Francis received his Bachelor of Agricultural Science from University College Dublin. He obtained a Master of Science, specialising in the area of Animal Breeding and Genetics, from Purdue University, USA. In 2005, he started working as a geneticist for the ICBF in genetic evaluations and breeding programmes for dairy and beef cattle. In 2008, his work focused on the introduction of routine genomic evaluations for dairy cattle. In 2012, Francis was appointed as the Team Lead for Genomics. Here he has covered many areas relating to the application of genomic selection for livestock improvement, from the development of the customised genotyping array right through to the delivery of genomic services to customers. Francis has acted as a work package leader on many Irish and EU
funded research projects as well as acting as a supervisor for Masters and PhD students.