Global Population Boom: 9 Billion Mouths to Feed. Who Gets Fed First?

Featured Speakers' Bios

Dr. Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor in Biosystems Engineering, University of Manitoba

Digvir Jayas was educated at the G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar, India; the University of Manitoba; and the University of Saskatchewan.  He is a Registered Professional Engineer and a Registered Professional Agrologist. He held a Canada Research Chair in Stored-Grain Ecosystems, and conducts research in the areas of physical properties of agricultural products; modified atmosphere storage of grains, oilseeds, potatoes, and meats; mathematical modeling of biological systems; and digital image processing for grading and processing operations in the Agri-Food industry.  He has authored or co-authored over 800 technical articles in scientific journals, conference proceedings and books.
Dr. Vaclav Smil, Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Clayton H. Riddell Faculty of Environment, Earth, and Resources, University of Manitoba

Vaclav Smil is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Science Academy), Member of the Order of Canada and in 2010 he was listed by Foreign Policy among the top 100 global thinkers. He does interdisciplinary research in the fields of energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy. He has published 35 books and some 400 papers on these topics. He has worked as a consultant for many international institutions and has been an invited speaker in more than 400 conferences worldwide. His work can be accessed at

Dr. Karin Wittenberg, Associate Dean (Research) and Professor Animal Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

Karin Wittenberg’s research has focused on the plant and animal interface. This includes technology development to improve harvest and storage of forages as hay and silage; the study of animal energetics in grazing systems and application of novel technologies to allow us to estimate greenhouse gas emissions from cattle in commercial production systems. She has developed the research tools for some of the first greenhouse gas work generating information relevant to Canadian production systems. An initiative led by Wittenberg resulted in the establishment of the National Centre for Livestock and the Environment at the University of Manitoba to study the long-term impact of conventional and alternative livestock and land management practices on environmental, economic and human health.  She has more than 300 publications and has been recognized for her contributions by the Canadian Society of Animal Science Award for Excellence in Nutrition and Meat Science, the YMCA Woman of the Year in Science and Innovation, the Education award from Manitoba Pork Council and a Canadian Society of Animal Science Fellowship.