Jakob Butler

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Jakob Butler

Postdoctoral research fellow

Room 372d , Life Sciences Building

Dr Jakob Butler is a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Natural Sciences. He is interested in the application of genomics towards the study of adaptation in eucalypts and phenology in pulses.

Career summary



Studies of eucalypt genetic and genomic architecture

University of Tasmania



BBiolSc (1st Class Hons)

The effect of shading on biofilm community structure and composition in the Broken Creek in Nathalia

La Trobe University



View more on Dr Jakob Butler in WARP


  • Linkage mapping
  • QTL analysis
  • Genome-environment association
  • Bioinformatics

Research Themes

Jakob’s research aligns to the University’s research theme of Environment, Resources and Sustainability. His research primarily focuses on the use of genomics to enhance investigations into different aspects of plant communities and physiology. Specifically, Jakob’s research has been focused on the Australian eucalypts, examining gene family divergence, disease resistance, genomic architecture and environmental adaptation. As part of a separate project, Jakob is also examining phenology in lentils and chickpea, two pulse crops of importance for food security. By incorporating genomic data alongside field and laboratory trials, Jakob hopes to characterise causes of variation in flowering time, which will assist pulse breeders in their goals of plant improvement.


D.G. Catcheside Prize (2019) – Awarded by the Genetics Society of Australasia to the top Australasian doctoral student in the field of genetics

Current projects

  • The genomics of climate adaptation in eucalypts (Australian Research Council Discovery Project)
  • Improving the adaption and profitability of high value pulses (chickpea and lentil) across Australian agroecological zones (Grains Research and Development Corporation)

Fields of Research

  • Genetics (310599)
  • Genomics and transcriptomics (310204)
  • Plant physiology (310806)
  • Crop and pasture improvement (incl. selection and breeding) (300406)
  • Genomics (310509)
  • Behavioural ecology (310301)
  • Agroforestry (300701)
  • Phylogeny and comparative analysis (310410)
  • Plant developmental and reproductive biology (310804)
  • Developmental genetics (incl. sex determination) (310503)
  • Forestry fire management (300706)
  • Gene mapping (310506)
  • Tree improvement (incl. selection and breeding) (300709)
  • Gene expression (incl. microarray and other genome-wide approaches) (310505)
  • Genome structure and regulation (310508)

Research Objectives

  • Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences (280102)
  • Hardwood plantations (260201)
  • Grain legumes (260303)
  • Native forests (260204)
  • Terrestrial biodiversity (180606)
  • Ecosystem adaptation to climate change (190102)
  • Rights to environmental and natural resources (excl. water allocation) (190208)


Jakob has published several studies on characterising the genome of different eucalypt species, with his most cited work reporting on the discovery of several loci in Tasmanian blue gum involved in resistance to the destructive Myrtle rust disease.

Total publications


Journal Article

(12 outputs)
2022Butler JB, Freeman JS, Potts BM, Vaillancourt RE, Kahrood HV, et al., 'Patterns of genomic diversity and linkage disequilibrium across the disjunct range of the Australian forest tree Eucalyptus globulus', Tree Genetics & Genomes, 18 Article 28. ISSN 1614-2950 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s11295-022-01558-7 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1

Co-authors: Freeman JS; Potts BM; Vaillancourt RE


2022Butler JB, Harrison PA, Vaillancourt RE, Steane DA, Tibbits JFG, et al., 'Climate adaptation, drought susceptibility, and genomic-informed predictions of future climate refugia for the Australian forest tree Eucalyptus globulus', Forests, 13, (4) Article 575. ISSN 1999-4907 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3390/f13040575 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Harrison PA; Vaillancourt RE; Steane DA; Potts BM


2022Hernandez MA, Butler JB, Ammitzboll A, Weller JL, Vaillancourt RE, et al., 'Genetic control of the operculum and capsule morphology of Eucalyptus globulus', Annals of Botany, 130, (1) pp. 97-108. ISSN 0305-7364 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/aob/mcac072 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Hernandez MA; Ammitzboll A; Weller JL; Vaillancourt RE; Potts BM


2022Hernandez MA, Butler JB, Ammitzboll H, Freeman JS, O'Reilly-Wapstra J, et al., 'Genetic variation in fire recovery and other fire‑related traits in a global eucalypt species', Tree Genetics & Genomes, 18 Article 42. ISSN 1614-2950 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s11295-022-01572-9 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Hernandez MA; Ammitzboll H; Freeman JS; O'Reilly-Wapstra J; Vaillancourt RE; Potts BM


2022Rajandran V, Ortega R, Vander Schoor JK, Butler JB, Freeman JS, et al., 'Genetic analysis of early phenology in lentil identifies distinct loci controlling component traits', Journal of Experimental Botany pp. erac107. ISSN 0022-0957 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erac107 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Rajandran V; Ortega R; Vander Schoor JK; Freeman JS; Hecht VFG; Murfet IC; Weller JL


2022Williams O, Vander Schoor JK, Butler JB, Ridge S, Sussmilch FC, et al., 'The genetic architecture of flowering time changes in pea from wild to crop', Journal of Experimental Botany, 73, (12) pp. 3978-3900. ISSN 0022-0957 (2022) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1093/jxb/erac132 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Williams O; Vander Schoor JK; Ridge S; Sussmilch FC; Hecht VFG; Weller JL


