Project Description

Prof. Dave Edwards

The University of Western Australia

How can bioinformatics help feed the world in 2050?

Next generation sequencing & bioinformatics

Monday 3 July 2017

I gained an Honours degree in agriculture from the University of Nottingham and a PhD from the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge. I have held positions within academia (Universities of Adelaide and Queensland, 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). I moved to The University of Queensland, Australia in 2007 as an Associate Professor and was promoted to Professor in 2012. In January 2015 I moved my research group to the University of Western Australia. My research interests include the structure and expression of plant genomes, the discovery and application of genome variation and applied bioinformatics, with a focus on crop plants and accelerating crop improvement in the face of climate change.

The global population is predicted to reach more than 9 billion by 2050, while at the same time, food production will become more challenging due to climate change. A new agricultural revolution, based on genomics and bioinformatics, is required to meet this demand for food security. I will outline some of the recent advances in genomics, pangenomics and genome editing, and describe how these technologies are being applied to revolutionise the breeding of improved plant varieties, with greater yield and improved tolerance to the impacts of climate change.