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Dr Matthew Nelson

Team Leader


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I am a geneticist and plant breeder with a passion to enhance food production through genetic improvement of crops. To that end, I have engaged in a range of basic and applied research in public and private organisations in the UK, The Netherlands, Canada and Australia. My basic research interests include plant domestication, genome evolution and the diversity of crops and their wild relatives, resulting in over 80 peer-reviewed journal articles to date. In my applied research, I have managed molecular marker and tissue culture programs underpinning vegetable, oilseed and forage commercial crop breeding programs, contributing to the development of 25 cultivars.

I joined CSIRO in 2018 where I am responsible for leading and developing a national research program around the advancement of canola.

Academic Qualifications

  • 1995

    B.Sc. (First Class Honours) in Agricultural Botany
    University of Glasgow

  • 2000

    Ph.D. in Plant Genetics
    University of East Anglia

Achievements and Awards

  • 2018-2021

    Adjunct Associate Professor, UWA Institute of Agriculture
    The University of Western Australia

  • 2018-2021

    Honorary Research Associate, Natural Capital & Plant Health
    Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

  • 2015-2018

    Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Plant Biology
    The University of Western Australia

  • 2011-2011

    Fay Gale Fellowship
    The University of Western Australia

Current Roles

  • Team Leader
    Adapting broadacre crops to changing agronomic practices and climate.

  • Project Leader - Canola establishment genetics
    Canola crops have an unfortunate tendency to establish poorly leading to incomplete or delayed canopy closure, which compromises yield potential and complicates weed management. We are seeking genetic solutions to improve the reliability of canola establishment.

  • Adjunct Professor, The University of Western Australia
    The UWA Institute of Agriculture

Professional Experiences

  • 2015-2018

    Research Leader – Crop Plants
    Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

  • 2011-2015

    Senior Research Fellow
    The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

  • 2002-2011

    Research Fellow
    The University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia

  • 2002-2013

    Molecular Breeder
    Canola Breeders WA Pty Ltd, Perth, Australia

  • 2001-2002

    Molecular marker scientist
    Seminis Vegetable Seeds, The Netherlands

We have publications by Dr Matthew Nelson