Professor Robert Henry, Director of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
|Professor Robert Henry|
BSc (Hons) Qld, MSc (Hons) Macquarie, PhD La Trobe, DSc Qld
Phone: +61 (7) 3346 0551
Fax: +61 (7) 3346 0555
Office: Level 5 John Hines Building (Building #62)
The University of Queensland
St Lucia QLD 4072
Phone: +61 (7) 3346 0550
Areas of responsibility
Professor Henry is Director of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation and is responsible for its strategic directions, scientific appointments, budgets, performance, representation and reporting to stakeholders.
Prior to being appointed QAAFI Director in May 2010, he was Director of the Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics at Southern Cross University, a Centre which he established in 1996. Other previous positions held by Professor Henry include Research Director of the Grain Foods Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) (until 2010) and Research Program Leader in the Queensland Agricultural Biotechnology Centre (until 1996).
Some of his earlier roles include: working with CSIRO on fruit and vegetable biochemistry; being a Cereal Chemist with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries including research into the quality of malt and barley for brewing; a Senior Principal Scientist with the Queensland Wheat Research Institute where he played a major role in grain quality research and a Post Doctoral fellow working on cell biology and genetics at the National Institute of Agrobiological Resources in Japan.
Professor Henry’s speciality research area is the study of agricultural crops using molecular tools. He is particularly interested in Australian flora and plants of economic and social importance and has lead the way in research into genome sequencing to capture novel genetic resources for the diversification of food crops to deliver improved food and energy products.
His work has included the study of DNA-based methods for identification of plants and their pathogens, the development of molecular markers for plant breeding and the genetic transformation of plants. A common focus of much of this work has been the application of DNA technology to the improvement of the quality of crops and agricultural and food products. Analysis of wild plant populations especially in Australia has been used to support their conservation and use in agriculture or forestry. He has also played a significant part in the development of internationally significant methods for the analysis of plant carbohydrates (sugars, starch and cell-wall polysaccharides).