Research Institute of Organic Agriculture
Cutting edge research Ecological approach Sustainable future

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Our team

Management

Dr. Dóra Drexler

Director

MSc in Plant Protection,
Landscape architect, MSc, PhD

dora.drexler@biokutatas.hu
+36 20 346 9120

I received my MSc degree in landscape architecture at the University of Horticulture, Budapest, and acquired my PhD at the Department of Landscape Ecology of the Technical University Munich. Starting with 2010, I worked at the Swiss Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) for half a year, and in 2011, I took part in founding the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi) which I lead as Director till today. I was awarded honorary associate professorship by the University of Debrecen and received the Péter Sárközy medal for achievements in organic agriculture. I acquired an additional MSc degree in plant protection at the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Since 2020 I am vice president of IFOAM Organics Europe and Steering Committee Member of TP Organics. I have three children, and according to my colleagues ÖMKi is my fourth one.

Arable land team

Dr. Éva Borbélyné Hunyadi

Head of arable land team, Lead researcher

Agronomist, PhD

eva.hunyadi@biokutatas.hu
+36 20 374 7472

I received a degree in crop production engineering (GATE, Szarvas, 1988), then in general agronomy (DATE, Debrecen, 1995), after which I spent almost 10 years in the agricultural production sector, primarily working in plant production. After this, I worked in agricultural higher education for over 15 years. My areas of teaching and research were both connected to organic farming. I received my PhD in 2002 from the Doctoral School for Crop Production and Horticulture. As a researcher  at ÖMKi, I work in the field of organic cultivation technologies of high-protein plants in the on-farm research program for arable crops.

Dr. Szilvia Bencze

Lead researcher

Biologist, Ph.D, English technical translator

szilvia.bencze@biokutatas.hu
+36 20 381 7785

Being oriented toward nature and animals it was not a question to me to choose Ecology faculty and graduate as a Biologist at the Kossuth University and later receive a Ph.D degree at Eötvös University in the field of Biology (Ecology). All my studies and activities since, including my stay at Lund university and the 20 year-work at Agricultural Institute in Martonvásár, in the field of climate change, agroecological research and plant breeding just brought me closer to the real aim of the intension of promoting the sustainable way of modern agriculture. This I have found in the work done at ÖMKi. Here my main areas of interest are the research done on ancient wheat species and their landraces, participatory research in on-farm testing, the use and participatory breeding of organic heterogenous materials.

Mihály Földi

Lead researcher

Horticulturist, MSc

mihaly.foldi@biokutatas.hu
+36 20 975 7483

As a gardening student, I committed to organic when I came across Alwin Seifert's book, Gardening Without Toxins. Later, as a young horticultural engineer, I met Bandi Parádi, the founder of former Bioculture, in the famous organic garden (OMÉK, 1988), who asked me to join them. This is when my relationship with the bioculture movement began, and I was involved in building it up and established a local group in my hometown. At first, organic farming was only a hobby in the garden and was basically for self-sustenance. Later, as part of the compensation, my family started using the land again to grow organic crops. I pursued my professional training in the same spirit, and I wrote my thesis on biological plant protection based on my own experience. Later on, I had the opportunity to work for several years in various fields of organic farming. From the beginning of the nineties, I paid my dues on our family farm and I also worked in national control, and later in sectoral public administration (supervision of organic farming) where I served as a civil servant representing Hungary. I have been working at ÖMKi since 2012, where I mainly manage grain variety tests

Dr Judit Berényi Üveges

Lead researcher

Graduate in environmental and landscape agricultural engineering, English translator, Ph.D

judit.berenyi.uveges@biokutatas.hu
+36 30 016 7565

I graduated in 1996, as part of the first class of students at the Department of Environmental and Landscape Management at the University of Agricultural Sciences in Gödöllő. During my years at university I became better acquainted with soil as an area of study, and the enthusiasm of my teachers and professors, who taught the subject of soil science, greatly influenced me. I went on to graduate from the post-doctoral school of environmental sciences at the Szent István University, and in addition to deciphering the stories behind different soil profiles, I also examined the extent to which the climatic conditions prevailing at a given time can be deduced from buried soils formed in distant geological eras. This ensured that protected status was granted to the “Atari Periglacial Soil Section”, which has now been included in the national treasury and enjoys local protection.

I then worked for the Ministry of the Environment and then for the Plant and Soil Protection Service and its successors. Here I also participated in research projects on the topic of nutrient management and in collaboration with the Soil Protection Information and Monitoring System. I then worked at the Ministry of Agriculture on policy programs to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture, and it was an unforgettable experience to participate at climate negotiations in Bonn and Katowice, and in the session of the Convention to Combat Drought and Desertification as a member of the Hungarian delegation. However, research has been absent from my life for too long, so I am very happy to be able to join the ÖMKi team, where I am participating in soil research.

