ABOUT LEE HICKEY

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LEADER OF THE HICKEY LABAssociate Professor Lee Hickey

Lee is a plant breeder and crop geneticist within the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at The University of Queensland, Australia. He leads an innovative team conducting discovery and applied research on important crops, such as wheat, barley, and mungbean.

PHONE NUMBER
+61 7 333 55 77
EMAIL ADDRESS
l.hickey@uq.edu.au

Career in numbers

81

PUBLICATIONS

$9.1M

FUNDING

17

AWARDS

39

INVITED LECTURES

About Lee Hickey

Lee leads a diverse research team that specialises in plant breeding innovation to support the development of more productive food crops. This includes understanding the genetics of key traits, like drought adaptation and the development of technologies to assist plant breeders.

He has a strong interest in the integration of leading-edge breeding technologies, such as the rapid generation advance technology Speed Breeding with genomic selection and genome editing. Lee is a prolific science communicator and his research outcomes have appeared in mainstream media such as BBC World News, National Geographic, and the New York Times.

I am passionate about training the next generation and currently mentor 16 PhD students, while 12 of my previous graduates now work for leading plant breeding companies or high-profile research institutes around the globe.
Associate Professor Lee Hickey
Head of Laboratory

ACHIEVEMENTSBiography

Lee’s research outcomes have featured in 81 refereed publications, including articles in high-profile journals Nature Plants, Nature Protocols, and Nature Biotechnology.

Origin and languages

My origin: Australia
Languages I speak: English

Qualifications

2012: PhD in Quantitative and Molecular Plant Breeding, The University of Queensland
2012: Graduate Certificate in Research Commercialisation, The University of Queensland
2007: B.Agr Sc (Honours Class I), The University of Queensland

Research and teaching positions
  • Associate Professor, QAAFI, The University of Queensland (UQ), Jan 2020 – current
  • Senior Research Fellow & ARC DECRA Fellow, QAAFI, UQ, Jan 2017 – Dec 2019
  • Research Fellow, QAAFI, UQ, Nov 2012 – Dec 2016
  • PhD candidate, School of Agriculture and Food Science, UQ, Jan 2007 – June 2012
  • Biometrics Teaching Assistant, School of Land, Crop and Food Science, UQ, Mar 2008 – Jun 2009
  • Maize Research Intern, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc. Dallas Center, IA, USA, Jun – Dec 2008
  • Research Assistant, School of Land, Crop and Food Science, UQ, Feb – Jun 2008
Awards and prizes

2020: Foundation Research Excellence Award, presented by The University of Queensland
2019: ICM Agrifood Award, Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering

2018:

  • Best Proactive Communications Award, Universities Australia
  • Nominee, UQ Excellence Award (Service)

2017: Queensland Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year

2016: ATSE Australia China Young Scientists Exchange Program (YESP) Award

2013:

  • Paul Johnston Memorial Award
  • National Finalist, Fresh Science Competition (1 of 12 scientists)

2011: Finalist, The University of Queensland UniQuest Trailblazer Competition

2008:

  • Grains Research Top-Up Scholarship, Grains Research and Development Corporation
  • Edwin Munro Scholarship in Agricultural Science, The University of Queensland

2007:

  • Valedictorian of the Faculty of Biological and Chemical Sciences, The University of Queensland
  • Bell Memorial Medal, Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology
  • Ben Brown Memorial Medal for Agricultural Science, The University of Queensland
  • Undergraduate Honors Scholarship awarded by the Grains Research and Development Corporation

