As well as hearing from a number of New Zealand speakers this year we have also attracted international speakers to our conference. Speakers are listed in alphabetical order. More speakers will be added as they confirm their attendance.

MikBlackMik Black received a PhD in Statistics from Purdue University in 2002, and currently holds a position as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Otago.  Dr Black’'s research centres on the analysis of data from genomics experiments, with a particular focus on gene expression studies and human disease genomics.  In addition to bioinformatics research, Dr Black is involved in the coordination of national eResearch and grid computing resources via the Broadband-enabled Science and Technology Grid (BeSTGRID) community, as well as the development of a national genomics infrastructure in conjunction with New Zealand Genomics Ltd (NZGL). Mik's talk is titled "The resequencing coverage limbo – how low can you go?". Abstract


LesleyCollinsLesley Collins
has extensive experience in working with 'Solexa' (aka Illumina)-generated data and was instrumental in getting the Illumina Genome Analyser at Massey University up and running. Lesley is also familiar with sequence data generated by the 454 and SoLiD systems and the latest HiSeq technology from Illumina. Her hands-on approach has seen her tackle many of the Solexa-focused bioinformatics demands and she will share her experience and knowledge with you. Lesley was course-controller for the highly successful Massey Genome Service Workshops that ran in 2010. Lesley is currently editing a book "RNA Infrastcructure and Networks" to be released in February. Lesley's talk is titled "Transcriptomics and Small RNAs from Trichomonas and Giardia". Abstract.

davisJohn Davis is a Senior Field Bioinformatics Scientist with Life Technologies, supporting the company’s NGS software portfolio throughout Australia and New Zealand. He is currently partnered with customers throughout the region to help provide troubleshooting and analysis of data derived through the use of Life Technologies sequencing systems. John began his association with sequencing working for the Chromosome 22 project at the Sanger Centre in Hinxton Cambridge, before moving to Brisbane to work for the Australian Genome Research Facility.
As the Senior Bioinformatics Officer he provided customer support and advice to AGRF clients, high throughput sequencing analysis (both Sanger and Next Generation), data management and the provision of bespoke bioinformatics services.

DaveEdwardsDavid Edwards gained an Honours degree in agriculture from the University of Nottingham in 1989 and a PhD from the Department of Plant Science, University of Cambridge, UK in 1997. He has held positions within academia (University of Adelaide, Australia; University of Cambridge, UK; and McGill University, Canada), government (Long Ashton Research Centre, UK, Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Australia) and industry (ICI seeds, UK). David moved to The University of Queensland, Australia in 2007 as an Associate Professor. He is a Principal Research Fellow and leads the bioinformatics focus group within the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics. His research interests include applied agricultural biotechnology, the structure and expression of plant genomes, the discovery and application of molecular genetic markers and applied bioinformatics, with a focus on crops, and more recently, metagenomic populations.  David's talk is titled "Second generation sequencing and analysis of complex genomes". Abstract.


DeuschOliver Deusch received a PhD in Biology from the University of Düsseldorf in 2009 and now has a postdoctoral fellowship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to work in Prof. Peter Lockhart’s group. His work is focussed on gene expression analysis in the New Zealand allopolyploid Pachycladon. Oliver is developing methods and pipelines for the analysis of differentially expressed genes (DEG) from Illumina short read mRNA-Seq data. The aim of his work is to identify DEGs between Pachycladon species occupying different niches as those genes are of potential importance to local adaptation and species radiation. Oliver is also interested in chloroplast evolution and he is working on chloroplast genome assemblies of New Zealand Podocarps and their relation to other non-pine conifers.  Oliver’s joint talk with Nicole Grünheit is titled: “Sequencing the NZ alpine cress Pachycladon: Lessons from EST library assembly and DEG analyses in an allopolyploid plant”. Abstract.


gruenheitNicole Gruenheit joined IMBS in April 2010 after completing her PhD in Duesseldorf, Germany. She now has a DAAD postdoc fellowship to work as a bioinformatician in Prof. Peter Lockharts group on next generation sequencing data of the allopolyploid plants Pachycladon and Ranunculus. Her main interest lies in developing a pipeline for the assembly of EST libraries for different species within those genera and the functional characterization of the assembled ESTs. The fate of the genes stemming from different parents are of special interest in this characterization as well as in the analysis of the corresponding smallRNAs. She also participates in the assembly and SNP analysis of the chloroplast data of those species. Nicole’s joined talk is titled “Sequencing the NZ alpine cress Pachycladon: Lessons from EST library assembly and DEG analyses in an allopolyploid plant“. Abstract.

knappMichael Knapp received a PhD from Massey University. He subsequently worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig before coming to the University of Otago where he is now a research fellow in the Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology. His research focuses on the development of next generation sequencing techniques and their application to ancient DNA sequencing. As part of his research, he is using DNA recovered from ancient human remains to reconstruct the settlement of the Pacific. Michael's talk is titled: “Sequencing ancient Polynesian voyagers using “home-made” in-solution hybridization capture”. Michael's talk is titled "Sequencing ancient Pacific voyagers using “home-made” in-solution hybridization capture". Abstract.


