Dr. Thomas Odong
School of Agricultural Sciences, Makerere University

Dr. Thomas Odong’s areas of expertise include Biometry (Applied Statistics), Research Methods, Statistical genetics and Bioinformatics. He has over 10 years of extensive experiences in Biometry/statistical consulting and lecturing. He has been providing technical backstopping in areas of study design and data analysis to several local and international researchers.   At the moment, Dr. Odong is a lecturer at the School of Agricultural Sciences, Makerere University where he teaches applied statistics, Population and Quantitative Genetics. As a visiting lecturer, Thomas has taught at University of Zimbabwe (2007), University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (2014) and University of Namibia (2014). His research interests include, among others, developing statistical techniques for improving access to genetic resources stored in genebanks/germplasm collections around the world. He is also interested in exploring how Next Generation Sequencing data can be used to understand the genetic structure of germplasm collections which is currently based on neutral molecular markers.

 

Dr. Odong’s humble academic journey started at Makerere University where he graduated in year 2000 with a BSc. Agriculture (First Class).  Immediately after graduation, he moved to the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal (S. Africa) to pursue an MSc in Biometry (Applied Statistics). He successfully completed the MSc in 2003. In the academic 2005/2006, Dr. Odong was a visiting Scholar at Michigan State University where he did several courses in advanced statistics. Dr. Odong then moved to Wageningen University, the Netherlands in 2007 to pursue a 4-year PhD in Statistical Genetics under the supervision of Prof. Fred van Eeuwijk. From his thesis, “Quantitative Sampling of Germplasm Collections – Getting the best out of molecular markers when creating core collections”, five papers were published in peer-reviewed journals. The five papers from his PhD thesis have in total 75 citations (http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=b-ah3uEAAAAJ&hl=en). One of these papers won “The 2014 Outstanding Paper in Plant Genetic Resources award” of the American Crop Science Society (https://www.wageningenur.nl/en/newsarticle/CSSA-award-2014-for-PhD-Thomas-Odong.htm).  From December 2011 to June 2013, Dr. Odong was awarded a post-doctoral research fellowship under Ecological and Evolutionary Functional Genomic Project at the Laboratory of Bioinformatics at Wageningen University. As a Post-doc, Dr. Odong worked on SNP discovery using Next Generation Sequencing Data. He usedthe discovered SNPs to explore evidence of evolution along the genome of Arabis Alpina, a model plant.  For more information check his personal website www.freewebs.com/tlodong