Welch is a plant physiologist and Lead Scientist employed at the USDA-ARS, Robert W. Holley Research Center for Agriculture and Health, located on the Cornell University campus.
Welch's research is directed at improving the nutritional quality and safety of food crops for humans using sustainable food-based system approaches. His Laboratory's mission is to closely link agricultural production to human health and nutrition issues. His current efforts focus on improving micronutrient bioavailability and density of limiting micronutrients in edible portions of important food crops. He is also interested in improving the nutritional quality and increasing health promoting substances (e.g., selenium, vitamin E, ascorbate) in fruits, nuts and vegetables, and in developing holistic food system solutions to malnutrition globally. Reducing the accumulation of toxic heavy metals (e.g., Cd) in edible seeds and grains is also a research focus of his. He was a co-organizer of the Food Systems for Improved Health (FSIH) program within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University, and has cooperative international research programs with colleagues in Australia, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Egypt, and Turkey. He also cooperates with several CGIAR Centers including IFPRI, CIAT, CIMMY, CIP and IRRI on a global project (HarvestPlus) directed at increasing the micronutrient (iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, provitamin A caroteniods ) density of staple plant foods (i.e., rice, wheat, maize, beans, sweet potato and cassava) through plant breeding and genetic modification to enhance human health globally.
Nutritional quality and safety of food crops
Robert W. Holley Research Center for Agriculture and Health
Ithaca, NY 14853
rmw1 [at] cornell.edu