29 Nov 2016

Dr. Ismail Cakmak Chosen as 2016 IPNI Science Award Winner

December 1, 2016 – Peachtree Corners, Georgia, USA – The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) has named Dr. Ismail Cakmak as the winner of the 2016 IPNI Science Award.

“We congratulate Dr. Cakmak on being selected for this year’s IPNI Science Award,” said Dr. Terry Roberts, IPNI President. “Dr. Cakmak has made major contributions to scientific knowledge through his leadership role in alleviating the micronutrient malnutrition problem in developing countries. This has led to international recognition for his efforts in zinc biofortification of cereal crops.”

Private or public sector agronomists, soil scientists, and crop scientists from all countries are eligible for nomination. This is the ninth year the IPNI Science Award has been presented. Dr. Cynthia Grant received the 2015 IPNI Science Award for her work as a research scientist at the Agriculture Canada Research Station in Brandon, Manitoba, Canada.

Background on Dr. Ismail Cakmak
Dr. Cakmak received his B.Sc. from Cukurova University in 1980; his M.Sc. from Cukurova University in 1981; and his Ph.D. from Hohenheim University in 1988. Since 2000, he has worked as a Professor of Plant Physiology at Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey. Cakmak is well known for his research on cereal crops and zinc nutrition. He directed a multiinstitutional project, funded by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), on the issue of zinc deficiency in Turkey (1993 to 1998). Following the identification of the zinc deficiency, zinc-containing NPK fertilizer use has increased from 0 to 600,000 t (annually) in Turkey.

The “HarvestZinc” international project was developed by Cakmak under the HarvestPlus Program to improve grain concentration of zinc and iodine in nine different countries (e.g., Asia, Africa, and South America). The focus was on using innovative application methods and micronutrient fertilizer combinations. Cakmak and his team found that foliar zinc application is significant in improving grain zinc concentrations, which can improve zinc related health complications that affect over two billion people.

Dr. Cakmak is also known for his work on the adverse effects of reactive oxygen species in plants that are under mineral nutrient deficiencies (e.g., zinc.). It was found that the adequate supply of mineral nutrients is critical for a plant’s survival under stressful environmental conditions. He has published both research and review papers on this topic that has gained international attention.

Cakmak has authored over 160 peer-reviewed publications, received over 17,800 citations (Google Scholar), and authored/co-authored seven book chapters. He has a Hirsch Index of 69 (Google Scholar), which is a very high value within his field. He has been recognized with several awards including the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Georg Forster Research Prize, 2007 Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering Crawford Fund “Derek Tribe Award Medal”, the IFA-International 2005 Crop Nutrition Award and the Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey Science Prize. Since 2012, he has been an elected member for “The Academy of Europe” and “The Science Academy” in Turkey. Very recently, he has received the World Academy of Sciences Prize, 2016 in Agricultural Sciences.

About the IPNI Science Award
The IPNI Science Award is intended to recognize outstanding achievements in research, extension, or education; with focus on efficient management of plant nutrients and their positive interaction in fully integrated cropping systems that enhance yield potential. Such systems improve net returns, lower unit costs of production, and maintain or improve environmental quality. A committee of noted international authorities selects the recipient. Dr. Cakmak receives a special plaque along with a monetary award of US$5,000.

Private or public sector agronomists, soil scientists, and crop scientists from all countries are eligible for nomination. More information and nomination forms for the IPNI Science Award are available from the IPNI headquarters, its regional offices, or online at http://www.ipni.net/awards.
Ref. # 16071

IPNI Contacts: Dr. Terry Roberts, IPNI President, Ph: 770.447.0335, (info@ipni.net); Dr. Robert Mikkelsen, IPNI VP Communications, Ph: 770-825-8070, (rmikkelsen@ipni.net); Mr. Gavin Sulewski, IPNI Editor, Ph: 770.825.8080, (gsulewski@ipni.net).