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Dr. Wilf Keller elected new AIC Board Chair

July 28, 2016 – Ottawa, Ontario – The Agricultural Institute of Canada (AIC), Canada’s leading advocate for agricultural research, is pleased to announce that Wilf Keller, PhD, PAg, has been named the new Chair of the Board of Directors.

Dr. Keller has been actively involved in agricultural research for over 40 years, particularly focused on the development and application of biotechnologies for the genetic modification of crops.  He has led numerous major research initiatives and is a tireless advocate for the sector and its advancement.

Dr. Keller replaces Lianne Dwyer, PhD, who completed her term as Chair but will remain on the Board.  Dr. Dwyer was originally elected to the Board in 2010 and became Chair in February 2014.  Among other achievements, she oversaw the introduction of Canada’s first agricultural research policy in 2015.

Andrea Brocklebank, MSc, PAg has also joined the Board of AIC as a Director.  Andrea is the Executive Director of the Beef Cattle Research Council, a division of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association.

Joining Dr. Keller in leading AIC are Vice-Chair Richard Heck, PhD, PAg, and Secretary-Treasurer Al Scholz, PAg, CAC, CMC.


“I am very pleased to welcome Dr. Keller as our new Chair.  He has been a tireless advocate for agricultural research in Canada and we know that his leadership will help us to advance a number of priorities for AIC and the sector.”

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I want to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Dwyer for her leadership of AIC, and particularly in guiding the organization to releasing Canada’s first-ever agricultural research policy that is so critical for our sector.  She will remain an invaluable resource through her continued presence on our Board.”

Serge Buy, CEO, AIC

“I look forward to leading the Board and chairing an organization that, since 1920, has been a strong advocate for agricultural research.  The mandate and objectives of the Agricultural Institute of Canada match my personal views and I am confident that we will provide agricultural research a stronger voice on the federal scene.”

Dr. Wilf Keller, Chair, AIC


Dr. Wilf Keller worked at the Research Branch of Agriculture Canada in Ottawa from 1973-89, where he pursued research on cell genetics of selected Canadian crops and contributed to the establishment of a plant biotechnology research program, which he chaired from 1980-89.  In 1990, he accepted a position with the Plant Biotechnology Institute (PBI) of the National Research Council of Canada in Saskatoon and served as Group Leader for canola biotechnology research and Head of the Transgenic Plant Centre until 1999, when he assumed the position of Research Director.

In July 2007, Dr. Keller assumed the role of Acting Director General, PBI for a period of one year.  From June 2008 to May 2012, Dr. Keller served as president and CEO for Genome Prairie.  He is currently President of Ag-West Bio Inc.

Dr. Keller has been actively involved in the development and application of biotechnologies for the genetic modification of crops, particularly canola.  He has collaborated with numerous government, university and industry groups and has provided training for researchers in plant biotechnology.  He has led major research initiatives on the application of genomics in canola improvement, the development of industrial bioproducts from vegetable oils, and production of bioactive natural products in plants for enhanced human health and quality of life.  He has given many presentations and lectures on biotechnology including public awareness and public education aspects of this emerging field.

In June, 2010, Dr. Keller was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society for In Vitro Biology.


About AIC

Created in 1920, the Agricultural Institute of Canada is a centre of knowledge for science in agriculture.  Our mandate is to advocate on behalf of agricultural research, disseminate information on agricultural research, promote careers in agricultural research and create international linkages.

Visit for more information.  Follow us on Twitter: @AgInstitute

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Alyson Queen
Director, Communications