Researcher biography

Professor Lee Hickey is a plant breeder and crop geneticist within the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at The University of Queensland, Australia. He is an ARC Future Fellow and Director of the ARC Training Centre in Predictive Breeding. His own research group specialises in plant breeding innovation to support development of more productive food crops, such as wheat, barley and chickpea. He has a strong interest in the integration of breeding technologies, such as genomic prediction, AI, speed breeding and genome editing. His advice for speed breeding crops is sought internationally and the technology is now adopted by plant breeding programs worldwide, which is fast-tracking development of improved crop varieties for farmers. His research outcomes have featured in >90 refereed publications, including articles in high profile journals Nature Plants, Nature Protocols and Nature Biotechnology. Lee is a prolific science communicator and his research outcomes have appeared in mainstream media such as BBC World News, National Geographic, and the New York Times. He is passionate about training the next generation of plant breeders and currently mentors 18 PhD students, while 20 of his previous graduates now work for leading plant breeding companies and high-profile research institutes around the globe.

Check out the Hickey Lab website here

Follow Professor Lee Hickey on Twitter (X): @DrHikov

Research interests

  • Speed breeding techniques to reduce the length of breeding cycles
  • Understanding the genetics of physiological traits that support yield in different environments
  • Integrating breeding technologies to accelerate genetic gain in breeding programs
  • Innovative genomic selection methodologies
  • Identifying novel sources of disease resistance