Learn more

FUNDING

2021-2024 Digging deeper to improve yield stability (ARC Linkage: $785,312, Lead CI)
2021-2021 International Mungbean Improvement Network 2 (ACIAR-funded sub-contract: $45,000, Lead CI)
2020-2023 Screening of diverse barley germplasm for rapid discovery and utilisation of novel disease resistance in barley using R-HapSelect: A haplotype-based toolkit (GRDC: $1,183,000, CI)
2020-2021 Development of crop speed breeding protocols & support for facility design (Bioseed: $105,000, Lead CI)
2019-2021 Cereal blueprints for a water-limited world (ARC Discovery: $590,000, CI)
2019-2021 Designing roots to enhance durum wheat yield (GRDC: $362,236, Lead CI)
2019-2021 Accelerated varietal improvement and seed delivery in Africa (ICRISAT: $73,265, UQ-Lead CI)
2019-2021 Shortening the wheat breeding-cycle using speed breeding (RDA Korea: $147,935, Lead CI)
2018-2021 Rooty: a root ideotype toolbox to support improved wheat yields (GRDC: $162,690, Lead CI)
2018-2021 Interfacing crop improvement and agronomy/nutrition programs (GRDC: $566,320, CI)
2018-2021 FastStack: evolutionary computing to stack desirable alleles (ARC Linkage: $345,465, CI)
2018-2019 Mechanisms controlling root architecture in crop plants (DAAD: $18,000, Lead CI)
2017-2019 Accelerated genomic selection to speed up genetic gain in wheat (ARC DECRA: $372,000, Lead CI)
2016-2016 Winter wheat selection (UniQuest: $18,000, Lead CI)
2015-2017 Rapid discovery of microRNAs mediating wheat disease resistance (UQ Fellowship: $342,000, Lead CI)
2015-2017 Speed pre-breeding for rapid trait pyramiding in durum wheat (Monsanto: $96,000, Lead CI)
2014-2015 A phenotyping platform for transpiration efficiency (UQ Equipment & Infrastructure: $150,000, CI)
2014-2015 Mining novel disease resistance genes in wheat landraces (UQ New Staff Start-up: $39,000, Lead CI)
2013-2017 Accelerating utilisation & deployment of durable APR to leaf rust (GRDC: $1,000,000, UQ-lead CI)
2013-2017 Barley pre-breeding for multiple disease resistance in the north (GRDC: $1,200,000, UQ-lead CI)
2013-2017 Delivery of wheat root traits that contribute to water-limited yield (GRDC: $1,540,000, CI)
2013-2013 Mining novel disease resistance genes in wheat landraces from VIR collection (UQ: $39,000, Lead CI)

KEYNOTE AND PLENARY ADDRESS

2021-2024 Digging deeper to improve yield stability (ARC Linkage: $785,312, Lead CI)
2021-2021 International Mungbean Improvement Network 2 (ACIAR-funded sub-contract: $45,000, Lead CI)
2020-2023 Screening of diverse barley germplasm for rapid discovery and utilisation of novel disease resistance in barley using R-HapSelect: A haplotype-based toolkit (GRDC: $1,183,000, CI)
2020-2021 Development of crop speed breeding protocols & support for facility design (Bioseed: $105,000, Lead CI)
2019-2021 Cereal blueprints for a water-limited world (ARC Discovery: $590,000, CI)
2019-2021 Designing roots to enhance durum wheat yield (GRDC: $362,236, Lead CI)
2019-2021 Accelerated varietal improvement and seed delivery in Africa (ICRISAT: $73,265, UQ-Lead CI)
2019-2021 Shortening the wheat breeding-cycle using speed breeding (RDA Korea: $147,935, Lead CI)
2018-2021 Rooty: a root ideotype toolbox to support improved wheat yields (GRDC: $162,690, Lead CI)
2018-2021 Interfacing crop improvement and agronomy/nutrition programs (GRDC: $566,320, CI)
2018-2021 FastStack: evolutionary computing to stack desirable alleles (ARC Linkage: $345,465, CI)
2018-2019 Mechanisms controlling root architecture in crop plants (DAAD: $18,000, Lead CI)
2017-2019 Accelerated genomic selection to speed up genetic gain in wheat (ARC DECRA: $372,000, Lead CI)
2016-2016 Winter wheat selection (UniQuest: $18,000, Lead CI)
2015-2017 Rapid discovery of microRNAs mediating wheat disease resistance (UQ Fellowship: $342,000, Lead CI)
2015-2017 Speed pre-breeding for rapid trait pyramiding in durum wheat (Monsanto: $96,000, Lead CI)
2014-2015 A phenotyping platform for transpiration efficiency (UQ Equipment & Infrastructure: $150,000, CI)
2014-2015 Mining novel disease resistance genes in wheat landraces (UQ New Staff Start-up: $39,000, Lead CI)
2013-2017 Accelerating utilisation & deployment of durable APR to leaf rust (GRDC: $1,000,000, UQ-lead CI)
2013-2017 Barley pre-breeding for multiple disease resistance in the north (GRDC: $1,200,000, UQ-lead CI)
2013-2017 Delivery of wheat root traits that contribute to water-limited yield (GRDC: $1,540,000, CI)
2013-2013 Mining novel disease resistance genes in wheat landraces from VIR collection (UQ: $39,000, Lead CI)

