Michael Goddard is distinguished for his research into quantitative genetics and the genetic improvement of livestock, in particular by incorporation of molecular genetic data. He co-proposed and developed 'genomic selection' in which dense molecular markers are fitted to quantitative data by utilising linkage disequilibrium with QTL, thereby enabling more accurate selection decisions, including among animals without phenotypic records. Within a decade, it is being used world wide in animal improvement programmes and has potential in plant breeding and prediction of risk of genetic disease in humans. Goddard has made other major contributions to understanding the genetic basis of quantitative genetic variation, showing that common SNPs can collectively account for much of the heritability, and to inferences on population history.
Interest and expertise
Organismal biology, evolution and ecology
Agricultural and forest science, Population genetics