Dr Craig Hardner

Senior Research Fellow

Centre for Horticultural Science
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
c.hardner@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 69465

Overview

Dr Craig Hardner holds a bachelor in Forest Science awarded by the University of Melbourne, and BSc (Hons) and PhD from the University of Tasmania. Prior to his PhD Dr Hardner worked as a Research Fellow at Swedish Agricultural University 1988-1990 supporting willow breeding for energy production. Between 1996-2007, Dr Hardner lead the CSIRO macadamia breeding program. Dr Hardner joined the University of Queensland in 2007 and commenced a joint appointment with QDPI as a research fellow in horticulture breeding and genetics. He has an extensive collaboration network in horticulture breeding and conservation including domestic and international organisations and Universities.

Dr Hardner was lead author on a 128 page review of macadamia genetics and domestication published in 2009 and is curator of macadamia cultivar descriptions for HortScience. He was awarded a Churchill fellowship in 2012 to travel to Hawaii to trace the domestication pathway of macadamia.

Research Interests

  • Quantitative genetics
    I am a world leader in development and application of mixed model methods for prediction of genetic value in forestry, macadamia, sugar cane, mango, and apple. In particular, I am interested in use of multi-variate approaches to model complex experimental designs including multiple locations, repeated measures, and spatial variation, and genetics including individual, parental, non-additive variation and polyploidy. I am also developing approaches for using genomic relationship matrices to leverage historical breeding and variety testing data to expand knowledge of GxE in horticultural crops.
  • Conservation genetics of macadamia
    Macadamia is an iconic Australian genus, being the only international crop domesticated from Australian flora. My research in this area uses sequencing and molecular markers to improve understanding of structure of remnant wild populations and trace the domestication history of the major sources of germplasm utilised for commercial production. This research also investigates opportunities available for breeding from utilisation of the remnant wild resources. I published a 128 pages seminal review of macadamia genetics and domestication in 2009.
  • Tree breeding
    I have major research activity in the quantitative genetics and breeding of perennial crops. I have an extensive background in genetic improvement of eucalypt and macadamia crops.I bred and selected new macadamia cultivars targeted specifically to Australian industry that will be released in 2017, and continue as a co-principal investigator on the current breeding program with responsibility for genetic analyses, evaluation of alternative breeding strategies and estimation of economic weights for selection.

Research Impacts

MACADAMIA

Dr Hardner is responsible for developing new macadamia cultivars selected specifically for Australian production systems, promising a 30% increase in productivity. He also leads research on tracing the domestication of macadamia and identifying the wild origin of domesticated cultivars to further improve knowledge of the cultural history of the plant. He initiated, and is a member, of the Macadamia Conservation Committee which brings together Australian industry, university researchers, government officers, and NGOs to develop and support strategies for conservation of macadamia in the wild.

IMPROVED SELECTION METHODS

Dr Hardner has developed statistical approaches, and software for implementation, to improve prediction of genetic value of selection candidates in sugar cane, apple and eucalypts. His research on analysis of alternative breeding strategies has contributed to more efficient breeding strategies for macadamia, apple, eucalypts and strawberry.

ADAPTATION IN HORTICULTURAL CROPS

Dr Hardner is working with international researchers to use genomic approaches to combine historical data collected previously on varieties planted in different locations to improve understanding of the GxE to underpin improved production efficiency through better matching of genotype and production environment. This work will also be used to improve adaption strategies under the effects of climate change.

