Next generation Sitka spruce breeding informed by predictive and comparative genomics

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh
Department Name: The Roslin Institute

Abstract

BACKGROUND - Selective breeding has increased Sitka spruce yields by 25% in the UK since 1970 but it takes 30 years to genetically select and mass produce new tree varieties. Genomic prediction methods could shorten the process down to 11 years and thus theoretically increase the rate gain from 0.83% to 1.85% per year. Such an acceleration would also enable more timely responses to new challenges such as emerging pests and climate change. The principle is simple: use DNA markers to predict the genetic worth - also called breeding value - which are the data that breeders need most for effective selection.
GOALS - We propose to develop genomic prediction in Sitka spruce, the UK's third largest crop by area. Research indicates that models developed from DNA markers can predict breeding value in trees but significant knowledge gaps and model development challenges have prevented practical application. We aim to unlock the potential of genomic prediction by improving our understanding of the relationship between prediction accuracy and population structure, modelling several traits simultaneously and optimizing genotype imputation methods.
SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES - We will specifically target productivity and insect resistance traits that we will analyse in a same training population developed from the breeding program and established on two sites, working collaboratively with researchers in the Spruce-up project. The proposed research will develop large-scale genotyping capacity, a genetic linkage map for Sitka spruce and a virtual Pinaceae genome map to support genomic prediction and comparative genomics research.
The RESEARCH OBJECTIVES are:
1. Develop a sequence diversity analysis platform and use it to construct genome maps.
2. Develop a predictive genomics platform to target yield improvements and decreased time to harvest.
3. Develop approaches for insect resistance breeding and genetic diversity management.
Two major PARTNERSHIP OBJECTIVES will support research excellence and impacts.
4. Transfer knowledge and practice to forestry end-users.
5. Develop an international partnership with the Spruce-up project in Canada.
IMPACTS - The methods of predictive genomics and the knowledge developed in this project will benefit the forest industry in three ways: a major acceleration of genetic gains; shorter production time aiming to grow trees and produce the same quality wood in 33% less time; and increased resistance against damaging insect pests. These changes would be transformative for the UK's £2bn per annum forest industry, and lead to more sustainable production, i.e. adapting commercial forests for climate change and mitigating risks of yield losses from newly arrived pests. Our project will link with existing industry networks to translate these changes into benefits for years to come. The impacts could be large in economic terms as commercial Sitka spruce production is valued at around £ 1 billion annually, and in land-use scale as it covers 2.7% of Britain's land area. The novel capacity and know-how from this research will also accelerate developments in other species and will fill gaps in training and expertise of significance to industry and governments globally.
TEAM - The project team is made up of internationally renowned academics in the field of genomics at the Universities of Oxford and Edinburgh together with Britain's conifer breeding and crop quality experts based in Forest Research. It combines a uniquely appropriate set of experiences for developing genomics informed tree breeding in the UK.
INDUSTRY SUPPORT - The industrial partners for this project are BSW Timber Ltd, Maelor Forest Nurseries Ltd, Forestart Ltd, The Sitka Spruce Breeding Cooperative Ltd, and Scottish Woodlands Ltd. Collectively, these organisations encompass nurseries, tree growing and wood processing, representing the key links in the forestry value chain.

Technical Summary

The project aims to develop genomic prediction in Sitka spruce and thus create novel capacity to increase the rates of genetic gain in the UK's breeding of programme. Selective breeding is effective for increasing yields in Sitka spruce but it takes 30 years to select and propagate new varieties. Genomic prediction methods could shorten the breeding process and increase the rate of yield gains from 0.83% per year to 1.85% per year.

The proposed research will develop large-scale genotyping capacity, a genetic linkage map for Sitka spruce, a virtual genome map for the pine family and large training set for predictive genomics model development. We will use this platform to investigate three key issues relevant to prediction in forest trees: i) the accuracy of prediction as a function of training set properties; ii) model development for yield in conjunction with wood quality traits; and iii) development of genotype imputation to enable more cost efficient genotyping methods; iv) resistance traits and candidate genes as relevant to damaging weevils.

