Object-oriented Sessions

The program features object-oriented sessions integrating various approaches to address a complex challenge, and specialized sessions corresponding with the scope of WPSA working groups.
Session title Keynote's title Invited speaker
Food securityEfficiently and sustainably nourishing people and poultry in the 21st Century: challenges and opportunitiesRobyn ALDERS (UK)
Understanding nutrition by genetics interaction to optimize feed efficiencyHost genetics, nutrition and animal microbiome - friends or foes?Amelia CAMARINHA-SILVA (DE)
Innovative strategies to answer new expectationsNew insights in alternative and organic poultry production systemsCesare CASTELLINI (IT)
Adapting poultry production to climate changeCombined strategies for adapting poultry production to climate changeAnne COLLIN (FR)
Understanding the microbiome for an improved management of Health and WelfareNutritional control of the microbiome for improved health and welfareRichard DUCATELLE (BE)
Understanding nutrition by genetics interaction to optimize feed efficiencyUnderstanding nutrition by genetics interaction to optimize feed efficiencySandrine GRASTEAU (FR)
Pluridisciplinary approaches to reach the One health objectivesPoultry and One HealthSusan LAMONT (US)
Diversity of production systems and services they deliver to humans : towards an agroecological perspectiveAssessing the services provided by the diversity of poultry production systems worldwide: Why and how?Bertrand MEDA (FR)
Current status of exploiting alternative raw materials for poultry nutrition in AfricaCurrent status of exploiting alternative raw materials for poultry nutrition in AfricaAyao MISSOHOU (SN)
Robotics and big data for precision farmingRobotics and big data for precision farmingTomas NORTON (BE)
Genetics x environment interactions and epigeneticsEpigenetics as a mediator of genome x environment interactionsFrédérique PITEL (FR)
Diversity of production systems and services they deliver to humans : towards an agroecological perspectiveImpact of duck farming system on the environment and conservation of local genetic resourcesHardi PRASETYO (ID)
Keel bone damage in layersKeel bone damage in layersMike TOSCANO (CH)
Early management of broilers: from embryo to the end of the starter phaseEarly management of broilers: from embryo to the end of the starter phaseZehava UNI (IL)
Mananagement of broiler breedersMananagement of broiler breeders from hatch to the end of their breeding carrierMartin ZUIDHOF (CA)

Invited speakers


Robyn Alders is a Senior Consultant Fellow with the Chatham House Centre on Global Health Security, Chair of the Kyeema Foundation, an Honorary Professor with the Development Policy Centre within the Australian National University, an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University and Chair of the Upper Lachlan Branch of the NSW Farmers’ Association. For over 30 years, she has worked closely with family farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, SE Asia and Australia and as a veterinarian, researcher and colleague, with an emphasis on the development of sustainable infectious disease control in animals in rural areas in support of food and nutrition security. Robyn’s current research and development interests include domestic and global food and nutrition security/systems, health security, One/Planetary Health, gender equity and Science Communication. In May 2002, Robyn was the recipient of the Kesteven Medal, awarded by the Australian Veterinary Association and the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in recognition of distinguished contributions to international veterinary science in the field of technical and scientific assistance to developing countries. In January 2011, she was invested as an Officer of the Order of Australia by the Governor General of Australia for distinguished service to veterinary science as a researcher and educator, to the maintenance of food security in developing countries through livestock management and disease control programs. In February 2017, Robyn was the recipient of the Inaugural Mitchell Global Humanitarian Award which recognises Australians and others supported by Australian aid who have made an outstanding contribution to the cause of international development.


Ph.D. in Natural Sciences from the TU Braunschweig, Germany with broad experience in molecular biology and animal microbiome. Head of the Livestock Microbial Ecology department at the Institute of Animal Science, University of Hohenheim since 2018. Main area of expertise is the phylogenetic and functional characterization of the complex microbiome that colonizes the digestive tract of the livestock with NGS technologies.


