Researcher biography

Chris O'Brien is a research fellow at QAAFI leading the cryopreservation program. The program involves the conservation of exceptional species such as avocado and macadamia as well as other plants like Gossia spp which are affected by myrtle rust. The lab focuses on developing and optimizing protocols to store plant germplasm in liquid nitrogen. Storing plants in liquid nitrogen is the safest way to ensure long-term ex situ conservation.

Chris is also leading a project looking at avocado genomics/tissue culture propagation technologies to deliver world-first technology platforms for avocado improvement. This innovative tech-development will address critical challenges of traditional breeding, enabling rapid development of future-smart avocado cultivars.