Dr Klara Verbyla

Research Director, Crops

Contact details:

Biography

Dr Klara Verbyla is the Research Director of the Crops Program in CSIRO Agriculture and Food. This program has more than 170 staff and affiliates with a goal to increase the productivity and value of major Australian food and beverage crops to meet industry requirements through the application of modern pre-breeding and breeding technologies.

Klara’s research background is in statistical and quantitative genetics and the application of new technologies for the genetic improvement of agricultural species; both plant and animals. She was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy in Computational Biology/Statistical Genetics at The University of Melbourne in 2010. During her studies also she received a European Union Marie Curie Early Career Fellowship and spent a year at Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in the Netherlands.

After a year at the Australian National University as a postdoctoral fellow, Klara joined CSIRO Mathematics, Informatics and Statistics (CMIS) in 2011. Since joining CSIRO, Klara has worked with a diverse set of national and international industry partners to design and deliver projects that have provided new insight into the genetic control of a range of economically or nutritionally important traits, as well as developing advanced breeding strategies to increase the rate of genetic gain. Klara has been instrumental in the development of statistical and computational approaches for the genetic dissection of quantitative traits using CSIRO’s MAGIC mapping populations. In 2015, Klara also begun working with CSIRO Agriculture and Food’s aquaculture applied breeding team and industry partners to implement genomics selection for the Tasmanian Atlantic salmon industry. Full commercial implementation was achieved in 2018 with results continuing to exceed expectation and transform the breeding cycle. Klara was part of the Salmon Applied Breeding team that won the CSIRO Chairman’s medal for Science Excellence in 2019.

Current Roles

  • Group Leader
    Biological Data Science

Academic Qualifications

  • 2010

    PhD Computational Biology and Statistical Genetics
    The University of Melbourne

  • 2005

    BSc (Hons) Genetics
    The University of Adelaide

  • 2004

    BSc (Molecular Biology)
    The University of Adelaide