Researcher biography

Dr Kai Voss-Fels is a Senior Research Fellow within the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at The University of Queensland focussing on quantitative genetics and plant breeding. Before joining UQ in 2017, Kai has worked as Research Associate at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology and as PhD student and then Postdoc at the Justus Liebig University Giessen in Germany, where he completed his PhD in 2016 with highest distinction (summa cum laude, JLU best dissertation award).

Kai is interested in developing and implementing new genomics-assisted breeding approaches to improve yield, quality and resistances in major crops, such as wheat, barley, sugarcane, rapeseed and chickpea. A particular focus of Kai's research involves the integration of quantitative genetics, genomics and computational approaches to develop new crop improvement strategies. He is particularly interested in new genomic prediction approaches, e.g. involving artificial intelligence and computer simulation, that could help to accelerate the rate of genetic gain in crops. This also includes the study of GxE interaction and non-additive gene action, which represent a source of non-linearity observed in crop breeding, and thereby a key challenge for increasing genetic gain in crops.

In recognition of his research contributions, Kai has won several prestigious awards, e.g. the Kurt von Rümker Price 2017 and the 2019 Barley Incentive Award by the Australian Barley Technical Symposium committee. He has published his research outcomes in high impact peer-reviewed journals, such as Nature Plants and Trends in Plant Science, and he works closely with leading national and international partners across the public and private sectors.