The project outputs will include a genetic diversity database and analysis platform. We will also develop statistical models that may be used by breeders to reduce the need for lengthy and costly field evaluations.

Planned Impact

WHO MIGHT BENEFIT? -
This project will impact tree breeding as the proposed predictive genomics methods will be direct applicable to Sitka spruce. With 6640 km2 under cultivation, the UK is the world's largest grower of Sitka spruce. Tee nurseries and growers, forestry operators and management firms, and large wood processors are the industries that profit from its production and are the expected commercial beneficiaries of the research. They are a major source of rural employment and many of them partner within the Sitka Spruce Breeding Cooperative also involving Government (Forest Research). Ireland, France, Scandinavia and North-America also grow 1000s of km2 of Sitka spruce industrially and represent an additional set of potential beneficiaries.
While the proposed research is primarily on Sitka spruce, the impacts will reach beyond this single species and the results will be of interest to diverse beneficiaries. This is because, we will produce an integrated genetic map for species within the Pine family which includes many ecologically significant and economically important trees in the UK and globally. It is also because the project will set up a platform of expertise that is lacking in the UK and this will help broaden the beneficiaries of forest genomics to other species and to uses including multi-purpose forest management, conservation, monitoring, and timber tracking, among others.

HOW MIGHT THEY BENEFIT? -
Genomic Prediction methods from the project have a high likelihood of direct and short term impact, and are expected to have a transformative effect on tree breeding as already realized in livestock. A large SNP database and a genotyping array covering 10,000 SNPs will also become available to industry for further developments. The UK's world leading Sitka spruce breeding program is a logical first target for GP development that is internationally competitive and has commercial impact. The acceleration of breeding that results from GP directly increases rates of genetic gain. The proposed work specifically aims to enable increased wood yields, shorter time to harvest and reduced risks of insect damage. The translation of results to industry is facilitated in the UK by a dynamic value chain from the breeders all the way to the wood processors - turning germplasm improvements into profits.
The expected economic impacts of the anticipated changes in breeding are tangible and could be very large. As the UK only produces 40% of the wood that it consumes and much of its land is under strong pressure for other agricultural and urbanisation uses, there is considerable scope for impact from increased biological efficiency of crops. One study simulating efficiency gains in spruce plantations showed that reducing the time to harvest by 20% would increase the net present value for growers by up to 73%. Applied to the hundreds of km2 that are restocked in Sitka spruce annually, the benefits would reach hundreds of £ millions over several years. Other benefits will result from more rapid development of new varieties and improvements in genetic diversity management as a key to enhancing adaptability to new pests and diseases as well as changing climates.

WHAT WILL BE DONE TO ENGAGE WITH POTENTIAL BENEFICIARIES? -
The commercial environment of the forestry sector involves Industries and Government (Forest Research and Forestry Commission) which we will bring together in our Project Advisory Board. This approach for engaging with end-users will support research co-development with users, improved uptake capacity of research outputs by end-users, and commercial developments. Other actions will include dissemination activities for industry and forestry professionals, a workshop on the transformative effects of genomics and formation of a Research Club in forest genomics. We will also engage with the broader public through public lectures on forest sustainability and press releases.
 
