David's PhD research focuses on the use of whole-genome genotype data to accurately predict phenotype from genotype. This is the basis for Genomic Selection, a 21st century breeding technique in agriculture and forestry which enables shortened breeding cycles and more accurate selection of parent individuals. The result is greater gain per unit time than with traditional breeding techniques.
In his PhD David is applying whole genome analysis to improve oil yield in crops of Blue Mallee eucalypts. The terpenes in these oils can be converted to high powered jet fuel, so increasing the yield will help to make this renewable fuel economically sustainable.