Ahead of the NSW state election on 25 March 2023, the NSW Government caretaker period has commenced. Limited updates will be made to this website during this period.

O'ROURKE, Brendon

Brendon O'Rourke

Research interests

  • Animal genetics
  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Genomics
  • Genetics of muscle development


Brendon is a currently the Molecular Geneticist responsible for the Molecular and Genetics Diagnostic Unit in the State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at EMAI.

He is involved in molecular and genetic diagnostics, animal genetics and genomics and the design of diagnostic tests for genetic diseases.

Brendon has a special interest in the development of diagnostic tests for genetic and infectious diseases of domestic livestock. As part of his work our laboratories continue to develop cutting-edge tests to support livestock industries by identifying genetic flaws and providing industries with the tools to manage the prevalence of these flaws in the national herds and flocks.

He leads the first response team responsible for molecular identification of geographical origins from incursions; for example Didemo (Rock Snot) and invasive sea squirts. His team are at readiness for emergency disease outbreaks. His fields of research include animal breeding, animal growth and development and veterinary diagnosis and diagnostics.


  • Bachelor of Science with Honours - BSc(Hon) - University of Western Sydney - 1997
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - University of Melbourne - 2010

Recent publications

O'Rourke BA, Greenwood PL, Arthur PF, Goddard ME. Inferring the recent ancestry of myostatin alleles affecting muscle mass in cattle. Animal Genetics doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2012.02354.x.

O'Rourke BA, Dennis JA, Healy PJ, McKiernan WA, Greenwood PL, Cafe LM, Perry D, Walker KH, Marsh I, Parnell PF, Arthur PF. Quantitative analysis of performance, carcass and meat quality traits in cattle from two Australian beef herds in which a null myostatin allele is segregating. Animal Production Science 2009;49:297-305.

O'Rourke BA, Dennis JA, Healy PJ. Internal restriction sites: quality assurance aids in genotyping. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation 2006;18:195-197.

Xu Z, O'Rourke BA, Skurray RA, Brown MH. Role of transmembrane segment 10 in efflux mediated by the staphylococcal multidrug transport protein QacA. Journal of Biological Chemistry 2006;281:792-799.

O'Toole D, Montgomery DL, Steadman L, O'Rourke B, Russell W, Dennis J. Status spongiosus of white matter in newborn Gelbvieh-cross calves. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation 2005;17:546-553.

Wang K, Turton T, O’Rourke B, Evtushenko M, Hair H. Viral Removal. US Patent Application Number 10/388,308. Filing Date 13 March 2003.

Marsh IB, Whittington RJ, O'Rourke B, Hyatt AD, Chisholm O. Rapid differentiation of Australian, European and American ranaviruses based on variation in major capsid protein gene sequence. Molecular and Cellular Probes 2002;16:137-151.

Firth N, Apisiridej S, Berg T, O'Rourke BA, Curnock S, Dyke KG, Skurray RA. Replication of staphylococcal multiresistance plasmids. Journal of Bacteriology 2000;182:2170-2178.

Professional associations and activities

  • Association for Advancement of Animal Breeding and Genetics
  • International Society of Animal Genetics

Fields of research

  • 070201 Animal Breeding
  • 070202 Animal Growth and Development
  • 070703 Veterinary Diagnosis and Diagnostics

Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification (ANZSRC)

Contact details

Email: brendon.o'rourke@dpi.nsw.gov.au