An Australian-based professor of Indian origin, Brajesh Singh, has been honoured with the 2023 Dorothy Jones Prize for his groundbreaking work in microbiology, significantly contributing to the understanding of terrestrial life and the preservation of the global ecosystem.
Singh, a renowned expert in microbial functional ecology at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment in Western Sydney University, received the prestigious award at the British Medical Association (BMA) House in London last month.
The accolade recognizes Singh’s fundamental research, which offers solutions to pressing global issues such as environmental degradation and food insecurity. His work involves identifying quantitative relationships between soil diversity and ecosystem functions, delving into how these relationships are influenced by both natural factors and human activities.
The outcomes of Singh’s research, revealing the causal link between soil microbial and faunal soil biodiversity and essential ecosystem functions and services, have significantly advanced key areas within the field of ecosystem science, as reported by Western Sydney University.
Furthermore, the research findings have played a pivotal role in shaping numerous policy decisions at regional, national, and global levels. This includes offering key recommendations for bilateral engagements in agribusiness and trade, specifically between Australia and both India and the European Union.
Brajesh Singh has not only conducted groundbreaking research but has also developed innovations aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of existing microbial products. His contributions extend to providing new tools for manipulating soil and plant microbiomes, impacting various industries not only in Australia but also globally, as highlighted in a release.
Currently, Singh is actively collaborating with multiple government and intergovernmental bodies, notably the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). His involvement includes the training of farmers, consultants, and policy advisors in sustainable agriculture practices and aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals.
In addition to his collaboration with the UN FAO, Singh is engaged with the Global Soil Partnership to enhance the resilience of farming systems. This collaborative effort aims to ensure globally applicable measures for environmentally sustainable food security.
After dedicating a decade to refining his expertise in Scotland, Singh transitioned to Australia. Beyond his impactful work in the region, he also serves as an advisor to the European Commission, offering insights on enhancing productivity in the bioeconomy.
Brajesh Singh’s distinguished credentials include being a Fellow of several esteemed institutions, namely the Australian Academy of Science, the Soil Science Society of Australia, the Soil Science Society of America, and the American Academy of Microbiology. Additionally, he has been recognised with a Humboldt Research Award.
The prestigious Dorothy Jones Prize, named in honour of Dr. Dorothy Jones, former President of Applied Microbiology International from 1989 to 1991, is part of the Applied Microbiology International Horizon Awards. These awards commend outstanding individuals and research that contribute significantly to the field of applied microbiology, shaping the future of this scientific domain.