Skip to content

Advisory Board

The role of the Advisory Board is to:

  • Provide an impartial and critical ongoing assessment of the VALITEST project progress against objectives as well as external points of view on the research conducted so it brings maximum outcomes.
  • Highlight new developments in the diagnostics sector that will have an impact on the direction and potential impact of the VALITEST project.
  • Provide guidance on measures to ensure sustainable impacts of VALITEST beyond the Project's lifetime and serve as an additional dissemination channel for Project outcomes.
  • Identify links between VALITEST and other relevant ongoing initiatives in the area within Europe and worldwide to ensure and maximise dissemination of information to and from the VALITEST project in order to take advantage of the knowledge produced by other initiatives before and during the Project lifespan.
  • Advise the Coordinator, Management Board and Steering Committee on any relevant issues.

Members of the Advisory Board


Neil Boonham is a plant pathologist and molecular biologist with 25 years experience of developing and deploying diagnostics for plant health use. He has a keen interest in how diagnostics can be used to generate data that can help farmers make improved decisions on farm. He has published more than 120 refereed journal publications and contributed to a number of books and international conferences.


Maaike Bruinsma, PhD, works at the Netherlands Inspection Service for Horticulture, Naktuinbouw. She is a researcher at the R&D department as well coordinator of the quality systems NAL and ASLN. She has experience in developing, validating and implementing test methods for pathogens on seeds and organization international proficiency tests. She has been involved in international activities such a development of EPPO standards and ISTA methods, and participation in the EU-funded project TESTA.

Since 2013, she has been a member of the International Seed Health Initiative for Vegetable Crops, ISHI-Veg. Her activities within ISHI-Veg include being a project lead for harmonization and validation of a detection method, organization and participation in comparative tests and being member and acting chair of reference material and validation working groups.

Maaike Bruinsma is member of the VALITEST advisory board as a representative of ISHI-Veg.


Hubert Lybeert have been started to work in Limagrain group (Tézier) more than 30 years ago after his engineering studies in agriculture.

After different positions in plant pathology research, seed technology research, quality control manager, he manages a team on seed pathology research.


Ms Adriana Gonçalves Moreira holds a PhD degree and a Master’s degree in plant pathology, with emphasis on plant virology. She is Standard Setting Officer / Programme Specialist at the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) - Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN). She is also the Deputy Assistant to Team Lead of the Standard Setting Unit.
When Adriana G. Moreira joined the IPPC (and FAO) in October 2012 she took the role as IPPC Secretariat lead for the Technical Panel on Diagnostic Protocols (TPDP). Currently, she is also the Secretariat lead for the Technical Panel on Phytosanitary Treatments (TPPT), several expert working groups, which have the objective of drafting International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures (ISPMs). She also provides full support for the Standards Committee (SC), leading the SC-7 each year, and took the lead for the CPM Recommendations process.
She is author and co-author of several scientific publications, book chapters and other type of training materials. Before joining the IPPC she was working in the seed industry for a multinational company, and was the plant quarantine lead coordinating a post-entry quarantine station accredited by the national government, and plant pathologist senior for research (R&D) germplasm material. She also worked with the development and implementation of plant pathogens prevention and control programmes, and with products’ test performance.
Languages: Portuguese (mother tongue), English (fluent) and Spanish (working knowledge).


Mark Nakhla, PhD -plant pathologist, is the director of Beltsville Laboratory, center of plant health science and technology Beltsville, Maryland, USA. He has 45 years of experience in developing diagnostic tests for the detection and identification of plant pathogens. He has contributed to more than 70 publications in peer-reviewed journals in the field of plant pathology.

EU H2020
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement n°773139.

The content of this website represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. It cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the Research Executive Agency or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.