Professor Yves Desjardins
Professor Yves Desjardins

was born in Montreal, Canada in 1959. He graduated from the University of Guelph with BS in 1982 and a M.Sc. in 1984. He received a Ph.D. from Laval University in 1990 and has been professor at Laval University since 1991.

From 1999 to 2002, he was Director of the Horticulture Research Centre at Laval University and also directed the Quebec Phytoprotection Network from 1999 to 2003. He was president of the Canadian Society for Horticultural Sciences from 2002 to 2004. He is now Director of Academic and International Affairs at the Institute for Nutraceutical and Functional Food (INAF). He is the lead scientist of one of the research axis (Characterization of bioactive compounds) at INAF, but also for INAQ, the “Institut de Nutrition Aquitaine-Quebec”, a new international institute devoted to nutrition research. He is also director of the RIHoD, the Quebec sustainable horticulture innovation network, an organization aimed at linking researchers and growers association together and driving open-innovation and research projects. He has led many networks of excellence at the national level and is active in many international networks in France, Brazil, Mexico, Belgium and Italy.

Prof. Desjardins is still active in research and works on fruit and vegetable crop physiology and pursues fundamental work on in vitro plantlet ecophysiology. His laboratory uses functional genomic tools like transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics, to study the adaptive phenomena taking place during the transition from heterotrophy to autotrophy in the course of acclimatization of tissue cultured plants. Prof. Desjardins has directed six PhD students and numerous R&D projects in horticulture. He is the author of more than 90 peer referred scientific papers and several technical papers and reports dealing with tissue culture and vegetable and fruit physiology, and 11 book chapters on the physiology and acclimatization of tissue cultured plants and health effects of fruits and vegetables. Since 1999, he has studied the health effects of fruit and vegetables. His recent research focuses on the characterization and extraction of polyphenols, particularly proanthocyanidins, found in blueberries and cranberries and their effects on cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and other chronic diseases. He collaborates on numerous projects related to health effects of FAV and is involved in a number of clinical trials on the effect of small fruit bioactive compounds (polyphenols) on type-2 diabetes.

Prof. Desjardins has been a member of ISHS since 1986, when he participated in his first IHC meeting at Davis, California. Since then, he has attended every IHC meeting. His active involvement with ISHS dates back to 1994 when he was Canadian representative on the Council. From 1996 to 2002, he was actively involved in the organization of the IHC2002 in Toronto, being the Chair of the Scientific Task Force Committee. In this function, he was instrumental in proposing a new structure for the scientific program of the International Horticultural Congress where Chairs of Sections and Commissions were closely associated with the organization of thematic symposia. This change has generated much interest in the Congress, has provided focus and coherence to the scientific program and created a feeling of belonging normally found in smaller symposia organized by the ISHS around the world. The same model has since been adopted by all other editions of IHC with great success.

Prof. Desjardins has been Convener or Co-Convener of many symposia organized by ISHS. For instance, he convened the Second International Symposium on Acclimatization of Tissue Cultured Plants in Merida, Yucatan in 2004. He was also actively involved in the planning of the Third International Symposium on Acclimatization of Tissue Cultured Plants in Faro, Portugal in 2007, where he was also the plenary invited keynote speaker. Being involved in research on health effects of fruit and vegetables, he organized in 2005 the first International Symposium on Health Effects of Fruit and Vegetables (FAVHEALTH, Quebec City, Canada) under the auspices of ISHS. The goal of this symposium series was to create a unique forum for researchers from different disciplines, like horticulture, nutrition and health sciences, to meet formally and bridge the communication gap between agriculture and medical sciences. The conference also aimed at asserting the leadership of horticultural sciences in an emerging field dominated by medical sciences. The ISHS Quebec City’s meeting was a great success and led to the creation of the ISHS Commission “Fruits and Vegetables and Health” in 2006 of which he became Chair. In 2010, he organized a Symposium on breeding for improving fruits and vegetables and health within the Lisbon IHC2010 meeting under the auspices of ISHS and OECD. The FAVHEALTH series is very popular and continues to be an important platform to share new information on health effects on fruit and vegetables.

Prof. Desjardins believes in improving the overall quality of the Society’s publications and enhancing the use of information technologies and computers for publishing and scientific exchanges. Yves and his wife Louise have four sons, Charles, Philippe, Eloi and Clement. He is the happy grandfather of two grandsons.

International Symposia on Tropical and Temperate Horticulture