Dan earned his PhD in plant molecular genetics in 2000 from the University of Dundee (based at what is now called the James Hutton Institute) in Scotland. He is currently responsible for the delivery, development and deployment of marker-assisted selection (MAS) and genomic selection (GS) in the Teagasc potato and forage breeding programmes. Dan is interested in practical, real world outcomes in applying genomics to breeding; for instance MAS is now routinely used in the Teagasc potato breeding programme and genotypes derived from this process are currently entering national list trials for advancement to variety status. Dan was responsible for Teagasc’s contribution to the international Potato Genome Sequencing Consortium (PGSC), which published a draft sequence of the potato genome in Nature in 2011, and was Co-PI (with Dr Susanne Barth) of the group that released one of two assemblies of the perennial ryegrass genome in 2016. Some of his other research interests include mapping QTLs and cloning genes for disease resistance in potato, the genomic constitution of polyploids, and using genome-based methods to understand changes in grazed grass swards over time.
Dan is the co-ordinator of VICCI.