Plenary Keynote Speakers

Dr. Francesca Bertolini

"Diversification and Sustainability of Aquaculture Production: What Can We (And Cannot) Do as Geneticists?"

National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark

Francesca Bertolini is an associate professor at the National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark. She received her PhD in livestock genetics at the University of Bologna, Italy, and she spent three years of postdoc at Iowa State University, working on the genomics of different economically relevant species. She is now focusing her research on applying genomics and functional genomics in several fish species of economic relevance, from improving the understanding of fish reproduction and metabolism, and identifying suitable biomarkers for assessing fish conditions, to the identification of QTL of economically important traits.

Dr. Amanda Chamberlain

"Applying Functional Knowledge to Accelerate Animal Genetic Improvement"

Agriculture Victoria, Agribio, Centre for AgriBiosciences, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia

Amanda Chamberlain undertook her PhD at the University of Melbourne, under the supervision of Professor Michael Goddard, on mapping QTL for milk production in dairy cattle and using them in marker-assisted selection. As a postdoctoral scientist, she joined what is now Agriculture Victoria, where she has been involved in the implementation of genomic selection in the Australian dairy industry, the 1000 Bull Genomes Consortium, and the Functional Annotation of Animal Genomes (FAANG) Consortium. Chamberlain is currently working on sequencing the bovine genome and identifying functional regions involved in regulating gene expression as well as complex traits.

Dr. Jared Decker

"Combining Quantitative Genetics and Population Genomics to Improve Beef Sustainability"

University of Missouri Division of Animal Science, Genetics Area Program, and Institute for Data Science and Informatics

Jared Decker is Wurdack Chair in Animal Genomics and an associate professor at the University of Missouri Division of Animal Science, Genetics Area Program, and Institute for Data Science and Informatics. Decker received his BS from New Mexico State University, where he majored in animal science with a minor in biology. He earned his PhD at the University of Missouri in genetics, with a PhD minor in statistics. Decker grew up on a small farm in northwest New Mexico, where his family raised registered cattle. He now owns a farm in mid-Missouri, to teach his children the value of hard work and to pass on the legacy of agriculture. His research focuses on understanding the history of cattle breeds, improving the accuracy and breadth of genomic tests, and creating genomic tools to match cattle to their environment and management. He is active on social media and his website, A Steak in Genomics.

Dr. Maren Wellenreuther

"Harnessing the Power of Genomics and AI to Breed New Species for Aquaculture"

The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd., Nelson, New Zealand; School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Maren Wellenreuther leads a selective breeding program for commercially farmable new finfish species. The program applies high-throughput genomic and phenomic digital imaging technologies to rapidly select elite animals in each generation. Digital phenotyping connects accurate trait measurements with individual fingerprinting and genomic insights, resulting in improved broodstock selection. Wellenreuther has worked in Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden and is internationally recognized, with over 30 research grants and fellowships as a PI, amounting to over $NZ10M. She has over 70 peer-reviewed publications and numerous excellence awards. She is currently Science Group Leader of Seafood Production at Plant & Food Research and an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland in New Zealand.