Dr. Fruzsina Szira

Lead researcher

Biologist, PhD

fruzsina.szira@biokutatas.hu
+36 (30) 248-3092

I graduated as a biologist at the University of Szeged, then I started working in the field of plant genetics and agribiotechnology. I finished my PhD and for many years I tried to find practice-oriented applied research within the conventional framework, but I was not really successful. I was wandering around like Odysseus, until ÖMKi found me. In my opinion ÖMKi is a great example how we can construct practical research from abstract concepts such as sustainable agriculture economy or food production. My main role is the coordination and financial management of our international grants, and the value chain development of flaked cereals.

Dr. Nóra Szigeti

Research project leader

Environmental Engineer, PhD

nora.szigeti@biokutatas.hu

I graduated from the University of Sopron (formerly the University of West Hungary) in 2003 with a degree in environmental engineering. As a researcher at the university, I performed environment-protecting service and research tasks for several years. I got closer to organic farming during my Ph.D. research: I participated in several European Union projects in agroforestry. I examined the relationship between agroforestry and biodiversity as a member of the Soil Zoology and Ecology Research Group. Later, I analyzed soil databases at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Kőszeg. In the ÖMKi team, my main task is to plan and evaluate soil protection management experiments involving statistical analysis.

Emese Balog

Researcher

Agricultural engineer, specializing in plant protection

emese.balog@biokutatas.hu

In 2010 I graduated from Szent István University of Gödöllő (now the Hungarian University of Agriculture and Life Sciences) as an agricultural engineer, specializing in plant protection. As a departmental engineer and during my doctoral studies I worked as a lecturer-researcher, my main interest was the study of the effects of soil microbes (entomopathogenic bacteria and fungi as promising biocontrol agents) on arthropods. I had been working on the development of an environmentally friendly formulation against soil pests. I also worked briefly in the public administration, as a phytosanitary inspector in export-import and domestic inspections. Returning to research work, for many years I did R&D work for companies marketing crop improvement materials (plant growth promoting rhizobacteria as biofertilizers), ranging from laboratory product development to national field trials. At ÖMKi, I continue along this line of work, assisting with on-site soil testing and on-farm research.

Mária Dani

Researcher

Agricultural engineer, organic farmer

maria.dani@biokutatas.hu

I graduated as an agricultural engineer in 2004 from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Debrecen. I first encountered organic farming there. For 6,5 years I worked as an inspector for a Hungarian control body. I started farming in 2014, and in 2015 I converted my land to organic farming, where I grow arable crops. Since 2017 I don’t use ploughing and I am trying to learn and apply as many elements of regenerative farming as possible. I joined the protein crop on-farm and small plot research of the arable team at ÖMKI as a researcher. I believe that organic farming is good for the environment and for people's health.

Gyöngyi Györéné Kis

Researcher

Graduate in agricultural engineering

gyongyi.kis@biokutatas.hu

+36 30 093 7591

I began my university studies at the Institute of Environmental and Landscape Management at the former Szent István University of Gödöllő (now the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences), where in 2005, I obtained a degree in environmental agricultural engineering, specializing in organic farming. The subject of my dissertation was a comparison between the nutritional content of organic and conventional crops. Thanks to the novelty and popularity of the topic, I was able to work as an organic food consultant. Later I was accepted to the Doctoral School of Environmental Sciences at Szent István University, where I continued to research the subject of my dissertation. I joined the work of the ÖMKi in 2021. I am working on the LIVESEEDING EU project to boost organic seed and plant breeding and promote sustainable, diverse, local food systems. Another area of my work is ancient cereals' nutritional value and potential uses. I am also interested in issues related to healthy eating and sustainability, the nutritional content of organic food, and consumer habits. I am confident that my presence can contribute to the development of the field.

Tina Kovács

Researcher

Graduate in agricultural engineering

Currently on maternity leave

I graduated as an agricultural engineer at the University of Ljubljana in 2012, but a year spent in India as a volunteer at an education and research centre made me realize what an indispensable element locally grown and consumed organic food is for preserving our planet. That is why I continued my studies at the University of Maribor, the only academic institution in Slovenia offering a master's degree in organic farming. By participating in various scholarships and international projects, I have gained additional professional experience in such well-known institutions as the Institute for Sustainable Development in Slovenia, the University of Aarhus in Denmark, the Arche Noah in Austria, and the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture in Hungary. After becoming acquainted with the on-farm research of ÖMKi and its enthusiastic and dedicated staff, the decision to begin my PhD research here in 2016 was an easy one. The subject of my research is the application of field spectrometry in analysing the quality of small grains. I am trying to tour the country in my free time by joining the National Blue Trail hiking movement, in order to get to know the nature and landscape of Hungary as much as possible.