Qualifications

  • PhD, University of Tasmania
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), University of Tasmania
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Melbourne

Publications

  • O’Connor, Katie, Hayes, Ben, Hardner, Craig, Nock, Catherine, Baten, Abdul, Alam, Mobashwer, Henry, Robert and Topp, Bruce (2020). Genome-wide association studies for yield component traits in a macadamia breeding population. BMC Genomics, 21 (1) 199, 199. doi: 10.1186/s12864-020-6575-3

  • Mai, Thuy Thi Phuong, Alam, Mobashwer, Henry, Robert, Hardner, Craig and Topp, Bruce (2020). Phylogenetic relationship among Macadamia integrifolia and Macadamia tetraphylla wild accessions. Third International Tropical Agriculture Conference (TROPAG 2019), Brisbane, QLD, Australia, 11–13 November 2019. Basel, Switzerland: M D P I AG. doi: 10.3390/proceedings2019036067

  • Peace, Cameron P., Bianco, Luca, Troggio, Michela, van de Weg, Eric, Howard, Nicholas P., Cornille, Amandine, Durel, Charles-Eric, Myles, Sean, Migicovsky, Zoë, Schaffer, Robert J., Costes, Evelyne, Fazio, Gennaro, Yamane, Hisayo, van Nocker, Steve, Gottschalk, Chris, Costa, Fabrizio, Chagné, David, Zhang, Xinzhong, Patocchi, Andrea, Gardiner, Susan E., Hardner, Craig, Kumar, Satish, Laurens, Francois, Bucher, Etienne, Main, Dorrie, Jung, Sook and Vanderzande, Stijn (2019). Apple whole genome sequences: recent advances and new prospects. Horticulture Research, 6 (1) 59, 59. doi: 10.1038/s41438-019-0141-7

View all Publications

Grants

View all Grants

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • There are a number of areas that can be explored with in this research rea including: (i) use of mixed models to improve prediction accuracy of genetic potential, (ii) modelling of alternative breeding strategies, including understanding the efficiency of current observational based approaches, (iii) economic impact of breeding methods

  • This study is part of a large international collaboration that I lead. The approach is to examine the success of using genomic data to combine existing data previously collected by field evaluation programs to improve understanding of genotype and environment matching and improve strategies for dealing with the impact of climate change. crops include apple, peach, strawberry, cherry, macadamia and possibly mango.

  • This study will undertake historical research and use molecular approaches to better understand the different sources of macadamia germplasm introduced into Hawaii, California and South Africa during the 20th century and how that contributes to the currently utilised commercial cultivars.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • Topp, Bruce L., Nock, Catherine J., Hardner, Craig M., Alam, Mobashwer and O’Connor, Katie M. (2019). Macadamia (Macadamia spp.) breeding. Advances in Plant Breeding Strategies: Nut and Beverage Crops. (pp. 221-251) edited by Jameel M. Al-Khayri, Shri Mohan Jain and Dennis V. Johnson. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-23112-5_7

  • Hardner, C. and Topp, B. (2018). Macadamia integrifolia and M. tetraphylla. Trees for life in Oceania: conservation and utilisation of genetic diversity. (pp. 147-151) edited by Lee Thomson, John Doran and Bronwyn Clarke. Canberra, ACT Australia: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

  • Hardner, Craig M., Peace, Cameron, Lowe, Andrew J., Neal, Jodi, Pisanu, Phillip, Powell, Michael, Schmidt, Adele, Spain, Chris and Williams, Kristen (2009). Genetic resources and domestication of macadamia. Horticultural reviews. (pp. 1-125) edited by Jules Janick. Hoboken, NJ USA: Wiley-Blackwell.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Mai, Thuy Thi Phuong, Alam, Mobashwer, Henry, Robert, Hardner, Craig and Topp, Bruce (2020). Phylogenetic relationship among Macadamia integrifolia and Macadamia tetraphylla wild accessions. Third International Tropical Agriculture Conference (TROPAG 2019), Brisbane, QLD, Australia, 11–13 November 2019. Basel, Switzerland: M D P I AG. doi: 10.3390/proceedings2019036067