PUBLICATIONS

Voss-Fels KP, Stahl A, Hickey LT (2019) Modern crop breeding for future food security. BMC Biology (accepted 14th Dec2018)

Rasheed A, Jin H, Xiao Y, Zhang Y, Hao Y, Zhang Y, Hickey L, Morgounov Alexey, Xia X, He Z (2019) Allelic effects and variations for key bread-making quality genes in bread wheat using high-throughput molecular markers. Journal of Cereal Science DOI: 10.1016/j.jcs.2018.12.004

Ghosh S, Watson A, Gonzalez-Navarro OE, Ramirez-Gonzalez RH, Yanes L, Mendoza-Suárez M, Simmonds J, Wells R, Rayner T, Green P, Hafeez A, Hayta S, Melton RE, Steed A, Sarkar A, Carter J, Perkins L, Lord J, Tester M, Osbourn A, Moscou MJ, Nicholson P, Harwood W, Martin C, Domoney C, Uauy C, Hazard B, Wulff BBH, Hickey LT (2018) Speed breeding in growth chambers and glasshouses for crop breeding and model plant research. Nature Protocols 13:2944–2963

Dinglasan EG, Singh D, Shankar M, Afanasenko O, Platz G, Godwin ID, Voss-Fels KP, Hickey LT (2018) Discovering new alleles for yellow spot resistance in the Vavilov wheat collection. Theoretical and Applied Genetics DOI 10.1007/s00122-018-3204-5

Chiurugwi T, Kemp S, Powell W, Hickey LT (2018) Speed breeding orphan crops. Theoretical and Applied Genetics DOI 10.1007/s00122-018-3202-7

Alahmad S, Dinglasan E, Leung KM, Riaz A, Derbal N, Voss-Fels KP, Able JA, Bassi FM, Christopher J, Hickey LT (2018) Speed breeding for multiple quantitative traits in durum wheat. Plant methods 14 (1), 36

Voss-Fels KP, Qian L, Gabur I, Obermeier C, Hickey LT, Werner CR, Kontowski S, Frisch M, Friedt W, Snowdon RJ, Gottwald S (2018) Genetic insights into underground responses to Fusarium graminearum infection in wheat. Scientific Reports 8 (1), 13153

El Hassouni K, Alahmad S, Belkadi B, Filali-Maltouf A, Hickey LT, Bassi FM (2018) Root System Architecture and Its Association with Yield under Different Water Regimes in Durum Wheat. Crop Science DOI 10.2135/ cropsci2018.01.0076

Robinson H, Kelly A, Fox G, Franckowiak J, Borrell A, Hickey L (2018) Root architectural traits and yield: exploring the relationship in barley breeding trials. Euphytica 214 (9), 151

Voss-Fels KP, Snowdon RJ, Hickey LT (2018) Designer Roots for Future Crops. Trends in Plant Science DOI 10.1016/j.tplants.2018.08.004