Anna Katalin Fekete

Research assistant

BSc in Horticultural engineering, MSc in Plant protection

anna.katalin.fekete@biokutatas.hu

I graduated from Corvinus University of Budapest (now Hungarian Agricultural and Life Sciences University) as a horticultural engineer in 2016, and then I obtained a Master's degree in Plant protection in 2018. Since March 2023, I have been working at ÖMKi as a member of the arable land team. Currently I am working on small plot variety trials, on-farm networking and I am involved in the international project Divinfood. I am also studying a postgraduate course in Organic Farming Engineering on a correspondence course.

Balázs Lukácsi

Technical assistant

Secondary school teacher, librarian

balazs.lukacsi@biokutatas.hu

Since July 2022, as a technical assistant of ÖMKi, I have been involved in the operation of the research institute with a variety of field and office background work. I am responsible for the management of our vehicles, research equipment, warehouses, soil and plant sampling, sample processing and material handling.

My initial qualifications are as a secondary school teacher of Hungarian language and literature and philosophy, which have been supplemented over the years by qualifications as a librarian, beekeeper and farmer. A lay interest in agriculture, horticulture and ecology, and a practical interest in the field, brought me to ÖMKi after my years of work at the Hungarian Agricultural Museum and Library.

Judit Fehér

Independent expert

Biologist, MSc

judit.feher@biokutatas.hu
+36 30 147 0426

I graduated as a biologist at the Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, in 2005. Although I’ve spent the first 6 years of my professional life in the field of immunology research, the protection of the environment and sustainable agriculture have always been important to me. In 2010, we started a family farm and collecting and growing landraces and traditional varieties. In 2012, with some likeminded friends we’ve set up Magház, a civil network for agricultural diversity. My professional life and personal interest finally united when I started to work at ÖMKi in 2017. My main tasks are concentrated around seeds, agrobiodiversity management and related policy issues.

Horticulture team

Dr Ferenc Tóth

Head of horticultural team, Researcher

Agricultural engineer, engineering teacher, PhD

ferenc.toth@biokutatas.hu
+36 20 321 5383

I graduated from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Gödöllő (later the Szent István University, now the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences), where I went on to hold a teaching position until the end of 2021. During my university years I became a certified beekeeper, and graduated in agricultural engineering and engineering teaching in 1993. I obtained my PhD in 1997, and completed my post-doctoral habilitation in 2006. As a university lecturer, I held the positions of course administrator, BSc and MSc consultant, and PhD supervisor in the field of plant protection zoology. I also focused on the agricultural role of spiders, nematodes and mites, the plant protection aspects of field protection strips and organic soil cover, as well as the plant protection issues involved in extensive and intensive horticultural production systems.

I came into direct contact with ÖMKi in 2015, when together with several of my colleagues and students we got involved in the study of landrace tomato varieties. In order to deepen this successful cooperation, I changed jobs in 2021, so that I would have the opportunity to continue my research and supervisory activities in the field of organic farming as an employee of ÖMKi, in addition to maintaining professional links to academia.

Orsolya Papp

Lead researcher

Horticulturist, MSc

orsolya.papp@biokutatas.hu
+36 20 321 7014

I graduated as a horticultural Engineer in 2001 from the former University of Horticulture and Food Industry in Budapest. After my studies, I spent a few years on botanical research, which I consider to be an important foundation for organic farming, as my studies focused on natural ecological systems. For three years I managed the Pangea Association's Breuer László Training Center in Bakony (Pénzesgyőr), where, as well as managing and maintaining the seven-hectare mixed organic demonstration garden, I conducted forest school classes and taught bio-horticulture. In the Krishna Valley of Somogyvámos, I was the leader of the production unit of organic vegetables for commercial purposes and a consultant for self-supply vegetable and fruit production units. I also managed the organic vegetable garden of the Zöldtanya at Szeged-Sziksóstó, which also operated as a community garden. At ÖMKi, I work as an officer of organic fruit, vegetable and medicinal herb cultivation, organizing research, training and professional advisory services.

Tamás Miglécz

Research project leader

Biology graduate, English translator, PhD

tamas.miglecz@biokutatas.hu
+36 30 589 7274

I am a certified biologist, and I completed my university studies at the University of Debrecen. Back in 2007, I took part in plant ecology and conservation biology research at the university's Department of Ecology as a specialist. After graduating, I continued my work in the same place, first as a PhD student and then as a postdoctoral fellow. I started working with ÖMKi in 2012, when the testing of inter-row seed mixes began, with the participation of the Department of Ecology at the University of Debrecen. I was in the fortunate position of working from 2013 to 2015 as a postdoctoral fellow at ÖMKi, where this was my main area of ​​research. It was at this time that I began to take a greater interest in sustainability. As part of this, I am particularly interested in making agricultural cultivation more sustainable, and one great way of doing this is through the inter-row planting of perennial crops. I am delighted to be able to continue my work in this area as an employee of ÖMKi. My goal is to help further disseminate this method, and to adapt it to Hungarian conditions.