  • Hardner, C., Peace, C., Quero-Garcia, J., Vanderzande, S., Giovannini, D., Barreneche, T., Campoy, J. A., Charlot, G., Liverani, A., Oraguzie, N., Villamil-Castro, M., Cai, L., Ordidge, M., Wünsch, A., Sotiropoulos, T., Kazantzis, K., Patocchi, A., Perren, S., Graetz, D. and Iezzoni, A. (2019). Building international partnerships for the collation of historical data to study the environmental stability of genomic predictions in sweet cherry. VIII International Cherry Symposium, Yamagata, Japan, 5-9 June 2017. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2019.1235.6

  • O’Connor, K.M., Hardner, C.M., Alam, M.M., Hayes, B.J. and Topp, B.L. (2018). Variation in floral and growth traits in a macadamia breeding population. International Symposia on Tropical and Temperate Horticulture (ISTTH), Cairns Australia, Nov 20-25, 2016. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS). doi: 10.17660/actahortic.2018.1205.77

  • Alam, M.M., Howell, E., Hardner, C.M. and Topp, B.L. (2018). Variation in precocity in a macadamia breeding population. International Symposia on Tropical and Temperate Horticulture (ISTTH), Cairns Australia, Nov 20-25, 2016. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS). doi: 10.17660/actahortic.2018.1205.80

  • Alam, Mohammad, Wilkie, John, Kelly, Allison, Hardner, Craig and Topp, Bruce (2017). Genetic diversity and variability in graft success in Australian macadamia rootstocks. International Macadamia Research Symposium, Hawaii, United States, 13-14 September 2017.

  • Alam, Mobashwer, Hardner, Craig, Nock, Catherine, O'Connor, Katie and Topp, Bruce (2017). Historical and molecular evidence of genetic identity of 'HAES741' and 'HAES660' macadamia cultivars. International Macadamia Research Symposium, Hawaii, United States, 13-14 September 2017.

  • O'Connor, Katie, Hayes, Ben, Hardner, Craig, Mobashwer Alam and Topp, Bruce (2017). Indirect prediction of macadamia yield through a genome wide association study of component traits. International Macadamia Research Symposium, Hawaii, United States, 13-14 September 2017.

  • Topp, Bruce, Hardner, Craig, Alam, Mobashwer, Akinsanmi, Olufemi, O'Connor, Katie, Mai, Thuy and Russell, Dougal (2017). Opportunities and challenges in macadamia breeding. International Macadamia Research Symposium, Hawaii, USA, 13-14 September 2017.

  • Wei, Xianming, Jackson, Phillip, Hardner, Craig, Parfitt, Roy, Atkin, Felicity and Piperidis, George (2017). Parental improvement in the SRA sugarcane breeding program. 39th Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (ASSCT 2017), Cairns, Australia, 3-5 May 2017. Red Hook, NY: Curran Associates.

  • Mai, Thuy, Alam, Mobashwer, Henry, Robert, Hardner, Craig and Topp, Bruce (2017). Prospects of utilizing wild germplasm for future improvement of macadamia. International Tropical Agriculture Conference TropAg2017, Brisbane, Australia, 20-22 November 2017.

  • Mai, Thuy, Alam, Mobashwer, Topp, Bruce, Hardner, Craig and Henry, Robert (2017). Searching for extended variability in nut characteristics in wild macadamia gene pool. International Tropical Agriculture Conference TropAg 2017, Brisbane, Australia, 19-20 November 2017. Lausanne, Switzerland: Frontiers.

  • Herrington, M. E., Hardner, C. M., Wegener, M., Woolcock, L. L. and Dieters, M. J. (2016). Breeding objective for strawberry in subtropical southeast Queensland. XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014), Brisbane, Australia, 17-22 August 2014. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1127.32

  • Herrington, M. E., Wegener, M., Hardner, C., Woolcock, L. L. and Dieters, M. J. (2016). Estimating production costs and profitability of strawberry genotypes in southeast Queensland using plant traits. XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): International Symposium on Micropropagation and In Vitro Techniques, Brisbane, Australia, 17-22 August, 2014. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1117.49

