Speakers and their biographies will be listed (in alphabetical order) as they are received.

Keynote Speakers

DalrympleBrian Dalrymple leads a research team working in the area of livestock nutrigenomics within CSIRO Animal, Food and Health Sciences, based at the Queensland Bioscience Precinct in Brisbane, Australia. He is a key member of the International Sheep Genomics Consortium. His research interests include: development of genomics resources, assembly of genome sequences, primarily cow and sheep genomes, systems biology, physiological genomics and the comparative genomics of mammals. Brian is a key member of the International Sheep Genomics Consortium, contributing with leadership of the sheep reference genome assembly group, scientific expertise and development of research tools. He is also involved in research using genome sequences and gene expression data to understand the development of muscle structure and function. His research aims to identify and utilise genes, gene networks, biochemical pathways and biological systems to improve the product quality and growth efficiency of livestock.



BasBas Dutilh received his PhD from the Radboud University Nijmegen in The Netherlands. His field of expertise is bioinformatics, including sequence analysis (genetics, genomics, and metagenomics), tool development, and experimental design. As a biologist, he sees the computer as a tool to answer biological questions. The reciprocal exchange of ideas and results between bioinformatics and laboratory or field studies is the fastest way to obtain new biological knowledge. He has studied most taxonomic groups and several biological and medical systems, but his emphasis has been on microbes. He is fascinated by the dynamics in their genome evolution and in their interactions with each other and with the environment. Phenomena like horizontal gene transfer and micro-diversity are of great importance not only in microbial genome evolution, but also in microbial ecology and medicine. To understand these complex phenomena requires new tools and technologies, as well as well-designed experiments. His daily work consists of the development of bioinformatic tools to study these phenomena from different angles, the (re-)analysis of large-scale datasets, as well as collaborating with microbial ecologists, evolutionary and medical microbiologists to interpret our results.


ToumyToumy Guettouche is the Director of Sequencing with the Center for Applied Genomics (CAG) at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). Before joining CHOP, he was the Director of the Oncogenomics Core Facility (OCF) at the Sylvester Cancer Center, University of Miami School of Medicine and the Director for New Technology Assessment and Implementation, Hussman Institute for Human Genomics (HIHG)-Center for Genome Technology. He was an Assistant Professor at the Department of Human Genetics. At CAG, his primary objective is to establish a high throughput genomics operation and to evaluate and acquire next-gen technology in the field of genomics and molecular diagnostics.







AshbyRachael Ashby is a Masters student in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Otago. She completed her BSc in Computer Science and Biochemistry in 2012 and is now specialising in Bioinformatics. Her research is in collaboration with AgResearch and Anatomy and involves assembling both the genome and transcriptome of the New Zealand GreenshellTM Mussel.





BrownChris Brown's research group investigates the regulation of gene expression using bioinformatic, cell biology and genomic approaches. He is located in the Biochemistry Department but contributes to teaching in both Genetics and Biochemistry, particularly Genetics for medical students. Recent publications have focused on non-coding parts of RNAs and their functions in diverse systems, including cancer cells, viruses, and bacterial cells. 




MilicaMilica Ciric completed her PhD thesis in the rumen microbiology group at AgResearch, in collaboration with the Institute of Fundamental Sciences at Massey University, New Zealand. Her PhD project focused on the development of a metasecretome selection method using next-generation sequencing and phage display. Milica recently started her postdoc with Ministry for Primary Industries and she is using next-generation sequencing technology to explore gut microbiome of King salmon.



ClarkeShannon Clarke is a senior scientist based with the Animal Productivity group at AgResearch Invermay, Dunedin and is involved in a number of genomic research programmes in both livestock and aquaculture research.  Shannon is involved in several re-sequencing projects and is a member of the team that re-sequenced the sheep genome in order to produce a higher density SNP chip for their use to allow faster genetic improvement in sheep via genomics selection. Recently her work has centred on genotyping-by-sequencing in livestock species. Her work in aquaculture genomics is to provide genomic tools to enable the industry to take advantage of these technologies for the genetic improvement of their brood stocks.