Dr. László Mezőfi

Research project leader

Horticultural Engineer BSc, Plant Physician MSc, Ph.D.

Specialisation: agroecology, plant entomology and biostatistics

laszlo.mezofi@biokutatas.hu

I graduated from the Faculty of Horticulture of the Corvinus University of Budapest (now the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences) in 2015 as a certified plant doctor. From then until 2023, I was a teaching and research associate at the Department of Insect Science, first as a PhD student and then as an assistant professor. I joined the ÖMKi team in January 2023.

As a university lecturer, I was involved in teaching a number of courses (mostly in the fields of entomology, pest management, integrated and organic pest management, beekeeping and experimental design and evaluation) and I was a consultant for a number of BSc and MSc courses. My main research interests are agro-entomology, current issues in integrated and organic pest management and the ecology of arthropod assemblages in orchards. Among beneficial arthropod organisms, I focus on spiders (Araneae), in particular the pest limitation capacity of this group, its ecological role in agricultural fields, the biology and behavioural ecology of individual species. In connection with my work, I also have extensive experience in data processing and statistical analysis. In recent years, I have received several awards for my extensive professional and scientific activities, including the Pro Scientia Gold Medal from the National Council of Scientific Students in 2015, the Jermy Tibor Award from the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in 2019, and the Lajos Rainiss Memorial Medal from the Hungarian Plant Protection Society in 2021.

Within ÖMKi, I am currently researching the effects of habitat diversification (sown inter-row cover vegetation) on ecosystem services and the composition of plantation arthropod assemblages in vineyards and apple orchards.

Emese Gyöngyösi

Research project leader

Agronomist, MA in Regional and environmental economics

emese.gyongyosi@biokutatas.hu

I graduated from the Faculty of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences of Szent István University in 2014, majoring in agro-environmental engineering. During my master's studies, rural development and short supply chains became the focus of my interest. It is extremely important to me to support initiatives that help people living a busy metropolitan life access fresh and chemical-free food. As an organizing member of a small-scale farmers’ market, I encourage locals to purchase healthy, organic food from secure and ethical sources. At ÖMKi, I am involved in Co-Fresh project as well as in the cultivation technology research of landrace tomatoes.

Milibák Flóra

Researcher

Agricultural engineer

Plant Protection Engineer

Teacher of Agricultural Engineering

flora.milibak@biokutatas.hu

In 2020 I graduated as an agricultural engineer at the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of Szent István University. From my first semester I was involved in laboratory and field research at the university, focusing on spatial and temporal patterns of vegetation functioning, especially the reflectance spectrum. After my bachelor's degree, I graduated in 2022 with a Master's degree in Plant Medicine from the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences, where I focused my studies on horticultural crops. From 2020 I participated in the work of the ÖMKi as an external collaborator, so that I could get to know the practical research side in addition to the general and specific knowledge of natural sciences, agriculture and technology acquired during my studies.

Dóra Sára Selmeczi

Researcher

Agricultural Engineer BSc, Plant Doctor MSc, PhD student (Doctoral School of Biological Sciences)

dora.selmeczi@biokutatas.hu
+36 (30) 073-3602 

In 2020, I graduated as an Agricultural Engineer at Szent István University (now Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences), and then continued my studies as a plant doctor at MATE. I graduated in 2022 with a degree in Plant Medicine. I am currently a student at the MATE Doctoral School of Biological Sciences. I knew from the beginning of my studies that I wanted to work in soil science and soil zoology, and during my university years I became more and more passionate about organic farming, environmental protection and soil conservation. I also worked on soil conservation and earthworms for my thesis, and during my Master's degree my research area expanded to include pests and free-living nematodes. My current PhD studies are also focused on these topics. As a researcher at the Hungarian Researcj Institute of Organic Agriculture, I am currently conducting experiments on soil covering, soil nutrition and soil zoology, earthworms and free-living nematodes, as well as conducting literature research and plant medicine.

Dr. Ádám Donkó

Independent expert

Horticulturist, PhD

adam.donko@biokutatas.hu

I graduated from the Faculty of Horticulture at Corvinus University of Budapest in 2010 with a degree in Horticulture (majoring in viticulture). As part of my thesis, we conducted a comparative study of different soil management methods in the Tokaj wine region. I continued my studies from 2010 at the Doctoral School of Horticultural Sciences. In addition to soil care experiments, my PhD research was focused on the mycorrhizal connections of grapes in four wine regions with six different grape varieties and different cultivation technologies. At ÖMKi, I have been able to move forward in the direction I set out on at university, as we are conducting a comparative study of the cover crop of a multiple species in seven wine regions.

