Industry fellowships for QAAFI researchers

17 April 2024

Two researchers have secured prestigious Advance Queensland Industry Research Fellowships for 2023 in a coup for the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI).

The highly competitive scheme supports PhD-qualified researchers for projects of benefit to the state, in collaboration with Queensland-based industry and end-users.   

Dr Lida Omaleki wearing a lab coat
Dr Lida Omaleki

Dr Lida Omaleki from QAAFI’s Centre for Animal Science has secured a Mid-Career Fellowship to further her work in genomic technology to investigate and prevent disease outbreaks in animals.

She’s planning to extend her successful research on the bacteria Pasteurella multocida in chickens to pigs and feedlot cattle.

“I’m really excited about this project because I know how much can be done,” Dr Omaleki said.

“We’re going to dig deeper into the genetic part of the bacteria to see whether we can learn about its structure, to ensure vaccines are specifically targeted.

“We are also going to build a data base of information on the genetic materials and teach industry how to use it.

Dr Omaleki's industry partner is animal and avian health consultancy Scolexia Pty Ltd. 

“Genomic work is complex and people are scared of it, but through this project, we will be able to make the science accessible and less scary.”

Fellow Centre for Animal Science researcher Dr Eric Dinglasan has been granted an Early-Career Fellowship to expand his work in predictive agriculture.

He plans to expand the UQ-developed FastStack technology first applied for wheat with LongReach, to a new partnership with Advanta to be implemented in sorghum.

Dr Eric Dinglasan smiling, sitting at a desk
Dr Eric Dinglasan

“FastStack is an AI-guided breeding technology, where instead of selecting the best individual, we choose the best chromosome segments that are good for a trait, then identify the optimal crossing path to combine them with other chromosome segments across the genome to develop the ultimate stack,” Dr Dinglasan said.

“Together with our industry partners, we want to develop an AI breeding scheme to tackle the main issues facing Queensland crop growers like enhancing grain quality and resilience to severe heat stress.

“Incorporating new breeding interventions with chromosome stacking we can ensure that genetic gains don’t plateau but boost both immediate and long-term gain in the face of climate change.

“I’m really grateful for this opportunity to work with industry partners and directly with breeders to see our work translated into the real world and I’m very excited to be applying all these technologies.”

The Industry Research Fellowships can be viewed here.

Media: QAAFI comms, Natalie MacGregor,, +61 409 135 651.

The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is a research institute at The University of Queensland supported by the Queensland Government via the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.