GGAA Executive

The GGAA Executive is a permanent international committee composed of nine members:

- Prof. Junichi Takahashi: Founding President of the GGAA;

- Two representatives from the local organising committee (LOC) – Dr. Alexandre Berndt (EMBRAPA) and Dr. Marta Alfaro (INIA);

- Two (2) from GGAA2016 – Prof. Richard Eckard (The Univ. of Melbourne) and Prof. Roger Hegarty (Univ of New England)

- Two (2) from GGAA2013 – Prof. Frank O'Mara (TEAGASC) and Prof. Tommy Boland (Univ. College Dublin),

- Two (2) members of the next scheduled conference - to be determined at GGAA2019

Its main duties are to assist the LOC through scientific and institutional support, to ensure proper use of the GGAA mark, the overall quality of the meeting and select the best proposal to organize the subsequent meeting.


Alexandre Berndt (Chair) - (Embrapa Southeast Livestock, Brazil)

Bachelor degrees in Biological Sciences and Agronomic Engineering at University of São Paulo State, master's degree in Animal Production at University of São Paulo State and doctor of science in Agroecosystems Ecology at University of São Paulo State. Worked as Environment Manager in multinational company. Was researcher at the Institute of Animal Science of APTA - Sao Paulo Agency for Agribusiness Technology between 2007 and 2010. He is currently a researcher at Embrapa Southeast Livestock in São Carlos, São Paulo. Has experience in Animal Science with emphasis in Sustainable Production Systems mainly in methane emissions and mitigation strategies. Participates of the Technical Committee in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation - MCTI for the preparation of the Brazilian National Communication of Greenhouse Gas Emissions to the UNFCCC. Had co-lead the Technical Advisory Group on large ruminants of the FAO/ LEAP - Livestock Environmental Assessment and Performance Partnership. Participates of the Steering Committee of the LANDMARK Research Network of the European Union. Since January 2014 holds the position of Assistant Director of Research and Development at Embrapa Southeast Livestock.

Frank O’Mara (Teagasc, Ireland)

Dr. Frank O’Mara is the Director of Research at Teagasc, with responsibility for leading the research programme which covers all aspects of agri-food research from soils to consumers, with an annual budget of €67 million, and over 800 researchers, support staff and graduate students. His role involves setting priorities, identifying opportunities and securing resources, and includes liaison with industry stakeholders, policy makers, and other agencies. He also contributes to various national and EU committees and bodies, and is a member of international scientific advisory boards for AgResearch in New Zealand, and LUKE in Finland. Prior to joining Teagasc in 2006, he was Associate Professor of Animal Nutrition at University College Dublin and he has researched and published extensively on many aspects of animal nutrition, feed evaluation, animal production, and the interaction of animal nutrition and the environment, particularly greenhouse gas emissions. He was appointed Adjunct Professor in University College Dublin in 2017.

Prof. Junichi Takahashi (Founding President of the GGAA)

Junichi Takahashi, animal nutrition and environment scientist, graduated from Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Japan in 1973, and given master’s degree in 1975 and Ph D in 1983 from Kyushu University. President, Hokkaido Society of Animal Science for 2008-2009 and internationally as Expert (Project leader) of Japan International Cooperation Agency, Visiting Professor, National University of Asuncion, Paraguay for 1986-1988, Visiting Scholar, The University of Alberta, Canada for 1989-1990, an Expert of Japan International Cooperation Agency in 1994, Visiting Professor, The University of Queensland, Australia for 1995-1996. He has founded the International Conference on Greenhouse Gases and Animal Agriculture, GGAA and has been worked as a President for 2001-Present. Currently, he is professor emeritus, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. He was given the title of National High-End Chair professor from Chinese Government. He has worked as a Visiting Professor, College of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tongji University, Shanghai and Distinguished Visiting Professor, IPB, Indonesia and Saitama Institute of Technology, Japan and leaded the international projects on Japanese/Australia Science and Technology (Reference 95AGF05-19), Japanese/Czech Science and Technology (Reference NJ-110CZ), and The joint research projects with The University of Sydney, IPB, Nutrivet. s.r.o., Tongji University and Unilever. Internationally, he has worked as an editorial board member of some International Journals and External Assessor and Examiner of UPM Malaysia, ETH Switzerland, University of Alberta Canada, Alberta Livestock Meat Association (ALMA) Canada and Unilever, China. He has published more than 140 refereed Journal articles, 40 Books, Scientific Reviews and 43 Patents.

Marta Alfaro Valenzuela (INIA Remehue, Chile)

Marta Alfaro Valenzuela joined Agronomy in 1990. After graduating in 1995, she joined INIA Remehue and in 2002 completed studies for her Ph.D. in soil fertility at the University of Reading, England. Her main research interests are related to the assessment of nutrient cycling in cattle grazing based systems with an emphasis on nitrogen management and its implications for the quality of the environment (soil, water and air), including climate change. This has enabled her to form a working group with national and international leadership. In her career, she has also been president of the Chilean Society of Animal Production, part of a group assessment Fondecyt, and has received significant scientific awards and recognition amongst her peers. Currently she is the international representative from Chile in the field of environmental sustainability of livestock (International Dairy Federation, IDF, PROCISUR and Global Research Alliance GRA) organizations. Marta is currently the National Subdirector of Research and Development of INIA, Chile.

Prof. Richard Eckard (The Univ. of Melbourne)

Richard Eckard is Professor and Director of the Primary Industries Climate Challenges Centre (, a joint research initiative between the University of Melbourne and the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries. His research focuses on strategies for reducing enteric methane and nitrous oxide from intensive grazing systems, and whole farm systems modelling of climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies in livestock production. Richard holds a number of national and international science leadership roles, being a keynote speaker at a number of industry and international science conferences over the past few years. He is a science advisor to the Australian, New Zealand and UK governments, and the UN FAO, on climate change adaptation, mitigation and policy development in agriculture. Richard has authored over 100 scientific publications and over 100 conference papers, with 50 peer reviewed journal papers, 35 conference papers and 7 book chapters on since 2010.

Prof. Roger Hegarty (Univ of New England)

Professor - School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England.

Prof. Tommy Boland (University College Dublin)

Assoc. Prof. Tommy Boland graduated from University College Dublin (UCD) with a PhD in Animal Nutrition in 2005. He currently works in the school of Agriculture and Food Science in UCD. His current research work focusses on increasing the sustainability of ruminant production systems and he is currently leading the development of a long term grazing platform to study the impact of multispecies swards on animal performance, water quality and nutrient losses to the environment. To date he has published in excess of 100 peer reviewed articles and has presented more than 250 papers at international conferences. In 2013 he served as secretary of the Local Organising Committee of GGAA2013 held in Dublin, Ireland. Assoc. Prof. Boland’s work on GHG mitigation includes the use of in vitro and in vivo models to determine the impact of additives, feed ingredients and forage quality on methane production and nitrogen loss pathways. He leads the ruminant nutrition group in the School of Agriculture and Food Science in UCD and delivers lectures into their degree programmes in Animal Science.