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Committee Vacancies

Upcoming committee vacancies 2017/18

Members of the committee will nominate a ballot of candidates; however, all members in good standing are welcome to nominate individuals for upcoming vacancies from members of the Society.  Nominations should be sent via email to the Honorary Secretary in time for a deadline to be notified.  Nominations must be made with the nominee’s consent.

Committee Vacancies 2017

The following Committee positions will be falling vacant on 30 April 2017:

Newsletter Editor

Lynsey Hall (Newcastle) is nominated to shadow this post.

Lynsey is currently the Postgraduate Representative on the executive committee and is currently in a postdoctoral position at Newcastle University, researching the genetics of treatment response in the autoimmune liver disease Primary Biliary Cholangitis. Prior to this, she completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh's Division of Psychiatry, working on the identification of quantitative measures of depression to improve statistical power. More broadly, Lynsey's expertise are in analyzing common variants contributing to complex diseases. Outwith academia, she also has a keen interest in science communication and frequently gets involved with events such as Bright Club and Soapbox Science. 


Postgraduate Representative

Helena Wells (KCL) is nominated by Lynsey Hall and seconded by Jonathan Pettit.

Helena is currently studying at Kings College London in the Department of Twin Research, looking into the genetics of age-related hearing loss. Her project is part of  the Heargen UK consortium - a collaboration between KCL, UCL and Manchester University. She currently works with both Twins and UK Biobank data on the Signal-to-noise hearing phenotype at KCL with a view to using any findings to inform functional analysis at the UCL Ear Institute. 
In addition, Helena has a keen interest in science communication and education, and aspires to aid collaborations between researchers in varying fields and translate research findings to benefit the wider community to improve wellbeing and enhance healthcare.

Website Editor

Kay Boulton (Edinburgh) will take up this new role (nominated by Wendy Bickmore, seconded unanimously)

Kay is currently a Committee representative for Area D (Applied and Quantitative Genetics) and was previously Postgraduate Representative.  Kay holds a post-doctoral  research position at The Roslin Institute where she is researching natural resistance  to cocidiosis in the domestic chicken. Kay holds a PhD in Behavioural Ecology and MSc in Quantitative Genetics and Genome Analysis, both awarded by The University of Edinburgh, and was awarded The Sir Kenneth Mather Memorial Prize for 2009/10 for her MSc thesis. Kay has 25 years practical sheep breeding experience, and has worked for the (then) Meat & Livestock Commission as project manager on improved breeding schemes.


Ordinary Committee member, Area A (Gene structure, function and regulation)

Aziz Aboobaker (Oxford) to complete Jonathan Pettitt’s term, with potential for re-election in 2017

Aziz Aboobaker studied at Cambridge and Edinburgh, and is now an Associate Professor of Genetics at the University of Oxford, with interests in regenerative mechanisms orchestrated by adult stem cells and the evolution of these processes across the animal kingdom. More broadly he is interested in functional genomic approaches in model organisms and increasing the number of systems used for basic discovery. He is also Tutor in Biological Sciences at Lady Margaret Hall.


Ordinary Committee member, Area B (Genomics)

This position is vacant

Ordinary Committee member, Area C (Cell and  Developmental Genetics)

Stephan Hopler (Aberdeen) is nominated to undertake this position.

The tissues and organs of developing embryos are organised by cell-to-cell signalling. These interactions are mediated by a relatively small number of signalling molecules. These signals are repeatedly used at different stages of development and in different tissues of the embryo. Wnts are one important class of such signalling molecules. They are secreted glycoproteins which function as cell-to-cell signals in develomental processes in all multicellular animals examined. Abnormally activated Wnt signalling is also involved in certain types of tumours such as breast and colon cancer.

We want to understand the normal role of Wnt signalling in patterning the developing vertebrate embryo. Where and when are Wnts used during embryogenesis and what is their function in different organs and at different stages? We have recently analysed the molecular mechanisms of tissue-specific Wnt signalling and are currently studying Wnt function in heart and brain development. We use Xenopus as our model system and apply modern techniques, such as transgenesis and antisense oligos. In collaboration we also using human Embryonic Stem Cells to model the functional role of Wnt signalling in heart muscle differentiation.


Ordinary Committee member, Area D, (Applied and Quantitative Genetics)

Alastair Wilson (Exeter), to replace Kay Boulton from May 2017

Professor Wilson is an evolutionary ecologist, researching to understand how genetic and environmental processes interact with each other to shape phenotypic evolution.  Alastair uses ecological and quantitative genetic methods to test evolutionary theory in a wide range of empirical systems both in the lab and in the field. Current projects engaged in range from estimating the genetic basis of life history variation in the wild Soay sheep of St Kilda, through to experimental studies of aggression and social dominance in lab populations of fishes.  The common themes running through all Alastair's research are those of trying to predict how traits should respond to natural selection, and trying to understand why sometimes they don’t seem to respond at all.


Ordinary Committee member, Area D, (Applied and Quantitative Genetics)

Daniel Thorogood (Aberystwyth) is nominated by Kay Boulton (seconded by Jonathan Pettit) to take over from Elleftheria Zeggini from May 2017.

Daniel's research career has focused on studying the biology of the Poaceae (grasses). After completing his PhD research, Daniel was employed as a plant breeder at the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, funded by Germinal Holdings Ltd. Here he developed stay green perennial ryegrass varieties, for turf use, based on transfer of the stay green gene from Festuca pratensis. Daniel has a wide portfolio of turfgrass varieties on the EU Common Catalogue that have been commercialised and used in major sports installations. Daniel's background in plant breeding has meant that his research focus has been on the use of high-throughput phenomics and image analysis and genomics including SNP generation to develop more efficient methodology for understanding the genetic control of a range of agronomic and plant life-cycle traits and to use this information in marker assisted selection breeding programmes.  Currently his focus is on the genetics of the grass self-incompatibility system and its manipulation for designing novel breeding methodology for exploiting heterosis in outcrossing grasses more efficiently.