Platform Lead, Omics and Precision Agriculture Laboratory (OPAL)
Austin joined GIFS to lead the Omics and Precision Agriculture Laboratory (OPAL) platform in 2022. He is passionate about applying new genomics technologies to empower discoveries within plant and animal genomes and advance development of sustainable agriculture solutions.
Austin grew up on Vancouver Island and graduated from the University of Victoria with BSc (Hons.) and MSc degrees in Biochemistry with a focus on genomics and transcriptomics. During his MSc he trained in bioinformatics through a MITACS internship at Canada’s Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre under Dr. Inanç Birol, and joined Dr. Birol’s Bioinformatics Technology Lab (BTL) following completion of his MSc. At the BTL he contributed to assembly and annotation of the North American bullfrog and conifer genomes. Working with Dr. Deborah Anderson in 2019 he established and operated a high-throughput DNA sequencing facility at the University of Saskatchewan with support from the College of Medicine and Saskatchewan Cancer Agency.