©2019 by IPS Convention 2019 in Bremen. Proudly created with Wix.com


Dr. Andreas Bauerochse

Chair of the German Peat Society, DGMT

Dr. Joachim Blankenburg

Vice-Chair DGMT

Ir. Chris Blok

Greenhouse Horticulture, Wageningen University and Research, Bleiswijk, the Netherlands

Expertise: Rooting Media and Plant Nutrition, Recirculation Techniques
Scientific Career: Trained as a MSc Tropical Soil Science, I started in 1984 as Research Engineer for a stone wool producer. In 1992 I switched to Research Manager for a propagator of a gamma of young plants and from 1995 on I was a research expert for Wageningen University & Research, Greenhouse Horticulture.
Ambition: My focus is on innovation in cooperation with (conglomerates of) private companies. I strife to open up new fields of application based on solid fundamental science. My drive is to become the best in areas of choice. Present work includes novel rooting media, water quality, automation of nutrient recirculation, humates, carriers for beneficial micro-organisms, tailored substrate systems for Semi-Arid environments.

Dipl.-Geograph Bernd Hofer

Chair of IPS Commission "Peatlands and Environment" and Business Manager Hofer & Pautz GbR, Altenberge, Germany

  • Study of Landscape Ecology at the University of Münster (Dipl. Geograph degree in 1988)

  • 1988 foundation of Hofer & Pautz GbR – since that managing director

  • Focus on bogs / mires / peatlands / wetlands

  • Data collection: vegetation / hydrology / geology / surveying

  • Planning: EIA / mining planning / restoration planning / GHG-modelling / special assessments

Dr. Arne Hückstädt

Coordinator of the Department "Growing media, potting soils, constituents" in the Industrieverband Garten, Düsseldorf, Germany

Dr. Jan Köbbing

Head of Sustainability Management, Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH, Geeste, Germany

Having a background in paludiculture and wetland management, Dr Jan Köbbing has been pursuing various research projects at Klasmann-Deilmann since 2015, on topics including Sphagnum farming for growing media and the restoration of former peat extraction sites. As Sustainability Manager, he is also in favour for the emissions reduction measures and the preparation of the climate footprint.

Dipl.-Ing. agr. Silke Kumar

Chair DGMT Section II and Quality manager MoKuRa, Scharrel, Germany

Juha Mäkinen

CEO Kekkilä-BVB Oy, Finland & Netherlands

Finnish Kekkilä and Dutch BVB have joined forces, combining decades of horticultural know-how to create a new leader in organic substrates. The company comes at a time when the world needs to focus on sustainable growth more than ever. Kekkilä-BVB features vast and versatile production and supply capacity, unique R&D know-how, a global network of distributors and retailers.

Professor Dr. Elke Meinken

University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf, Germany

I have studied horticultural science and received my doctoral degree at the University of Hanover in Germany. Nowadays I am teaching plant nutrition and soil science at the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences. One of the main issues of my research are constituents of growing media other than peat. For many years I have worked in the quality commissions of the German assurance association "Gütegemeinschaft Substrate für Pflanzen e.V." and I have a lot of laboratory experience in analyzing growing media.

Professor Dr. Meng Xianmin

Northeast Normal University, Changchun, China, Chair IPS National Committee of China

MSc. Erki Niitlaan

Chair of the Estonian Peat Association

Erki Niitlaan is a mining engineer who received his MSc degree at Tallinn Technical University. For 15 years he has been Managing Director of the Estonian Peat Association and a private consultant with the Engineering Bureau STEIGER, consulting mainly extracting companies. Before that he worked in the Ministry of the Environment as a legislative specialist and processor. Erki’s field of expertise involves different extraction technologies for peat production, quarrying and mining, environmental impact assessments of extractive industries, methods of geological exploration, restoration of sites, licensing and strategic planning.

Professor Dr. Michael Schulz


Professor Dr. Jack Rieley

IPS Executive Board member and Coordinator of the IPS Expert Group "Conventions and International Affairs", United Kingdom

MSc. Hannu Salo

Coordinator of the IPS Expert Group "Growing Media and Energy Peat", Finland

Hannu Salo works for the Bioenergy Association of Finland as a Manager in peat & peatland affairs. He holds a Masters on Peatland Forestry & Ecology and a Diploma in Education. For IPS, he is currently coordinating the Expert Group on Peat for Growing Media and Energy.

Gerald Schmilewski

President of the IPS 2016 - 2020

  • Horticultural studies in Germany and at the University of Minnesota

  • Former Researcher with the German Peat Research Institute and Klasmann-Deilmann GmbH

  • Former Chair of the DIN (German Standards Institute) working group ‘Soil Improvers and Growing Media’

  • Program organizer of seven IPS ‘Peat in Horticulture’ symposia

  • Associate Editor of Mires & Peat

  • Author of the 250 pp. book on growing media ‘Kultursubstrate und Blumenerden’, published 2018

  • Awards: IPS Award of Excellence 2010 & Medal of the International Society for Horticultural Sciences 2015

Dr. Thomas Schmidt

Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Berlin

Paul Short

President of the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA), Canada

Paul Short has been the President of the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA) for the past ten years. The Association is the national advocacy and lobby agency representing the Canadian horticultural peat industry.

Its members account for approximately 95% of the horticultural peat production in Canada.

In addition, Paul is an Executive Board Member of the International Peatland Society (IPS) representing the interests of North America related to responsible peatland management.

Paul has a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology and Geography from the University of Calgary, Alberta. He retired in August of 2007 from the Department of Sustainable Resource Development, Alberta Government.

During his career, he was involved in strategic development and integrated planning for Alberta’s renewable and non-renewable resources over a span of 33 years.

Currently Paul is working with the Canadian horticulture peat industry in developing responses to the challenges for responsible peatland management, restoration of peatlands, climate change and industrial sustainability.

Msc. Stefaan Vandaele

Chair of Growing Media Europe AISL, Brussels, Belgium and CEO of Greenyard Horticulture

GME is an international non-profit organisation representing the producers of growing media and soil improvers at European level. Our main objective is to promote optimum legislation for the manufacturing as well as the free and fair trade of growing media within Europe.

By the time of the presentation our company's new name will be communicated - a leading EU growing media producer carved out of Greenyard with 13 production facilities in the EU.