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Dr David Johnston

David is a beef cattle geneticist at the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU) at the University of New England, Armidale, where he has been for 27 years. During that time David has been responsible for the design and management of several large beef cattle breeding projects, and the implementation of the research into the international genetic evaluation scheme called BREEDPLAN. David’s expertise is mainly in the area of mixed model estimation and prediction and a major focus of his work has been the development of genetic evaluation procedures for new traits. These have included important developments in male and female reproduction traits, mature cow weight, abattoir carcase and meat quality traits, net feed intake, and more recently, research into the incorporation of DNA-based data into estimated breeding values. Currently David is project leader of a large MLA-funded breeding project in Queensland and the Northern Territory that is developing enhanced genetic evaluation of female reproduction traits through the implementation of new genomic selection techniques in tropically-adapted beef breeds. David spends considerable time interacting with the beef industry and has been an invited speaker at scientific forums both nationally and internationally.