Keynote Speakers

Marcello De Miranda

Degree in Agricultural Engineering from the Federal University of Bahia (2000), master’s degree (2004), and PhD (2008) in Entomology from the University of São Paulo.

Scientific researcher at the Fund for Citrus Protection (Fundecitrus) since 2008. Professor of the MasterCitrus professional course since 2009. Coordinator of the Entomology area at Fundecitrus since 2017.

In 2023, he received the Outstanding Citrus Agricultural Engineer award. Member of the Protecitrus (Citriculture Protection Products) Committee. He has published 40 scientific articles.

He works on ecology and the development of management tactics for insect pests in citrus, mainly with insect vectors of phytopathogens.

Arno Erasmus

Postharvest Plant Pathologist
Wonderful Citrus
Delano, California

Dr. Arno Erasmus is the Postharvest Plant Pathologist at Wonderful Citrus (8 years) supporting the various divisions in California, Texas and Mexico. He received his B.Sc. (Agric) degree in 2003 from the University Stellenbosch, South Africa.

After working as researcher in the R&D unit of Capespan (ExperiCo), a fresh fruit exporter, he returned to the University Stellenbosch where he started a M.Sc. which was later upgraded to a Ph.D. in Citrus Postharvest Plant Pathology. During his studies he started to work for Citrus Research International as Postharvest Plant Pathologist. At CRI his research focused on fungicide application and residue loading for optimum disease control.

A significant portion of his time was spent on extension either by means of annual workshops held throughout South Africa or packinghouse visits. At Wonderful Citrus he works closely with the operation and quality teams to ensure best practices for disease control and fruit quality management. He is also involved in Californian citrus industry by serving on the board of directors of the California Citrus Quality Council (CCQC) and being a member of the Citrus Research Board Post-harvest Diseases Committee. Arno, his wife and 3 children lives in Bakersfield California, where he loves working in the garden or go camping with the kids.

Kim Bowman

The research of Dr. Kim Bowman at USDA, ARS in Ft. Pierce, Florida, focuses on the development of superior hybrid citrus rootstocks. He has published more than 100 refereed journal articles on breeding of citrus rootstocks and related studies in citrus genetics, molecular breeding, propagation, stress tolerance, and resistance to diseases including huanglongbing.

Between 2001 and 2023, Dr. Bowman developed and implemented a revolutionary new SuperSour rootstock breeding strategy, and released 15 new hybrid citrus rootstocks, each of which demonstrated outstanding performance in replicated field trials. Four of these rootstocks have subsequently become very popular and had a major impact on the Florida citrus industry, with US-942 rising to the top in overall field performance. US-942 was the number one rootstock for new citrus propagations over each of the last five years in Florida, averaging more than one million trees each year.

Two new hybrid rootstocks, US SuperSour 4 and US SuperSour 5, were released in 2023 because of outstanding performance in graft combination with sweet orange scion in a range of environments where huanglongbing disease is omnipresent. These and other SuperSour hybrid rootstocks show great promise for the future.

Jude Grosser

Jude W. Grosser, Professor of Citrus Breeding and Genetics

University of Florida
Citrus Research and Education Center

Jude Grosser, professor of citrus genetics and breeding, received his MS degree in Biology at Morehead State University (Morehead, KY); and his PhD in Genetics and Plant Breeding at the University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY). Dr. Grosser has worked at UF in citrus genetics and breeding for the past 35+ years, integrating emerging biotechnologies with conventional citrus breeding.

His specialties include somatic hybridization and cybridization, somaclonal variation, embryo rescue, ploidy manipulation, scion breeding, rootstock breeding, and genetic transformation (including protoplast and embryogenic cell transformation).  Dr. Grosser received the ASHS Outstanding Career Researcher Award in 2005, and was elected ASHS Fellow in 2013.

Dr. Grosser has authored more than 300 journal publications.  Dr. Grosser has released more than 30 new citrus varieties, including oranges, mandarins, grapefruit, lemons and rootstocks.