The main focus of Amelia Henry’s research has been to support the drought trait development pipeline at IRRI. Her research group’s activities include identification of new accessions for drought and direct seeded rice breeding based on physiological mechanisms, dissecting the mechanisms behind major-effect drought-yield QTLs identified by the IRRI drought breeding group, pinpointing genes linked to drought response in rice using transgenics and association panels, and improving basic understanding of water uptake by rice roots under drought with an emphasis on traits affecting root hydraulic properties. Amelia has also engaged in an intensive drought environment and physiological characterization with more than 15 partners at sites across India, Nepal, and Bangladesh to support capacity building for drought screening. These activities are in line with IRRI’s mission to train and collaborate with partners in rice-growing countries to disseminate new technologies and help develop the next generation of rice scientists.
Amelia joined IRRI as a Postdoctoral Fellow - Drought Physiology in 2008. Prior to her being the Research Unit Leader for Traits for Challenged Environments, she was Scientist I (2011-2013), Scientist II (2014-2016), and Senior Scientist I (2017-2020). She serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of the Philippines Los Baños since 2018.
Amelia holds a PhD in Plant Biology from the Pennsylvania State University, USA. She obtained her MS and BSc (Distinction in Research) degrees in Plant Science from Utah State University, USA and Cornell University, USA, respectively.