Monday 14 March

9.00am Mihi / Karakia (Opening / Blessing)
9.30am Martyn Dunne - Ministry for Primary Industries Director-General
9.45am Dr Warren Parker - CEO Scion
9.55am Housekeeping and welcome
10.00am Morning Tea

Keynote: Antoine Kremer
Overview of current status of genetics and future trends

11.15am Keynote: Robert Banks
Forestry industry genetic improvement – Vision, priorities, and learnings from other species
12.00pm Lunch
1.00pm Keynote: David Balfour
What are the four key questions that NZ forestry wants answered by genetics?
1.30pm John Butcher
More urgency in the delivery of commercial benefits from genetic improvement
1.50pm Theme: Breeding productive and resilient forests
Dr John Moore
Realised genetic gain for growth and wood density in New Zealand radiata pine

Dr David Lee
Corymbia species and hybrids; challenges and potential

Associate Professor Luis Apiolaza
Sampling strategies for wood properties of Eucalyptus bosistoana accounting for spatial patterns
2.50pm Discussion and housekeeping
3.00pm Afternoon Tea
3.30pm Theme: Breeding productive and resilient forests
Marcin Klisz
Productive potential of selected norway spruce populations from northern poland (preliminary study from testing program)

Dr Richard J. Kerr

Investigating efficiency of selection using univariate and multivariate best linear unbiased predictors

PhD Raul De La Mata
When is fast growth costly? Insect herbivory shifts selection patterns in a forest tree

Dr Yongjun Li
Improvement of non-key traits in radiata pine breeding programme when long-term economic importance is uncertain

4.30pm Closing and discussion
5.30pm Poster Evening


Tuesday 15 March - Kaingaroa Forest Fieldtrip

Located in the central North Island of New Zealand, Kaingaroa Forest is regarded as one of the crown jewels of international forestry. The forest covers 189,000 hectares and is one of theoldest and largest softwood plantations in the world.

Click here for a full field trip itinerary.


Wednesday 16 March

8.30am Theme: Finding the synergies in Genotype, environment and silviculture
Keynote: Brian Cullis
Genotype x environment interaction in a large MET analysis of Pinus radiata
9.15am Dr Gregory Dutkowski
Identifying site types for Pinus radiata genetic evaluation in Australia

Prof Mark Hunt
Relative impact of mechanical site preparation and stock ideotype on survival and growth of southern pine hybrids aged 15 years
9.55am Discussion and housekeeping
10.00am Morning Tea
10.30am Theme: Finding the synergies in Genotype, environment and silviculture
Mr Zhiqiang Chen

Increased efficiency of breeding value prediction of Swedish Norway spruce breeding program by spatial analysis and dissecting genotpe by environment interactions

Dr Rowland Burdon

Genotype X site X silviculture interactions in radiata pine: knowledge, working hypotheses and pointers for research

PhD Student Sukhyun Joo
Simulating realised gain trials by incorporating heritable morphological traits from Douglas-fir progeny tests into growth models

Dr Dean Meason
Influence of site factors on growth and physiology of Pinus radiata genotypes, and the implications of silviculture on tree breeding trials
11.50am Discussion
12.00pm Lunch
1.00pm Dr Szymon Jastrzebowski
Silvicultural value of progeny of European beech provenances under the habitat conditions of Beskid Zywiecki Mts (southern Poland)

Dr Tony McRae
Progress with the rolling front in radiata pine

Dr Dominic Kain
Slash x Caribbean pine hybrid genetic improvement in Queensland

Dr Gunnar Jansson
Genetic evaluation of swedish scots pine breeding program

Dr Tim Mullin
Optimising selection in tree breeding with constraints on relatedness and operational flexibility

Dr John Doran
Breeding to improve foliar oil yields in Eucalyptus polybractea
3.00pm Afternoon Tea
3.30pm Nicholas Davies
Genetic control of growth strain in Eucalyptus bosistonana: very early screen of a left-censored trait

Dr Johan Westin (presented by Richard Kerr on behalf)
Applying experimental design in Swedish forest tree genetics trials

