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Associate Professor | Director, DNA Zoo Australia, The University of Western Australia

Dr Parwinder Kaur is an award-winning scientist, a passionate leader, inspiring pioneer and positive role model with 15+ years of initiating and delivering research outcomes in biotechnology. Major experience lies in leading cross-disciplinary applied biotechnology research for innovation, research translation – both as an academic and entrepreneur.

Parwinder is recognized as a leader in genome sequencing, translational genomics and capacity building in international agricultural and environmental biotechnology. She has made a pioneering contribution by integrating advanced discoveries in 3D-genomics with DNA Zoo to provide genomic empowerment to unique Australian biodiversity facilitating conservation efforts for threatened and endangered species. Among different noted contributions, she has been instrumental in driving the establishment of DNA Zoo Australia, supported by DNA Zoo global consortium with over 110 collaborating partners. She led rapid public genome release of over 30 iconic Australian species including Koala, Quokka, Australian Black Swan and many other critically endangered like Gilbert’s Potoroo and Leadbeater's possum. Genomic resources developed by her colleagues and collaborators at DNA Zoo are being used in several conservation programs globally. She has provided strategic leadership, as a Director, to DNA Zoo Australia, that have facilitated and contributed to the release of over 275 chromosome-length genome assemblies and production of over 34,565,252,649,062 sequenced bases available open access for research and conservation purposes through DNA Zoo global consortium.

In addition, Parwinder is internationally recognised for her studies tracking genomic variation to breed low methanogenic forages in Australia, which provided new paradigm for reducing the environmental footprint of ruminants. Parwinder is involved in many cutting-edge collaborative projects utilising high throughput sequencing to investigate biological mysteries of evolution of life on earth. Through multiple landmark studies (e.g. Science, PNAS and more), her research published new insights into biological mysteries of the genome spatial structure and architecture.

Parwinder, a highly prolific author, has published more than 50 papers and led multiple major initiatives across agricultural and environmental biotechnology to enhance Australian research capacity and translation for broad benefit to the scientific and wider community. She has founded ExPlanta Pty Ltd, a spin-out company merging tech with science to develop bio-engineering solutions, natural compounds for human and animal health products. Parwinder’s work is a demonstration of the innovation and all-round impact that can be achieved through research partnerships between universities, industry, community, NGOs and government.

Parwinder has been recognised by several awards including the prestigious “Science and Innovation Award” by the Australian Academy of Sciences (2013), Microsoft's AI for Earth award (2019), Superstars of STEM (2021) and featured as a Role Model for the Medical Science module on Techtrails by WiTWA (2020) and international ambassador for GirlsXTech.

Her guiding mantra is “Never be afraid to achieve, afraid to learn and explore new dimensions in life. Everything is simple if you break it down.”


  • –present
    Associate Professor, University of Western Australia


  • 2011 
    The University of Western Australia, PhD (Plant Biology)


“Science and Innovation Award” for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry by the Australian Academy of Sciences in 2013