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Our team

Multidisciplinary, Multilingual,

in connection with the field

Our team brings together various skills and experiences around Organic Agriculture and Agroecology.

These skills are mutually reinforcing (research, training, entrepreneurship, advice, development) and have the ambition to be in close connection with the reality on the ground.

BRIOAA was founded by

Eddy Montignies, Nicolas Luburić, Urs Niggli ( and former director of FiBL), Cécile Thonar, François de Gaultier and Dominique Barjole (Uni Lausanne).


They are now joined on their board by Julie Van Damme, Raphaël Charles (FiBL) and Miguel de Porras (FiBL Europe), with the collaboration of Lola Richelle.

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Cecile Thonar

After 10 years spent abroad, Cécile continues her career as a university researcher (now professor at ULB) in Belgium, focusing on themes related to the biological fertility of soils and the interactions between cultivated plants and beneficial soil microorganisms.

Before that, she co-led a research group at FiBL Switzerland on agroecological practices that improve soil functionality.

Within BRIOAA, she brings her experience and expertise to setting up and conducting research projects (European and Belgian programs).

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Eddy Montignies

Eddy is an independent Agronomist specializing in Agroecology.

He is also a professor at the Haute Ecole de la Province de Namur - specializing in Organic Agriculture and Farming.

He is at the origin of the co-founding of the company Land Farm & Men and of the “Graines de Curieux” brand.

For many years, he has been able to weave a close and rich network in the organic farming sector.

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Francois de Gaultier

François is a multilingual Agronomist, active for more than 10 years in the field of organic farming in Belgium.

He is at the origin of the first bachelor in Organic Agriculture in Belgium, of which he is currently the coordinator.

Its main motivation is the development of dynamic and innovative initiatives, linking people and ideas in order to support the organic movement in Belgium and abroad.

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Nicolas Luburić

Nicolas is a versatile project manager, developers of green and human ideas within the sectors, Environment, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Food, Organic Agriculture and Quality - Agri-Food Certification (he notably held the position of coordinator at Vinçotte AgriFood) .

Polyglot, he has been active at different levels of development of the organic sector for ten years and is currently professor at the Haute Ecole de la Province de Namur for the year of Specialization in Organic Agriculture. and the Bachelor in Agronomy-Environment.

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Urs niggli

Urs is one of the world's most renowned agronomists.

He was Director of FiBL Switzerland for 30 years (1990-2020). Under his leadership, FiBL has grown from a team of 20 to more than 200 today and has become a leading organic farming research institute to also develop into a European network.  with branches in Germany, France, Austria and Hungary as well as a representation in Brussels.

He is currently Member of the scientific group of the UN Secretary General for the preparation of the 2021 “Food System Summit” in New York, President of FiBL Austria, Advisor to the Swiss Government and Director of Institute of sustainable food & farming systems.

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Dominique Barjole

Dominique is the president of the FiBL scientific committee.

She is a researcher and lecturer at ETH (Zurich Polytechnic School); both at the level of sustainable agrifood chains and in food security.

She is a socio-economist interested in local innovations in which farmers, researchers and advisory services share their knowledge to develop new sustainable food systems.

She has skills in sector analysis, sustainable impact assessment and food consumption science. She has written and participated in more than 10 European research programs, as coordinator or working group leader.

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Lola Richelle

Passionate about soils since her agronomy studies (Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech), Lola continued to study the subject in depth during her doctoral thesis dedicated to a collaborative approach to the assessment of the health of cultivated soils (University of Namur , Geography & ULB, Agroecology Lab) .


Today, an independent researcher and consultant in soil health, she practices a soil diagnostic method aimed at guiding farmers towards taking better account of soil life in their agricultural practices.

Institutes with which the BRIOAA is in close contact

  • FiBL Switzerland and FiBL Europe

  • The Institute (Switzerland)

  • Walloon Center for Agronomic Research (Belgium)

  • Greenotec (Belgium)

  • Free University of Brussels (Belgium)

  • Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech (Belgium)

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