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Prof. Dan Macqueen
Personal Chair of Integrative Fish Genomics

Research interests


My interests span genomics and genome biology, evolutionary biology, animal health, immunology, and pathogens. I apply my research towards improvements in the aquaculture sector. I work on mostly on fish and their pathogens, and am particularly interested in the salmonid family, where all species share an ancestral whole genome duplication.


I collaborate with many awesome scientists around the world!


Biography and current position

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 salmonids and the complexity that duplicated genomes brings to evolution. After gaining a PhD in 2008, I stayed on in St Andrews for post-doctoral positions before moving to the University of Aberdeen in 2013 as a Lecturer. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2015 and to a Readership in 2018.


In late 2018, I moved to my current role at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, where I am a Group Leader.  I was promoted to Personal Chair of Integrative Fish Genomics in 2020.  In 2022, I acted as the Head of the former Division of Genetics and Genomics.


Current internal leadership roles:

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, though constantly injured, and the odd dram of fine whisky.


Representative external roles: 

  • 2020-25. BBSRC Pool of Experts

  • 2024. Scientific Committee for fifth International Conference on the Integrative Biology of Salmonids

  • 2023 & 24. Panel Member. Genome BC. GeneSolve Program.

  • 2023. PhD External Examiner. University of Tasmania

  • 2023. PhD External Examiner. Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling.

  • 2022. Panel Member. Genome BC. Genomic Innovation for Regenerative Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Program.

  • 2022. Committee member - Habilitation Defence - Camille Berthelot (Institut Pasteur)

  • 2022. PhD External Examiner. Animal Breeding and Genomics Group, Wageningen University

  • 2021 & 22. Panel Member. Norwegian Research Council. Collaborative & Knowledge Building call.

  • 2019-2023 Co-coordinator of £5.3M European Commission H2020 Project ‘AQUA-FAANG: Advancing European Aquaculture by Genome Functional Annotation’.

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

  • 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 (

  • 2019. Chair of Evaluation Committee for Associate Professor position in functional genomics, Norwegian University of Life Sciences

  • 2018-2022:  Editorial Board Member, G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics

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

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

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

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

  • 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". 

  • Grant reviewer for many different funders, e.g.: BBSRC, NERC, ANR, Leverhulme Trust, Genome BC, NSERC, DEFRA, NRC, Flanders (Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen, FWO), Israel Science Foundation, Austrian Science Fund, Graduate Women in Science and the Physiological Society.

  • Peer reviewer for many different journals e.g. Molecular Biology and Evolution, Genome Research, Nature Communications, Genome Biology and Evolution, Microbial Genomics, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, GigaScience, Evolution, Proceedings B, Evolutionary Applications, BMC Genomics, BMC Evolutionary Biology, Heredity, Proteomics, J. Proteomics, Molecular Ecology, Molecular Ecology Resources, etc.

Selected recent invited talks


2024. 'All things fish: genomic perspectives from food security to evolution'. Departmental Seminar: Trinity College Dublin (Smurfit Institute of Genetics). 12th Jan 2024.  Hosted by Prof. Aoife McLysaght

2023. ‘Functional annotation of fish genomes: towards precision aquaculture breeding founded on biological understanding’ 1st aquaculture seed industry professional forum. 30th China Beijing seed Industry Conference. 11th Sept 2023.


2023. 'Harnessing single cell transcriptomics to understand and improve salmon performance and health'. Webinar: Understanding and improving salmon performance. Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre. 21st June 2023.

2023. 'Prospects of Genomic Epidemiology as a Tool to Support Viral Disease Control in Aquaculture'. PHARMAQademy UK 2023. Inverness, 7-8th Feb 2023.


2023'Comprehensive functional annotation and comparative analysis of the duplicated genomes of salmonid fishes. Plant and Animal Genomes Conference 30, San Diego - Jan 13-18th 2023. Functional Annotations of Animal Genomes (FAANG) Workshop. 

2022. 'Genomic Epidemiology of Salmonid Alphavirus in Norwegian Aquaculture'. PHARMAQademy. Precision Aquaculture Health: Genetic Epidemiology in Fish Farming (22nd March 2022)


2021. 'Fishing into fish Genomics: from evolution to applications. HiLife Life Sciences Webinar series, University of Helsinki. Hosted by Dr Jukka-Pekka Verta.


2021. 'Genomic epidemiology of SAV2 in Norwegian aquaculture from 2018 to 2020'. AquaNor PHARMAQademy session (26th August 2021)

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