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Dr. Véronique Decroocq

Dr Veronique Decroocq is a senior scientist with extensive expertise in plant breeding, genetics and genomics, both for forest and fruit trees. She received her Ingenieur diploma in Agronomy from the University of Lille (France) in 1988. In 1994, she completed her PhD. in Genetics and Plant Molecular Biology, jointly between the University of Paris XI Orsay (France) and Wageningen Agricultural University (The Netherlands). Between 2015 and 2017, Dr Decroocq worked as a postdoctoral research scientist at the CSIRO (Canberra, Australia) on genetic engineering of Eucalyps.

Since 1998, Dr Decroocq has worked as a research fellow at INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique), Bordeaux (France), in the Plant Breeding and Plant health divisions, on the topic of stone fruit tree improvement. In 2007 and 2010, she spent two consecutive sabbatical trainees in one of the World leading laboratory on Rosaceae Genomics (Clemson University, SC, USA with Pr A.G. Abbott) to switch from gene-based molecular analysis to genome-wide studies (QTL meta-analysis, whole genome assembly, GWA –Genome wide association- and RNA-seq studies). This marked a significant turning point in her career concomitantly with the development of high-throughput whole-genome based techniques that, now, allow raising groundbreaking research questions, i.e. i) the evolutionary history of stone fruit species such as apricot, peach, almond, ii) the diversity and origin of the plant-pathogen interplay, iii) the genetic and eco-environmental factors acting on the outcome of this interaction and finally iv) their impact on sustainable fruit tree production. This lead to the setting up of a world-wide unique collection of Armeniaca and Amygdalus species which are being genome-wide genotyped. The objective is now to multiply this collection by grafting in multiple environments for GWAS and genome prediction analysis related to multiple biotic and abiotic conditions.

In the last 8 years, she coordinated (and is still coordinating) five European-wide research consortia, supported successively by the 7th and H2020 European Framework programs as well as the Plant KBBE Eranet (SharCo, STONE, MARS, COBRA and TESS).