Animal husbandry team

Dr Aliz Márton

Head of animal husbandry team

Degree in agricultural engineering, PhD

aliz.marton@biokutatas.hu

I graduated in 2003 as a general agricultural engineer at what was then the Georgikon Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Veszprém in Keszthely. After graduating from university, I applied for a full-time doctoral degree at the university. After completing my doctoral studies, I oversaw communication and program management at the faculty for a time, and then, when the opportunity arose, I continued my work at the Department of Animal Physiology and Nutrition as a teaching assistant. I successfully completed my doctorate there in 2018. As a university assistant professor, I have been involved in the teaching of animal physiology and anatomy, and the nutrition and reproductive biology of farm animals, as well as participating in the department’s research projects.

I have always sought to engage with practice, and consider it important to acquire and transfer practical knowledge in addition to theory.

In the summer of 2021, I joined the ÖMKi animal husbandry project research group, in which we carry out sensory monitoring of beef cattle raised in an organic environment, in order to contribute to the development of sustainable farming practices and reduce the ecological footprint of ruminants.

Petra Balogh

Research assistant

MSc in organic agricultural engineering

Degree in agricultural engineering

petra.balogh@biokutatas.hu

In 2019, I graduated from Szent István University (now the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences) with a master's degree in organic agricultural engineering. My undergraduate studies were in agricultural engineering, majoring in animal husbandry. The subject of my dissertation involved studying the milk production of small ruminants, with special regard to changes in the animal’s somatic cell count values. During my research, I investigated the prevention possibilities of the organic herb feed supplement on a backyard goat herd, and successfully applied this technique. After my studies, I was able to test myself in the fields of tourism and hospitality, as well as horticulture and animal husbandry. I joined the ÖMKi team in 2021, and am currently involved in animal husbandry research. My responsibilities include assisting with project processes and fieldwork, and performing administrative tasks. Through my work I am gaining practical experience in the field of modern animal husbandry that I can apply both to current research and in the future. I am proud to contribute to the development of organic agriculture as a member of the team.

Miklós Biszkup

Research assistant

miklos.biszkup@biokutatas.hu

I am a programmer by qualification, but thanks to our family business, I found myself in agrotourism and conference organization immediately after finishing my studies, and went on to spend 24 years in that field. We have worked with ÖMKi on several projects and conferences. I am currently involved in animal husbandry research, in which I use my previous IT experience to help with research into IoT devices.

Barbara Török

Research assistant

Organic farming engineer MSc

Degree in animal husbandry

barbara.torok@biokutatas.hu

I graduated as organic farming engineer (MSc) in 2019, at the Szent István University of Gödöllő. Previously I completed the bachelor's degree on animal husbandry engineering at the same University. Through the education I gained basic knowledge of organic farming and besides the studies, also enjoyed working as an event organizer. I was pleased to join ÖMKi's team in the summer of 2020. My current role is a research assistant and I'm eager to gain as much experience as possible, and hope that with my work I will be able to contribute towards a more sustainable future.

Dr Gábor Pajor

Independent expert

Veterinarian - data analyst and computer scientist

gabor.pajor@biokutatas.hu
+36 (30) 24-84-182

I am a veterinary data analyst and computer scientist. I feel rather like a living representative of a profession that doesn’t yet exist today. I specialize in the digital agricultural economy, including precision animal husbandry. As a data analyst, I deal with the processing and analysis of the data generated in significant quantities every day at all industrial livestock farms. At the same time, I support any solution that collects even more usable data about animals and their environment. I try to link the professional and the economic / financial processes of animal husbandry. My analyses make production processes transparent, as well as the impact of the environment on animals, meaning that significant animal welfare, cost-reducing and efficiency-enhancing changes can be introduced into daily production processes. Within ÖMKi’s animal husbandry projects, I utilize and further enrich my decades of practical experience in order to make animal husbandry solutions not only cheaper, but also far better able to satisfy the needs of animals. My experience is that only healthy animals in a suitable environment can produce continuously and to a high standard.