Phan HTT, Rybak K, Bertazzoni S, Furuki E, Dinglasan E, Hickey LT, Oliver RP, Tan K-C (2018) Novel sources of resistance to Septoria nodorum blotch in the Vavilov wheat collection identified by genome- wide association studies. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 1-16

Alahmad S, Simpfendorfer S, Bentley AR, Hickey LT (2018) Crown rot of wheat in Australia: Fusarium pseudograminearum taxonomy, population biology and disease management. Australasian Plant Pathology, 1-15

Li H, Rasheed A, Hickey LT, He Z (2018) Fast-forwarding genetic gain. Trends in Plant Science. DOI 10.1016/j.tplants.2018.01.007

Richard C, Christopher J, Chenu K, Borrell A, Christopher M, Hickey LT (2018) Selection in early generations to shift allele frequency for seminal root angle in wheat. The Plant Genome (Accepted 17th Jan 2018)

Watson A, Ghosh S, Williams M, Cuddy WS, Simmonds J, Rey MD, Hatta MAM, Hinchliffe A, Steed A, Reynolds D, Adamski N, Breakspear A, Korolev A, Rayner T, Dixon LE, Riaz A, Martin W, Ryan M, Edwards D, Batley J, Raman H, Carter J, Rogers C, Domoney C, Moore G, Harwood W, Nicholson P, Dieters MJ, DeLacy IH, Zhou J, Uauy C, Boden SA, Park RF, Wulff BBH, Hickey LT (2018) Speed breeding is a powerful tool to accelerate crop research and breeding. Nature Plants (4) 23–29

Voss-Fels KP, Robinson H, Mudge SR, Richard C, Newman S, Wittkop B, Stahl A, Friedt W, Frisch M, Gabur I, Miller-Cooper A, Campbell BC, Kelly A, Fox G, Christopher J, Christopher M, Chenu K, Franckowiak J, Mace ES, Borrell AK, Eagles H, Jordan DR, Botella JR, Hammer G, Godwin ID, Trevaskis B, Snowdon RJ, Hickey LT (2018) VERNALIZATION1 modulates root system architecture in wheat and barley. Molecular Plant 11:226–229

Dinglasan EG, Godwin ID, Phan HTT, Tan K-C, Platz GJ, Hickey LT (2018) Vavilov wheat accessions provide useful sources of resistance to tan spot (syn. yellow spot) of wheat. Plant Pathology DOI 10.1111/ppa.12822

Ziems LA, Franckowiak JD, Platz GJ, Mace ES, Park RF, Singh D, Jordan DR, Hickey LT (2017) Investigating 2 successive Australian barley breeding populations for stable resistance to leaf rust. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 130:2463–2477

Riaz A, Athiyannan N, Periyannan SK, Afanasenko O, Mitrofanova OP, Platz GJ, Aitken EAB, Snowdon RJ, Lagudah ES, Hickey LT*, Voss-Fels KP* (2017) Unlocking new alleles for leaf rust resistance in the Vavilov wheat collection. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 131:127–144

Qian L, Hickey LT, Stahl A, Werner C, Hayes B, Snowdon RJ, Voss-Fels KP (2017) Exploring and harnessing haplotype diversity to improve yield stability in crops. Frontiers in Plant Science (Accepted 9th August 2017)

Zhou Y, Tang H, Cheng M, Dankwa KO, Chen Z, Li Z, Gao S, Liu Y, Jiang Q, Lan X, Pu Z, Wei Y, Zheng Y, Hickey L, Wang J (2017) Genome-wide association study for pre-harvest sprouting resistance in a large germplasm collection of Chinese wheat landraces. Frontiers in Plant Science DOI 10.3389/fpls.2017.00401

Ziems LA, Hickey LT, Platz GJ, Franckowiak JD, Dracatos PM, Singh D, Park RF (2017) Characterisation of Rph24: A gene conferring adult plant resistance to Puccinia hordei in barley. Phytopathology DOI 10.1094/PHYTO-08-16-0295-R

