Keynote Speakers

We are proud to announce the following keynote speakers for ISGA XIII

Ben Hayes image

Prof Ben Hayes

Prof Ben Hayes is the co-inventor of genomic selection and has extensive research experience in genetic improvement of livestock, crop, pasture and aquaculture species.

He is the author of more than 150 journal papers, in the fields of statistical methodology for genomic, microbiome and metagenomic profile predictions, quantitiative genetics including knowledge of genetic mechanisms underlying complex traits, and development of bioinformatics pipelines for sequence analysis. He was a Thomson Reuters highly cited researcher in 2015 and 2016.

His plenary will be on  Genomic selection and its revolutionary application to aquaculture genetic improvement

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Dr Lene Kleppe

Dr. Lene Kleppe is a scientist at the Institute of Marine Research in Norway, in the research group Reproduction and Developmental Biology. Her research interests include reproductive physiology and genetics in farmed fish species like Atlantic salmon and Atlantic cod. Currently the research group is applying CRISPR/Cas9 to edit genes in Atlantic salmon (Edvardsen et al., 2014) to understand the molecular mechanisms that control the reproductive system, mainly focusing on germ cell development and puberty. The first gene edited (dead end knockout) salmon produced by the group has no germ cells (Wargelius et al., 2016) and does not enter puberty (Kleppe et al., 2017), which are favorable traits for aquaculture due to genetic introgression of farmed escapees with wild populations, and negative effects (reduced growth, welfare and filet quality) of sexual maturation. Ongoing projects are exploring ways to take advantage of this knowledge to contribute to a more sustainable salmon farming industry, and are also exploring other reproductive traits.

Her plenary will be on gene editing by CRISPR as a research tool and possible applications in aquaculture.

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Prof Francesc Piferrer  image

Prof Francesc Piferrer

Prof Francesc Piferrer is a Research Professor at the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM), a Center of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Barcelona. He is an internationally-renowned expert in epigenetics and its role in sex differentiation of aquaculture species.

He is the author of over 175 articles —including a dozen book chapters and the edition of two books— including more than one hundred published in peer-reviewed international journals such as Nature Communications, PLoS Genetics, Bioessays, Genetics, BMC Genomics and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). His work has been cited about 5,700 times and three of his articles are considered "Highly-cited papers."

His plenary will be on Epigenetics as a key mechanism in the sex differentiation and sex control of aquaculture species.

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Dr Lior David

Genetics of Disease and Stress- Keynote

Dr. Lior David's expertise are in quantitative genetics, population genetics and evolution. In particular, he has few projects in which he has been studying the genetic basis of complex traits in fish and yeast. Main research projects include studying the genes and mechanisms of disease resistance and sex determination in different fish species. As part of developing safe and efficient aquaculture, Dr David uses genomics to identify sex determining loci in various economically important fishes and develop genetic markers to use for early and cost-effective determination of sex and for supporting hormonal and genetic sex ratio manipulations. Dr David bred common carp strains, which are genetically resistant to an infectious disease cause by the Koi herpes virus, a devastating disease that spread globally to wherever carp is cultured. After several years of family-based selection, there is now proto-strains that are resistant to the disease, promising to be suitable for culturing in other respects and about to enter field testing.

His keynote will be on The complex genetic basis of disease resistance – insights from KHV in carp

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