Plant breeding biometry in the digital agriculture era. Dr. Julian Taylor (Adelaide Uni)

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The South Australian Branch of the Statistical Society would like to invite you to the September meeting of the 2017 program.

Venue: Engineering & Maths EMG06 – Maths seminar room 1, North Terrace, Adelaide University. Campus map is available at

***Please note that most entrance doors to Adelaide University buildings close at 6pm so make sure you arrive in time for the talk.


5.30pm – Refreshments in the Lecture Theatre.

6.05pm – General Meeting Talk.

7.30 pm – A dinner will be held after the meeting at Cafe Michael 2, 204 Rundle Street, Adelaide.

Please rsvp for dinner to [email protected] by 25th September.

Speaker: Dr. Julian Taylor, School of Agriculture, Food & Wine, University of Adelaide

Topic: Plant breeding biometry in the digital agriculture era

Abstract: The science of plant breeding is rapidly advancing towards the era of digital agriculture. In the context of plant phenotyping, new technologies such as the next generation GPS will enable farmers to conduct precision spatial monitoring of their crops as well as related soil characteristics. Concurrently, advancements in next-generation sequencing technology are allowing more detailed dissections of plant genomes along with deeper exploration of their connection to phenotypic traits of interest. In this talk I will discuss the crucial role of the biometrician in this advancing digital landscape. A component of the talk will focus on methodological and computational challenges for analyses of large data sets collected from plant breeding experiments. It will also demonstrate the necessity for close collaboration with other researchers in plant breeding including bioinformaticians and high-performance computing personnel. To motivate these discussions a large wheat diversity panel data set from Australian Grains Technologies (AGT) will be presented and used for various gene-trait analyses.

Biography: Dr. Julian Taylor completed his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from the University of Adelaide with a focus on statistical and computational modelling of plant breeding experiments. He then went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in CSIRO researching variable selection methods for high dimensional gene-trait association analysis.

In his current employment Dr. Julian Taylor is a Senior Research Fellow in the Biometry Hub located at the Waite Agricultural Precinct of the University of Adelaide. He is also a Program Leader for the southern node of the Statistics for the Grains Industry project, a Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) funded initiative to provide biometrical research support for southern regional GRDC projects.

Dr. Taylor’s research is based on the development of statistical methodology and models along with their computational implementation for use in the analysis of plant breeding experiments. Much of this research is multi-disciplinary and highly collaborative with plant researchers in the university as well across other scientific communities involved in plant breeding research. A substantial focus of the research is in the competitive research area of statistical genetics in crop agriculture. This includes the theoretical and computational research development of gene-trait association modelling such as genomic selection, quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis and genome wide association analyses.

Dr. Taylor is the co-author and maintainer of statistical software packages R/wgaim and R/ASMap written in the open source R statistical computing environment. These packages have provided plant research staff in the university with highly efficient tools for the genetic analysis of their experiments and continue to play an important role in providing research outcomes for their projects.


The 2017 EA Cornish Memorial Lecture will be given by Professor Robert Elliott on Wednesday 25 October at the University of Adelaide.  The title of Robert’s talk is “New Ideas in an Old Framework”.  Please save the date.  Further details to follow.

Plant breeding biometry in the digital agriculture era. Dr. Julian Taylor (Adelaide Uni)
When: 27/09/2017
Time: 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Cost: Free
Location: Engineering & Maths EMG06 – Maths seminar room 1,
North Terrace,

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