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Josep Usall i Rodié

POSITION: Chief executive officer

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Professional information:

Josep Usall i Rodié (Alguaire, 1966) has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA) since 2018. He is an agricultural engineer (Polytechnic University of Catalonia, UPC, 1984-1987), agronomic engineer (UPC, 1987-1989), specialist in international trade (Terrassa Chamber of Commerce, 1991-92) and has a PhD in agricultural engineering from the University of Lleida (1995).

Linked to the IRTA since 1992 as a researcher in postharvest diseases, he has held various management positions: he coordinated the Sustainable Plant Protection programme (2009-2012), directed the Postharvest Technical Service (2002-2018), headed up the Postharvest programme (2012-2018) and, since 2018, has been the CEO. In addition, between 2011 and 2018 he coordinated the Fruit.Net programme, aimed at optimising the application of phytosanitary products and reducing fruit wastage in Catalonia.

Between 1994 and 2011 he combined his research activity with the directorship of the International Cooperation Centre of the University of Lleida (UdL).

His research activity began with the development of biological control agents for the main pome fruit diseases. He later broadened the scope of his work to include other control strategies, such as low-risk physical and chemical treatments. In recent years, his research has focused on developing epidemiological models of the main fruit diseases, particularly Monilia in stone fruit, as well as genomics-based studies of pathogenesis and resistance in Penicillium and Monilia.

He has published around 200 scientific articles in indexed journals, has written twelve book chapters and some seventy informational articles, has collaborated in the publication of ten books, holds three patents and has given more than 150 talks at national and international conferences. He has also directed the International Postharvest Course at the IRTA.

He has carried out research stays at the Appalachian Fruit Research Station (ARS-USDA, USA), the Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory (ARS-USDA, USA), at the Universidade do Algarve (Portugal), at the Ruakura Research Center (HortResearch – New Zealand) and at the University of California-Davis (USA).