Researcher biography

Dr Mulusew Fikere is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at The University of Queensland. His BSc in Plant Science and MSc in Plant Breeding and Genetics initially exposed him to practical pre-breeding programs, field trial and greenhouse experiments, quantitative genetics, and statistical tools applied for crop improvement. He worked for the Ethiopian Agricultural Research System as a plant breeder and geneticist where he contributed for the release of two new bread wheat and a linseed (flax) varieties for growers.

He graduated with his PhD from La Trobe University, Melbourne based at AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience in Computational Biology (Applied system Biology) in 2018. His PhD research focused on performing genomic selection and Genome-wide association analyses on canola lines genotyped with transcriptome genotyping-by-sequencing (tGBS), with a subset of lines whole-genome sequenced (> 6 million SNPs). This work resulted in the first Canola study that imputed whole-genome sequence into lines genotype with tGBS, he was able to demonstrate that this method increased GWAS power. He also used genomic prediction models, Best Linear Unbiased Prediction and Bayesian approaches for major traits in canola. Dr Mulusew has skills on windows based statistical tools, high-performance computing systems, and Linux/Unix platform to process, and analyze large-scale datasets, coding R, ASReml-R and ASReml stand-alone, writing PBS scrips and C++ programming.

His current role as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow is developing genomic prediction models and pipelines in collaboration with RosBREED (USDA-Specialty crop research initiative) and HortInnovation. The project is working towards global prediction, combining genotypic and phenotypic information from multiple genotypic platforms into a single database and performing linear mixed models. Dr Mulusew is a member of professional association including Australian Agriculture Institute (AIA), Golden Key International honors society, and Australia National tertiary education union (NTEU).