Meet the Speakers for STIC LIVE


We are pleased to announce the amazing line-up of speakers for our Syngenta Turf Innovation LIVE event. Coming from the USA, Europe and Australia, there is a great mix of people and subjects that make this a not-to-be-missed event. Tickets open Monday 20th March at 10am, click here for more details.

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Dr. John E. Kaminski  

John E. Kaminski, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Turfgrass Science at The Pennsylvania State University. John earned his B.S. in turfgrass science from The Pennsylvania State University in 1998. He then went back to his home state where he earned his M.S. (2001) and Ph.D. (2004) from the University of Maryland. Dr. Kaminski is the Director of the 2-year turf program at Penn State and conducts research on the chemical and cultural management strategies for turfgrass diseases and weeds. 

 In addition to being an expert in the field of Turfgrass Science, John has also made a name for himself on social media. With over 16000 followers on Twitter, he is considered an authority on the effective use of social media for personal and professional purposes. Follow him at @iTweetTurf.


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Katie Dodson

Katie is part of the fourth generation of her family who have dedicated their careers to turfgrass management.  She worked for 9 years as part of golf maintenance crews on golf courses in Ontario, Alberta, and her last crew position as Assistant Superintendent at Mountain View Golf Club in Whitehorse Yukon.

Katie has been researching turfgrass science and landscapes for 17 years at Washington State University, University of Guelph, Jacklin Seed, the Prairie Turfgrass Research Centre, and currently with Syngenta. With research focusing on various topics ranging from breeding cool season turf, through weed control, seedbank dynamics, cold tolerance, plant health promotion, and best management practices for preventing wear damage on sports fields. She has taught turfgrass management courses at Humber college and the University of Guelph, agroecosystems at the University of Guelph, and a teaching assistant of World Agricultural Systems at Washington State University. In her current role as Global Technical Manager for Syngenta Turf & Landscape she has the privilege of working with researchers across the globe, focused on continuing to bring plant potential to life. 

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Mark Birchmore  

Mark Birchmore has worked for Syngenta for 30 years, starting in research biology and moving through the organization with roles in product development, technical management, brand management and commercial marketing. He is passionate about driving customer- and brand-led innovation into Syngenta’s turf and landscape solutions. 

As Global Head of Marketing Turf and Landscape, Mark leads a global Syngenta team dedicated to serving turf and landscape management professionals and creating an innovation pipeline of tools spanning chemical, biological and digital services. 

Mark is also responsible for Syngenta’s acclaimed thought leadership program focusing on the long-term sustainability of the golf industry. Through the commissioning of groundbreaking market research studies, Mark and his team have developed a customer-centric approach to the golf business that has delivered insights enabling the industry and venues better understand and respond to the wants and needs of golfers, lapsed players and prospective customers.   

Mark is based at Syngenta’s global headquarters in Basel, Switzerland. 

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Kate Torgersen  

Kate began her career as an apprentice at Peninsula Country Golf Club (now known as Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club). In learning about all aspects of turf management, Kate soon realised how the out-of-play areas could promote and protect biodiversity.  

Kate's career soon turned into a passion. After studying conservation land management and meeting environmental golf groups in Scotland, it was clear that Kate wanted to form a business that offered environmental solutions to golf courses.  

Golf can play an enormous role in showcasing many benefits of biodiversity and co-existing with nature. Kate now works with a variety of clubs all around Australia, advising on biodiversity and, more recently, sustainability. Services vary from which plants are suitable in your region to reducing your club's carbon footprint.  


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Monina Gilbey  

Monina is a garden designer, an educator, and the Biodiversity Manager at Glenelg Golf Club. Monina is passionate about Adelaide’s local flora and fauna and the contribution that golf courses make to urban biodiversity. Working with the Glenelg Golf team, Monina, a relative newcomer to golf, has helped to raise the national environmental profile of the club and won multiple awards. In 2022, Monina was co-winner of the Claude Crockford Environment and Sustainability Award – the second woman to win the award in 24 years. Monina was instrumental in the club becoming finalists in the biodiversity category of the 2023 National Banksia Sustainability Awards.  




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Dr. Brett Morris  

Dr. Brett Morris has been involved in the international turf grass community for over 32 years.  During this time half has been spent as a Course Superintendent at public, private and resort courses in Australia, Fiji and Indonesia.  The other half has been spent in the University, R&D and commercial sectors of the industry. Brett currently serves as Technical Services Manager for Syngenta Turf and Landscape (ANZ) and works on new product introductions and technical support of the Syngenta range.