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Meet the team

Executive Staff

Dean Jerry

Director

Dean is responsible for managerial oversight and coordination of science activities, facilitating communication among participating organisations, and industry partners ensuring project outcomes are translated.

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Kyall Zenger

Deputy Director and Work-package Leader

Kyall has established expertise in genomics, genetic map construction and experience with applied genetic solutions delivered for a diverse portfolio of species and animal production industries.

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Casey Bajema

Systems & Database Officer

Casey maintains a range of biological, environmental, molecular and genetic data within a fully-integrated database. He applies quality assurance procedures to ensure data integrity and accurate information for academic and industry partners.

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Greg Coman

Work-package Leader & CSIRO Senior Research Scientist

Dr Coman has direct experience in the domestication of Penaeus monodon, and the design and deployment of commercial prawn breeding programs with Australian and international aquaculture ventures.

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Dallas Donovan

Industry Partner, CEO Seafarms Group

Dallas has over 20 years experience in aquaculture management and prawn farming. He manages Seafarms' R&D activities including coordination of hatchery and grow-out components, and allocation of staff and resources.

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Andrew Foote

Research Fellow & CSIRO Research Scientist

Andrew runs a range of replicated prawn trials including reproduction, nutrition, ploidy manipulation and viral challenges. He uses techniques for high-throughput, automated processing of prawn tissues using robotics for genotyping.

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Roger Huerlimann

Work-package Leader

Roger works on genome/transcriptome bioinformatic analyses. He is experienced in molecular lab based activities (RNA/DNA extractions, quality control), next-generation sequencing, and de novo assembly of transcriptomes and genomes.

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Sandra Hughes

Research Project Officer

Sandra provides information, operational and administrative support services to the ARC ITRH Executive Team. Sandra assists with special projects and initiatives within the hub, contributes to submissions and requests for data and information.

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Herman Raadsma

Work-package Leader & Emeritus Professor, University of Sydney

Herman has an outstanding track record in livestock animal breeding using advanced quantitative genomic methods. He oversees quantitative genetic analyses and genomic selection, and has input in work-packages 1,3 and 4 to maximise results.

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Kirby Siemering

Industry Partner AGRF

Dr Siemering will coordinate the delivery of relevant elements of the Genomic Sequence work-package and will advise on scientific strategy, experimental design, and coordinate deliverables with bioinformatics and other project team members.

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Nick Wade

Work-package Leader

Dr Wade is the Research Manager, and responsible for facilitating communication and coordination. He provides science direction and leadership in the Phenotypic Acquisition Work-package, and coordinates CSIRO and JCU staff and resources.

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Research Staff

Jeff Cowley

Virologist, CSIRO

Jeff conducts research to identify whether families of prawns can be selected for resilience against viral disease. He has experience in running viral challenge trials and in applying molecular tests to track the progress of infection.

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Mehar Khatkar

Senior Research Fellow, University of Sydney

Dr Khatkar is a lead researcher in computational genomics, and application of DNA markers in genetic improvement of livestock species. He will be primarily responsible for quantitative genetic analysis, modelling breeding design.

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Agnes Le Port

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Agnes helps with continuous project development improvements with the Executive team. Her role includes co-supervising honours and higher degree research students and communicating research in international scientific journals.

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Photo of Christopher Stratford

Christopher Stratford

Research Assistant

Chris helps coordinate the development of families required to produce the specific phenotypic and genetic traits required for a successful breeding program. He is responsible for rearing animals required at Bribie Island Research Centre.

Cheryl Tan

Research Assistant

Cheryl provides molecular laboratory support for the Advanced Prawn Breeding hub. Other roles include accurate measurement of genetic and biochemical changes that occur in prawns across large numbers of families.

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Peter Thomson

Associate Professor, Sydney University

Peter has expertise in biometry and the development and application of statistical methods to address quantitative genetics problems. He contributes to the development of methods for genomic selection, and modelling of complex traits.

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Ron White

Physicist & Dean of Science and Engineering, JCU

Ron has experience in the application of near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy analysis within the primary industries sector. He leads JCU’s involvement in the Rapid Assessment Unit – a joint venture between JCU and QDAF.

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Students

Sarah Berry

PhD Student, Research Assistant

Sarah's thesis is on the physiological response to environmental stressors in the Black Tiger prawn. Candidate gene and/or RNAseq analyses will be undertaken to identify whether common response pathways are activated by differing stressors.

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Jarrod Guppy

PhD Student

Jarrod's thesis develops the dense genomic resources required to reveal the genetic architecture of complex traits for the Black Tiger prawn. It will aid the construction of the first Black Tiger prawn genome and the use of genomic selection.

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Sandra Infante Villamil

Sandra has a Master of Science in Marine Biology and Ecology from JCU. She is investigating the relationships between bacterial communities in black tiger prawn intestines, prawn health and pond productivity at the hub.

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Shaymaviswanathan Karnaneedi

PhD Candidate & Research Assistant at JCU Molecular Allergy Research Lab

Shayma's research aims to identify and characterise known and unidentified prawn allergens using bioinformatics and molecular methods. This involves analysing the transcriptome of five different prawn species.

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Nima Khalilisamani

PhD Student, University of Sydney

Nima's thesis explores genotype by environment interactions under commercial scenarios on performance of black tiger prawn genotypes. Molecular pedigree data generated measures and analyses the commercially favourable traits.

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Tansyn Noble

PhD Student, Bribie Island Research Centre (BIRC)

Tansyn's thesis examines the genetic potential of Black Tiger prawns for selective breeding. This involves optimising and validating challenge testing systems to enable accurate trait measurement and heritability.

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Nga Vu

PhD Student

Nga's thesis examines the population genomic structure of black tiger shrimp within the Indo-Pacific, particularly Australian populations. Using thousands of genome-wide SNP her thesis will resolve fine-scale population structure.

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