Researcher

Professor Bill Ballard

My Expertise

Dingoes, biodiversity, ageing, energy metabolism, insects.

Field of Research (FoR)

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Biography

Research Contribution

Ballard's research is focused but has broad application. According to ISI Web of Science (accessed 29 Jan 2019) he has published 1016 peer reviewed papers and has an h-index of 33. He has been cited over 4,450 times. His most highly cited paper was published in 2004 and has been cited over 1100 times.

In 2017 Ballard and his team won the Pacific Biosciences competition entitled "World's most interesting genome" and have...view more

Research Contribution

Ballard's research is focused but has broad application. According to ISI Web of Science (accessed 29 Jan 2019) he has published 1016 peer reviewed papers and has an h-index of 33. He has been cited over 4,450 times. His most highly cited paper was published in 2004 and has been cited over 1100 times.

In 2017 Ballard and his team won the Pacific Biosciences competition entitled "World's most interesting genome" and have now sequenced the genome of a Desert Dingo named Sandy. The sequencing was completed in Arizona and the the de novo assembly completed by Computomics in Germany. The asembled contigs were assembled into scaffolds using Chromium 10X data and super-scaffolds using Bionano Technology at Garvan Institute. Ballard presented a preliminary summary of the results at the Plant and Animal Genomics Conference in San Diego, California in January 2018.

In the field of population genetics his work has informed the debate questioning whether biological species can be defined on the basis of mitochondrial DNA (Ballard & Rand 2005, Ballard 2004, Ballard & Whitlock 2004). He was the first to show that mtDNA can influence multiple life-history traits, including lifespan, development time, physical activity and frequency of genotypes in population cages (James & Ballard 2003, Ballard et al. 2007). Examination of the evolutionary forces that influence mitochondrial DNA continues to be relevant with the increasing use of dietary manipulation to increase healthy 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

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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