University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Vienna
Johann (Hans) Sölkner is a full professor of animal breeding and population genetics and head of Institute of Livestock Sciences. His main interest is genetic improvement of livestock populations by applying statistic and bioinformatic techniques, finding ways of combining high tech (genomic) as well as low tech (simple breeding programs) solutions. In Austria, his expertise has been critical for establishing national breeding programs for cattle and pig populations and genomic prediction procedures for very many traits. In Africa and Latin America, together with local partners, he has had a key role in establishing the concept of community-based breeding programs (CBBP), aiming at increasing the productivity and profitability of indigenous breeds without undermining their resilience and genetic diversity, and without expensive interventions. This concept is very important for combatting hunger in economically disadvantaged societies. Hans considers the current times great, with so many things to be tested, learned and better understood.