Dr Stephen Pederson

As the inaugural co-ordinator of the Bioinformatics Hub, Steve began the position in 2014. He has been involved as an educator outside of Science for over 20 years, and brings this experience to the training workshops run at regular intervals.

With a strong background in genetics and statistics, Steve is proficient in R, C and bash scripting. His research interests include regulation of gene expression, and downstream analysis of gene sets.

For further details visit Steve's Research Profile page.

Dr Nathan Watson-Haigh

Nathan has over 15 years experience in the field of bioinformatics with expertise in genomics, transcriptomics, system biology, phylogenetics, bioinformatics training, Linux systems administration, pipeline development, high-performance and cloud computing.

Nathan is eligible and available to supervise Masters and PhD students.

Nathan is a biologist by undergraduate training with a Master of Pharmacology from the University of Bath, England. However, since then Nathan has moved more and more into bioinformatics; first with a PhD in phylogenetics and molecular sequence analysis and then postdoctoral positions at the University of Sheffield, England and the CSIRO in Queensland. Nathan worked at the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) as a Senior Bioinformatician for 2 years before joining the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG) where he undertook wheat genomics/bioinformatics research for almost 6 years. Nathan has been a member of the Bioinformatics Hub since Oct 2018.

For further details visit Nathan’s Researcher Profile page.

Dr Jimmy Breen

Researcher: Dr Jimmy Breen



Jimmy is a Bioinformatician and genomic researcher with 10 years expertise. Starting research life in agricultural genomics, he gained his PhD in assembling complex (>16Gb/>70% repetitive DNA) plant genomes as part of the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium. His Post doctoral position in Switzerland (plant/fungal disease resistance genes and physical map assembly) was followed by QC and data analysis for AGRF in Brisbane.

His previous role was at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA and School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, working with Professor Alan Cooper on a range of projects including:

  • Ancient DNA sequencing of 5,000 year old plant material from Armenia
  • Metagenomics and NGS pipeline development for the analysis of dental calculus from Neandertals and other ancient Hominins,
  • Developing an ancient human genome data repository called the Online Ancient Genome Repository (OAGR).
  • Epigenetic profiling of fungal pathogens (Botrytis cinerea) and Shiraz plants in the Barossa Valley.

Jimmy is also the lecturer for the University of Adelaide’s Bioinformatics and Systems Modelling unit as part of the Master of Biotechnology course.

For further details visit Jimmy's Researcher profile page.

Mr Mark Armstrong

Mark has worked as a database developer and designer for over 19 years. As he started out his career with a honours degree in Microbiology, Mark decided to return to the field and completed a Masters in Bioinformatics at the University of Exeter. His project, in conjunction with AstraZeneca, involved analysing the transcriptome of gastric cancer cell lines in response to a novel therapeutic agent.

Mark's previous roles were with the University of South Australia, where he was a research assistant with the Centre for Cancer Biology, developing a database for genetic variants identified in samples from patients with a RUNX1 mutation. Prior to that he worked with University of Adelaide with Adelaide Health Technologies Assessment (AHTA) developing databases and applications for research groups within the University. Mark started with the Bioinformatics hub in July 2019.

Oscar Andres Estrada Santamaria

Oscar Estrada

Oscar is a biologist interested in evolutionary genomics, population genetics, and genetic resources. He has a graduate degree in biology and a master’s degree in biological sciences. Also, Oscar completed a PhD in Genetics and Evolution at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) at the University of Adelaide (Australia), under the supervision of Professor Alan Cooper, Dr Jimmy Breen, and Dr Steve Richards. During his PhD, he used DNA sequences from ancient, historical, and modern plant material to study the domestication and evolution of polyploid species such as wheat and quinoa. Currently, he is using high-throughput sequencing and bioinformatics data mining and analysis to examine the genetic diversity of cultivated species.


  • Past staff

    Dr Hien To

    Researcher - Dr Hien To

    With a strong background in applied mathematics, Dr To received her PhD in 2011 from Université Paris Diderot - Paris 7.

    She has been working on algorithm aspects of constructing phylogenies, reconciling gene trees within species phylogenies to predict gene losses, duplications or transfers; and on molecular dating methods. Her research interests include of developments of algorithms, and modelling in bioinformatics.