Dr. István Szalay
director, deputy director of gene conservation
He has been working in HáGK and its legal predecessors (the last one was KÁTKI, till 2013) since 1980. He was director of the institute between 1992 and 2000 then has been again since 2010 when KÁTKI became once more an autonomous institution as a gene conservation centre for farm animal genetic resources. At present he is the director of HáGK. As a scientific consultant of the institution, his main fields of research include poultry genetics, gene conservation of farm animal breeds, in situ gene bank maintenance of traditional Hungarian poultry breeds; ecological type livestock management, studying the sustainable use of Hungarian poultry in underprivileged regions of Southeast Asia (Research for Development – R&D). His former fields of interest were connected to poultry cytogenetics, embryology, in vivo poultry gene bank methods and organic poultry husbandry.
He has been directing the gene conservation and breed protection works of the institute since the foundation of KÁTKI’s poultry gene bank in 1990. He is the founding chairman of the official breeding organisation of Old Hungarian poultry breeds in Hungary: the Association of Hungarian Small Animal Breeders for Gene Conservation (MGE) founded in 1997. He leads the HU-BA (Hungaricum poultry: i.e. poultry as Hungarian specialty) production and model village programmes, as well as programmes aiming the gene rescue of traditional farm animal breeds of the Carpathian Basin.
He has been honorary university professor in the Budapest Corvinus University (BCE) since 2006 and in the University of Western-Hungary (NyME) since 2009. He is scientific supervisor and course leader in PhD schools of three Hungarian universities.