01 Dec 2011

2011 IPNI Science Award Goes to Dr. Michael McLaughlin of CSIRO

December 1, 2011 – Norcross, Georgia, USA – The International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) has named Dr. Michael J. McLaughlin of The University of Adelaide and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), as the winner of the 2011 IPNI Science Award. He receives a special plaque plus a monetary award of USD 5,000.00 (five thousand dollars).

“We are honored to announce Dr. McLaughlin as the recipient of the IPNI Science Award. It is evident from his accomplishments that Mike is highly suited to receive this award,” said Dr. Terry L. Roberts, President of IPNI. “His internationally recognized contributions to improved nutrient management and production agriculture through advancements in fertilizer chemistry, crop nutrition, and environmental protection are truly excellent. His career marks numerous breakthroughs in improved environmental assessment and management, the development of new fertilizer delivery systems, and a greater understanding of the interactions of nutrients and the environment.”

Dr. Roberts also acknowledged the other outstanding nominees for the award, and encouraged future nominations of qualified scientists. Private or public sector agronomists, soil scientists, and crop scientists from all countries are eligible for nomination. This is the fifth year the IPNI Science Award has been presented. The previous recipient in 2010 was Dr. Andrew Sharpley of the University of Arkansas.

Born in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, Dr. McLaughlin received his B.Sc. degree from the University of Ulster, UK in 1977. He went on to earn his M. Agr. Sc. degree from the University of Reading, UK in 1979. Dr. McLaughlin then received his Ph.D. from the University of Adelaide in 1986 on the subject of P cycling in soils and the relative importance of crop residues and fertilizer to the P nutrition of cereal crops.

Since 2007, Dr. McLaughlin has been Foundation Director, University of Adelaide Fertiliser Technology Research Centre supported by The Mosaic Company and the Australian Grain Research and Development Corporation. In 2005, Dr. McLaughlin became Professor in Soil Science at the University’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine and since 2000, he has been Chief Research Scientist, CSIRO Land and Water, Adelaide. From 1999 to 2003, Dr. McLaughlin was Senior Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Land and Water, Adelaide.

Dr. McLaughlin is a Fellow of the American Society of America (ASA) and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. Dr. McLaughlin is also CSIRO Science Fellow in the Environmental Biogeochemistry Program, CSIRO Land and Water, as well as the Science Fellow, CSIRO Agricultural Sustainability Flagship. His awards and honors include Australian Soil Science Society Prescott Medal in 2009, 2008 Fluid Fertilizer Foundation Researcher of the Year, 2008 Soil Science Society of America International Award, 2005 CSIRO Land and Water Partnership Excellence Award, and the 2002 CSIRO Land and Water Chief’s Award for excellence in research.

Dr. McLaughlin has published 28 book chapters, 184 journal papers, 52 refereed full conference papers, 262 conference abstracts, and over 120 other industry reports and publications. He holds 8 patents and since 1989 has won research grants valued at AUD 23.5 million. Dr. McLaughlin has supervised 20 Ph.D. Students and is actively involved with honors students in areas of biogeochemistry, fertilizer formulation, and environmental contamination.

Dr. McLaughlin and his research group have been instrumental in developing and understanding of the mechanisms behind the effectiveness of fluid fertilizers in low rainfall cropping systems. As Foundation Director of the Fertilizer Technology Research Centre, Dr. McLaughlin is presently heading the development of leading edge fertilizer technologies to match nutrient supply to crop demand and identify new efficient fertilizer formulations, making extensive use of nanotechnology, and advanced tracing and imaging techniques to probe reactions of fertilizers with soils. Dr. McLaughlin has contributed greatly to the body of scientific work published on cadmium, heavy metal contamination in soils, and has directly influenced national and international public policy on developing science-based strategies for minimizing metals in the environment.

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 crop production that enhances 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 2012 IPNI Science Award are available from the headquarters or regional offices of the organization. Website: www.ipni.net/awards.
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For further information, contact Dr. Terry Roberts at IPNI: tel. 1.770.447.0335; e-mail: troberts@ipni.net
A digital photo of Dr. McLaughlin is available at: www/ipni.net/pr or on request.
Contact Gavin Sulewski, IPNI Editor: tel: 1.770.447.0335; e-mail: gsulewski@ipni.net