Access and benefit sharing for biological research in Queensland

Topic: Most biological research requires access to biological material.  This involves use of material in existing biological collections or collection of new material.  In this presentation Robert Henry will focus on his experiences in accessing biological material for work on wild and domesticated plants with an emphasis on the perspectives of a Queensland researcher navigating the Convention on Biodiversity, The FAO Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources, the Queensland Bio-discovery Act, The Nagoya Protocols, Plant Breeders Rights, and Patents to obtain samples for research.  Dealing with these issues requires some understanding of the importance of benefit sharing with indigenous people, conservation of biodiversity (especially for rare and endangered species), intellectual property and food security considerations for crop wild relatives.

Contact: UQ Faculty of Science
Science Research Management Team

Professor Robert Henry
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, The University of Queensland

DNA-based methods for identification of plants and their pathogens, development of molecular markers for plant breeding and the genetic transformation of plants, 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, to support their conservation & use in agriculture or forestry, development of significant methods for analysis of plant carbohydrates (sugars, starch & cell-wall polysaccharides)

Professor Robert Henry, is a graduate of the University of Queensland, B Sc (Hons), Macquarie University, M Sc (Hons) and La Trobe University (Ph D). In 2000 Professor Henry was awarded a higher doctorate (D Sc) by UQ for his work on analysis of variation in plants.

Before 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; 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 led the way in research into genome sequencing to capture novel genetic resources for the diversification of food crops to deliver improved food products.