Description It has been shown that prediction can be made accurately within the large full sib families of trees for economically important traits and across sites, without phenotypes. Previously it was impossible to predict individual merit among full sibs without obtaining phenotypes.
Exploitation Route It is not clear which sector Forestry is included!
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment

URL https://sitkaspruced.web.ox.ac.uk/home
 
Description The Roslin Institute direct involvement in this project was in the final 2 years. The Academic partnership with University of Oxford had a series of very successful meetings with the Sitka Spruce Co-operative which are the industry funders in this IPA, in which we explored the use of genomics in other breeding schemes and developed plans for making the Co-operative more influential in developing science for their objectives. This was delivering the Pathways to Impact as planned in the proposal. We have continued build on the industrial partnership and to help the Sitka Spruce Co-operative develop a research portfolio that is targeted towards a more effective forestry. We have also co-oragnised an Industry Day at Roslin Institute in September 2019, in collaboration with our partners. This was held very successfully with excellent feedback. Three of the Sitka Spruced research team met with industry representatives on site at a modern sawmill (James Jones & Sons) to discuss the objectives, limitations and opportunities offered by modern processing. At a field day in a local forest plantation held by Royal Scottish Forestry Society a very brief summary of the project was given to encourage a follow up visit to NRS at Roslin to hear about the work in progress by Sitka Spruced. These activities have prompted a serious consideration of the industry to co-fund the further work to develop a genomics-led breeding program. We are now at the end of the project and actively discuss with the stakeholders on how to build a project that will follow upon the success of the results and interactions from the SitkaSpruced project.
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Next generation Sitka spruce breeding informed by predictive and comparative genomics
Amount £175,351 (GBP)
Funding ID BB/P018653/1 
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 08/2017 
End 09/2020
 
Description BSW Timber Group 
Organisation BSW Timber Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Co PI in project "Next generation Sitka spruce breeding informed by predictive and comparative genomics" (BB/P018653/1). Designing experiment and carrying out quantitative genetic analyses using pedigree and genomic data, establishing imputation protocols.
Collaborator Contribution Funding through IPA.
Impact Early days.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Finn Lindgren (University of Edinburgh, School of Mathematics): Statistical and computational methods for quantitative genetics 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are developing new statistical and computational methods for quantitative genetics
Collaborator Contribution Discussion on the state of of the art statistical and computational methods
Impact Collaboration just begun
Start Year 2018
 
Description Forestart 
Organisation Forestart Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Co PI in project "Next generation Sitka spruce breeding informed by predictive and comparative genomics" (BB/P018653/1). Designing experiment and carrying out quantitative genetic analyses using pedigree and genomic data, establishing imputation protocols.
Collaborator Contribution Funding for IPA.
Impact Early days.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Ingelin Steinsland (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Mathematical Sciences): Statistical methods for quantitative genetics 
Organisation Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Department Department of Mathematical Sciences
Country Norway 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are developing new statistical methods for quantitative genetics
Collaborator Contribution Discussion on the state of of the art statistical methods
Impact Collaboration just begun
Start Year 2018
 
Description Laval University 
Organisation University of Laval
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Co PI with Oxford University in project "Next generation Sitka spruce breeding informed by predictive and comparative genomics" (BB/P018653/1). Designing experiment and carrying out quantitative genetic analyses using pedigree and genomic data, establishing imputation protocols.
Collaborator Contribution Making available background IP on conifer genomes, genotyping and sequencing services, bioinformatic analysis of sequence data.
Impact Early days.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Maelor 
Organisation Maelor Forest Nurseries
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Co PI in project "Next generation Sitka spruce breeding informed by predictive and comparative genomics" (BB/P018653/1). Designing experiment and carrying out quantitative genetic analyses using pedigree and genomic data, establishing imputation protocols.
Collaborator Contribution Funding for IPA.
Impact Early days.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Sitka Spruce Breeding Co-operative 
Organisation Conifer Breeding Co-operative
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Co PI in project "Next generation Sitka spruce breeding informed by predictive and comparative genomics" (BB/P018653/1). Designing experiment and carrying out quantitative genetic analyses using pedigree and genomic data, establishing imputation protocols.
Collaborator Contribution Funding for IPA.
Impact Early days.
Start Year 2017
 