2021Healey AL, Shepherd M, King GJ, Butler JB, Freeman JS, et al., 'Pests, diseases, and aridity have shaped the genome of Corymbia citriodora', Communications Biology, 4, (1) Article 537. ISSN 2399-3642 (2021) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/s42003-021-02009-0 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Freeman JS; Potts BM; Vaillancourt RE


2019Butler JB, Potts BM, Vaillancourt RE, Lee DJ, Pegg GS, et al., 'Independent QTL underlie resistance to the native pathogen Quambalaria pitereka and the exotic pathogen Austropuccinia psidii in Corymbia', Tree Genetics and Genomes, 15 Article 72. ISSN 1614-2942 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s11295-019-1378-x [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 8

Co-authors: Potts BM; Vaillancourt RE; Freeman JS


2018Butler JB, Freeman JS, Potts BM, Vaillancourt RE, Grattapaglia D, et al., 'Annotation of the Corymbia terpene synthase gene family shows broad conservation but dynamic evolution of physical clusters relative to Eucalyptus', Heredity, 121 pp. 87-104. ISSN 0018-067X (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1038/s41437-018-0058-1 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 9Web of Science - 8

Co-authors: Freeman JS; Potts BM; Vaillancourt RE


2018Calvert J, Baten A, Butler J, Barkla B, Shepherd M, 'Terpene synthase genes in Melaleuca alternifolia: comparative analysis of lineage-specific subfamily variation within Myrtaceae', Plant Systematics and Evolution, 304, (1) pp. 111-121. ISSN 0378-2697 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00606-017-1454-3 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 5Web of Science - 5


2017Butler JB, Vaillancourt RE, Potts BM, Lee DJ, King GJ, et al., 'Comparative genomics of Eucalyptus and Corymbia reveals low rates of genome structural rearrangement', BMC Genomics, 18, (1) Article 397. ISSN 1471-2164 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1186/s12864-017-3782-7 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 15Web of Science - 15

Co-authors: Vaillancourt RE; Potts BM; Freeman JS


2016Butler JB, Freeman JS, Vaillancourt RE, Potts BM, Glen M, et al., 'Evidence for different QTL underlying the immune and hypersensitive responses of Eucalyptus globulus to the rust pathogen Puccinia psidii', Tree Genetics and Genomes, 12, (3) Article 39. ISSN 1614-2942 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s11295-016-0987-x [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 26Web of Science - 24

Co-authors: Freeman JS; Vaillancourt RE; Potts BM; Glen M


Contract Report, Consultant's Report

(1 outputs)
2018Butler J, Potts B, 'More than a score: 21 eucalypt species with plantation potential', Camcore, USA, Hobart, Tasmania (2018) [Contract Report]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Potts B


(1 outputs)
2018Butler JB, 'Studies of eucalypt genetic and genomic architecture' (2018) [PhD]

[eCite] [Details]

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



Estimating the population size of the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax fleayi) using modern genetic techniques (2021 - 2022)$14,209
This project will use modern genotyping techniques (DArTseq) and statistical approaches to estimate the effective population size of the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax fleayi). This information will be used to parameterise a state-wide population viability analysis to improve precision of modelled predictions. The project and the associated PVA will address two research priorities identified in the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle recovery plan.
Southern Regional Natural Resource Management Association Inc ($14,209)
Grant - Wedge-tailed Eagle Research Fund
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Pay JM; Butler JB; Burridge CP
2021 - 2022
Improving the adaption and profitability of high value pulses (chickpea and lentil) across Australian agroecological zones (2019 - 2024)$4,750,000
This project aims to gain a better understanding of how environment and genetics interact to affect the timing of crop growth and development (phenology), and ultimately determine crop performance. It will develop a national strategy to address this question, generating new information and leveraging insights from world-leading research and breeding programs internationally. It will systematically characterize the genetic and physiological variation in phenology in Australia's two major high-value pulse crops; chickpea and lentil. Work will combine intensive research in controlled conditions with extensive field trials across Australian production environments and genomic analyses, to identify existing and novel variation, and document its contribution to yield in diverse locations, generating detailed performance data, genetic markers and models that will guide the development and deployment of new varieties.
Grains Research & Development Corporation ($4,750,000)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Weller JL; Vander Schoor JK; James L; Ortega Martinez R; Butler JB
2019 - 2024
Eucalypt Species Survey Project (2018)$10,300
Undertake a literature review to find lesser-known lesser-tested eucalypt species which may be of interest to Camcore members, and summarize what is know about their range, silviculture, and any information from places in the world where the species has been investigated.
North Carolina State University ($10,300)
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Potts BM; Butler JB

Research Supervision

Jakob is currently co-supervising one honours student studying phenology in pea, and one PhD student studying fire and drought adaptation in Tasmanian blue gum.




PhDLinking Phenotype to Genotype in Forest Trees2020
PhDGenetic Control of Flowering Time in Lentil2021
PhDComparative Genetic Analysis of Adaptive Developmental Traits in Legume Crops2021