Benchmark Genetics strengthens technical leadership team
Published: 19 April 2023
Dr Ross Houston takes overall lead of Benchmark’s technical genetics team. The new changes reflect a strategic succession, together with a renewed focus on developing market-leading and genetically-improved strains and expansion of global genetic services.
Dr Houston, a former professor at the Roslin Institute, will lead the technical genetics team, succeeding Dr Morten Rye as Director, Genetics and Innovation. As part of the role, Dr Houston will take primary responsibility for the internal breeding programs and product development while also retaining his leadership of R&D for the company.
Dr Morten Rye will take on a new senior role as Director, External Services and Global Strategies, expanding Benchmark Genetics’ provision of genetics services to the global aquaculture sector. This will include providing genomic tools and analysis, making Benchmark Genetics a one-stop shop for genetic services.
Benchmark Genetics is a world-leading provider of aquaculture genetics with in-house, family-based breeding programmes, present in every major aquaculture market.
Under this new leadership, the genetics team has been re-organised. It has new leadership positions for each of Benchmark´s five internal breeding programs within Atlantic salmon, Shrimp and tilapia and for the key technical support and R&D teams. This includes molecular genetics, reproductive technologies, and trait development.
This new structure will optimise synergies across breeding programs, as well as innovation and implementation of the latest technologies.
“These changes reflect a successful succession of our senior leadership team and are targeted towards securing our world-leading position within the applied aquaculture genetics field.
“We are confident that Ross and Morten will excel in their new roles, helping our team of over 25 expert geneticists to deliver genetic improvement to the aquaculture industry.”
Jan-Emil Johannessen, Head of Benchmark Genetics
Dr Houston will retain his role as Chair of the Benchmark Innovation Board, which is a collaborative group with representation from Benchmark’s three business units: Genetics, Health, and Advanced Nutrition. Combining genetic innovations with advances in health and nutrition provides unique opportunities to improve production and sustainability.
Benchmark Animal Health, based on Edinburgh Technopole in Midlothian Science Zone, is part of Benchmark Holdings Plc, and develops solutions for some of the most economically important and persistent disease and health challenges in aquaculture in order to improve animal health and welfare in fish farming.
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