Dr Marina Fortes

Advanced Queensland Research Fellow

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Faculty of Science

Affiliated Research Fellow

Centre for Animal Science
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
m.fortes@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 54258

Overview

Marina Fortes has a degree in Veterinary Medicine (2004) and a Master of Science in Animal Reproduction (2007) from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. She completed her PhD in genetics, in 2012 at The University of Queensland (UQ). Her thesis title was “Genes and genetic markers Associated with puberty in beef cattle” and for that, she had prestigious scholarships from UQ and the Beef CRC (UQ Research Scholarship, UQ International Research tuition Award, and Beef CRC top-up scholarship). After her PhD, Marina worked as a post-doc at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI) and her main research project was titled “Transcriptome of the Pubertal Brahman Heifer”. On August 2014, Marina joined the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences (SCMB), to lecture in genetics and bioinformatics and to establish the Livestock Genomics Group. Her group is interested in understanding how genetics influence livestock production and reproductive biology. Ongoing collaborations link her group to a rich research environment, both domestic and international, which contributes to sustainable livestock industries. Meat and Livestock Australia has provided ongoing support to the projects led by her group.

Research Interests

  • Beef Cattle Genomics
    In our research, genomics technologies are applied to cattle populations to understand the molecular mechanisms driving production traits and impact on selective breeding.
  • Reproductive Biology
    Understanding bovine reproductive biology, as a model to mammalian organisms, is a key component of our research that can benefit livestock production. Cattle fertility has major implications for the sustainability of the beef and dairy industries.

Research Impacts

The Livestock Genomics Group leads research projects that impact on the sustainability of animal production. The Australian beef industry is our main research partner, and so our projects deliver outcomes to cattle producers. A better understanding of the genomics of livestock informs selective breeding practices. Selective breeding is a proven method to improve livestock efficiency and therefore increase food production while reducing the environmental impact of this vital activity.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Veterinary Science, University of São Paulo

Publications

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Supervision

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Available Projects

  • In partnership with CSIRO and Meat and Livestock Australia, we are exploring the genetics of bull fertility traits measured in Australian beef herds. Bull fertility has a major impact on farm productivity and therefore the outcomes of this project will benefit beef producers. The data collected by Prof Michael McGowan in bull breeding soundness evaluations will be analyzed using genomic approaches to unravel genes and mutations associated with bull fertility.

  • Fertility traits measured in bulls often correlate with cow fertility. Two ongoing projects are measuring a number of fertility indicators in cows and bulls for genome-wide association studies of these sex-specific phenotypes. Using genomics, it will be possible to link the male and female populations measured in one genomic relationship matrix. This genomics technology will enable the investigation of the genetic correlations between male and female fertility traits, which is important for understanding their underpinning molecular biology. Further, this study will estimate the correlated response to selection for fertility indicators in the opposite sex. A practical outcome will be the proposal of a new fertility index for cattle selection that can benefit both bulls and cows, maximizing herd productivity. Productive herds pave the way for sustainable livestock production.

  • This project is suitable for Honours or Master students looking to do a literature review and/or write a research proposal about greenhouse gas emissions from beef farming. A variety of beef farming systems co-exist in Australia. The beef industry is interested in understanding which systems are more environmentally sustainable, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • In partnership with CSIRO and Meat and Livestock Australia, we are exploring the genetics of bull fertility traits measured in Australian beef herds. Bull fertility has a major impact on farm productivity and therefore the outcomes of this project will benefit beef producers. The data collected by Prof Michael McGowan in bull breeding soundness evaluations will be analyzed using genomic approaches to unravel genes and mutations associated with bull fertility.

  • Fertility traits measured in bulls often correlate with cow fertility. Two ongoing projects are measuring a number of fertility indicators in cows and bulls for genome-wide association studies of these sex-specific phenotypes. Using genomics, it will be possible to link the male and female populations measured in one genomic relationship matrix. This genomics technology will enable the investigation of the genetic correlations between male and female fertility traits, which is important for understanding their underpinning molecular biology. Further, this study will estimate the correlated response to selection for fertility indicators in the opposite sex. A practical outcome will be the proposal of a new fertility index for cattle selection that can benefit both bulls and cows, maximizing herd productivity. Productive herds pave the way for sustainable livestock production.

  • This project is suitable for Honours or Master students looking to do a literature review and/or write a research proposal about greenhouse gas emissions from beef farming. A variety of beef farming systems co-exist in Australia. The beef industry is interested in understanding which systems are more environmentally sustainable, in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.