Research interests

  • Understanding genetic resistance to pathogens that attack wheat and barley
  • Application of nested association mapping to dissect the genetics of complex traits
  • Speed breeding techniques to accelerate genetic gain and reduce the length of breeding cycles
  • Across cereal genomics and application of sequencing technologies
  • Integration of breeding technologies to accelerate genetic gain in breeding programs
  • Genomic selection breeding strategies


  • Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours Class I, The University of Queensland
  • Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation, The University of Queensland
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland

Researcher biography

Dr Hickey leads a research team situated within the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at UQ, Brisbane, Australia. His lab conducts genetic studies on key biotic (foliar and soil-borne diseases) and abiotic (drought and heat) factors that limit production of wheat and barley, and develops novel breeding tools and methodologies. Over the past nine years, Dr Lee Hickey has played a pivotal role in developing 'Speed Breeding': the rapid generation advance technology for spring wheat, to achieve an impressive six plant generations annually. His programme routinely applies speed breeding in combination with multi-trait phenotypic screening protocols to rapidly assemble novel germplasm.

Dr Hickey supervises 13 PhD students and collaborates with scientists around the world, including teams in the UK, Mexico, Germany, USA, Uruguay, Morocco and Russia. His impactful science is generating strong community, government and industry interest, and outcomes from his research have received wide media coverage. He loves to use social media to promote and communicate science to the public.

Check out the Hickey Lab website here

Follow me on Twitter: @DrHikov