forestry Extension Service with SRC for bioenergy concept. An IEA Bioenergy research report on optimal landslots for planting SRC plantations based on preferences detected by a fuzzy analytical hierarchical process survey is pending for publishing. Biljana is the lead researcher in the SRC & ragweed project presented in the event.​


Dr. Andrej Pilipović

Institute of Lowland Forestry and Environment, University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia

Investigation of Phytoremediation Potential of Poplar and Willow Clones in Serbia: A Review

Dr Andrej Pilipović is a research associate at Institute of Lowland Forestry and Environment at University of Novi Sad, Serbia. He has over 15 years of experience in research related to improvement of species from Populus and Salix genus through breeding and selection of their clones for wood and biomass production, phytoremediation and reclamations. In addition, his research also deals with physiology and ecophysiology of wooden tree species with emphasis on the effect of stress factors on trees and their assimillation. He is a member of Serbian Genetic Society and vice-chair of FAO International Poplar Commission working party on Environmental and Ecosystem services.​


Dr. Barb Thomas

University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Current Trends and Challenges in North American Poplar Breeding​

Barb Thomas holds an Industrial Research Chair in Tree Improvement at the University of Alberta, and is the lead on a large scale applied Genome Canada project entitled ‘Resilient Forests (RES-FOR): Climate, Pests and Policy, Genomic Applications’. Her background is in horticulture, forest genetics and ecophysiology, graduating from the University of British Columbia (BSc, MSc) and the University of Alberta with her PhD in 1996. From 1997-2014, Barb ran the poplar farm research program for Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc. before joining the UofA as an Associate Professor in 2014. She is an active and founding member of Tree Improvement Alberta, sits on the Alberta Forest Genetic Resources Council and is the Vice-Chairperson of the International Poplar Commission, Chairperson of the Working Party on Policy, Communication and Outreach, Past Chair of the Poplar and Willow Council of Canada (PWCC) and also sits on the Genetics and Breeding Working Group of the PWCC. Barb’s primary interests lie at the intersection of science, policy and application.​ 


Dr. Joris Van Acker

Laboratory of Wood Technology, University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium​

Potential for the Agricultural Sector to Produce Poplar Wood as Contribution to the Forestry Wood Industry Chain​

Joris Van Acker is Professor at the Ghent University (Belgium) since 2005 and head of the research group Laboratory of Wood Technology (Woodlab). His team is part of an interfaculty collaboration called the Centre for X-ray Tomography (UGCT). He is Past President of InnovaWood (European federation of wood research institutes) and President of the International Research Group on Wood Protection.  He is chairperson of national organisations like the Flemish Commission on forest policy as well as of international networks like CEN TC38 standardisation working group on fungal testing and the working party on Sustainable Livelihoods, Land-use, Products and Bioenergy of the International Poplar Commission (IPC) of FAO. He is (co-)author of over 100 publications in refereed journals.