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About Professor Robert J Henry

Professor Robert J Henry BSc(Hons)(Qld), MSc(Hons)(MACQU), DSc(Qld), PhD(LaT)
Professor Robert Henry studies plants using molecular tools. His interests include the Australian flora and plants of economic or social importance. He is a graduate of the University of Queensland (B Sc (Hons)), Macquarie University (M Sc (Hons)) and La Trobe University (Ph D). He was awarded a higher doctorate (D Sc) by the University of Queensland (UQ) for his work on analysis of variation in plants.
He worked with CSIRO on fruit and vegetable biochemistry and the Queensland Department of Primary Industries(QDPI) as a cereal chemist and became Senior Principal Scientist at the Queensland Wheat Research Institute. His work with the QDPI included assessment of quality in barley for use in malting and brewing and research on the impact of pre-harvest sprouting on the end-use quality of wheat. Many internationally significant methods for the analysis of plant carbohydrates (sugars, starch and cell-wall polysaccharides) were developed at La Trobe University and QDPI.
A Fellowship from the Science and Technology Agency of Japan took him to work on plant molecular biology in the National Institute of Agrobiological Resources. He became Research Program Leader (Plant Biotechnology) at the Queensland Agricultural Biotechnology Centre at the UQ on the establishment of the centre and was appointed Professor of Plant Conservation Molecular Genetics at Southern Cross University to establish the Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics. He was a foundation member of the Program Management Committee of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Tropical Plant Pathology. Prof Henry has been a member of the Market Advisory Group of the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC). He is a past Chairman of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI), Cereal Chemistry Division, member of the Northern Panel of the GRDC, the GRDC board and the Sugar Research and Development Corporation, Plant Improvement Working Party. Robert was a Deputy Director of the CRC for Sustainable Production Forestry. He is also a researcher in the Molecular Plant Breeding CRC, Sugarcane Biotechnology CRC and Forestry CRC. He is Research Director (Genome Technology) in the Grain Foods CRC.
He initiated a large international program of research on grape genomics in 1997. His research interests include, plant molecular biology with a special interest in analysis of plant genomes for plant identification and analysis of biodiversity. 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.
Prof Henry is one of the leading plant scientists in Australia. He is widely recognised internationally and has written and edited several books on plant molecular biology and product quality and published more than 200 refereed scientific papers and more than 400 national and international conference papers. The ISI has identified him as one of the 100 most cited scientists in agriculture in the international scientific literature over the last 20 years. He is a senior editor of the Plant Biotechnology Journal (Blackwell Publishing Ltd), Associate Editor of Conservation Genetics (Springer Science), member of the Editorial Board of Recent Patents on Biotechnology and Open Biotechnology (Bentham Science Ltd). He was made a fellow of the RACI in 1993, received the Guthrie Award in 2000, is Managing Director of Puragrain Pty Ltd and Australian Plants Pty Ltd. Prof Henry established the Australian Plant DNA Bank in 2001, and he is CEO of Australian Plant DNA Bank Ltd.


Present Adjunct Professor, Southern Cross University Southern Cross Plant Science

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Contact Information

PO Box 157
Australia 2480
PhoneL (+61 2) 6620 3010
Fax: (+61 2) 6622 2080


Journal articles (193)