Judith Lichtenzveig

Judith Lichtenzveig

Dr, BSc, MSc, PhD

  • The University of Western Australia (M080), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth

    Australia

  • Source: Scopus
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Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests include:

  • Genetics and evolution of grain crops and their wild ancestors
  • Molecular plant-pathogen interactions
  • Co-evolution of plants and microbes
  • Genetics of environmental effects on plant response to pathogens and plant reproductive phenology

Biography

I was born in Argentina, where I spent my childhood. I undertook my higher education in Israel. Completed my BSc in life sciences by the gorgeous Negev desert and got interested in plants and their adaptation to seasonal changes. I struggled with undergraduate genetics. So of course, I decided to do two postgraduate degrees in genetics. My MSc was on interspecific compatibilities of climbing cacti of economic importance and got to make crosses with large flowers, which only open at twilight, and develop into "dragon-fruits", or pitaya. My PhD project was on genetics and epidemiology of chickpea response a detrimental fungal disease, Ascochyta blight. Throughout my studies, I was lucky to have great mentors. Then and since, I have gained experienced in a broad range of genetic approaches and methodologies, including classical, quantitative, and molecular genetics, cytogenetics and chromosomal pairing, breeding and whole-multi-genome analyses; plant pathology and epidemiology; as well as, experimental design and analyses of complex traits. Currently, our team focuses on gene flow between annual species, gene introgressions from wild to cultivated crops, and on the effects of temperature and light quality on plant responses against pathogens and on reproductive phenology. I love teaching and I am committed to advancing higher education, seeking and practicing ways to improve teaching and learning approaches, and to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Roles and responsibilities

2022-present Alistair Hockey (School of Agriculture and Environment, UWA): “Gene flow between Cicer annual species”. HDR ongoing. Lichtenzveig's role: Principal Supervisor.

2018-2021 Ms Maria Indah Purnamasari (School of Agriculture and Environment, UWA): “Evolution of the plant response to light spectra in the Brassicaceae” PhD awarded. Lichtenzveig's role: Co-Supervisor.

2012-2017 Chala J. Turo (Curtin University): “Molecular Characterization of the interaction between the fungal pathogen Didymella pinodes and field pea (Pisum sativum)” PhD awarded. Lichtenzveig's role: Principal Supervisor.

2007-2013 Francis Kessie (Murdoch University): “Dissection of genetic components in plant-host interaction in the Pea Blackspot pathosystem” PhD awarded. Lichtenzveig's role: Co-Supervisor.

2006-2014 Angela William (Murdoch University & CSIRO): “A genomic survey and prediction of the infection strategies employed by Phoma medicaginis var. medicaginis, a fungal pathogen of alfalfa and the model legume Medicago truncatula” PhD awarded. Lichtenzveig's role: Co-Supervisor.

2006-2010 Kefan Peng (UWA & CSIRO): “Genetic basis of aphid resistance in Medicago truncatula against spotted alfalfa aphid” PhD awarded. Lichtenzveig's role: Co-Supervisor.

2022-present Montana Walsh-Baddeley (School of Agriculture and Environment, UWA): “Temperature regulated transition to functional reproduction in chickpea”. MSc ongoing. Lichtenzveig's role: Principal Supervisor.

2021 Mr Alistair Hockey (School of Agriculture and Environment, UWA): “Insights into genetic barriers to hybridisation between chickpea and its close wild relative, Cicer echinospermum P.H. Davis”. MSc with High Distinction. Lichtenzveig's role: Principal Supervisor.

2013 King-Yin Liu (Curtin University) “Identification of necrosis inducing compounds produced by the fungal plant pathogen, Ascochyta lentis” First Class Honours. Lichtenzveig's role: Principal Supervisor.

Funding overview

2020 UWA00175.var3 component “Chilling tolerance at reproductive stage in chickpea” (Grains Research and Development Corporation, GRDC funds: $200,000; 2 years) Principal Investigators (PIs): J. Lichtenzveig (UWA) and J. Croser (UWA); Project Supervisor (PS): J. Croser (UWA).

2019 “Application of genomic tools for chia and quinoa improvement” (Northern Australia Crop research Alliance, NACRA, consultancy funds: $70,000; 1 year) PIs: J. Lichtenzveig (UWA) and J. Croser (UWA); PS: J. Croser (UWA).