HartlChris Hartl joined the Broad Institute's Genome Sequencing and Analysis group as a Bioinformatic Analyst in 2009. Chris holds a dual 
role as a data analyst and a GATK developer, and has contributed to 
the 1000 Genomes Project, the Exome Sequencing Project, and many medical sequencing projects at the Broad. Chris has experience in
 high-throughput analysis of Human genomic data generated from a wide
 variety of platforms (including the new PacBio and IonTorrent 
machines) in shotgun, hybrid capture, and validation paradigms. His
 research interests include the generation of fully-haplotype-resolved 
germline variants from short read data, and the ongoing challenge of 
rare variant association. Chris's talk is titled "Best Practice approach to  NGS data processing: solutions and challenges" Abstract.

MikeKeehanMike Keehan holds a position as senior bioinformaticist at LIC, a dairy breeding cooperative. He is leading the LIC bioinformatics team in the application of next generation sequencing to LIC's future genomic selection program. The research is funded by the Dairy PGP funding. Phase 1 of the program is to build a robust and accurate genotype calling pipeline for the subsequent phases. Mike's talk will introduce the Dairy PGP genomics project and present preliminary results and experiences from Phase 1 data received in May. Mike's talk is titled "Whole Genome Sequencing to improve the NZ Dairy industry". Abstract.

LoughTony Lough has a research background and operations management experience in a number of technology companies. He holds a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Otago and, during the early phase of his career, he researched viral RNA movement and vascular signalling systems in plants. Over the past 10 years, he has held various operational management roles within biotechnology and start-up engineering companies – most recently at Pacific Edge Limited, where he oversaw the product development portfolio. In December 2010 Dr Lough was appointed  Chief Executive of  New Zealand Genomics Limited.  He has an MBA from the University of Auckland, in keeping with his interest in commercial outcomes for technology businesses. Tony's talk is titled "New Zealand Genomics Limited: Off the drawing board and out to the scientists". Abstract.

PaulMacleanPaul Maclean started at AgResearch as a bioinformatician in 2008, after completing a Masters Degree in Bioinformatics at Auckland University. During his time at AgResearch, he has been involved in many projects ranging from digital gene expression to metagenomics on a variety of different eukaryotic and prokaryotic organisms. Most of these projects involve many different methods of next generation sequencing technology. Paul's talk is titled "SOLiD-SAGE analysis of the Deer Transcriptome". Abstract.


MillerHilary Miller has a PhD in evolutionary genetics from Massey University and is currently a research fellow in the Allan Wilson Centre for Molecular Ecology and Evolution at Victoria University of Wellington.  Her current research focuses on developing genomic resources for tuatara, including assembly and characterisation of the tuatara transcriptome using next-generation sequencing. Hilary's talk si titled "A tour through the tuatara transcriptome". Abstract.


RogerRoger Moraga obtained a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain, and a M.Sc. in Bioinformatics from Exeter University, England. He has been working as a Bioinformatician in AgResearch for the last three years, performing a variety of tasks involving sheep parasites, grasses and plants usually eaten by sheep, and... sheep. Most of the work revolves around genomics and transcriptomics. Roger's talk is titled "Next Generation Sequencing Simulations: Laying the Groundwork for Plant Genome Sequencing". Abstract.


ThrushAnthony Thrush is a Systems Specialist with Roche Applied Science. Anthony has over 10 years’ experience as a molecular biologist before joining Roche in 2005. He has worked for Roche Applied Science in New Zealand for over 6 years and in his current role as systems specialist provides support and service to scientists throughout New Zealand with a focus on 454 next generation sequencing and NimbleGen microarray platforms. 



MonikaMonika Zavodna obtained a PhD in molecular ecology from the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands). Her research focuses on population genetic studies in ecology, conservation and evolutionary biology. She is currently Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology, University of Otago. She works with Professor Neil Gemmell and his research group on a project that uses data generated by next generation sequencing platform to examine the role of sexual recombination in microsatellite DNA evolution. Monika's talk is titled "Parallel multi-amplicon sequencing using 454 GS FLX: a study of microsatellite evolution". Abstract.



Speakers who will be speaking but have yet to send through their photos and biographies are:

Klaus Lehnert, ViaLactia.
Klaus's talk is titled "Identifying biological cause among millions of ‘bystander’ variations". Abstract.