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CSIRO Team

Dr. Anna Koltunow
Asexual Seed Formation Team & Project Leader BMGF Capturing Heterosis
Dr Koltunow has research interests in plant seed and fruit development and is an internationally recognised expert in an asexual form of seed formation in plants called apomixis. She has been involved in collaborative research projects on seed and fruit development with various laboratories in the United States and Europe and has worked with the horticultural industry to develop seedless fruit. Her research on apomixis is being applied to a range of crops where it should significantly economise hybrid seed production.

Dr. Jen Taylor
Bioinformatics, Transcriptomics and Functional Genomics
Jen Taylor completed a degree and honours in Biochemistry at the University of Queensland and a PhD in medical genetics at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research studying candidate gene identification strategies in human disease. Jen held roles as a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Statistics and then team leader at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at the University Oxford studying statistical methods for the analysis of high-throughput transcriptome data and networks associated with the regulation of expression. In 2008, Jen took up the role of Bioinformatics Leader at the CSIRO Plant Industry and is currently leads a group focused on genomics science towards improved crop performance.

Dr. TJ Higgins
Honorary Fellow, CSIRO Agriculture, Canberra, Australia
Dr Higgins’ main research activity is the development of insect resistant food legumes especially cowpeas and chickpeas. This work involves collaboration with plant breeders and entomologists in Africa and India and has reached the stage of field trials and the beginning of the generation of new varieties of cowpeas for different agricultural zones. His earlier work was on seed biology, especially the improvement of amino acid composition of food legumes.

Susan Johnson
Research Projects Officer
Susan began working at CSIRO in 1978, and has worked on various projects. Twenty years ago apomixis and plant reproductive development captured her interest, and she has been working with Anna Koltunow ever since. She has been a coauthor on many research papers whilst in Anna’s lab; her main areas of expertise are microscopy and photography. Some of her images have been reproduced on journal covers, a book cover and conference T shirts.

Dr. Martina Juranic
Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Juranic has been working at CSIRO for some time, but recently moved over to the BMGF Capturing Heterosis Project at the beginning of 2017.

Andrew Spriggs
Research Projects Officer
Andrew received a Bachelor of Bioinformatics with honours from the University of Wollongong in 2005. Since 2006, he has been part of the CSIRO Plant Industry (now Agriculture plant data sciences) bioinformatics team, doing bioinformatics project support for a very large variety of projects

Dr. Danielle Mazurkiewicz
Postdoctoral fellow
Danielle is commencing a three-year post-doctoral fellowship with Anna Koltunow. Recently, Danielle has been awarded a PhD in plant molecular biology from The University of Adelaide, Waite Campus, for the ‘Characterisation of a Novel Family of Eukaryotic Ammonium Transport Proteins.

Dilrukshi Nagahatenna
Technical Officer
Dilrukshi recently joined the team as a Technical Officer and her main research activities are large scale production of transgenic cowpea containing a range of genes and their physiological and molecular analysis. Dilrukshi recently completed her PhD at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG), University of Adelaide and her research was focused on investigating the role of tetrapyrrole biosynthesis under drought stress in cereal transgenics.

Tracy Marshall
Technical Officer
Tracy joined the team in December 2015. She completed Honours at Flinders University and her research was focused on the manipulation of organic synthesis in grapevine. Tracy is a Technical Officer and her main research activities are large scale production of transgenic cowpea containing a range of genes and their physiological and molecular analysis

Stephanie Gollasch
Research Projects Officer
Stephanie is a Research Projects Officer based at CSIRO Agriculture Flagship in Canberra. She is an expert in cowpea and pea transformation.

Lisa Molvig
Research Projects Officer
Lisa is a Research Projects Officer based at CSIRO Agriculture Flagship in Canberra. She is an expert in cowpea, lupin and chickpea transformation.