EDUCATION & ACADEMIC APPOINTMENT Degree in Agricultural Science and Ph.D. Researcher at the Agricultural Faculty of Perugia 1990-2001. Associate Professor at the Agricultural Faculty of Perugia University and Department of Agricultural Food and Environmental Science Perugia University (2001 to present). SCIENTIFIC ACTIVITY Produced 400 papers, reviews, chapter of book, monografies, proceeding; 155 papers are recorded by scopus (h index =33, about 3600 citations). Presented communications, reviews and invited papers at National and International Congresses. President of several Scientific Committee. Main research interest is rabbit and poultry production. Researches are mainly focused on the effect of estensive rearing system on the performance, quality, welfare and environmental impact of poultry. In particular, recent studies analysed: Muscle metabolism in different genetic strains and rearing systems; Lipid metabolism in local vs. fast-growing strains; Nutritional quality of poultry and rabbit meat (n-3 fatty acids, antioxidant, oxidative stability); Safeguard of poultry biodiversity; Exploitation of alternative feed sources for poultry and rabbits (by-products, local feed sources); Organic and low-input rearing system in poultry (environmental sustainability, adaptation of different genetic strains, kinetic activuty, role of outdoor, health and welfare). He cooperates with various National and International research groups. Reviewer of many International journals and member of the Editorial board of IJAS and Animals. MEMBERSHIP. Member of several Scientific associations: Associazione Scientifica di Produzione animale, WRSA (World Rabbit Science Association) and WPSA (World Poultry Science Association). President of Italian branch of WRSA. Member of the Technical Commission of AIA (Association of Italian Breeders) who establishes the scheme for the genetic improvement and safeguard in rabbit and local poultry breeds.


Senior researcher in incubation physiology, metabolism and thermal programming in avian models at the Avian Biology and Poultry Science (BOA) unit of INRAE, University of Tours in France. She conducts research on the long-term effects of embryo thermal manipulations on the bird adaptive capacities, performance, health and welfare, and on its progeny. She is the co-leader of the team ‘Avian Metabolism, Quality and Adaption’ in this unit, in charge of the topic dealing with bird adaptive capacities, and INRAE representative for the CERSA project 'Regional Centre of Excellence in Avian Sciences' in West Africa funded by the World Bank. Member of WPSA working groups 6 and 12, she was the Chair of the Scientific Committee of the last ‘Incubation and Fertility Research Group’ and ‘Physiology and Perinatal Development in Poultry’ combined workshop organized in Tours in 2019. She currently leads the Horizon 2020 PPILOW project funded by the European Commission and aiming at improving Poultry and Pig Welfare in Low-input outdoor and Organic systems.


Veterinarian, graduated from Ghent University in Belgium in 1978. PhD in veterinary pathology from Ghent University in 1983. Scientific advisor for the Belgian government from 1985 till 1989. Professor in veterinary pathology at Ghent University, Belgium, since 1989. Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Pathologists. Diplomate of the European College of Poultry Veterinary Science. President of WVPA Belgian branch since 1991. Past-president of the European Society of Veterinary Pathology. Member of the board of directors of Ghent University. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Scientific publications Author or co-author of more than 650 scientific publications listed in the web of science and more than 400 abstracts in proceedings of international congresses. Invited speaker at more than 100 national and international congresses. Inventor on more than 10 patents. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Research Research interest is mainly in gastro-intestinal health, with a focus on poultry, calves and pigs. Mentor of more than 20 PhD theses in this field of research.


After an engineer degree in animal science and a Ph.D in poultry genetics, I joined in 1999, the INRAE unit “Avian Biology & Poultry Research Unit” (UMR BOA) located near Tours. In the AQSEL team (Adaptation, Quality and Selection), my research is focused on the genetics of feed and digestive efficiency and its impact on sustainability of poultry production. I work in close collaboration with our nutrition team to study interactions between genetics and nutrition and the possibility to introduce alternative feedstuffs in poultry diets. My recent researches led to identify genomic regions and blood biomarkers of digestive efficiency in order to better understand this trait. We also developed a feed station allowing to measure individual feed efficiency in group-housed animals, making it possible to study this trait in real conditions and throughout the life of animals. Author of 80 scientific papers, I recently contributed to the “Genetics and genomics of feed utilization efficiency in poultry species” chapter of the Advances in poultry genetics and genomics book.


