Prof Dr Patrick Rudelsheim – senior regulatory advisor and managing partner

Prof Dr. Patrick Rüdelsheim obtained his PhD in Biology from Antwerp University in Belgium. In 1990, he joined Plant Genetic Systems N.V., Belgium where, after being in charge of Product Development and Registration, he was appointed Director Regulatory Affairs and Member of the PGS Board. During subsequent mergers and acquisitions, he became Global Head Regulatory Affairs BioScience within respectively the AgrEvo group, Aventis CropScience and Bayer CropScience. In 2003, he founded and became General Partner of Perseus BVBA. He is active in diverse associations (President 2008-2010 of the “International Society for Biosafety Research”; President 2011-2012 of the “European BioSafety Association”, co-founder of the “Belgian Biosafety Professionals”, member of the board of Bio.Be, member of the board and chairman of the “TF Safety in Biotechnology” of the European Federation of Biotechnology, member of EuropaBio).

Monitoring the developments of the Convention on Biological Diversity, he was involved in the implementation of the Cartagena and the Nagoya Protocols. In addition to training and assisting users in fulfilling their obligations, he is engaged as an expert in the EU project establishing sector specific guidance document related to the pharma and biotechnology sectors, as well as for academia and collections.

Dr Thomas Vanagt– senior scientific advisor and managing partner

Thomas Vanagt originally trained as a marine ecologist, obtaining a PhD in biology from Ghent University in Belgium. He is the managing director of eCOAST, a marine environmental research centre in Belgium. Over the past few years, Thomas has been working closely with science and industry on ABS, particularly on Marine Genetic Resources (MGR). He is one of the key experts on ABS of MGR for Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdictions, advising negotiators at the United Nations.

He has been giving trainings to users of genetic resources all over Europe, and has given numerous presentations at international scientific conferences about the Nagoya Protocol and the EU ABS Regulation. He has also published on ABS models, and is working actively on developing ABS models that create win-wins for both users and providers. Since 2012, Thomas Vanagt has been the work package leader of the legal and policy WP of the EU funded project PharmaSea. This work package specifically looked at the legal obligations of users of genetic resources, and performed numerous outreach activities towards users. Thomas is also responsible for the legal work package in the recently started Marie Curie project, MarPipe, on the marine biodiscovery pipeline.

Mr Dominic Muyldermans LLM – senior legal advisor

Dominic Muyldermans, independent attorney and advisor to ABS-int, studied law in Leuven and Strasbourg, and obtained a Master of Law (LL.M) from University College London. He has been a member of the Brussels bar, working as an attorney in the Intellectual Property Department of the law firm Allen & Overy. He has been senior counsel at Bayer CropScience, BioScience, with global responsibilities for the rice market area, as well as for legal matters related to certain public and governmental affairs. He is now working as an independent attorney focusing on issues of ABS and Intellectual Property (IP). He has been advising CropLife International, an international federation of agricultural biotechnology companies, as well as EuropaBio, the European Biotech Association, on ABS and IP for many years. He is a regular speaker on these topics, has published several articles on ABS, and has been engaged in international training workshops on ABS. He is also a designated expert of the team discussing a sector specific guidance document related to the biotechnology sector under the EU ABS Regulation, as well as an active participant on the ABS Task Force of the International Chamber of Commerce, and has been leading the subteams on Digital Sequence Information (DSI) and Derivatives. Additionally, he has been the industry representative on the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on DSI under the CBD and the Nagoya Protocol.


Ms Cato De Roeck, – Junior legal advisor

Cato De Roeck obtained her Master of Law at Ghent University, specializing in international and European environmental law. She started at ABS-int as a legal intern writing her dissertation on the link between access and benefit-sharing and biodiversity conservation while analysing best practices around Like-Minded Megadiverse Countries. In academic year 2021/2022, she will pursue an MSc in Environment, Politics and Development at King’s College London.

Mr Royhanur Islam, MSc – Marine Sciences