Dr. Maurício Lopes is a member of the Advisory Group to the Director General of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in Rome, a member of the Council for the Promotion of Bioeconomy, Berlin, and a senior researcher at the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation - Embrapa Agroenergia, in Brasilia.
He was previously the Head of Research and Development of Embrapa (2000-2003) and of Embrapa Genetic Resources and Biotechnology (2004-2007). His major scientific contributions include the development and release of improved maize varieties and germplasm, capacity building activities, and many research papers and book chapters. His contributions in R&D strategic planning and management led to Embrapa´s current R&D Management System (SEG), among many other outstanding achievements. Dr. Lopes has served in a number of national and international committees, missions, panels and working groups related to agricultural R&D. At FAO, he supported the implementation of an internationally facilitated platform dedicated to plant breeding capacity building.
Dr. Lopes was Coordinator of Labex Korea (2009-2011) and a member of the Scientific Council of the Agropolis Foundation, Montpellier (2007-2012), the Executive Board of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, Bonn (2013-2016), and the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, London (2013-2018). Since 2015, he is a member of the International Advisory Committee of the Global Bioeconomy Council, Berlin, Germany. In 2015 he was elected as a member of the Brazilian Academy of Agriculture. He was the Executive Director of Research and Development of Embrapa, in Brasilia from 2011 to 2012, and the President of Embrapa, the Brazilian Agricultural Research Organization from 2012 to 2018. He was also a Guest Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis - IIASA, Austria from 2018 to 2019. He was recipient of the 2007 Embrapa R&D Excellence Award, in recognition of his contribution as R&D Manager at the Genetic Resources and Biotechnology Center. He was awarded the Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award from Purdue University (2014) and conferred Ordre du Mérite Agricole, by the French Republic for his outstanding contribution to world agriculture. He was awarded the Medal of the Rio Branco Order, in the degree of Comendador, by the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Brazil (2017) and the title of Doctor of Agriculture Honoris Causa by Purdue University (2018).
Dr. Lopes is a plant geneticist by training and received his BSc degree in Agronomy (1983) from the Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil, his MS degree in Plant Genetics (1989) from Purdue University, USA and his PhD in Genetics (1993) from the University of Arizona, USA.