I grew up on a horticultural farm in Hamburg (Germany), where I was exposed to cropping various vegetable and ornamental species. I studied Agriculture, later Horticulture, where I very early became attracted by Plant Breeding and Molecular Genetics. Since then, combining those areas became my passion. I believe that this is one of the most exciting scientific areas to be in to date, both because of the tremendous progress in plant genomic research over the past decades, and its impact on plant breeding. But also because plant breeding will remain one of the key areas to address major societal challenges, including feeding the growing human population, delivery of affordable high quality food and other plant products, response to climate change (incl. production of cellulosic biofuels), among others.