People


Livestock and Aquaculture
  • PhD in aquatic immunology, and interests in aquatic animal health, including disease processes, immunology, diagnostics and treatment. Passionate about applying cutting edge science to address the challenges in improving Livestock Productivity


Dr James Kijas (Research Group Leader)

Breeding and Genomics
  • James is a molecular geneticist with an international reputation in the field of animal genomics. He joined the Aquaculture program in 2016 to work on Atlantic salmon sex determination and maturation, barramundi applied breeding and genomic tool development. He currently serves as group leader for Breeding and Genomics.


Dr Cedric Simon (Research Group Leader)

Nutrition & Production Systems
  • Cedric, Senior Research Scientist, has broad research interests, including the digestive physiology and nutritional requirements of crustaceans, fish and molluscs, the non-invasive assessment of nutritional and health condition using novel tools, feed additives, feed extrusion, and sustainable aquafeed ingredients and formulation. He holds a PhD in Marine Science from the University of Auckland and a BSc in Aquaculture from James Cook University.


Dr Sonja Dominik (Research Group Leader)

Sustainability and Welfare
  • Sonja is a quantitative geneticist and has broad knowledge across a range of trait complexes, such as health, reproduction, methane emission and production, and across livestock and aquaculture species. Her group is well networked into the supply chain and sustainability initiatives across CSIRO and externally with international recognition in the group’s science areas.


Dr Caroline Lee (Team Leader)

Animal behaviour and welfare
  • Caroline is an animal welfare scientist with an interest in developing novel welfare assessment methods to improve the lives of animals. She is also interested in developing and applying new technologies such as virtual fencing to improve farming systems. She likes to highlight the importance of understanding cognitive and learning abilities to ensure these align with the expectations of applying new technologies and systems to farm animals. She completed her PhD at The University of Sydney in 2001.


Dr Aaron Ingham (Research Group Leader)

Animal Health & Resilience
  • Aaron has a longstanding commitment to research projects that aim to improve animal health and understand the mechanisms of resistance to disease. Aaron’s research has delivered vaccines, immune stimulants, remote monitoring technologies and the immune competence trait.


  • James holds a PhD in biochemistry and has strengths in analytical chemistry, data science and bioinformatics. He works to improve food sustainability and safety using proteomics and protein quantification.
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  • Veterinarian, with PhD in veterinary public health (food microbiology). Leads livestock welfare research in a number of areas including pain mitigation for livestock; alternatives to painful husbandry procedures, humane slaughter and neonatal development and survival. Interests also in meat processing, safety, shelf-life and quality.
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Computation and Systems Biology
  • Toni’s primary research vision is built on capitalising on the post-genomics ‘Big Data’ revolution that is in the process of sweeping the agricultural sciences and looks set to continue. It is vital that both molecular and quantitative scientists continue to develop innovative analytical methods and capabilities in this area. It is already clear that generating genomic, transcriptomic, epigenetic and metabolomics data is becoming more routine and, according to Toni’s believes, fundamental to revolutionising how we may predict and manage animal performance in both health and disease as we collectively look to the future.


  • PhD Animal Genetics, MSc Animal Reproduction, Degree in Veterinary Medicine. Interested in animal genetics from fundamental research to applied projects. The key concept is to make use of recent advances in genetic technologies to develop research-based solutions for improved efficiency in animal production systems, mainly focused on the tropical environment.


Keren Byrne

  • Keren Byrne is a Research Project Officer in the Molecular Analysis team within CSIRO Agriculture and Food. Keren has a substantive background in functional genomics, gene expression and epigenetics, as well as extensive expertise in proteomics, mass spectrometry (MS) and bioinformatics. Together with her colleagues Keren is using proteomics, and the study of proteins using MS, to identify key proteins of benefit to Australia's plant and livestock industries and improve human health

Keshavarzi, Dr Hamideh (Research Plus Postdoctoral Fellow)

Animal Behaviour and Welfare
  • Hamideh is an animal welfare scientist with a background of animal breeding and genetics. She conducted her Ph.D. research on abortion incidence in Iranian Holstein dairy cows in 2017. During her Ph.D. and later as a research assistant, she had a chance to visit the university of Copenhagen and develop some mathematic and economic models on reproductive disorders in dairy herds. With Animal Welfare team, her research focuses on study the social interactions and determine association networks in animals. She is particularly interested in understanding how the social friendship helps animals to adapt to a new system.


  • A Bachelor of Biotechnology and an MBA enable Gavin to facilitate discussions between science and business domains. Aims to develop positive commercial solutions for all involved. Works collaboratively across CSIRO and with strategic external partners to ensure impactful R&D outcomes are achieved. Enjoys beef and lamb, but all livestock welcomed.
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Rebecca Wright (Research Projects Coordinator)

  • Rebecca's background and experience has enabled her to develop a well-rounded set of skills and attributes in supporting CSIRO researchers to deliver on research projects both nationally and internationally. Key skills include; project management/coordination, stakeholder engagement, communications, events planning, office administration, secretariat support and coaching and systems training.


  • PhD in bioanalytical mass spectrometry. Michelle uses mass spectrometry (MS) and proteomics to help identify key proteins that will benefit Australia's livestock, aquaculture and plant industries and improve human health. She is leading the Future Protein mission which aims to catalyse Australia’s protein industry growth by delivering high quality, affordable and sustainable protein for the health of Australians and our environment.
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Dr Pamela Alexandre (Post Doctoral fellow)

  • Pâmela Alexandre is a postdoctoral fellow at CSIRO Agriculture and Food, based in St. Lucia, Brisbane. Her main project is entitled “The weakest link – using genomics to lift the productivity of Australia’s northern rangeland beef herds” and aims to develop methods to make cutting-edge DNA technologies affordable to commercial beef cattle producers. Pâmela holds a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science from the University of São Paulo (2007-2011) and both MSc (2012-2015) and PhD (2015-2019) in Animal Science from the same institution, with sandwich periods at the University of Copenhagen/Denmark (2014) and CSIRO/Australia (2017/2018). During her Master and PhD, she worked with transcriptomics and system biology analysis to uncover the molecular mechanisms behind feed efficiency in Nellore (Bos indicus) cattle, developing skills that are now applied to a variety of RNA-Seq datasets.


Dr Brad Hine (Senior Research Scientist)

Animal measurement
  • Dr Brad Hine is a Research Scientist in the Livestock Phenomics Team. The Livestock Phenomics team specialises in developing methodologies to assess hard to measure traits. Phenotypic data on such traits will provide critical information for livestock producers when developing breeding objectives and will inform selection decisions. Brad's major focus is on development of methodologies to assess in immune competence in livestock species and understanding the interactions between immune competence, temperate and stress-coping ability in livestock.


  • PhD in Behavioural Ecology from the University of Auckland with postdoctoral experience in the welfare of mink and laying hens. Currently works with livestock to assess their welfare and uses precision technology to measure behaviour. Strong interest in the impacts of rearing environments, enrichments, affective states, and individual differences.
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