Beta Bugs News

Quantitative Genetics and Genomics Gordon Research Conference

Gordon Research Conference

Quantitative Genetics and Genomics

Gordon Research Conference

Leveraging High-Throughput Phenotyping Techniques to Study Complex Traits



gordon research centre logo

Conference Description

The Quantitative Genetics and Genomics GRC is a premier, international scientific conference focused on advancing the frontiers of science through the presentation of cutting-edge and unpublished research, prioritizing time for discussion after each talk and fostering informal interactions among scientists of all career stages.


Who is Dr Maria Martinez Castillero?

Maria Martinez Castillero

Dr Maria Martinez Castillero is the Genetics Manager at Beta Bugs, which sees her leading on the genetic improvement of Beta Bugs’ Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia Illucens) lines. She has also contributed to Beta Bugs’ insect farming publication – Beta Buzz, with a series of articles relating to genetics along with the current state of Breeding Programme within Beta Bugs.

Further to the above, Maria’s role sees her contributing to the research community, working with academic partners, and attending various conferences and symposiums where she has previously presented the work done within Beta Bugs and the Breeding Programme.



Attending the Gordon Conference in Quantitative Genetics and Genomics

Maria at the Gordon Conference
Maria outside the Gordon Research Conference

During Maria’s attendance at the World Congress in Genetics and Genomics 2022, held in Rotterdam, she was invited to give a presentation at the Gordon Research Conference in quantitative genetics and genomics about the research work she had done at Beta Bugs and the Roslin Institute. Given this exciting opportunity, we asked Maria to give us a synopsis of her experience attending such a prestigious, international conference, which focused on quantitative genetics and genomics.

The Gordon Research Conference in Quantitative Genetics and Genomics is an international scientific conference where leaders in the field present cutting-edge and unpublished research. The conference program includes a diverse range of speakers and discussion leaders from institutions and organizations worldwide, concentrating on the latest developments in the field.

This year (2023) the Gordon Research Conference was held in Ventura, California (United States) at the Four Points Sheraton / Holiday Inn Express. As Maria was traveling from Scotland, in the United Kingdom, the trip to Ventura was long and followed a series of flights until finally arriving at the destination. Nevertheless, Maria describes the whole experience as ‘once in a lifetime’.

The conference was held over five days, in a remote and picturesque setting, with all meals freshly prepared for delegates – whom were all leaders in their fields.

Maria’s presentation “Implementation of Genetics, Technology and Strategies for Black Soldier Fly Production”, focused on insect genetics, challenges faced and various strategies and technologies able to overcome said challenges. The presentation highlighted the impressive work done within the Breeding Programme during the past year within Beta Bugs, alongside research done at the Roslin Institute.

Gordon Conference venue
The Gordon Research Conference venue – Four Points Sheraton / Holiday Inn Express


HiPer-Fly®️ and the Breeding Programme at Beta Bugs

HiPer-Fly®️ is Beta Bugs’ elite Black Soldier Fly egg product and is part of the Breeding Programme which Maria has been developing. HiPer-Fly®️ is bred with a main focus on quantity traits that increase producer yield. Therefore, by continuingly improving HiPer-Fly®️, Maria and the team at Beta Bugs have been able to develop processes in the breeding programme to ensure consistency over time and build a standardised environment which highlights any deviation from the plan, which in turn allows Beta Bugs to adhere to the highest possible standards.



Beta Buzz #3

Beta Bugs CEO, Thomas Farrugia introduces the much anticipated Beta Buzz #3

We have pulled together content in the form of articles and perspectives which show how insect protein is coming online – these include contributions from Pronuvo, who are farming Black Soldier Fly in Costa Rica (pg 39/40), Dr. Ing. Teun Veldkamp from the University of Wagenigen gives an overview of the EU’s SUSINCHAIN project (pg 19/20) and perspectives on insect farming from John Kirkpatrick at Tesco (pg 27/30). In addition, we have guest pieces from the Beta Bugs team on Black Soldier Fly genetics (pg 35/36) and regulatory landscapes (pg 41/42).
Lastly, our technology and service providers showcase features a range of new companies and technologies to help you set up your Black Soldier Fly farm, so that you too can play your part in our industry.

Happy reading!

Beta Bugs Limited