Dr Brandon D Velie


The main focus of my research is the intersection of genomics and biological homeostasis with particular emphasis on the industry application of this information. Essentially, I am profoundly interested in the discovery and function of genes that underpin disease, athletic performance, and behaviour in horses. As someone who is actively involved in the horse industry outside of the university, the majority of my research tends to also include aspects of how the knowledge gained from research can be readily applied by equine professionals to improve horse well-being.

A list of my publications can be found here.

Maria Rosengren

PhD Student (SLU)


Maria is studying the origin and biological function of horse mane, using the horse as a model to identify genetic factors that regulate hair growth. She is co-supervised with Professor Gabriella Lindgren at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

Elouise Bacon

Honours Student


Elouise is researching drug sensitivity in the horse, using state-of-the-art genomic technologies to identify genes associated with drug metabolism.

Kali Notaras

Honours Student


Kali is utilizing cutting-edge genetic and genomic methodologies to better understand the genetic diversity of brumbies in Australia.

Group Alumni

Evelyn Todd.jpg

Dr Evelyn Todd

PhD (2021)

Evelyn's PhD work focused on population and quantitative genetics in Thoroughbred racehorses.  She is particularly interested in understanding how population history events and selective breeding practices influence genomic changes in horses. Evelyn is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Centre for Anthropobiology and Genomics of Toulouse.

Alize Drabbe

Honours I (2020)

Alize Drabbe

Alize's project explored the genes underlying osteochondrosis in Belgian Warmblood horses.

Lillian Hellmann

Lillian Hellmann

Honours I (2020)

Lillian's project centred on racehorse behaviour with particular focus on developing tools to help better place/re-home retiring racehorses.

Lillian Hellmann

Honours Student (2020)

Marie Fontanel

Visiting Graduate Student

(Agrosup Dijon)

Marie Fontanel

Marie was a visiting student from France working on a project exploring the genetics underpinning gallop and endurance racing performance in Arabian horses.

Elise Sands

Research Placement (2020)

Elise Sands

Elise studied osteochondrosis in young Thoroughbreds and the impact it can have on a horse's future racing career.

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Analise McDonald, Irene Yan Ling Teh, Karen Kwang, & Remi Miller

Research Placement (2021)


Analise, Irene, Karen, and Remi assisted with a project investigating maternal effects in racing Thoroughbreds.

Ongoing International Collaborations

Horse Genome Consortium

A cooperative international effort by more than 100 scientists from 25 countries to define the genome of the domestic horse: https://horsegenomeworkshop.com/


International consortium of university researchers and representatives of equine organisations with the aim of identifying genetic markers associated with disease and performance traits in horses (HORSEGENE).


A global initiative to understand the underlying mechanisms of diseases by developing a database of tissue-specific gene expression and regulation in the horse.

Tracing the genetic origin of mane growth in domestic horses

Collaborative project with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden), Estación Biológica de Doñana (Spain), and Yeguada de La Cartuja (Spain).  

Fights, flights, and genes

Collaborative project with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden), the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Norway), and the University of Leuven (Belgium).

Development of molecular tools for breeding healthier horses

Collaborative project with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Sweden), The Swedish Trotting Association (Sweden), the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Norway), and the University of Leuven (Belgium).