2018 UWA00175.var2 “Barriers to gene flow from the wild Cicer into chickpea” (GRDC funds: $175,150; 3 years) PIs: J. Lichtenzveig (UWA) and J. Croser (UWA); PS: J. Croser (UWA).

2018 UWA00175.var1 “Chilling tolerance at reproductive stage in chickpea” (GRDC funds: $298,425; 3 years)PIs: J. Lichtenzveig (UWA) and J. Croser (UWA); PS: J. Croser (UWA).

2014 “Gene pool expansion and integrated ASSD approach to speed breeding and enhance adaptive potential in chickpea” (GRDC funds: AUD2.3m; 5 years) PIs: J. Lichtenzveig (Curtin University) and J. Croser (UWA); PS: J. Lichtenzveig (Curtin University).

2014 “CCDM Program 7: Ascochyta blight of pulses” (GRDC funds: AUD4.72m; 5 years) as part of the formation of the Centre for Crop and Disease Management (CCDM) PI: J. Lichtenzveig (Curtin University), J. Davidson (SARDI), R. Ford (Griffiths University); PS: Lichtenzveig (Curtin University).

2013 “Managing on-farm biosecurity risk through pre-emptive breeding: the case of rust in field pea and lentil” (GRDC funds: AUD750,000; 5 years) PIs: J. Lichtenzveig (Curtin University), D. Rubiales (IAS, CSIC, Spain), T. Leonforte (VIC-DPI), Seid-Ahmed Kemal (ICARDA, Ethiopia), R. Chand (Banaras Hindu University, India), B Shiying (Yunnan Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China) PS: J. Lichtenzveig (Curtin University).

2013 “An international collaborative effort to sequence the genome of field pea (Pisum sativum) a key tool for future breeding” (GRDC funds: AUD100,000; 2.5 years) as part of the International Consortium for the Pea Genome Sequence led by Prof Burstin (INRA, Dijon), international funds over AUD4m. PIs: J. Lichtenzveig (Curtin University), D. Edwards (UWA) and J. Batley (UWA); PS: J. Lichtenzveig (Curtin University).

2011 “New technologies and biological concepts for pre-breeding resistance to the Ascochyta blight diseases of pea, chickpea, lentil and faba bean” (GRDC funds: AUD1.35m for 5 years). PIs: J. Lichtenzveig (Curtin University), R. Ford (Melbourne University) and R. Oliver (Curtin University); PS: Lichtenzveig (Curtin University).

Previous positions

2018-present Senior Research Fellow at the School of Agriculture and Environment, Faculty of Science, The University of Western Australia.

2017-present Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the School of Agriculture and Environment, The University of Western Australia.

2015-2017 Senior Research Academic and Lead Investigator in Pulse Pathology and Genetics, Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University.

2012 – 2015 Senior Lecturer and Lead Investigator in Pulse Pathology and Genetics, Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University.

2010 – 2011 Post-doc Research Associate – at the ACNFP/Curtin led by Prof Richard Oliver, Department of Environment and Agriculture, Curtin University.

2007 - 2010 Research Associate – joint position at Prof Karam Singh’s lab at CSIRO Plant Industry and Prof Oliver’s ACNFP/Murdoch University.

2003 - 2007 Research Associate – Joint position at Prof Karam Singh’s lab at CSIRO Plant Industry, Prof Oliver’s ACNFP/Murdoch University and Prof Kadambot Siddique at the Centre for Legumes in Mediterranean Agriculture (CLIMA) at the University of Western Australia (UWA).

1997– 2003 Teaching Assistant — Department of Field Crops, Vegetables and Genetics, HUJ, Israel. Units: “Principles of Genetics” and “Statistics and Experimental Designs”.

1994 -1997 Teaching Assistant — Department of Life Science, BGUN, Israel. Units: “Microbiology” and “Biochemistry”.

1991 – 1994 Laboratory Assistant — Prof Mizrahi’s Laboratory, Inst. of Applied Research, BGUN, Israel.

Teaching overview

AGRI1001 Feeding the World

SICE4002 Integrated Topics in Genetics I

AGRI5502 Cases in Breeding and Plant Biotechnology

MSc-Agriculture course specialisation Genetics and Breeding coordinator

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