Dr Emma Mace

Senior Research Fellow

Centre for Crop Science
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
+61 7 4542 6729


Dr Emma Mace’s research interest is in developing and applying innovative genomics approaches to support sorghum improvement activities.

In Dr Mace’s current role leading sorghum genomics research components of research projects funded by the Grains Research Development Corporation (GRDC), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), the Australian Research Council (ARC), the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and the Global Crop Diversity Trust, her work focuses on generating significant innovative outcomes across a range of applications, from basic through to applied, specifically in using technologies to bridge the gene to phenotype gap, and to elucidate the genetic basis of quantitative and qualitative traits.

Research Interests

  • Sorghum
  • Genomics

Research Impacts

Australia produces at least 2 million tonnes of grain sorghum each year. Sorghum is one of the most diverse crop species with great potential for improvement in yield, drought resistance, insect resistance and grain quality. An understanding of the genetic control of key characteristics provides plant breeders with new opportunities to increase the rate of genetic gain and breed new improved genotypes. However, the complexity of gene function determination remains one of the major challenges facing plant biologists today, despite the development and application of new technologies, including high throughput genotyping and next-generation sequencing.

The UQ sorghum genomics team, together with researchers at DAF, are using an integrated set of technologies and germplasm collections to enhance gene function determination in sorghum.

Our capacity: marker-assisted selection, genomic selection and mapping


• high resolution genetic mapping for quantitative traits and identification of beneficial alleles

• development of customised SNP markers for target traits for Marker Assisted Selection

• development of whole-genome prediction models for applying genomic selection for target traits

The integrated application of new technologies and resources within the sorghum breeding program is being used in a range of research projects investigating a range of crop trait characteristics including drought tolerance, grain size, photosynthesis and grain yield.


  • PhD (Plant Genetics), University of Birmingham, UK
  • Master of Science (Plant Genetics), University of Birmingham, UK
  • Bachelor of Science (Biology), University of Nottingham, UK


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Book Chapter

  • Joshi, Dinesh, Singh, Vijaya, van Oosterom, Erik, Mace, Emma, Jordan, David and Hammer, Graeme (2016). Genetic manipulation of root system architecture to improve drought adaptation in sorghum. The sorghum genome. (pp. 207-226) edited by Rakshit, Sujay and Wang, Yi-Hong. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-47789-3_11

  • Mace, E. S., Mathur, P. N., Godwin, I. D., Hunter, D., Taylor, M. B., Singh, D., DeLacy, I. H. and Jackson, G. V. H. (2010). Development of a regional core collection (Oceania) for taro, Colocasia esculenta (L.) Schott, based on molecular and phenotypic characterization. The Global Diversity of Taro: Ethnobotany and Conservation. (pp. 185-201) edited by V. Ramanatha Rao, P. J. Matthews, P. B. Eyzaguirre and D. Hunter. Rome, Italy: Bioversity International.

  • Paterson, Andrew H., Stalker, H. Thomas, Meagher, Maria, Burow, Mark D., Dwivedi, Sangam L., Crouch, Jonathan H. and Mace, Emma S. (2004). Genomics and genetic enhancement of peanut. Legume Crop Genomics. (pp. 97-109) edited by Richard F. Wilson, H. Thomas Stalker and E. Charles Brummer. Champaign, United States: AOCS Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision