Isidore Houaga



I hold BSc and Msc in Animal health and production at the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin Republic and a PhD in molecular biology and biotechnology from the Pan African University Institute for Basic Sciences, technology and Innovation (PAUSTI) in Kenya in 2018. During my PhD, I investigated the association of polymorphisms in major milk proteins and milk fat genes with milk production traits in indigenous Borgou and White Fulani cattle breeds in Benin. I took up later a position as Junior Research Scientist in Animal Genetics and Breeding at CIRDES, a livestock development research and capacity development institute in Burkina Faso.

I’m currently a Royal Society Newton International Fellow based at the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH) and the Highlander Lab with interests in quantitative genetics and genomics, Statistical modelling, and Breeding programme design and optimisation. My current project has two principal components: (i) animal breeding and quantitative genetics and ii) connection and application of animal breeding tools to livestock genetic improvement in Africa through the African Animal Breeding Network and the African Dairy Genetics Gains Programme. I will examine genomic data and phenotypic records of thousands of pure and crossbred dairy cows in East Africa in order to develop a breeding approach that can be used in Africa to produce suitable crossbreds cattle with the desirable production, health and resilience traits required for a range of tropical dairy systems, including single house cow, the smallholder farms and the commercial dairy herds.