Seminar by Dr Denis O’Meally – Sequencing the koala genome with long reads

denis_omeallySPEAKER: Dr Denis O’Meally, Centre for Animal Health Innovation, University of Sunshine Coast

DATE: Friday, 16th September 2016
LOCATION: Geelong Campus at Waurn Ponds, Room KA4.207
TIME: 1:30pm
Seminar will also be video linked to the following campuses: Melbourne Campus at Burwood, Burwood Corporate Centre (BCC) and Warrnambool Campus, Room J2.22

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ABSTRACT: The koala, Phascolarctos cinereus, is a biologically unique and evolutionarily distinct arboreal marsupial that is frequently regarded as an ‘iconic symbol of conservation’ due to a range of threatening processes including disease and habitat loss. The Koala Genome Consortium, a multi-disciplinary international collaboration, is using modern genomic and transcriptomic tools to investigate the koala’s unique biology and its particular conservation challenges.

Three geographically separate koalas (two female and one male) were genome sequenced to a depth of 30-100X using a range of platforms (including Illumina and PacBio) and RNAseq for multiple tissues tissues. This presentation will report the koala de novo genome assembly and annotation, including the unusual genomic attributes we have discovered for this iconic, monotypic marsupial.

BIO: Dr Denis O’Meally is a Research Fellow at the University of the Sunshine Coast and a member of the Koala Genome Consortium. His research focuses on the evolution of amniote genomes, using the variation in Australia’s unique fauna to understand how genomes interact with their environment. Denis has broad interests in genome evolution including sex determination and sex chromosomes, immunogenetics and molecular convergence.

Dr O’Meally completed his PhD on reptile sex determination at the Australian National University in 2010 and has held postdoctoral positions at The University of Sydney and University of Canberra. Prior to undertaking a PhD, he was the collection manager for the Evolutionary Biology Unit at the Australian Museum, Sydney.

Appointments with guest speaker may be made via Beata Ujvari.