Dr Dan Macqueen: Group Leader | Reader

Research interests


My interests cross-cut genomes, evolution, physiology, and phylogenetics. I have a passion for fishes, particularly the salmonid family, where all members share an ancestral whole genome duplication (WGD) event. Much of my groups research is focused on salmonid health, physiology, genomics and evolution.


I am applying my research towards improvements in the UK salmon aquaculture industry.


I collaborate with some pretty awesome scientists around the world.


I graduated with a first class BSc in Marine Biology from the University of Plymouth in 2003. I moved to St Andrews in 2004 to start a NERC-funded PhD project, under the supervision of Prof. Ian Johnston FRSE,  investigating the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying phenotypic plasticity during muscle development in Atlantic salmon. I gained a love for salmonid genomes and the evolutionary complexity a duplicated genome brings to the table. After gaining a PhD in 2008, I stayed on in St Andrews for post-doctoral positions before moving to the University of Aberdeen in Jan 2013 as a Lecturer. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2015 and to a Readership position in Aug 2018. In Oct 2018 I moved to my current role at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, where I am a Group Leader and Reader.


Outside work , I am involved in a life-long collaboration with Ruth Macqueen (#legend), with the overarching objective to raise our two children - I enjoy running, coaching junior footie and the odd dram of fine whisky.

Representative external roles 

  • 2020. BBSRC Pool of Experts, Evolutionary Biology

  • 2019, Co-coordinator of £5.3M European Commission H2020 Project ‘AQUA-FAANG: Advancing European Aquaculture by Genome Functional Annotation’.

  • 2019. Panel Member. Joint BBSRC-NERC GCRF Research Translation Call

  • Chair of local organisation committee for the fourth International Conference on the Integrative Biology of Salmonids. Edinburgh, Nov 2019 (https://www.icisb.org/)

  • Ongoing:  Editorial Board Member, G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, Scientific Reports

  • 2019. PhD External Examiner. Department of Integrative Biology. The University of Guelph.

  • 2018. PhD External Examiner. The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. 

  • 2017. PhD External Examiner.  Institute of Marine Research, University of Bergen. 

  • 2016. PhD External Examiner.  Department of Zoology, University of Oxford. 

  • 2019. Chair of Scientific Evaluation Committee for - Tenure track Associate Professor position within functional genomics, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

  • 2018Panel Member for Norwegian Research Council. BIOTEK2021 call for Projects associated with "Digital life – Convergence for Innovation". 

  • 2016. Panel Member. ERA-Net COFASP-Marine Biotechnology projects (third call) (under EU 7th Framework Programme).

  • 2016. Panel Member for Norwegian Research Council. BIOTEK2021 call for Optimization Projects.

  • 2016. Panel Member for Norwegian Research Council. BIOTEK2021 call for Projects associated with "Digital life – Convergence for Innovation". 

  • Recent grant review for NERC, BBSRC, NSERC, DEFRA, NRC, Flanders (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen, FWO), Austrian Science Fund, Graduate Women in Science and the Physiological Society.

  • Peer review for 41 different journals (including: MBE, GBE, MPE, GigaScience, Proceedings B, BMC Genomics, BMC Evol Biol, G3, Heredity, Proteomics etc.)

  • 2017. Invited member of ARCH-UK (Aquaculture Research Collaborative Hub for the UK) for working group 5 (Stock improvement)

  • Ongoing: Consultant for Xelect Ltd

Selected invited talks

2019. ‘Genome duplication and diversification: insights served with salmon’. The University of Bristol. Hosted by Dr Tom Williams. 

2018. ‘Advanced sequencing diagnostics of salmon viral disease reveals unrecognized strain diversity affecting aquaculture’. Infectious disease diagnosis symposium - University of Edinburgh.


2018.  ‘Farmed Fish Integrative Genomics’. The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. Hosted by Prof. Mick Watson.


2017. ‘Growth and immune function cross-talk: Insights from studies of salmonid fish’. Institute of Marine Research, Bergen. Hosted by Dr Anna Wargelius.


2017. ‘Linking evolution and function through genomes – Fishing for Insights’. The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. Hosted by Dr Ross Houston.​

2016.  ‘The salmon of knowledge: from food to genome evolution’. Seminar: Department of Zoology , University of Oxford. Hosted by Prof. Peter Holland FRS.

2016. 'Lineage-specific evolution after the salmonid genome duplication'. 3rd International Conference on Integrative Salmonid Biology, Puerto Varas, Chile. April 24 -27, 2016.


2016. 'Fantastic fish: integrative insights into physiology, genomes and evolution'. Seminar: Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Aberdeen. Hosted by Prof. Stefan Hoppler.

2015. ‘Evolution by genome doubling: phylogenomic insights from salmonid fish’. Seminar: Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway. Hosted by Dr Simen Sandve.

2015.  ‘The role of genome duplication in the evolution and diversification of salmonid fish’. Society for Experimental Biology Satellite Meeting, Prague, Czech Republic, June 29 2015.

2015. Keynote: 'Genome duplication and the evolution of eukaryotic life. International Student Research Forum. University of Aberdeen, 19-23 July 2015.