Susan Lamont is a C.F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University, where she has been on the faculty since 1983. She leads an active research program to determine the molecular genetic control of important biological traits of poultry, especially the traits related to infectious disease and environmental stressors. She enjoys extensive national and global research collaborations with colleagues in academics and industry. Her research group has published over 250 peer-reviewed journal papers and invited book chapters on poultry. Lamont is very engaged in training the next generation of scientists and leaders in poultry genetics and immunology. She is an elected Fellow of three professional societies: the Poultry Science Association, the International Society of Animal Genetics, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Bertrand MEDA

After an engineer degree and a Ph.D in animal sciences, I joined in 2011, the INRAE unit “Avian Biology & Poultry Research Unit” (UMR BOA) located near Tours. In the AliSÉ team (Animal Feeding and Livestock Systems), my research is focused on the consequences of new feeding strategies and the use of new feed ingredients on the sustainability of broiler production systems, with an emphasis on the issue of protein self-sufficiency in France/Europe. I also started to work on the evaluation on the services provided by poultry production, using systemic approaches. I work with several nutritionists from INRA as well as from private companies, and use modelling approaches at different scales (animal, farm), such as Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to evaluate the environmental impact of poultry production systems. I am currently taking part in several national and international projects on poultry nutrition. Especially, in the European H2020 Feed-a-Gene project (, I am working on the development of precision feeding in poultry.


Tomas Norton is currently a tenure track docent in Precision Livestock Farming (PLF) and based in the Division of Animal and Human and Health Engineering (group of M3-BIORES) at the KU Leuven. He holds a PhD in Biosystems Engineering from University College Dublin (Ireland). His current research focus is centered on PLF technology for monitoring and management of animal responses. He is PI and co-PI on collaborative National and International projects funded by the Belgium government, EU and USA. He is coordinates and collaborates courses on Measuring, Modelling and Managing Bio-responses and Sustainable PLF at the KU Leuven. Since 2018 he is Chair of CIGR Section II, the chair of the Technical Board and member of the Executive Board.

Massimiliano PETRACCI

Full professor at the University of Bologna since 2018, his research activities involve several aspects of poultry and rabbit production and product quality. Currently he is working on the characterization of the emerging meat abnormalities in poultry (white striping, wooden breast and spaghetti meat). He is author of more than 110 peer-reviewed articles and for the second consecutive year he is named in the world's top 2% of Scientists released by Stanford University. He edited the books "Improving poultry meat quality" (Burleigh Dodds) and “Poultry Meat Evaluation” (Elsevier). He also chairs the Working Group 5 “Poultry Meat Quality” of the European Federation of the World's Poultry Science Association since 2014 and he is associated editor of the World Rabbit Science, Frontiers in Physiology and Meat and Muscle Biology. He is also the Coordinator of PhD Programme of Agricultural, Environmental and Food Science and Technology. He is currently participating in H2020 EU projects (INTAQT, FutureEUAqua and NextGenProteins).

Frédérique PITEL

Frédérique Pitel is a senior scientist at the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment in Toulouse (France). After a master degree in animal production science at the National High School of Agronomy in Rennes, she obtained a PhD from Rennes University, France. Prior to the current position she was a research associate in the poultry genomics team (INRA Toulouse). She participated in the development of genetic and cytogenetic maps in chicken, and took part in the duck and quail genome sequencing consortia. She conducted programs on mapping genomic regions involved in traits of zootechnical or biomedical interests. Her research now focuses on understanding the genetic and epigenetic processes underlying livestock phenotypes, mainly in avian species. She published the first paper about transgenerational epigenetics in avian species.


Dr Hardi Prasetyo completed his initial study at the Institut Pertanian Bogor, Indonesia, and then Master degree at the University of Sydney, Australia. He went on to earn a PhD in quantitative genetics and livestock breeding at North Carolina State University, USA. Until 2016 he was a senior research scientist at the Indonesian Research Institute for Animal Production, Bogor, under the Indonesian Centre for Animal Research and Development. During his active roles at the Research Institute he was involved mainly in the development of commercial strains of layer ducks as well as meat type ducks. For the layer ducks he and his team used Indonesian local breeds and created a hybrid with a significant heterosis level in egg production, for commercial production. For the meat type ducks, he was using a combination between Pekin and local White Mojosari ducks for producing medium sized carcasses. He was also involved in the restructuring of duck production in Indonesia from extensive to intensive production system for improving farmers’ welfare, as well as controlling the Avian Influenza outbreak. Dr Hardi Prasetyo is currently the Chairman of the World Waterfowl Working Group of the Asia-Pacific Federation of WPSA.


