Distinguished Indian-Australian professor from Western Sydney University, Brajesh Singh, named as this year’s winner of the Dorothy Jones Prize for microbiology, on Friday said his contribution to science is driven by national as well as global collaborators.
“The prestigious scientific prize is awarded to a scientist who has used microbiology to make a significant contribution to our understanding of terrestrial life, rhizospheres and soil microbiomes, or the preservation of our global ecosystem,” a statement from Western Sydney University said late last month.
Singh said in a post on X on Friday, “Thank you for the recognition. My contribution to science is driven by my past and present lab members and national and global collaborators, and this recognition reflects the collective efforts of all!”
Named after Dr Dorothy Jones, who served as president of Applied Microbiology International from 1989 to 1991 and was the third female president of the Society, the prize is part of the Applied Microbiology International Horizon Awards which celebrate the brightest minds in the field promoting individuals and research shaping the future of applied microbiology.
A global expert in the field of microbial functional ecology at Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, Singh spent 10 years honing his knowledge in Scotland before relocating to Australia and joining the Institute, becoming Director of the Global Centre for Land-Based Innovation in 2015.
By identifying the quantitative relationships between soil microbial diversity and ecosystem functions and exploring how these are impacted by natural and anthropogenic pressures, his fundamental research provides solutions to global challenges including environmental degradation and food insecurity, the statement said.
Findings from his research identifying the causal link between soil microbial and faunal soil biodiversity, and key ecosystem functions and services have advanced crucial areas of ecosystem science and informed multiple policy decisions at regional, national, and global levels, including providing key recommendations for bilateral engagements in agribusiness and trade between Australia and both India and the European Union, the statement said.
Singh is currently working with multiple government and intergovernmental bodies, including the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, to train farmers, consultants, and policy advisors in sustainable agriculture, and in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In addition, he works with the FAO’s Global Soil Partnership to boost the resilience of farming systems and ensure environmentally sustainable food security measures globally and also advises the European Commission on enhancing productivity in the bioeconomy.