Peter Visscher was born in The Netherlands from Dutch and English parents. He moved to Edinburgh in 1987 for an MSc and subsequent PhD in animal breeding and genetics, working on the estimation of genetic parameters in large livestock pedigrees. A postdoctoral period in Melbourne was followed by a return to Edinburgh, where he developed methods to map genetic loci underlying complex traits. In 1995 he moved to a faculty position at the University of Edinburgh, developing gene mapping methods and software tools, with practical applications in livestock and human populations. Visscher joined the Queensland Institute of Medical Research in 2005 and in 2011 moved to the University of Queensland where he is Professor and Chair of Quantitative Genetics.