Natalie Graham
Screening for red needle cast resistance in radiata pine

Dr Simeon Smaill
Producing forests for the future climate
4.30pm Closing and discussion


Thursday 17 March

8.30am Housekeeping
8.40am Theme: Genomics and Phenomics
Keynote: Dario Grattapaglia
Genomic selection in tropical Eucalyptus breeding: advances and challenges
9.15am Dr Emily Telfer
First evaluation of genomic selection for radiata pine
Luis Gea
Genetics and genomics of kiwifruit - a breeder's perspective
9.55am Discussion and housekeeping
10.00am Morning Tea

Theme: Genomics and Phenomics

Keynote: Ulrich Schurr
Phenotyping plants in variable and heterogeneous environment - integrated approaches to mechanistic, high-throughput and field phenotyping

Keynote: David Pont
The use of LiDAR for phenotyping trees
11.40am Dr David Herries
Lidar update: improvements and opportunities in using data rich point clouds for forest monitoring
12.00pm Lunch
1.00pm Theme: Forestry, animals and  horticulture

Concurrent session A
Concurrent session B Concurrent session C
ASREML-R workshop
Brian Cullis
Jaroslav Klapste
Mari Suontama

  1. Single site pedigree based analysis (BLUP) of clonal experiment (full-sib families)
  2. Single site analysis of clonal experiment using pedigree and marker based relationship matrix
  3. Multi site pedigree based analysis (BLUP) of clonal experiment (full-sib families)
  4. Multi site analysis of clonal experiment using pedigree and marker based relationship matrix
  5. Results interpretation


  • Basic R programing experiences
  • Experiences with ASReml-R or linear models in R
Information on installation of ASReml –r and licensing will be provided later.
Bioinformatics workshop
Dan Jones
Emily Telfer

Ever wondered how Bioinfomatics can impact a tree breeding programme? Many of the latest genotyping platforms are making use of next generation sequencing platforms such as Illumina's HiSeq. Genotype-by-sequencing (GBS) methods rely on downstream bioinformatics to convert sequence data into a genotype file. In addition, transcriptome sequencing enables us to track variation in gene expression as a trait. A basic overview of Bioinformatics and types of applications for tree breeders is covered in this workshop, run by Dr Dan Jones of University of Auckland and NZ Genomics Ltd.
Scion Tour

Tour Scion's research facilities where renewable and sustainable bioproducts are being convertedfrom wood and plant fibre.
Please note that space on this tour is limited.
3.00pm Afternoon Tea
3.30pm Theme: Forestry, animals and horticulture

Concurrent Session A Concurrent Session B
ASREML-R workshop continued Forestry, animals and horticulture
4.10pm Closing and discussion
6.30pm Conference Dinner


Friday 18 March

8.30am Housekeeping
8.40am Theme: Putting it all together
Keynote: John McEwan
Frontiers of genomic selection in sheep
9.15am Prof Harry Wu
Advanced generation tree breeding: challenges and opportunities

Dr Mari Suontama

Towards genomic selection for wood properties in Eucalyptus nitens
9.55 Discussion and housekeeping
10.00am Morning Tea

Theme: Putting it all together
Keynote: Jerry Tuskan

Gene discovery through genome-wide association studies

11.15am Dr Nari Williams
Integrated phenotyping: bringing together quantitative data from across disciplines for more informed plant breeding

Dr Michael Carson
Successful clonal forestry with radiata pine in New Zealand
11.55am Discussion
12.00pm Lunch
1.00pm Theme: Putting it all together
Dr David Bush
Genetic diversity, conservation and breeding of Eucalyptus benthamii

Dr Heidi Dungey
Landscape community genomics

Valerie Hipkins
Molecular genetic markers to achieve productive and resilient forests

Dr Heidi Dungey
Future perspectives
2.20pm Workshop
Solutions to the four questions posed by David Balfour day 1
Panel / Report back & discussion
3.00pm Closing
3.15pm Afternoon Tea with an open discussion on next Australasian Genetics meeting

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