Description University of Oxford 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Co PI in project "Next generation Sitka spruce breeding informed by predictive and comparative genomics" (BB/P018653/1). Designing experiment and carrying out quantitative genetic analyses using pedigree and genomic data, establishing imputation protocols.
Collaborator Contribution Molecular genetic analysis of conifer genome analysis, comparative genomics, insect resistance expertise, turpene assays, expression arrays.
Impact Early days.
Start Year 2016
 
Title AlphaSuite of software for data science, genetics, and breeding 
Description AlphaSuite of software for data science, genetics, and breeding available from https://github.com/AlphaGenes The major tools include: * AlphaSimR for simulation of breeding programmes https://github.com/AlphaGenes/AlphaSimR * AlphaBayes for estimation of SNP effects on phenotype https://github.com/AlphaGenes/AlphaBayes * AlphaAssign for finding progeny-parent (pedigree) relationships https://github.com/AlphaGenes/AlphaAssign * AlphaPhase for phasing and imputation of SNP array genotype data https://github.com/AlphaGenes/AlphaPhase * AlphaImpute for phasing and imputation of SNP array genotype data https://github.com/AlphaGenes/AlphaImpute * AlphaImpute2 for phasing and imputation of SNP array genotype data (version 2) https://github.com/AlphaGenes/AlphaImpute2 * AlphaPeel for genotype calling, phasing, and imputation in pedigreed populations https://github.com/AlphaGenes/AlphaPeel * AlphaFamImpute for genotype calling, phasing, and imputation in families https://github.com/AlphaGenes/AlphaFamImpute * AlphaPlantImpute for phasing and imputation in plant populations (version 2) https://github.com/AlphaGenes/AlphaPlantImpute * AlphaPlantImpute2 for phasing and imputation in plant populations (version 2) https://github.com/AlphaGenes/AlphaPlantImpute2 * AlphaMate for balancing selection and management of genetic diversity in breeding programmes https://github.com/AlphaGenes/AlphaMate * AlphaPart for analysing trend in genetic means and variances https://github.com/AlphaGenes/AlphaPart 
Type Of Technology Software 
Year Produced 2018 
Open Source License? Yes  
Impact AlphaSuite is used by leading public and private animal and plant breeding programmes that supply genetics worldwide in the Global North and Global South. 
URL https://github.com/AlphaGenes
 
Description Course on The Next Generation Breeding (Iowa State University) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We organised a course on The Next Generation Breeding at The Iowa State University in Ames in May 2018 to present and teach about our research, principles of the developed methods and application of our software with real data. The course was very well received with plenty of discussions involving both academia, research and industry participants. It also initiated a series of offline research and application discussions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Course on The Next Generation Breeding (University of Zagreb) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We organised a course on The Next Generation Breeding at The University Of Zagreb (Croatia) in July 2018 to present and teach about our research, principles of the developed methods and application of our software with real data. The course was very well received with plenty of discussions involving both academia, research and industry participants. It also initiated a series of offline research and application discussions.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Data-Driven Breeding and Genetics course (2 weeks) on-line 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The principles of animal and plant breeding are increasingly coalescing due to advances in technology and increasing demands and opportunities for agriculture. This two-week graduate level course of integrated lectures and practicals is designed to equip students, academics, and practitioners with theoretical and applied knowledge, skills and tools to design, optimise, and deploy Data Driven Breeding and Genetics techniques for Animals and Plants. It was jointly delivered by scientists and teachers from the University of Edinburgh and colleagues from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the CGIAR's Excellence in Breeding Platform, with guest lectures from various academic and industry collaborators.

Due to the pandemic the course took place in virtual format from the 20th Sep and 1st Oct 2021. The course lectures were pre-recorded to enable asynchronous worldwide delivery. Course participants engaged with the lectures and practicals at their own pace. They engaged with course instructors and other participants via Slack and daily Zoom sessions (one in the UK morning and one in the UK afternoon time).

