Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile

Current Research Interests

Avian Genomics


PhD - Genetics - University of St. Andrews (1997)

BSc - Biochemistry with Microbiology - University of St. Andrews (1992)

Research students

Md Ataul Goni Rabbani (2021 - current)

Joshua Mountford (MScR) (Oct 2020 to Feb 2021)

Callum Donnelly (PhD) (2017 to 2020)

Elvire Berthenet (internship from ENSTBB, Bordeaux) (2013-2014)

Administrative Roles

Editorial Board of Genes

Senior Editorial Board Member for BMC Genomics

Section Editor for British Poultry Science

Associate Editor for Cytogenetic and Genome Research

Collaborative Activity

  • Dr Janet Fulton, Hyline International, Iowa, USA
  • Dr Rachel Hawken, Cobb-Vantress, Arkansas, USA
  • Prof Wes Warren, University of Missouri, USA
  • Prof Laurent Frantz, LMU, Munich/QMU London
  • Prof Morris Soller, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
  • Prof Olivier Hanotte, ILRI, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Dr Zhuo-Cheng Hou, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China
  • Prof Jim Kaufman, Universities of Cambridge/Edinburgh, UK
  • Dr Pankaj Chakraborty, Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Bangladesh
  • Prof Tadelle Dessie, ILRI, Ethiopia
  • Dr Andrew Mason, University of York, UK
  • Dr Yinhua Huang, CAU, Beijing, China



After obtaining my PhD in genetics from St. Andrews University I started working as a post-doc at The Roslin Institute, where I’ve been ever since. During this time, I worked alongside Prof Dave Burt in the field of avian genomics and now lead my own group in the same area. My interests lie primarily in examining the host response to avian viral infections and trying to understand the genetic mechanisms of resistance; particularly with regard to Marek’s Disease Virus and avian flu. I also work as part of the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and health (CTLGH), which is a collaboration between Roslin, SRUC (Scotland’s Rural College) and ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute) in Africa.

Current Research Interests

  • Development and improvement of avian genomes
  • Genetics of host resistance to avian influenza in different avian species
  • Identification of candidate genes for resistance to Marek’s Disease Virus
  • Analysis of genotypes and phenotypes for backyard poultry production in sub-Saharan Africa
  • Genomics of the seasonal breeding cycle in wild birds


Roslin research profile:



Google Scholar:

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of St Andrews

Award Date: 1 Jan 1997

Bachelor of Science, University of St Andrews

Award Date: 1 Jan 1992


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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  • Integration of the genetic and physical maps of the chicken macrochromosomes

    Smith, J., Paton, I. R., Bruley, C. K., Burt, D. W., Windsor, D., Burke, D. & Ponce de Leon, F. A., 2000, In: Animal Genetics. 31, 1, p. 20-27 8 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Comparative genomics reveals insights into avian genome evolution and adaptation

    Zhang, G., Li, C., Li, Q., Li, B., Larkin, D. M., Lee, C., Storz, J. F., Antunes, A., Greenwold, M. J., Meredith, R. W., Ödeen, A., Cui, J., Zhou, Q., Xu, L., Pan, H., Wang, Z., Jin, L., Zhang, P., Hu, H., Yang, W., & 31 othersHu, J., Xiao, J., Yang, Z., Liu, Y., Xie, Q., Yu, H., Lian, J., Wen, P., Zhang, F., Li, H., Zeng, Y., Xiong, Z., Liu, S., Zhou, L., Huang, Z., An, N., Wang, J., Zheng, Q., Xiong, Y., Wang, G., Wang, B., Wang, J., Fan, Y., da Fonseca, R. R., Alfaro-Núñez, A., Schubert, M., Orlando, L., Mourier, T., Burt, D. W., Avian Genome Consortium & Smith, J., 12 Dec 2014, In: Science. 346, 6215, p. 1311-20 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  • Third Report on Chicken Genes and Chromosomes 2015

    Schmid, M., Smith, J., Burt, D. W., Aken, B. L., Antin, P. B., Archibald, A. L., Ashwell, C., Blackshear, P. J., Boschiero, C., Brown, C. T., Burgess, S. C., Cheng, H. H., Chow, W., Coble, D. J., Cooksey, A., Crooijmans, R. P. M. A., Damas, J., Davis, R. V. N., De Koning, D., Delany, M. E., & 84 othersDerrien, T., Desta, T. T., Dunn, I. C., Dunn, M., Ellegren, H., Eory, L., Erb, I., Farre, M., Fasold, M., Fleming, D., Flicek, P., Fowler, K. E., Fresard, L., Froman, D. P., Garceau, V., Gardner, P. P., Gheyas, A. A., Griffin, D. K., Groenen, M. A. M., Haaf, T., Hanotte, O., Hart, A., Hasler, J., Hedges, S. B., Hertel, J., Howe, K., Hubbard, A., Hume, D. A., Kaiser, P., Kedra, D., Kemp, S., Klopp, C., Kniel, K. E., Kuo, R., Lagarrigue, S., Lamont, S. J., Larkin, D. M., Lawal, R. A., Markland, S. M., Mccarthy, F., Mccormack, H. A., Mcpherson, M. C., Motegi, A., Muljo, S. A., Munsterberg, A., Nag, R., Nanda, I., Neuberger, M., Nitsche, A., Notredame, C., Noyes, H., O''connor, R., O''hare, E. A., Oler, A. J., Ommeh, S. C., Pais, H., Persia, M., Pitel, F., Preeyanon, L., Prieto Barja, P., Pritchett, E. M., Rhoads, D. D., Robinson, C. M., Romanov, M. N., Rothschild, M., Roux, P., Schmidt, C. J., Schneider, A., Schwartz, M., Searle, S. M., Skinner, M. A., Smith, C. A., Stadler, P. F., Steeves, T. E., Steinlein, C., Sun, L., Takata, M., Ulitsky, I., Wang, Q., Wang, Y., Warren, W. C., Wood, J. M. D., Wragg, D. & Zhou, H., Aug 2015, In: Cytogenetic and Genome Research. 145, 2, p. 78-179

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
  • A comparative analysis of host responses to avian influenza infection in ducks and chickens highlights a role for the interferon-induced transmembrane proteins in viral resistance

    Smith, J., Smith, N., Yu, L., Paton, I. R., Gutowska, M. W., Forrest, H. L., Danner, A. F., Seiler, J. P., Digard, P., Webster, R. G. & Burt, D. W., 2015, In: BMC Genomics. 16, 574.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access
  • The development and maintenance of the mononuclear phagocyte system of the chick is controlled by signals from the macrophage colony-stimulating factor (CSF1) receptor

    Garceau, V., Balic, A., Garcia-Morales, C., Sauter, K. A., McGrew, M. J., Smith, J., Vervelde, L., Sherman, A., Fuller, T. E., Oliphant, T., Shelley, J. A., Tiwari, R., Wilson, T. L., Chintoan-Uta, C., Burt, D. W., Stevens, M. P., Sang, H. M. & Hume, D. A., 19 Feb 2015, In: BMC Biology. 13, 1, 17 p., (2015) 13:12 .

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Open Access