Agricultural policy team

Korinna Varga

Head of agricultural policy team, Research project leader

Agronomist, MSc in Environmental Policy, Expert in agroecology and agricultural policy

korinna.varga@biokutatas.hu
+36 30 171 8291

I was raised with an environmentally friendly attitude and a love of nature that stayed with me through my high school years. But before I fully embraced the spirit of organic and sustainable agriculture, I took a minor detour in 2012 in communication and media studies. I graduated as an agricultural engineer in 2015 in English language at Szent István University. I gained experience through community-supported agriculture and by volunteering in France for six months. This trip was one of the defining elements that broadened my horizons, and in France I had gained insights into the workings of several organic farms and contributed to production through practical work. I started working at ÖMKi in 2017. I was responsible for communications, PR and media coverage, dissemination of international projects, and coordination of the PLAID and LIVESEED projects in Hungary. In the meantime, I completed a Master’s degree in environmental policy at the Central European University, and since 2019 I have been supporting the ÖMKi team as a researcher. I coordinate the thematic working group on agro-ecological intensification and sustainable yields within the BIOEAST Central-Eastern Europe Initiative. I also coordinate the GO-GRASS project, which explores new opportunities for grassland management and green fodder production.

Valéria Csonka

Researcher

Horticultural engineer BSc, Plant Protection Engineer MSc, Expert in agroecology and agricultural policy

valeria.csonka@biokutatas.hu

+36 30 185 4544

I graduated as a Horticultural Engineer (BSc) in 2018 and as a Plant Protection Engineer (MSc) in 2020 at Szent István University. During my university studies, I spent half a year in Spain at the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV), which helped me to broaden my view in an international context, in addition to learning languages. In my theses I was working on poppy breeding and the identification of a new pathogen in plane-tree.

After my university studies, I started working at the Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture, where I was mainly involved in international projects and the coordination of the Agroecology thematic working group of the BIOEAST Initiative. During my time here I had the opportunity to learn more about agricultural policy and the agroecology approach through projects.

I have been working at ÖMKI since August 2022, where I’m mainly focusing on research related to agroecology and agricultural policy. I am also involved in the coordination of the BIOEAST Agroecology thematic working group from ÖMKI’s side and I support the implementation of the ALL-Ready, GO-GRASS and CLEVERFOOD projects in Hungary.

Csillag Bittermann

Researcher

Biochemist, Expert in Human Ecology

csillag.bittermann@biokutatas.hu

+36 30 258 6436

I completed my MA degree in Human Ecology in 2021. My research topic and thesis focused on the effect of climate change and globalization in the high-altitude traditional desert community and ecology of the Ladakh region in northern India. In light of the depletion and the unpredictable nature of the availability of natural resources, I am especially interested in sustainable rural development amongst other things.

I began working in the communications group at ÖMKi in the spring of 2022 where I was able to gain access and insight into the various research groups, their activities, and topics currently running at ÖMKi both on the national and EU levels. I was involved in project dissemination activities tied to ÖMKis projects, planning and executing social media campaigns, event planning and coordination, and other communication-related tasks. As of January 2023, I have been working as a researcher in the Agricultural Policy Research Group, where I am involved in supporting the implementation of the Agroecology-TRANSECT and Climate Farm Demo projects.

Gerda Jónász

Researcher

PhD, Agricultural policy researcher

Area of expertise: agroecology, environmental policy and agricultural policy

gerda.jonasz@gmail.com
+36 20 4385977

 

I originally graduated in professional diplomacy from the College of Foreign Trade, from where my internship at WWF led me straight to a degree in human ecology at ELTE. Finally, I completed my Master's degree in Environmental Policy as a fellow of the MESPOM consortium coordinated by the Central European University (CEU), Lund University, International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics, and Manchester University in 2008. For my doctoral dissertation, I conducted my research in Valencia, Spain; investigating how organic farming and the communities that organise around it contribute to the protection of historically important agricultural landscapes threatened by urban sprawl. I received my PhD from the Department of Environmental Science and Policy at the Central European University in 2015.
Subsequently, my postdoctoral research, coordinated by the University of Szeged through the ÖMKi fellowship programme, focused on mapping cooperation within the domestic agroecological sector.
Since 2016, I have been involved in ÖMKi's international agroecological research projects from home, next to my children, as a delegated research officer (ECT-OVC, DIVERSIFOOD, FOODHUB, DIVERIMPACT, ALL-READY, GO-GRASS).
I consider it essential that social and environmental justice should become a guiding principle of agricultural policy, among other things.

Advisory team

Katalin Allacherné Szépkuthy

Senior consultant

Horticultural engineer

katalin.szepkuthy@biokutatas.hu
+36 30 147 0430

I graduated from the University of Horticulture and Food Industry in 1994 as a horticultural engineer, majoring in organic farming, and subsequently taught and researched there, at the Department of Ecological and Sustainable Farming Systems, as a research assistant until the spring of 2000. From 1995 I worked in oversight bodies for a number of international inspection and certification organizations, then at Biokontroll Hungária, and from 2000 at Hungária Öko Garancia Kft., where I was managing director between 2015-2019. I am well acquainted with organic farming regulations, including the relevant Hungarian and EU regulations, as well as private standards systems (Biosuisse, Demeter, Biosuisse, Naturland, Bioaustria). In addition, I am familiar with the details of other regulatory requirements for agricultural production and food processing, such as the requirements of GMO-free production, and GlobalG.A.P. With 25 years of inspection experience, I can also help farmers who turn to us for assistance in crop production, horticulture and animal husbandry.