Day 1 - Introduction to breeding
Welcome and Introduction (Gregor Gorjanc)
Introduction to breeding programme modelling (Gregor Gorjanc)
AlphaSimR MOOC - Introduction (Gregor Gorjanc)
AlphaSimR MOOC - Relationship between DNA & traits (Gregor Gorjanc)
R crash course on using ggplot and tidyverse (Thiago Paula Oliveira)
The role of livestock in global food security (Geoff Simm)

Day 2 - Breeding programme design
AlphaSimR MOOC - DNA lottery (Gregor Gorjanc)
AlphaSimR MOOC - Response to selection (Gregor Gorjanc)
AlphaSimR MOOC - Modelling complex breeding programmes (Gregor Gorjanc)
How does a major multinational animal breeding programme operate in the 21st century (Andreas Kranis)
How does a major multinational plant breeding programme operate in the 21st century (Brian Gardunia)

Day 3 - Genomic data in breeding
Genomic data, SNP array genotyping and sequencing, and Strategies to generate genomic data in breeding programmes (Gregor Gorjanc)
Phasing genomic data with heuristic and probabilistic methods (Gregor Gorjanc)
Imputation of genomic data (Gregor Gorjanc)
AlphaPeel practical - probabilistic genotype calling, phasing, and imputation of genomic data in pedigreed populations (Jana Obsteter)
AlphaImpute2 practical - fast phasing and imputation (Jana Obsteter)
AlphaFamImpute practical - genotype calling, phasing, and imputation algorithm for large full-sib families (Jana Obsteter)
AlphaAssign practical - parentage assignment (Jana Obsteter)
Breeding in aquaculture (Ross Houston)
Tea breeding and a genomic selection outlook (Nelson Lubanga)

Day 4 - Modelling phenotype data to estimate environmental effects
Introduction to experimental design of field trials (Daniel Tolhurst)
Introduction to linear mixed models for plant breeding (Daniel Tolhurst)
Analysis of phenotype data, including data collected from i) single field trials (with spatial) and ii) field trials across multiple (Daniel Tolhurst)
ASReml practicals (Daniel Tolhurst & Thiago Paula Oliveira)
Overview of forest tree breeding (Jaroslav Klapste)
Genomic selection provides new opportunities for intercrop breeding (Jon Bancic)

Day 5 - Population and Quantitative genetics for breeding
Introduction to population and quantitative genetics for breeding (Martin Johnsson)
Change in frequencies with drift (Martin Johnsson)
Change in frequencies with mutation, migration and selection (Martin Johnsson)
Additive effects (Martin Johnsson)
Non-additive effects (Martin Johnsson)
Inbreeding depression and heterosis (Martin Johnsson)
Practicals (Martin Johnsson)
Genetic evaluation in a multinational plant breeding programs AND/OR CGIAR Excellence in Breeding platform (Eduardo Covarrubias-Pazaran)
Roadmap for black soldier fly breeding (Leticia de Castro Lara)

Day 6 - Quantitative genetics for breeding II
Variance, covariance, correlation and heritability (Eduardo Covarrubias-Pazaran)
Correlated response to selection (Eduardo Covarrubias-Pazaran)
Recurrent selection strategies (Eduardo Covarrubias-Pazaran)
Practicals (Eduardo Covarrubias-Pazaran)
National breeding programme for the Norwegian Red dairy cattle (Janez Jenko)
Breeding a man's best friend (Joanna Ilska)

Day 7 - Modelling phenotype data to estimate genetic effects
Genetic evaluations with focus on pedigree-based BLUP (Ivan Pocrnic)
Introduction to genome-wide association studies (Ivan Pocrnic)
Genomic evaluations (Ivan Pocrnic)
Practicals (Ivan Pocrnic)
A multipart breeding strategy for introgression of exotic germplasm in elite breeding programs using genomic selection (Irene Breider)
Population genetics tools with perspective in dog research (Mateja Janes)

