Indian-Australian professor named Scientist of the Year at Premier’s Science Awards

Prof. Siddique has dedicated his 35-year career to research, training, technology exchange and industry development.

Indian-origin Prof. Kadambot Siddique has been named Scientist of the Year at Western Australia’s 2023 Premier’s Science Awards.

Prof. Siddique, originally from Kerala, is a world-renowned botanist and presently serving as Hackett Professor and Director at The University of Western Australia’s Institute of Agriculture.

In his LinkedIn post, Prof. Siddique thanked everyone:

“To receive this award last night was incredibly exciting and special. Thank you all for your friendship, collaboration and support over the years.”

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Image: Prof. Kadambot Siddique (Source: UWA)

In 1981, Prof. Siddique and his wife Almaz moved to Perth to embark on his PhD at UWA. He observed in a statement:

“My PhD was the first in this country on chickpea – and now, Australia has a major pulse exporting industry. How we have grown.”

Prof. Siddique has dedicated his 35-year career to research, training, technology exchange and industry development. He is also known for promoting sustainable agriculture and addressing global food security through his prolific research output, leadership, and collaboration.

He added:

“I am indebted to the agriculture and food industry and research community for their support and research funding over the decades.”

Prof. Siddique’s research and novel agricultural techniques have an important impact on Western Australian cereal and grain legume production in our increasingly arid dryland environments and in addressing world food security.

Image: Prof. Kadambot Siddique (Source: UWA)

In 2021, Prof. Siddique was named as Western Australian (WA) Indian of the Year. He also received an award from the former President of India Dr APJ Abdul Kalam for his contribution to pulse research and development, and was designated by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization as Special Ambassador for the International Year of Pulses 2016.

Prof. Siddique says being named Scientist of the Year 2023 is special to him as it has highlighted the importance of food and agriculture for the future of humanity.

“Seven hundred and sixty million people in the world go hungry every day, and that number is rising. The average Australian farmer produces enough food to feed 150 people at home, and 450 people overseas … not a bad effort. Key to overcoming hunger and malnutrition is greater funding and support for innovative, impactful agricultural research and development that is conducted in national and international collaboration with industry and farmers.”

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Image: UWA’s Vice-Chancellor Prof. Amit Chakma (Source: UWA)

UWA’s Vice-Chancellor Prof. Amit Chakma said the University was very proud of its award-winning scientist.

“Our researchers care passionately, think deeply and work with immense energy and dedication to ensure that we are making a difference. Their research is helping solve many global challenges faced by humanity.”

Prof. Siddique is also an active member of UWA’s India Strategic Committee and Australia-India Business Council and has trained numerous PhD students and postdoctoral fellows from India in his laboratory at UWA.

He has been listed in two categories on the Clarivate List of Highly Cited Researchers and has been recognised in The Australian newspaper’s Research Magazine as a “Top Researcher” Australia in Botany (2021 & 2022). 

Now in its 22nd year, the Premier’s Science Awards recognises and celebrates the outstanding scientific research and engagement taking place in Western Australia. Since 2002, more than 110 awards have been given to the State’s best and brightest researchers, students and communicators.

Image: WA Premier Roger Cook (Source: WA Labor)

WA Premier Roger Cook said in a statement:

“A huge congratulations to all the winners at the Premier’s Science Awards, including Scientist of the Year Professor Kadambot Siddique for his world class agricultural research.”

Each Award recipient will share in the total prize pool of $100,000, including $50,000 for the Scientist of the Year, chosen from finalists from all fields of science.

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