In a major recognition of his contributions to microbial ecology, Distinguished Professor Brajesh Singh is honoured with the prestigious Dorothy Jones Award at the EMI Lecture 2023. The event, held at BMA House in London on November 16, celebrated Prof. Singh’s significant impact on our understanding of soil microbiomes and his efforts to preserve global ecosystems.
As a global expert in microbial functional ecology at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Western Sydney University, Prof. Brajesh Singh has dedicated over a decade to refining his expertise in this field.
His journey began with a ten-year stint in Scotland before moving to Australia, where he joined the Institute and became the Director of the Global Centre for Land-based Innovation in 2015.
The research has been pivotal in establishing quantitative relationships between soil microbial diversity and ecosystem functions. His work delves into how these relationships are affected by both natural and human-made pressures. The outcomes of his research are not just academic; they offer practical solutions to pressing global challenges like environmental degradation and food insecurity.
One of the most significant achievements of Prof. Singh’s career is his research that established a causal link between soil microbial and faunal biodiversity and key ecosystem functions and services. This research has advanced critical areas of ecosystem science and has been instrumental in informing regional, national, and global policy decisions. His recommendations have significantly influenced bilateral engagements in agribusiness and trade between Australia, India and the European Union.
Prof. Singh’s innovations have enhanced the efficacy of existing microbial products and provided new tools for manipulating soil and plant microbiomes. These advancements are benefiting industries across Australia and the world.
He is actively involved with multiple government and inter-governmental organisations, including the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations. His work with the FAO involves training farmers, consultants, and policy advisors in sustainable agriculture and aligning agricultural practices with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He also collaborates with the Global Soil Partnership to improve the resilience of farming systems and implement environmentally sustainable food security measures globally.
In addition to his practical contributions, Prof. Singh advises the European Commission on strategies to enhance productivity in the bio-economy. His expertise and dedication have earned him fellowships in several prestigious societies, including the Australian Academy of Science, the Soil Science Society of Australia, the Soil Science Society of America, and the American Academy of Microbiology, and he is a recipient of the Humboldt Research Award.
The Dorothy Jones Award, named after Dr. Dorothy Jones, a former President of Applied Microbiology International and a pioneering researcher at the University of Leicester, is a testament to Prof. Singh’s revolutionary work in microbiology. Dr. Jones herself was instrumental in transforming the classification of bacteria and the teaching of microbiology, significantly influencing the field.
Prof. Singh’s receipt of this award underscores his influential role in revolutionising the understanding of soil microbiomes and his substantial contributions to global ecosystem preservation. His work continues to inspire and guide crucial policy decisions and innovations in the field of applied microbiology
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