I have known and supported ÖMKi since its foundation, and I consider its dialogue, joint work, and dissemination of knowledge between science and everyday management practice to be exemplary. I believe it is important to make the principles of organic farming known to as many producers as possible and, even if they do not undertake to transform their entire production processes, to use at least some elements: lowering pesticide use by means of intercropping and a more diverse range of crops, and consciously designing and managing areas of biodiversity. I would like to see more industry dialogue on certain issues regarding large-scale animal husbandry and food processing, animal welfare, environmental impact, and the ecological footprint of production systems.

Dr Gábor László Papócsi

Consultant supervisor

Graduate in agricultural engineering, English-Hungarian technical translator

laszlo.papocsi@biokutatas.hu

I attended the University of Agricultural Sciences in Gödöllő (now the Szent István University) where, alongside my studies in technical English translation, I also obtained a degree in agricultural engineering. I went on to complete my PhD in agricultural engineering at the Budapest University of Economics. Since the beginning of my career I have considered my primary tasks to be helping farmers, and creating, organizing, and coordinating knowledge transfer programs and services, within which agricultural consulting work provides an excellent opportunity to learn about practical problems and needs, and to develop and deliver potential solutions. From the mid-1990s, in parallel with the increasing importance of the Internet, I had the opportunity to participate in a number of agro-IT projects of national and international significance, including the coordination of the eFarmer project, which was a forerunner of the now well-known e-Application system. At the request of the FAO, I was able to help build the AKIS system and info-communication platform of several countries, and to help develop their digital strategy as an international expert.

Agricultural informatics team

Balázs Labus

Head of agricultural informatics team, Research project leader

IT expert and agronomist in management

balazs.labus@biokutatas.hu
+36 30 260 4418

I graduated in 2014 at the Corvinus University of Budapest as Agricultural Information Technology and Policy Administration Engineer. From simple imaging, I specialized in remote sensing with several-year experiences in imaging spectroscopy and aerial monitoring as development and application engineer. I have always been looking for the opportunity to work for sustainibility on the emerging connection of nature and technology. At ÖMKi I am working in the exciting field of agri-IT, mainly supporting precision farming projects like spectral diease detection and cereal variety evaluation methods.

Péter Sulyán

Agricultural Informatics research project leader

Graduate agricultural engineer and fishery management engineer

peter.sulyan@biokutatas.hu

I graduated from the Gödöllő University of Agricultural Sciences in 1998 as an agricultural engineer, majoring in horticulture. In my dissertation I examined the effect of light conditions on the quality and quantity of grape yield. Subsequently, I completed a postgraduate degree in system informatics, and in 2014 I obtained a degree in fisheries and fish management engineering. Initially, I performed official duties in the field of agricultural land protection, and later – having been interested from a young age in both informatics and nature – I worked at the Ministry of Agriculture, where I chiefly carried out tasks related to GIS and Natura 2000 in the field of nature conservation. As a member of ÖMki's agro-informatics group, I mostly provide IT support for research and projects, as well as taking part in related development tasks and remote sensory data collection. In addition, I have not stepped away from conservation, as in my spare time I am involved in research into protected butterfly species. Academic social life is likewise an important part of my everyday life: I am the secretary of the Department of Nature Conservation and Ecology of the Hungarian Biological Society and a member of the board of the Hungarian Entomological Society.

Dániel Bori

Agricultural informatics associate

daniel.bori@biokutatas.hu

I joined ÖMKi as a trainee, coming from the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences, Faculty of Conservation Engineering, in the spring of 2023. Previously, I studied computer engineering, worked as a freelance videographer and as a geoinformatics technician. At ÖMKi, I am involved in automating data processing processes, implementing and analysing remote sensing measurements, and producing videos in collaboration with the communications team. A central part of my interest map is the transition to environmentally friendly, multifunctional agriculture. For me, this sets the direction as a tool for agri-digitalisation.

Finance team

Ilona Timárné Deibler

Economic manager

Economist, MSc

ilona.deibler@biokutatas.hu
+36 1 244 8358

I got my degree as an economist from the Carl Marx University of Economy in 1985. While I was still in education, and afterwards, I tried my hand at various jobs in the areas of business and enterprise, from the bottom to the top of the hierarchy. As I always had ideas about how to implement changes, and in my experience, the most practical way of doing this is from a management position, for which I already had both the experience and qualifications. I managed the economic activities at several companies between 1987 and 2000. In 2000, I took a sharp turn and found a job in public administration. First I worked in the economic regulation of news communication, then I moved into an economic management position again between 2002 and 2019, but this time in the public sector. In the spring of 2019, the winds changed and blew me towards ÖMKi. I found myself in a really friendly team and together we are striving to steer our world towards sustainable development.