Hickey LT, Germán S, Pereyra S, Diaz J, Ziems LA, Fowler R, Platz GJ, Franckowiak JD, Dieters M (2017) Speed breeding for multiple disease resistance in barley. Euphytica 213:64 DOI 10.1007/s10681-016-1803-2

Riaz A, Athiyannan N, Periyannan S, Afanasenko O, Mitrofanova O, Aitken EAB, Lagudah E, Hickey LT (2017) Mining Vavilov’s Treasure Chest of Wheat Diversity for Adult Plant Resistance to Puccinia triticina. Plant Disease DOI 10.1094/PDIS-05-16-0614-RE

Fowler RA, Platz GJ, Bell KL, Fletcher SEH, Franckowiak JD, Hickey LT (2017) Pathogenic variation of Pyrenophora teres f. teres in Australia. Australasian Plant Pathology 46:115–128

Riaz A, Periyannan S, Aitken E, Hickey L (2016) A rapid phenotyping method for adult plant resistance to leaf rust in wheat. Plant Methods 12:17 DOI 10.1186/s13007-016-0117-7

Riaz A, Hathorn A, Dinglasan E, Ziems L, Richard C, Singh D, Mitrofanova O, Afanasenko O, Aitken E, Godwin I, Hickey L (2016) Into the vault of the Vavilov wheats: old diversity for new alleles. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution 64:531–544

Dinglasan E, Godwin ID, Mortlock MY, Hickey LT (2016) Resistance to yellow spot in wheat grown under accelerated growth conditions. Euphytica 209:693-707

Robinson H, Hickey L, Richard C, Mace E, Kelly A, Borrell A, Franckowiak J, Fox G (2016) Genomic regions influencing seminal root traits in barley. The Plant Genome DOI:10.3835/plantgenome2015.03.0012

Gous PW, Hickey LT, Christopher JT, Franckowiak J, Fox GP (2016) Discovery of QTL for stay-green and heat- stress in barley (Hordeum vulgare) grown under simulated abiotic stress conditions.

Euphytica 207:305–317

Richard CA, Hickey LT, Fletcher S, Jennings R, Chenu K, Christopher JJ (2015) High-throughput phenotyping of seminal root traits in wheat. Plant Methods 11:13

Wang X, Mace ES, Platz GJ, Hunt CH, Hickey LT, Franckowiak JD, Jordan DR (2015) Spot form of net blotch resistance in barley is under complex genetic control. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 128:489–499

Zhou Y, Tang H, Cheng M, Dankwa KO, Chen Z, Li Z, Gao S, Liu Y, Jiang Q, Lan X, Pu Z, Wei Y, Zheng Y, Hickey L, Wang J (2017) Genome-wide association study for pre-harvest sprouting resistance in a large germplasm collection of Chinese wheat landraces. Frontiers in Plant Science DOI 10.3389/fpls.2017.00401

Ziems LA, Hickey LT, Platz GJ, Franckowiak JD, Dracatos PM, Singh D, Park RF (2017) Characterisation of Rph24: A gene conferring adult plant resistance to Puccinia hordei in barley. Phytopathology DOI 10.1094/PHYTO-08-16-0295-R

Hickey LT, Germán S, Pereyra S, Diaz J, Ziems LA, Fowler R, Platz GJ, Franckowiak JD, Dieters M (2017) Speed breeding for multiple disease resistance in barley. Euphytica 213:64 DOI 10.1007/s10681-016-1803-2

Riaz A, Athiyannan N, Periyannan S, Afanasenko O, Mitrofanova O, Aitken EAB, Lagudah E, Hickey LT (2017) Mining Vavilov’s Treasure Chest of Wheat Diversity for Adult Plant Resistance to Puccinia triticina. Plant Disease DOI 10.1094/PDIS-05-16-0614-RE

