Dr. Osamu Ito joined as the Senior Research Fellow of UNU-ISP on 1 June, 2011. From October 2000 to March 2011, he was Director of Crop Production and Environment Division for the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS).
Before working at the JIRCAS, he was a plant physiologist and Head of the Division of Agronomy, Plant Physiology and Agroecology at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines. He also held positions with the National Institute of Agro-Environmental Sciences (Japanese Ministry of Agriculture) and the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) in India, where he also served as a board member for 6 years until 2008. He was a postdoctoral fellow for the C.F. Kettering Research Laboratory (United States) and for IRRI’s Department of Soil Microbiology.
He received a doctorate and master’s degrees in agricultural chemistry from the University of Tokyo and a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from the Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. He has been a member of Board of Directors in the International Fertilizer Development Center (IFDC) located at Mascle Shoals, Alabama, USA, since 2008.
He has published extensively. Topics of his research include nitrogen metabolism in green leaves, genetic improvement of rice for water-limited environments, the physiological mechanism of the effects of air pollutants on plants, nitrogen dynamics in intercropping systems in the semi-arid tropics, and biological nitrification inhibition. He has managed various international research collaborations on agricultural development from the viewpoint of crop and resource management in Indochina and west and south Africa.