AL Rae Centre for Genetics and Breeding

The AL Rae Centre is working to build world leading expertise in the field of quantitative breeding, genetics and genomics to benefit New Zealand’s agricultural sector. Our work is applicable to a wide range of traits and species.

We are led by Professor Dorian Garrick, who has been integrally involved in the development and implementation of national animal evaluation programs, performance recording databases and breeding schemes internationally.

Illustration of DNA sequence

Our research

Our research focuses on increasing returns from New Zealand's primary industries through selection based on more accurate predictions of performance using genomic data. We are working to leverage influential ancestors having next-generation sequence data, so we can make inference using state-of-the-art Bayesian statistical methods.

Holstein dairy cows in field

Postgraduate courses

Postgraduate courses at the AL Rae Centre are focused on creating the next generation of scientists with quantitative breeding and genetics skills in both plant and animal breeding.

Our people

Professor Dorian Garrick
Co-director and AL Rae Centre Chief Scientist

Professor Garrick received a First Class Honours degree in Agricultural Science from Massey University in 1981 and a PhD from Cornell University in 1988. He held the inaugural appointment to the Jay Lush endowed Chair in Animal Breeding & Genetics at Iowa State University for 10 years from 2007, which has special significance as Jay Lush was AL Rae’s PhD supervisor.  Prior to this he spent five years at Colorado State University and 15 years at Massey University where he held the AL Rae Chair since 1994.

Hugh Blair

Professor Hugh Blair

Professor Blair is group leader of the Animal Science Group at Massey University and lectures in animal breeding and genetics to undergraduate and postgraduate students. His main research interests are improving the application of animal breeding and genetic technologies to the improvement of production and service animals in New Zealand; understanding developmental programming to improve production animal performance and the study of the genetic causes of diseases.

World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production

The AL Rae Centre fund the archiving of papers from this congress, the premier event for researchers and professionals involved in genetic improvement of livestock.

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AL Rae About AL Rae

The centre is named in memory of one of the founders of modern animal breeding, Massey University professor Alexander Lindsay Rae (1923-2009).

Al Rae graduated MAgrSc with first class honours from Massey University College in 1946.

Professor Rae had a significant impact on the development of animal production in New Zealand, both directly through his own teaching, research, extension and industry activities and indirectly through his involvement in the administration of agricultural education and research in New Zealand.