Researcher

Professor Bill Ballard

My Expertise

Dingoes, biodiversity, ageing, energy metabolism, insects.

Field of Research (FoR)

SEO tags

Biography

Research Contribution

Bill’s research is based around testing for natural selection within and among populations.

One arm of Bill’s research considers dingo evolution. To investigate this question Bill and his team have recently sequenced the genome of a Desert Dingo (Sandy) and an Alpine Dingo (Cooinda). The team will compare these genomes from those of a Basenji (the oldest known dog breed) and a German Shepherd Dog. Biochemical,...view more

Research Contribution

Bill’s research is based around testing for natural selection within and among populations.

One arm of Bill’s research considers dingo evolution. To investigate this question Bill and his team have recently sequenced the genome of a Desert Dingo (Sandy) and an Alpine Dingo (Cooinda). The team will compare these genomes from those of a Basenji (the oldest known dog breed) and a German Shepherd Dog. Biochemical, behavioural and microbiome questions will then investigate what is unique about the Australian Dingo.

The second arm of Bill’s work considers the mitochondrial genome in the fly Drosophila. The mitochondrial genome has been used extensively as a strictly neutral marker for decades but is known to be under selection. Bill and his team are studying the influence of diet and the microbiome on fly metabolism and ageing.

 

Professional Experience

  • 2006 - present: Professor, School of Biotechnology & Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW
  • 2008-2013: Head of School, School of Biotechnology & Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW
  • 2001-2006: Professor, University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • 1998-2001: Pritzker Curator, The Field Museum, Chicago, IL
  • 1995-1998: Assistant Curator, The Field Museum, Chicago, IL

 

Honours & Awards

  • Winner 2017 "World's most interesting genome" run by Pacific Biosciences
  • Foundation Director Roy J Carver Centre for Comparative Genomics University of Iowa
  • Pritzker Chair of Biosystematics Field Museum, Chicago, USA
  • NSF CAREER Special Creativity Extension (The Special Creativity Extension is unsolicited and is extremely rare. It followed an NSF CAREER Grant that was ranked the highest in its round.)
  • NH&MRC CJ Martin Postdoctoral Fellow

 


My Grants

Youngson, N. M. Morris, N. Turner & J.W.O. Ballard. Investigating a new way in which diet impacts animal biology. . Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project (DP)180103341. $395,000

 

Ballard, J.W.O. & R. Zammit. 2018. Hip2Fit. A crowdfunding campaign aimed at raising funds to sequence the genome of a German Shepherd dog. Grassrootz. $37,000

 

Ballard, J.W.O., R. Zammit & O. Distl. 2017. Towards eliminating canine hip-dysplasia: German Shepherd Dogs as a model. Canine Research Foundation $17, 685

 

Ballard, J.W.O., C.M. Wade, R. G. Melvin, R. Zammit & A.E. Minoche. 2017. Dancing with Dingoes: SMRT sequencing of the desert dingo genome. Pacific Biosciences SMRT Grant Winner. Pacific BioSciences funded the  sequencing of the genome at University of Arizona and assembly by Computomics, Hanover, Germany. ~$200,000

 

Ballard, J.W.O. J. St John & G. Smyth. 2016. Diet influences the selective advantage of mitochondrial DNA mutations. ARC DP 160102575 $313,600

 

Ballard, J.W.O. & C.J. Wade. 2015. Defining unconscious and artificial selection. ARC DP150102038 $374,900


My Awards

Ballard, J.W.O., C.M. Wade, R. G. Melvin, R. Zammit & A.E. Minoche. 2017. Dancing with Dingoes: SMRT sequencing of the desert dingo genome. Pacific Biosciences SMRT Grant Winner. Pacific BioSciences funded the sequencing of the genome at University of Arizona and assembly by Computomics, Hanover, Germany


My Research Activities

My long term research challenged dogma on the inheritance of mitochondrial DNA and replaced it with a more cohesive and understanding of the selective processes that operate on the organelle.

 

In 2011, I continued the pioneering research of Associate Professor Alan Wilton (1954-2011) and the Desert Dingo genome is now available at NCBI.

 

The two fields of research complement each other in the field of Evolutionary Genetics as both aim to discover the role of selection.


My Engagement

Patron. Australian Native Dog Society, Bargo, NSW, Australia

View less

Location

Room 3111, Level 3
Biological Sciences Building E26

Map reference (Google map)

Contact

+612 9385 2021
+612 9385 1483

ORCID as entered in ROS

Videos

Hip2Fit: A technology project that takes a first step to understand the genetic basis of abnormal hip socket formation in German Shepherd Dogs
Dingo Genomics