March 2, 2024

Keynote speakers


Bridging the Gap: Using Functional Genomics to Unlock Yield Potential

Sponsored by Corteva Agriscience



Dr. Scott Boden

Project Leader and Royal Society Research Fellow at John Innes Centre

Dr. Scott Boden is currently a project leader at the John Innes Centre in the department of Crop Genetics. Dr. Boden received a Ph.D. in Plant Science from the University of Adelaide, Australia in 2008. Following his Ph.D., Dr. Boden served as a post-doctoral research scientist and Marie Curie International Fellow at the John Inness Centre from 2008-2011. This was followed by an additional post-doctoral position at CSIRO Plant Industry/Agriculture and Food. His research focuses primarily on the genetic regulation of inflorescence architecture and development in wheat as well as the regulation of flowering time and the circadian clock in wheat and barley.




Dr. Ronan O’Malley

Sequencing Technologies Group Lead, DOE Joint Genome Institute

Dr. O’Malley received a BA in Biology/Chemistry and a PhD from the University of Chicago. Dr. O’Malley currently serves as the lead of the Sequencing Technologies group at the United States Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (JGI). In addition to overseeing community sequencing projects, Dr. O’Malley’s research focuses on the expansion and development of sequence-driven functional genomics methods and technologies. Before joining the JGI in 2016, Dr. O’Malley worked as a staff scientist at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, CA. During his time at the Salk Institute, he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Ecker to develop functional genomics technologies such as DAP-seq and TDNA-seq.

Dr. Gina Zastrow-Hayes

Genomics Technology Leader at Corteva Agriscience

Dr. Gina Zastrow-Hayes graduated with a degree in Microbiology from the University Wisconsin Madison in 2000 and since has worked in the field of Genomics spanning toxicology, cancer biology, circadian biology and agricultural research programs. She established Genomics and cell based screening facilities at the Scripps Research Florida campus and University of Pennsylvania and joined the Corteva Agriscience Genomics group in 2008 where she has helped expand the use of next generation sequencing technologies for breeding, transgene and gene editing applications. Gina is currently a Technology Leader in the Genomics group and is responsible for a team that manages long and short read sequencing technologies including whole genome sequencing for reference genome production and targeted applications for the gene editing molecular characterization pipeline.

Dr. Scott Jackson

Professor and Director of the Centre of Applied Genetic Technologies at the University of Georgia

Dr. Scott Jackson is currently the Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar and Professor in Plant Functional Genomics at the University of Georgia. He also serves as the Director of the Center for Applied Genetic Technologies. Prior to joining UGA in 2011, he received his master’s and PhD from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and began his professional career at Purdue University. Dr. Jackson’s lab is primarily focused on the development and implementation of genomics tools to solve agricultural and crop improvement issues. Additionally, his research has revealed much about the structural and functional intricacies of several crop genomes, including rice, soybean, and chickpea.