  • Topp, B., Hardner, C. M., Neal, J., Kelly, A., Russell, D., McConchie, C. and O'Hare, P. (2016). Overview of the Australian macadamia industry breeding program. XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014), Brisbane, Australia, 17 - 22 August 2014. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1127.8

  • Neal, J. M., Kelly, A., Hardner, C. M., McConchie, C. and Topp, B. L. (2016). Preliminary evaluation of macadamia rootstocks for yield and tree height. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1109.30

  • Hardner, C. M., Kumar, S., Peace, C. M., Luby, J. and Evans, K. M. (2016). Reconstructing relationship matrices from dense SNP arrays for the prediction of genetic potential in unreplicated multilocation plantings of apple progeny. XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014), Brisbane, Australia, 17 - 22 August 2014. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1127.43

  • Ahmad Termizi, A. A., Hardner, C. M., Batley, J., Nock, C. J., Hayashi, S., Montenegro, J. D. and Edwards, D. (2016). SNP analysis of Macadamia integrifolia chloroplast genomes to determine the genetic structure of wild populations. XXIX International Horticultural Congress on Horticulture: Sustaining Lives, Livelihoods and Landscapes (IHC2014): International Symposium on Nut Crops, Brisbane, QLD Australia, 17-22 August 2014. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2016.1109.29

  • Shewayrga, H., Arief, V. N., Hardner, C. M., DeLacy, I. H. and Basford, K. E. (2016). Spatial analysis for trials with limited replication. Australasian Applied Statistical Conference, Bermagui, NSW, Australia, 28 November - 2 December 2016.

  • Nock, C. J., Baten, A., Hancock, W., Kawamata, A., Craig Hardner, Bruce Topp, Robert Henry and King, G. J. (2014). In Harvesting the macadamia genome. Plant and Animal Genome XXII Conference, San Diego, 11-15 January 2014.

  • Hardner, C. M., Bally, I. and Wright, C. (2013). Prediction of breeding values for average fruit weight in mango. IXth International Mango Symposium, Sanya, Peoples Republic of China, 8-12 April 2010. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science.

  • Hardner, C. M., Peace, C., Vithanage, V., Carroll, B., Turnbull, C. and McConchie, C. (2012). Genetic resources and improvement in Macadamia. 1st International Symposium on Wild Relatives of Subtropical and Temperate Fruit and Nut Crops, Davis, CA, United States, 19-23 March 2011. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.948.29

  • Topp, B. L., Hardner, C. M. and Kelly, A. M. (2012). Strategies for breeding macadamias in Australia. IHC2010: 28th International Horticultural Congress on Science and Horticulture for People, Lisboa, Portugal, 22-27 August, 2010. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science. doi: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2012.935.6

  • Hardner, Craig and Peace, Cameron (2009). A review of the genetic improvement of macadamia: An Australian icon. 14th Australasian Plant Breeding Conference (APBC) and the 11th Congress of the Society for the Advancement of Breeding Research in Asia and Oceania (SABRAO), Cairns, Australia, 10-14 August 2009. Bangkok, Thailand: Society for Advancement of Breeding Research in Asia and Oceania.

  • Hardner, C., Dieters, M., Delacy, I., Neal, J., Fletcher, S., Dale, G. and Basford, K. (2009). Identifying deployment zones for Eucalyptus camaldulensis x E. globulus and x E. grandis hybrids using factor analytic modelling of genotype by environment interaction. Australasian Forest Genetics Conference, Perth Western Australia, 20-22 April, 2009. Forest Products Commission.

  • Hardner, C. M., Greaves, B., Coverdale, C. and Wegener, M. (2006). Application of economic modelling to support selection decisions in macadamia. 13th Australasian Plant Breeding Conference, Christchurch, New Zealand., 18-21 April, 2006. Dunedin, New Zealand: New Zealand Grassland Association.

  • Schmidt, A., Neal, J., Hardner, C. M. and McConchie, C. A. (2006). Development and application of micro-satellite markers for macadamia. 1st Tropical Crop Biotechnology Conference, Cairns, Australia, 16-19 Aug 2006.