DelestreClement Delestre is currently doing a Master in bioinformatics at University of Bordeaux (FRANCE). As part of his studies he's doing an internship at AgResearch. This latter is about comparative genomics between a newly sequenced Rhizobia strain and other Rhizobia strain. "





DowleEddy Dowle is working in the Coastal and Freshwater Group at the Cawthron Institute. She completed her PhD at Massey University studying ecological systems using High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS). Currently she is focusing on extending HTS techniques into new areas around environmental monitoring. In particular she is focusing on developing new genetic techniques for the monitoring of Salmon farms and Freshwater systems throughout New Zealand.



DraperJenny Draper is specialist in bacteriology & aquatic animal diseases at the Animal Health Laboratory in Wallaceville, part of the Ministry for Primary Industries (formerly known as MAF). She obtained her Ph.D. in Biomolecular Engineering & Bioinformatics at the University of California at Santa Cruz, the home of the UCSC Genome Browser. She has over 12 years experience in bioinformatics and molecular microbiology, which she is now using to help identify exotic and emerging animal diseases in New Zealand.




EnglandRyan England is a Research Scientist at the Institute of Environmental Science & Research (ESR), working in the Forensic Research & Development team. He is assessing the use of next generation sequencing for sequencing forensic DNA samples. There is a particular focus on targeted sequencing of short tandem repeats; the markers predominately used in forensics, as well as gaining extra value from limited forensic samples in the form of SNPs. Ryan completed his MSc at Massey University in 2013, where he used NGS to sequence the mitochondrial genomes of a number of native New Zealand birds.




FlemingRachel Fleming is a Senior Research Scientist at the Institute of Environmental Science & Research (ESR), working in the Forensic Research & Development team. She is the project leader of the team involved with using RNA to identify body fluids associated with criminal investigations. She is also interested with using RNA to age the deposition of stains, aging injuries and estimating the post-mortem interval. She is currently studying how NGS can be used on RNA from forensic-type samples. She obtained her PhD from the University of Otago and has work both in Scotland and New Zealand.



GlazovEvgeny Glazov is based out of Brisbane, Australia and holds a PhD in molecular genetics and has many years of experience in the fields of bioinformatics, genomics, and transcriptomics. Evgeny was one of the early adopters of Next Generation Sequencing technology, and has extensive experience with various NGS applications within academic, applied, and biomedical research. His areas of expertise include small regulatory RNA, ChIP-seq, and targeted re-sequencing, including whole-exome sequencing (WES).Results of this work were published in top ranking international peer-reviewed journals including "Nature Genetics", "Genome Research", and "PloS Genetics."




KeenanMike Keehan is a Senior Bioinformaticist at LIC. He is primarily involved in the Primary Growth Partnership Dairy Genomics project and also supporting genomic selection for LIC. With a career background in applied mathematics, software development and systems administration he has undertaken a variety of bioinformatics projects for LIC. Mike has a masters degree in Operations Research and a post graduate diploma in Science from Massey University. Mike is interested in phasing techniques and applying biological annotation as a strong prior for gene discovery.





VanessaVanessa Lattimore is a PhD student in the Mackenzie Cancer Research Group (University of Otago, Christchurch). Currently in her third year, she is using RNA-seq to gain a more in-depth understand of how rare and common genetic variants disrupt the mRNA splicing process. Her research focuses on genetic variants in the breast cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, and ultimately aims to establish a method to more accurately determine the clinical significance of such variants in a diagnostic setting.



LaugraudAurelie Laugraud is a bioinformatician at AgResearch. She completed a Masters degree in bioinformatics in France. She previously worked in an academic bioinformatics service centre in Lyon and in a cancer research facility as part as a big international consortium(ICGC). Since she joined AgResearch almost 2 years ago, Aurelie has been involved in lots of different projects (assemblies, SNP detection, comparative genomics, phylogenies …) using NGS applied to a broad range of organisms.



MacleanPaul 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.