Dr. Toscano is the Group Leader of the Center for Proper Housing of Poultry and Rabbits at the University of Bern in Switzerland. Born and raised in the United States where he completed his PhD at Purdue University, he has held his position in Switzerland since 2013 after seven years of postdoctoral research at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. Having attracted over 22 million USD in funding from multiple funders in Switzerland, the US, and EU, his research focuses on all aspects of welfare and housing for poultry and rabbits where his methodological expertise includes behavior, physiology, and management. Leadership in these areas has been most prominent within the theme of keel bone fractures with successful funding of an EU-COST Action ( that coordinated European research efforts and ensures information reaches stakeholders through a variety of mediums including videos, training schools, and seminars. Additional noteworthy topics beyond keel bone fracture include: expressions of behavioral individuality, determining appropriate feeder space, improving depopulation of end of lay hens, and identifying causal factors of piling behavior. His research contribution in the area of Animal Welfare has been recognized by the Poultry Science Association which awarded him their Poultry Welfare Research Award in 2016. He has longstanding and active collaborations with multiple industry partners, including the world's largest manufacturer of cage-free housing and suppliers of laying hen genetics. Beyond research, he also has an active teaching program, serves as the Poultry Science Behavior and Welfare Section Editor, and is a member of multiple Animal Science and Welfare related societies including: the Poultry Science Association, International Society for Applied Ethology, and the World's Poultry Science Association.


Dr. David E. Swayne is the Laboratory Director (1994-present) of U.S. Department of Agriculture’s in house high biocontainment laboratory for poultry health research. He has a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (University of Missouri, 1984), M.Sc. in Veterinary Pathology (University of Missouri, 1984), a PhD in Veterinary Pathology (University of Georgia, 1987), and is a board certified in Veterinary Pathology and as a Poultry Veterinarian. For past 32 years, his personal research has focused on pathobiology and control of avian influenza in poultry. Dr. Swayne has served on World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) committees to update the Avian Influenza chapters in Terrestrial Animal Health Code and Manual, and completed a 16 month sabbatical at OIE to study global highly pathogenic avian influenza control programs. He served as chair for the World Health Organization committee to update the Research Agenda for Zoonotic Influenza. He is past Chair of the Executive Committee for OFFLU, the joint OIE/FAO Animal Influenza Network. He has participated in missions or conferences on avian influenza control and biosafety/biosecurity in 51 countries during the past 24 years. He has published over 335 peer-reviewed papers and 114 book chapters on poultry health issues, principally avian influenza and other emerging viral diseases, and has given 314 invited presentations on poultry health issues. He is the editor of the textbook, Avian Influenza (Wiley, 2008); Associate Editor (11th edition, 2003; 12th edition, 2008) and Editor-in-Chief (13th edition, 2013; 14th edition, 2020) of Diseases of Poultry (Wiley); Editor of Animal Influenza (Wiley, 2017), Avian Section Editor of Fenner’s Veterinary Virology (4th edition, 2011, and 5th edition, 2017); and Poultry Editor for Merck Veterinary Manual (2017-2020). He is on the editorial board of Avian Diseases, and is an Associate Editor for Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses and Emerging and Infectious Diseases. Formerly, he served as a tenured faculty member in the College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio S


Dr. Martin Zuidhof is a Professor of Precision Feeding & Poultry Systems Modeling at the University of Alberta. Martin Zuidhof has been studying Broiler Breeders for over 25 years. His team developed and patented a precision feeding system to feed each bird the right amount of the right feed at the right time. In addition to its commercial potential, the system doubles as one of the best poultry research tools in the world. Dr. Zuidhof‘s goal is to revolutionize the way the world studies and feeds broiler breeders. Dr. Zuidhof is academic leader of the Poultry Innovation Partnership (PIP), a unique collaboration between the University, Government, and the poultry industry. The PIP is committed to relevance and excellence in research, learning, and extension, and it plays an important role training the next generation of leaders in the poultry industry.