Ben Hayes

Professor Hayes has extensive research experience in genetic improvement of livestock, crop, pasture and aquaculture species, with a focus on integration of genomic information into breeding programs, including leading many large scale projects which have successfully implemented genomic technologies in livestock and cropping industries. Author of more than 250 journal papers, including in Nature Genetics, Nature Reviews Genetics, and Science, contributing to statistical methodology for genomic, microbiome and metagenomic profile predictions, quantitative genetics including knowledge of genetic mechanisms underlying complex traits, and development of bioinformatics pipelines for sequence analysis. Thomson Reuters highly cited researcher in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Farhad Hormozdiari

HealthAI Team at Google Research

Farhad Hormozdiari, a research scientist in the HealthAI team at Google Research, where he combines genetic data and machine learning techniques to improve disease understanding for a diverse set of populations. His long-term research aim includes utilizing genetics and machine learning for better social good. Recently, Farhad has grown his interests and focus in leveraging deep learning and statistical genetics to understand plant genomics and improve crop resistance to climate changes.

Dr. Joanna (Jo) Newton, OAM

Agriculture Victoria Research, Australia

Passionate about research that delivers tangible benefits for farmers, since obtaining a PhD in animal breeding and genetics from the University of New England, Jo’s work has focused on practical tools to illustrate the benefit of better herd-improvement decisions on farm. Jo currently works as a research scientist for Agriculture Victoria on the DairyBio initiative where she uses a multi-disciplinary approach in developing and valuing decision support tools that enable more informed breeding and management decisions on-farm. As a 2018 Endeavour Postdoctoral Fellow, Jo spent 6 months as a visiting scientist Teagasc Moorepark, Ireland.

Jo has a history of active involvement across the wider agricultural sector across numerous not-for-profit organisations, particularly in advocacy and support of young people in agriculture. Jo was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in 2020 for her service to agriculture through her advocacy and support of young people, volunteering, and contribution to dairy research.

Lindiwe Majele Sibanda

University of Pretoria

Prof. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda is a recognized leader, practicing farmer and esteemed policy advisor with a career spanning 30 years. She currently serves as Chair of the CGIAR System Board, Extraordinary Professor, University of Pretoria, South Africa, and Council Chair, National University of Science and Technology, Zimbabwe.

Rob Martienssen

Cold Spring Harbor Lab

Rob Martienssen studies epigenetic mechanisms that shape and regulate the genome, and their impact on transposable elements, first discovered by Barbara McClintock at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. These mechanisms underlie clonal propagation of oil palm, with implications for rain forest conservation, and of aquatic plants, including the humble duckweed, that are being engineered in the Martienssen lab for biofuel production and carbon sequestration.

Anna Sonesson

Norwegian food research institute (Nofima)

I work with the design of breeding schemes, including marker-assisted and genomic selection schemes, and with QTL mapping. I also work with the management of genetic variation, i.e. managing inbreeding, both at the level of relationship and at the genomic level.

Leena Tripathi

Director- Eastern Africa Hub

Dr. Leena Tripathi is the Director of Eastern Africa Hub and Leader of the Biotechnology Program at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). She is leading the transgenic and gene-editing research at IITA. She has been involved in plant biotechnology research for more than 25 years, with specific interests in crop improvement.

Alex Cagan

Researcher at Wellcome Sanger Institute

Alex Cagan investigates evolutionary processes in somatic tissue. His research focuses on characterising mutation and selection in healthy tissues and how this relates to cancer and ageing. Evolution is often considered to be an almost imperceptibly slow process. However, the cells that compose our own bodies are constantly acquiring mutations. Some of these mutations may influence cellular phenotypes, such as growth, resulting in clonal expansions. Over time the body may become a patchwork of clones.

Solenne Correard

Research associate at the Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre, BC Cancer, Vancouver, Canada.

Solenne is a molecular biologist and bioinformatician passionate about the complexity of human and non-human genomes, interested in using genomic to help navigate some of today’s worldwide challenges, such as ensuring equal access to personalized medicine to everyone around the globe, regardless of their origin or economic background, and studying climate change repercussions on earth biodiversity and fresh water / food supply to help prevent future dramatic events.

Love Dalen

Professor at Centre for Palaeogenetics, Stockholm, University

Love Dalen’s general research interests are focused on the use of DNA technology to investigate the ecology and evolution of different species, and how past environmental changes have determined the distribution and abundance of organisms.