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 Aysegul Sirakaya, LLM – legal advisor

Aysegul Sirakaya studied at Bilkent University and London Metropolitan University. After she obtained her bachelor’s degree in law, she attended Ghent University where she was awarded her LL.M. degree in International and European Law. Her previous work experience includes editorship of Biodiversity and Ecosystems Policy at Politheor, and expert on biosafety regulations and WTO at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. She developed her expertise on access and benefit-sharing regulations at eCOAST where she worked on mapping and reviewing the national ABS frameworks. She is currently working towards her PhD together with ABS-int and Ghent University. Her PhD aims to create legal solutions for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in order to result in a mutually supportive ABS system.


Ms Jane Eva Collins, MSc – Science and Policy Research Fellow

Jane is a science and policy research fellow at ABS-int, with a background in oceanography and marine environmental science. Jane has international experience working in industry associated with the responsible management of marine resources. Over recent years, Jane has focused on the interface between science and policy linked to human activities in the ocean. Jane’s work at present involves research into the legal, policy and business aspects associated with development of marine genetic resources into marketable products. This includes an assessment of the value chain for different target end markets (pharmaceutical, cosmetics, nutraceutical, food and feed sectors) as well as consideration for how these processes could be streamlined. Jane is currently conducting a PhD hosted by ABS-int and KU Leuven as part of the Marie-Curie MarPipe Project. She is Co-Lead of the Deep Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) Deep-Sea Genetic Resources working group, is a member of the Pool of Experts (marine genetic resources) of the Regular Process Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea (DOALOS) United Nations, and Manager for the Global Genome Biodiversity Network (GGBN) Document Library’s Marine Legislation and Regulation Category.