Final Conference Program Booklet


We cordially invite you to attend the 33rd Conference of the International Society of Animal Genetics in Cairns, Australia on July 15-20th, 2012.

The International Society of Animal Genetics is devoted to the study of the immunogenetics, molecular genetics and functional genomics of economically important and domesticated animal species.

The Conference will include an exciting blend of related plenary sessions and workshops of interest to animal geneticists and scientists from around the world.

The Conference will be held in the beautiful city of Cairns, Queensland, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Tropical Rain Forest. So please join us for an outstanding international scientific meeting in a spectacular location!

General information

Cairns is a vibrant, tropical, cosmopolitan city of 150,000 residents. Cairns is considered one of the best cities for meetings in the world. Ranked in top 50 convention sites worldwide, Cairns has world class infrastructure for conferences. Cairns is also the single best location for visiting the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Tropical Rain Forest.

Cairns has a compact business district with the Convention Centre, accommodation, restaurants, market and harbour within a 10-15 minute walk. So everything is conveniently centralised. Taxis and buses are readily available as well.

Cairns is located on the scenic Trinity Inlet, which is excellent in terms of boat departures for the Great Barrier Reef. There is also a lovely esplanade and lagoon for walking and swimming, respectively. The best local beaches are 10 minutes north of city centre and can be readily reached by bus.

In addition to having excellent accommodation options and an outstanding Convention Centre, Cairns is known for its exceptional and diverse food. There is a wide variety of restaurants, cafes, pubs and takeaway. These are located on the waterfront, along the Esplanade, in the Pier Marketplace and throughout the central business district, all within a 10-15 minute walk. They offer the freshest seafood and local produce. If you are interested in tropical, vegetarian or ethnic cuisines, you can find it.


Conference scientific theme and sessions

The ISAG 2012 conference scientific program is designed to provide an exciting meeting on the latest research in genetics with an emphasis on domesticated animals.

The theme of the ISAG 2012 conference is “Quantitative Genetics Meets Molecular Genetics” and many of our plenary speakers will reflect this theme (Prof. Morris Soller, Prof. Mike Goddard, Prof. John Gibson and Dr. John McEwan). However, the plenary sessions will reflect also a wide variety of other interesting and topical areas in genetics, including gene expression defining phenotypes (Prof. John Quackenbush), gene dosage (Prof. Gojobori), genomic rearrangements in animals (Prof. Claire Wade), ancient DNA analysis of livestock domestication (Prof. Alan Cooper), epigenetics (Prof. Anne Ferguson-Smith and Prof. Emma Whitelaw), genomic editing of animals (Prof. Ning Li), animals as genetic models (Prof. Barbara Zangerl) and immunogenetics of Tasmanian devils (Assoc. Prof. Kathy Belov).

The ISAG conference workshops and symposia will include not only the genomics and DNA testing of specific animal species (eg cattle, sheep, goats, birds, pigs, horses, dogs, cats, fish), but there will be also dedicated workshops on animal genome sequencing, immunogenetics, forensics, genetic diversity, epigenetics and comparative genomics. It is intended that the workshops will be as current, interactive and informative as possible. For additional information, please see the Scientific Program webpage.



English is the primary language spoken in Australia and is the language used at ISAG conferences. In popular tourist destinations, such as Cairns, is not unusual to find translators, particularly at the larger hotels and resorts.

The currency is Australian dollars. You may exchange other currencies at banks and foreign currency exchange offices for Australian dollars but there will be a fee. Most ATMs will accept cards from around the world and allow you to withdraw Australian dollars as cash. However, again, there are usually fees attached with such transactions. You may use travellers cheques, but not all establishments accept travellers cheques. So please check beforehand as you may need to exchange the travellers cheques at a local bank instead.

WARNING: You will need your passport and a VISA to enter Australia. Theses visas must be arranged prior to your arrival in Australia. For some nationalities, an electronic visa can be issued on-line. For other nationalities, you must apply for your visa through a service provider. Please confirm your visa requirements using the links below and obtain the correct visa as necessary. The conference organisers are not responsible if you are denied entry into Australia because of visa problems. Some Australian visas take a long time to process. An absolute minimum of 2 weeks is required. However, note that for some countries, it may take 6-8 weeks! So please arrange your visa as soon as possible.



The weather in northern Queensland (eg Cairns, Port Douglas, the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Tropical Rain Forest) is usually excellent in July. In Cairns, the average daily maximum is 26oC (79oF) and the minimum is 17oC (63oF) in July. The monthly rainfall is around 30 mm (1.2 inches). A light jacket is normally sufficient for the evenings. The weather will be similar throughout Queensland (eg Brisbane, Gold Coast) and in the Northern Territory (eg Alice Springs, Ayers Rock, Darwin).

However, July is in the middle of winter in Australia. So the weather in other tourist destinations (eg Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth, Tasmania, Victorian Alps, Great Ocean Road, Kangaroo Island, etc) will be colder and wetter. So please bring suitable clothing for your travels. To assist you, there are good websites with specific weather details for all Australian locations.



In general, there is no tipping in Australia except for exceptional service. This is particularly true in restaurants or bars within Australia. Typically, one may round up and not expect any change (eg leaving $25 for a bill of $24). However, unless stated on the menu, tipping is not expected. It is common though to tip taxi drivers and hotel staff with a few dollars, especially if they are handling your luggage.



Australia is a safe place in general. However, we do have our share of poisonous creatures (eg spiders, snakes) and animals who think people are tasty (eg crocodiles, sharks). Just follow the local advice about avoiding encounters with such wildlife and you will not have difficulties. We do have various diseases carried by insects (eg dengue fever, Ross River fever) and animals (eg Hendra viruses) but not rabies or malaria. Avoid handling wildlife and wear insect repellent if mosquitoes are likely to be thick (eg rainforests).

Personal safety is rarely a problem in Australia. Unfortunately, theft does occur. However, if you use good judgement and are careful with your valuables, then you should not have any problems. If you do have a problem, you should contact the local police immediately for assistance.

The number one hazard in Australia for tourists (and the locals) is sunburn. So remember to bring your sunglasses, hat and sun creme AND then remember to wear them when outside in the sun!

For further information on the scientific program, registration, abstract submission, student travel bursaries, conference venue, travel, social program, partners program, accommodation and tours, please use the menu on the left.

If you have any questions or require further details, please do not hesitate to contact the conference organiser, Cindy Bottema via email:



ISAG Home Page

ISAG Membership



Bursary Application Deadline
March 15, 2012

Early Bird Registration Deadline
March 30, 2012
11:59 pm

Abstract Submission Deadline
March 30, 2012
11:59 pm

Online Registration Deadline
July 5, 2012
11:59 pm