This members-only virtual event included an overview of our International Multi-location Variety Trial (IMLVT) program, an update on its most recent activities, a report-out of its global results, and an opportunity to ask questions to the scientists involved.
Dr. Tania Humphrey, Director of Research & Development
Tania Humphrey is the Director of Research & Development (R&D) of World Coffee Research and oversees WCR’s research portfolio. She is passionate about innovation in agriculture and combines a business approach with a strong understanding of science to achieve real-world impact. Tania holds a Ph.D. in Plant Science from the University of Queensland, Australia, and, in her early career, she held research positions at both the University of Toronto and Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada. Prior to WCR, Tania served as the Vice President of R&D at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre in Canada where she led a team of scientists, engineers, and technical staff in plant variety development, biocontrol, and automation technologies for a wide variety of crops, including tree crops like apples and peaches, and others such as greenhouse vegetables, sweet potatoes, and roses.
Hanna Neuschwander, Director of Communications
Whether she’s explaining the impact of climate change to a room full of coffee roasters, or coffee genetics to a hedge fund trader, or coffee brewing to her mom, the intersection of coffee, science, and communication is Hanna's passion. She is the author of over 50 magazine articles on coffee, and of the book Left Coast Roast. (See some of Hanna's talks here and here and here). In her role as director of strategy and communications with WCR, she works closely with organizations across the coffee value stream to think about how to strategically align and communicate long-term sustainability investments. She is based in Portland, Oregon.
Dr. Jorge Berny, Research Scientist, Plant Breeding & Genomics
Jorge is a Research Scientist who heads Plant Breeding & Genomics at WCR. He holds a B.Sc. in Agronomy from the Instituto Tecnológico de Conkal, a M.Sc. in Agriculture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Ph.D. in Horticulture and Agronomy and postdoc from the University of California, Davis. Between receiving his master's and doctoral degrees, he served as a researcher at INIFAP in Mexico. His expertise includes genetic resources, plant breeding, and cultivar development. He lives in Yucatán, México.
Catherine Maina, Global Variety Trials & Project Manager
Catherine brings a wealth of hands-on experience in project design and implementation both at operational and strategic levels, monitoring, evaluation and learning, partnership development resource mobilization, market research, and product development. She has extensive experience in international development and corporate sectors. In the last 7 years, she has worked with coffee farmers in the East African region on livelihoods improvement, value chain development, sustainable land use management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, social justice, enabling policy environments, and market access.
Catherine holds prince2 project management certification at a practitioner level. Additionally, she also has a master’s degree in Business Administration and an undergraduate degree in Bachelor of Commerce. She has also undertaken short courses on M&E, proposal writing, gender inclusivity, coffee quality analysis and communication for development.
Catherine is also a mother to one daughter and a wife. In her free time, she enjoys exploring nature, engages in various charity activities, and undertakes some small-scale farming.