Mackay MC, Street KA, Hickey LT (2016) Toward More Effective Discovery and Deployment of Novel Plant Genetic Variation: Reflection and Future Directions. In: Applied Mathematics and Omics to Assess Crop Genetic Resources for Climate Change Adaptive Traits. A Bari, et al (Eds.), CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group pp 139-150

Riaz A, Periyannan S, Aitken E, Hickey L (2016) A rapid phenotyping method for adult plant resistance to leaf rust in wheat. Plant Methods DOI 10.1186/s13007-016-0117-7

Riaz A, Hathorn A, Dinglasan E, Ziems L, Richard C, Singh D, Mitrofanova O, Afanasenko O, Aitken E, Godwin I, Hickey L (2016) Into the vault of the Vavilov wheats: old diversity for new alleles. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution DOI 10.1007/s10722-016-0380-5

Dinglasan E, Godwin ID, Mortlock MY, Hickey LT (2016) Resistance to yellow spot in wheat grown under accelerated growth conditions. Euphytica 209:693–707

Robinson H, Hickey L, Richard C, Mace E, Kelly A, Borrell A, Franckowiak J, Fox G (2016) Genomic regions influencing seminal root traits in barley. The Plant Genome DOI:10.3835/plantgenome2015.03.0012

Gous PW, Hickey LT, Christopher JT, Franckowiak J, Fox GP (2016) Discovery of QTL for stay-green and heat-stress in barley (Hordeum vulgare) grown under simulated abiotic stress conditions. Euphytica 207:305–317

Richard CA, Hickey LT, Fletcher S, Jennings R, Chenu K, Christopher JJ (2015) High-throughput phenotyping of seminal root traits in wheat. Plant Methods 11:13

Wang X, Mace ES, Platz GJ, Hunt CH, Hickey LT, Franckowiak JD, Jordan DR (2015) Spot form of net blotch resistance in barley is under complex genetic control. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 128:489–499

Ziems LA, Hickey LT, Hunt CH, Mace ES, Platz GJ, Franckowiak JD, Jordan DR (2014) Association mapping of resistance to Puccinia hordei in Australian barley breeding germplasm. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 127:1199–212

Chu S, Hasjim J, Hickey LT, Fox G, Gilbert RG (2014) Structural changes of starch molecules in barley grain during germination. Cereal Chemistry 91:431–437

Hickey LT, Lawson W, Platz GJ, Fowler RA, Arief V, Dieters M, Germán S, Fletcher S, Park RF, Singh D, Pereyra S, Franckowiak J (2012) Mapping quantitative trait loci for partial resistance to powdery mildew in an Australian barley population. Crop Science 52:1021–1032

Hickey LT, Lawson W, Arief VN, Fox G, Franckowiak J, Dieters MJ (2012) Grain dormancy QTL identified in a doubled haploid barley population derived from two non-dormant parents. Euphytica 188:113–122

Hickey LT, Lawson W, Platz GJ, Dieters M, Franckowiak J (2012) Origin of leaf rust adult plant resistance gene Rph20 in barley. Genome 55:396–399

Hickey LT, Wilkinson PM, Knight CR, Godwin ID, Kravchuk OY, Aitken EAB, Bansal UK, Bariana HS, DeLacy IH, Dieters MJ (2012) Rapid phenotyping for adult plant resistance to stripe rust in wheat. Plant Breeding 131:54–61

Hickey LT, Lawson W, Platz GJ, Dieters M, Arief VN, Germán S, Fletcher S, et al. (2011) Mapping Rph20: a gene conferring adult plant resistance to Puccinia hordei in barley. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 123:55–68

Hickey LT, Dieters MJ, DeLacy IH, Christopher MJ, Kravchuk OY, Banks PM (2010) Screening for grain dormancy in segregating generations of dormant × non-dormant crosses in white-grained wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Euphytica 172:183–195

Hickey LT, Dieters MJ, DeLacy IH, Kravchuk OY, Mares DJ, Banks PM (2009) Grain dormancy in fixed lines of white-grained wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) grown under controlled environmental conditions. Euphytica 168:303–310