04 Jan 2008

First IPNI Science Award Goes to Dr. M.S. Aulakh


December 31, 2007 - Norcross, Georgia, U.S.A. - The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) has named Dr. Milkha Singh Aulakh of Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), India, as the winner of the 2007 IPNI Science Award. Dr. Aulakh, a Senior Soil Chemist and Professor, is presently Additional Director of Research at Ludhiana, PAU. He will receive a special plaque plus a monetary award of US$5,000.00 (five thousand dollars).

“This is the first time we have presented the new IPNI Science Award, and we are honored to announce that Dr. Aulakh has been selected as the recipient,” said Dr. Terry L. Roberts, President of IPNI. “He has made distinguished contributions in global ecological intensification as related to crop production, with important achievements in research, extension, and education.”
Dr. Roberts also acknowledged other outstanding candidates for the award, and encouraged future nominations of qualified scientists. Private or public sector agronomists, crop scientists, and soil scientists from all countries are eligible for nomination.

Born in Amritsar, India, Dr. Aulakh received his B.Sc. in Agriculture in 1972 at Guru Nanak Dev University, and his M.Sc. in Soil Science at PAU in 1974, then joined PAU as a Research Assistant. After completing his Ph.D. in Soil Science in 1984 at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, he returned to India. Later, he was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Fulbright Scholar at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and visiting scientist with USDA-ARS in 1989-90. In 1997-99, Dr. Aulakh was Project Scientist at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, and Collaborating Scientist at Frounhofer Institute for Atmospheric Environmental Research and at University of Freiburg in Germany. He also served as the Principal Investigator on a 6-year USDA-OICD project (1991-96) and is currently Chief Scientific Investigator of the prestigious 5-year (2004-2009) FAO/IAEA Coordinated Research Project on Integrated Soil, Water and Nutrient Management for Conservation Agriculture.

Dr. Aulakh’s work at PAU has a focus on balanced and integrated nutrient management for optimum yields and quality of field crops, nutrient transformations and losses in soils, and associated environmental impacts such as emissions of greenhouse gases, carbon sequestration, and leaching of nitrates and phosphates. He played a pivotal role in identifying widespread sulfur deficiency in
subtropical soils, delineation of sulfur-deficient areas, and development of diagnostic tools for assessing sulfur-adequacy in soil and plants.

Well known and respected in academic as well as industry groups, Dr. Aulakh has published 90 research papers in 30 national and international journals, 40 book chapters and scientific reviews, and 80 conference proceedings and technology transfer publications. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Indian Society of Soil Science, and Punjab Academy of Sciences, and a Member of the International Union of Soil Sciences. Since 2000, he has served on the Editorial Board of the international journal Biology & Fertility of Soils published by Springer. Dr. Aulakh is a recipient of the Canadian Commonwealth Fellowship (1980-83), Plant Nutrient Sulphur Research Award by The Sulphur Institute of Washington, D.C. (1990), International Crop Nutrition Award by International Fertilizer Industry Association, Paris, France (2001), Alumni Honour Award by the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada (2002), and Pierre Becker Memorial Award by Fertilizer International and British Sulphur, London, UK (2005). At the national level, he is decorated with several prestigious awards, including the Rafi Ahmad Kidwai Memorial Prize of Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Silver Jubilee Award by the Fertilizer Association of India (FAI) in 1987, Outstanding Research Award by National Fertilizers Limited in 1989, Hari Om Ashram Trust Award for Agricultural Sciences Research by ICAR in 1990, Twelfth International Congress Commemoration Award by Indian Society of Soil Science in 1995, and first IMPHOS-FAI Award instituted by World Phosphate Institute, Morocco, in 2002.

Dr. Aulakh is editor of a new book titled Integrated Nutrient Management for Sustainable Crop Production, which takes a global view of challenges faced in 10 geographically and demographically diverse regions of the world.

The IPNI Science Award is intended to recognize outstanding achievements in research, extension, or education, with focus on efficient and effective management of plant nutrients and their positive interaction in fully integrated crop production that enhance yield potential. Such systems improve net returns, lower unit costs of production, and maintain or improve environmental quality. The recipient is selected by a committee of noted international authorities.

More information and nomination forms for the 2008 IPNI Science Award are available from the headquarters or regional offices of the organization, or from the website: www.ipni.net/awards.

Ref. # 07129

PDF of this press release:

IPNI Science Award 2007.pdf

Color photo of Dr. Aulakh:

M S Aulakh.jpg