Day 8 - Sustainable breeding
Breeders' dillema
Optimal contribution selection
Optimal cross selection
AlphaMate practical - optimising selection, management of diversity, and mate allocation in breeding programs
A walk-through of three examples
AlphaPart - quantifying the drivers of genetic change (Jana Obsteter & Thiago Paula Oliveira)
Recursive models in animal breeding (Maria Martinez Castillero)
Economic objectives in animal and plant breeding (Cheryl Quinton)

Day 9 - Exploiting modern technologies in breeding programmes
The role of reproductive technologies to boost animal breeding (Gabriela Mafra Fortuna & Gerson Oliveira)
Breeding for disease resistance in animals (Andrea Doeschel-Wilson)
Editing livestock genomes (Simon Lillico)
Evaluating the use of gene drives to limit the spread of invasive populations (Nicky Faber)
The potential of genome editing and gene drives for improving complex traits (Gregor Gorjanc)

Day 10 - Open-ended work on topics of participants' interest
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description HighlanderLab Twitter channel 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The HighlanderLab updates the scientific community and a broader audience about news around our research group, scientific output and engagement activities - on management and improvement of populations using data science, genetics, and breeding.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019,2020,2021,2022
URL https://twitter.com/HighlanderLab
 
Description HighlanderLab website 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The HighlanderLab updates the scientific community and a broader audience about news around our research group, scientific output and engagement activities - on management and improvement of populations using data science, genetics, and breeding.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021,2022
URL http://www.ed.ac.uk/roslin/HighlanderLab
 
Description Invited talk at Plant Quantitative Genetics meeting "Genomic and temporal analysis of genetic variance" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Genomic and temporal analysis of genetic variance, UK Plant Quantitative Genetics meeting, 2019-11-07, Birmingham, UK.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Invited talk at the Symposium in Statistics on "Modelling Genomic and Spatial Effects in Breeding" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Modelling Genomic and Spatial Effects in Breeding, NTNU Trondheim Symposium in Statistics 2019, 2019-09-28, Trondheim, Norway.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Meeting of Forestry Interest Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact At a site visit to local forest plantation by Royal Scottish Forestry Society, a brief indicative summary was given of work being undertaken on Sitka Spruced to seek further engagement.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Newton Fund workshop UK-Mexico on Genetic Improvement of Populations 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Newton Fund workshop UK-Mexico on Genetic Improvement of Populations took place in February 2018 at the Centro Nacional de Recursos Genéticos (Jalisco, Mexico). Participants (undergraduate and postgraduate students, group leaders and professionals) from UK and Mexico exchanged research results and showed applications of genetic improvement in different agricultural populations, including livestock, fish, crops, grasses and trees. I have contributed with a lecture on "Statistical methods for genetic evaluation of populations" and two talks titled "Economics of genotyping for genomic selection" and "Optimising selection, maintenance of genetic diversity and logistic constraints". The local organisers have increased interest in the presented topics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Roslin symposium in honour of Professor Robin Thompson 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In June 2018 The University of Edinburgh has conferred the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa to Robin Thompson for contributions to statistics, quantitative genetics, and animal and plant breeding. To celebrate this occasion we organised a symposium at The Roslin Institute in his honour. More than 100 delegates came from Argentina, Australia, Finland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, UK, and USA. Speakers' talks covered animal breeding, statistics in breeding, plant breeding and human genetics, which showed the breadth of impact of the work of Professor Robin Thompson.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description University of Edinburgh Stats-Roslin day 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact In January 2018 The Centre for Statistics of the University of Edinburgh organised a joint research day with The Roslin institute to share research problems and ideas and start collaborations. I have contributed with a talk titled "Statistics supported breeding", which showcased the mathematicians and statisticians that there is a considerable common ground between the two fields and spurred collaboration in this area.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Visiting Sawmill 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Visit to modern working sawmill to discuss the Sitka Spruced objectives, understand industry perspectives on further progress and how industry infrastructure would influence feasibility of future objectives.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://sitkaspruced.web.ox.ac.uk/home