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Dr Danny Llewellyn

Chief Research Scientist


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GPO BOX 1700


Dr Danny Llewellyn is a Chief Research Scientist with CSIRO and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, having been actively involved in plant biotechnology for over 35 years in the development, evaluation and deployment of GM traits primarily in cotton. Following a PhD in biochemistry and biophysics at the ANU he moved into the emerging area of plant genetic engineering at the Max Planck Institute in Cologne during the initial genesis of plant genetic modification and brought that technology back to Australia when taking up a postdoc with CSIRO to use transgenic plants for the first time to study basic aspects of plant gene regulation. He moved to cotton in the mid 1980’s developing and/or testing GM traits mostly for insect and herbicide tolerance with various large multi-national life science companies. He pioneered the field testing of GM cotton in Australia working closely with CSIRO’s cotton breeding team to deploy a number of those traits into full commercial production, ensuring the on-going sustainability of an industry worth billions to Australia. His research and close interaction with GMAC and later the OGTR helped to empirically define and validate the physical parameters required for the safe containment of GM traits in cotton during their field testing up to commercial release. He has received a number of Awards and honours in recognition of his services to Australian agriculture and the cotton industry. The commercial deployment of GM traits is on-going, but Dr Llewellyn also maintains an active research program in cotton genomics, marker-assisted breeding and the development of the next generation of GM traits to improve yield and quality of Australian cotton varieties.

Other Interests

Classical music (particularly early music), gardening, reading, computer programming and the occasional jigsaw puzzle

Current Roles

  • Team Leader
    Core Biotechnology Team

Academic Qualifications

  • 1975

    BSc (Hons) Biochemistry
    Australian National University

  • 1980

    Australian National University

Professional Experiences

  • 1980-1980

    Research Assistant
    Australian National University

  • 1980-1982

    CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellow
    Max-Planck Institute for Plant Breeding

  • 1982-1985

    Rural Credits Research Fellow

  • 1985-present

    Researcher and Project Leader in Cotton Biotechnology

Achievements and Awards

  • -1994

    Cotton Researcher of the Year
    Australian Cotton growers Research Association

  • -1995

    Chief's Award for Excellence in Science Delivery
    CSIRO Plant Industry

  • -2000

    Australian Academy of Technology & Engineering

  • -2001

    Centenary Medal for Services to Agricultural Biotechnology
    Australian Government

  • -2003

    Chief's Award for Excellence in Research Adoption
    CSIRO Plant Industry

  • -2003

    Chairman's Medal

  • -2006

    Clunies Ross Award

  • -2009

    Award of Excellence
    Weed Science Society of America

  • -2011

    Chairman's Medal

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2017-present

    Member OGTR Gene Technology Technical Advisory Committee (GTTAC)

  • 2006-present

    Secretary ACT Division ATSE Academy

We have publications by Dr Danny Llewellyn