  • O'Riordan, P., Baxter, I., McConchie, C., Hardner, C., Albertson, P. and Williams, E. (2005). Consumer sensory preferences for macadamia nuts. International Conference Postharvest Unlimited Downunder 2004, Sydney, Australia, 9-12 November, 2004. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science.

  • Hardner, C. M., Peace, C, Henshall, J. and Manners, J. (2005). Opportunities and constraints for marker-assisted selection in macadamia breeding. International Symposium on Harnessing the Potential of Horticulture in the Asian-Pacific Region, Coolum, Queensland, Australia, 1-3 September, 2004. Leuven, Belgium: International Society for Horticultural Science.

  • Bradley, D., Hardner, C., Mathews, K., Mason, R., Basford, K. and McConchie, C. (2002). Macadamia varietal improvement for quality. MANIC 2002 :Incorporating the Australian Nut Industry Council Conference 2002 and the Australian Macadamia Society Annual Conference, Coffs Harbour, 9-10 October, 2002. Lismore, NSW: Australian Macadamia Society.

  • Bradley, D., Hardner, C., Mathews, K., Mason, R. and Basford, K. (2002). Sources of oil content variation in macadamia kernel. 12th Australasian Plant Breeding Conference, Perth, Western Australia, 15-20 September 2002. Perth, W.A.: The Australasian Plant Breeding Association.

  • Levitt, C. W., Hardner, C., Stephenson, R., Mathews, K. L. and Basford, K. E. (2001). Assessment protocols for selection and management in Macadamia. AMS 2001 Conference and Annual General Meeting, Tweed Heads, NSW, 25-27 October, 2001. Lismore, NSW: Australian Macadamia Society Limited.

  • Raspel, J., Bradley, D., Wilkie, J.D., Hardner, C., Forrester, B. and McConchie, C. (2001). Effects of temperature and time on kernel quality following wet nut-in-shell storage. AMS 2001 Conference and Annual General Meeting, Tweed Heads, NSW, 25-27 October, 2001. Lismore, NSW: Australian Macadamia Society Limited.

  • Bradley, D., Hardner, C., Mathews, K. L., Mason, R. L. and Basford, K. E. (2001). Quality and kernel composition - influences and interactions. 2001 AMS Conference and Annual General Meeting, Tweed Heads, NSW, 25-27 October, 2001. Lismore, NSW: Australian Macadamia Society Limited.

  • Peace, C. P., Hardner, C., Brown, A. H. D., O'Connor, K., Vithanage, V., Turnbull, C. and Carroll, B. J. (2001). The diversity and origins of macadamia cultivars. AMS 2001 Conference and Annual General Meeting, Tweed Heads, NSW, 25-27 October, 2001. Australian Macadamia Society Limited.

  • Peace, C., Hardner, C., Vithanage, V., Carroll, B. J. and Turnbull, C. G. (2000). Resolving hybrid status in Macadamia. QFRI/CRC-SPF Symposium, Noosa, Queensland, 9-14 April, 2000. Brisbane: Department of Primary Industries.

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

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.

  • There are a number of areas that can be explored with in this research rea including: (i) use of mixed models to improve prediction accuracy of genetic potential, (ii) modelling of alternative breeding strategies, including understanding the efficiency of current observational based approaches, (iii) economic impact of breeding methods

  • This study is part of a large international collaboration that I lead. The approach is to examine the success of using genomic data to combine existing data previously collected by field evaluation programs to improve understanding of genotype and environment matching and improve strategies for dealing with the impact of climate change. crops include apple, peach, strawberry, cherry, macadamia and possibly mango.

  • This study will undertake historical research and use molecular approaches to better understand the different sources of macadamia germplasm introduced into Hawaii, California and South Africa during the 20th century and how that contributes to the currently utilised commercial cultivars.