MitchellWayne Mitchell joined Lanzatech, New Zealand, in 2012, as Senior Bioinformatics Scientist responsible for computational and systems biology. An early recruit to the genomics revolution he participated in the Chlamydia trachomatis and C. pneumonia genome projects, the 11th and 16th bacterial genomes sequenced to closure. As a bio-entrepreneur, he was scientific founder of TaoBiosciences, a 14 FTE "nanocap" start-up dedicated to the discovery and functionalization of tRNA modification enzymes as drug targets. Wayne moved from San Francisco to Singapore in 2004, intrigued by the Republic's experiment in statist technology development. At Biopolis. Wayne was a senior research scientist at the Genome Institute of Singapore leading a team of developers and bioinformaticians, and contributing to the international Pan-Asia SNP Initiative, the first broad survey of human genetic diversity in Asia. As founding Group Leader, Informatics and Bioinformatics at the A*STAR Experimental Research Centre, he designed and built an integrated "Electronic Research Habitat", and led projects in small molecule, anti-bacterial and oncology drug discovery. Also, during the Singapore years, he was adjunct professor at NTU, School of Computer Engineering, co-teaching a popular course in the bioinformatics program. He holds bachelors degrees from Harvard University and The University of Massachusetts, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was University Fellow and a MacArthur Breadth Fellow.

RogerRoger Moraga is a Molecular Biologist and Bioinformatician, who cut his teeth working on the drafts of the Human Genome at the turn of the Century. Moraga earned a BSc in Molecular Biology from the Autonomous University of Madrid, and a MSc in Bioinformatics from Exeter University. At AgResearch his role is to provide Bioinformatics support to scientists in all aspects of their research, from early steps of experiment design to data analysis and biological interpretation. He has developed expertise in Next Generation Sequencing for transcriptomics and genomics, working on non-model organisms of importance to New Zealand's agricultural sector such as sheep, forage plants, endophytes, and soil bacteria.


RhodesMichael Rhodes graduated from York University with a degree in Genetics, did a Ph.D. in Bioinorganic Chemistry at University of London. After a post doc in Chicago working on genetics of metal transport in P. aeruginosa, returned to UK to work at United Kingdom Human Genome Mapping Project Resource Centre finishing as Operation Manager in charge of four teams: - Mouse resequencing, linkage Hotel, Academic Services and Custom services. Joined Applied Biosystems in 1999, worked on Genotyping, sequencing, qPCR and finally Next Generation Sequencing. Joined Nanostring in 2012 after seeing the potential of the nCounter technology to take the discoveries from NGS and apply them to translational research.


SantureAnna Santure is a lecturer in Genetics in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland. She completed her PhD at Otago before heading to the UK for postdocs at the Zoological Society of London and the University of Sheffield. Anna uses large-scale genomic tools to dissect the genetic architecture of quantitative traits, particularly in wild populations, with the aim of understanding how the history of these populations (such as population size and selection) has determined the genetic architecture we see today, and might be used to predict how these populations will respond to future selection pressures.


SinghSiddharth Singh is the Project Manager at Pacific Biosciences, Singapore. He is responsible for overseeing sequencing projects and informatics data analysis across Asia Pacific region. He has many years of experience in Next Generation Sequencing analysis across multiple applications and platforms. In addition he has multiple years of experience managing software development for life sciences. He received his PhD in Bioinformatics from Devi Ahilya University, India.


StockwellPeter Stockwell started a PhD in protein chemistry at Otago University but was diverted on to numerical projects, including population genetics and early DNA sequence data handling.  Postdoctoral work at ICRF, London, established the importance of computational methods and homology comparisons as tools in the developing field of biological sequence analysis.  Subsequent work has included the development of SW tools for sequence analysis and assembly and data mining of sequence data repositories.  The size and complexity of sequence data has evolved rapidly alongside computational resources and Peter has used a variety of computer languages in order to handle data in practical time frames. Recent publications include work on PSA, cyanobacteria and, especially, the development of tools for analysing CpG methylation variation in association with Dr. Aniruddha Chatterjee, Dr. Euan Rodger and Prof. Ian Morison in the Pathology Department.  Peter works part time for OGBF/NZGL as a bioinformatician.


TaylorSam Taylor-Wardell is currently doing a Masters in Genetics at the University of Otago. Having completed a BSc (Hons) in 2013 on the discovery of genes which contain novel Iron-Responsive Elements (IREs). He currently is using Next-generation sequencing technologies and quantitative proteomics to identify novel genes which respond to Iron in human cells.





WoodGraham Wood, an amateur beekeeper, has been working for the past two years with a team of virologists at Warwick University on the "Saving the Bees" project, part of the UK Insect Pollinators Initiative. He started academic life as a mathematician, with a PhD from the ANU in pure mathematics, but moved progressively into statistics and over the last decade into bioinformatics.