Bence Takács

Office manager, Project assistant

Horticulturist, BSc
Agronomist in environmental management, MSc

bence.takacs@biokutatas.hu
+36 30 427 3647

I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in horticulture in 2013 from Szent István University (formerly Corvinus University of Budapest), with a specialization in the cultivation of medicinal herbs. I received my master’s degree in agronomics in environmental management from Szent István University in 2015. I wrote both my theses on medicinal herbs and the active substance content of tea infusions made of them. Since a very young age, I have been fascinated in gardening, the use of medicinal herbs and their pharmacological effects, as well as plant care. I also do garden design, landscaping and maintenance. I am committed to protecting the environment, and I practice chemical-free herb, vegetable and fruit cultivation. At ÖMKi my tasks include formal proofreading of published materials and managing issues surrounding the background activities of our current projects.

Szilvia Szalai

Chief Accountant

Chartered Accountant, economist, BSc

szilvia.szalai@biokutatas.hu
+36 20 972 2116

Thanks to my technical training and qualifications I was able to start working in an area really close to me.

As a chartered accountant I carry out the full tax and accounting duties. I received my degree at the Department of Financial Accounting at Zsigmond Király College, which helped me to broaden the range and scope of my business by providing additional financial and controlling services.

At ÖMKi, besides bookkeeping, payroll, and tax reporting, I help develop and maintain the economic framework of the projects as a controller, and I support predictability by providing an up-to-date and transparent financial system.

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Communications team

Jade Ducretot

Head of communications team, Communications associate

Currently on maternity leave

I graduated from the Budapest College of Communication (now called Metropolitan University) in tourism and catering. In addition to my postgraduate studies, I have been collecting practical experience in as many areas as possible. This has given me an insight into the world of tourism development, the hotel industry, international relations, health tourism, and the marketing agency sector. I have worked in various fields to develop communication channels, and in my current position I strive to make more people aware of the importance of organic farming. In my daily life I find it very important to eat healthily. I think it is crucial to choose local, healthy, seasonal products and I share opinions about cooking with these ingredients on my blog.

Szilvia Dóra

Acting head of communications team

Communication specialist

szilvia.dora@biokutatas.hu

+36 20 945 4808 

Previously, I supported the WCC's activities as an external consultant, mainly in the field of PR, media relations and press relations, and from autumn 2022 I am happy to take over the overall marketing communications.

As a passionate environmentalist and sustainability professional, I am happy to contribute my marketing experience to spreading the good practices and the word about organic farming. I am happy to represent the common goal of bringing niche research results to farmers and hobby gardeners, and putting more healthy, home-grown organic produce on the tables of domestic consumers.

With a degree in economics, several years of experience in advertising agencies and marketing at multinational companies, I first learned how to create a sustainable lifestyle as the communications manager of the Hungarian Association of Nature Conservationists. Later on, as an active volunteer for the Tiszai PET Kupa and later as a communications specialist, I continued to represent environmental protection in my work, which is still complemented by the communication of exemplary sustainability programmes. As a Smartfluencer, I also work on issues of individual and corporate sustainability, waste minimisation and recycling, nature conservation and the careful and sustainable use of our resources.

Petra Almási

Communications associate

Horticultural engineer

petra.almasi@biokutatas.hu

I graduated from the Hungarian University of Agricultural and Life Sciences in 2021 as a horticultural engineer, specializing in organic farming and nature conservation. In my dissertation I dealt with urban food self-sufficiency. In 2017, I completed an online marketing management training course, and was able to practice and further develop the knowledge I gained here in a variety of areas over subsequent years. These two qualifications have come together at ÖMKI, where I have been working since the day I graduated. As a communications associate, I am involved in internal and external communications, event management, coordination of our content, product development and dissemination of our projects.

Vanda Görömbölyi

Communications associate

Communication specialist

vanda.gorombolyi@biokutatas.hu

I have a degree in Communication and Cultural Management and over the past decade and a half I have applied my knowledge in a variety of fields, from media to public administration, from culture to higher education, in both communication and event management.

An ecological approach has always been close to my heart. I believe that sustainable agriculture and food production is a subject that concerns us all and that has a significant impact not only on the future of future generations, but also on our own lives. It is therefore a particular pleasure for me to support the work of the researchers of ÖMKi as a communication associate, helping to ensure that their results, ideas and guidelines reach as many people as possible.

My main tasks are the organisation and communication of events, and communication tasks related to European Union projects.

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