Agricultural innovator awarded prestigious international fellowship
Professor Professor Rajeev Varshney has been recognised as an Associate Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences for his contributions to the advancement of agricultural biotechnology and food security on the continent.
Having recently joined Murdoch University’s Food Futures Institute as Director of the Centre for Crop and Food Innovation, the award is further validation of Professor Varshney’s reputation as a global leader in genomics, crop breeding, seeds systems and capacity building in developing countries.
Professor Varshney, who is also the Director of the State Agricultural Biotechnology Centre at Murdoch and the University’s International Chair in Agriculture and Food Security, said he felt humbled and honoured to receive such an accolade.
“It really gives a great sense of satisfaction that our work and contribution to Africa is recognised by the learned society,” he said.
“Murdoch University already has some strong relationships with African countries, and I look forward to strengthening these ties as we research and develop new technologies that will result in positive outcomes for food security on the continent and in other developing countries around the world.”
Pro Vice Chancellor Food Futures Institute Professor Peter Davies congratulated Professor Varshney.
“This is just another remarkable achievement he can add to his already stellar career in science and cements his strong contribution to advancement and translation of science at Murdoch University,” Professor Davies said.
The AAS said Professor Varshney had made centrally important contributions towards improving food and nutrition security in India and several countries in Africa and Asia by assembling genomes of “orphan” crops, and making technological advancements in crop improvement programs that have already delivered 11 superior crop varieties to some of the world’s poorest farmers.
Lifelong AAS Associate Fellowships are awarded to outstanding non-African scientists who have made significant contributions to the development of researchers, science, technology and innovation in Africa.
Recipients undergo a rigorous peer review process which looks at collaboration, innovation, leadership, advancement, contribution to society and outstanding publication record.
The Fellowship was the most recent in a series of honours for Professor Varshney which include being Professor Varshney recognised by the Indian Ministry of Science and Technology in a special publication: 75 under 50: Scientists Shaping Today’s India.
The book highlights his work helping Indian farmers to increase and strengthen crop productivity using advanced integrated genomic crop and seeding systems.
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