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International recognition continues for MSU researcher

By Vanessa Beeson /MSU

STARKVILLE — For Mississippi State’s internationally known cotton expert Raja Reddy, the accolades continue as he joins the likes of Thomas Edison and two Nobel laureates as fellow of the world’s largest multidisciplinary scientific society.

The Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, also recognized as publisher of the Science family of scholarly journals, places Reddy in a prestigious class of only 21 fellows across the nation being honored in the organization’s section on agriculture, food and renewable resources. The research professor in MSU’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences enters a group of nearly 500 AAAS Fellows elected this year across 24 multidisciplinary sections combined.

A faculty member in the CALS Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Reddy’s honor is for his contributions to the field of environmental plant physiology and agricultural systems modeling and applications. The 32-year MSU veteran also is director of the university’s Soil-Plant-Atmosphere-Research, or SPAR, unit and a scientist in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

“I feel very honored to be elected as an AAAS Fellow. This honor reflects on many talented students, post-docs, visiting scientists and colleagues who worked in our laboratory over the years, addressing a multitude of environmental issues related to global food security and more,” Reddy said.

During his tenure at the university, he’s mentored countless undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral associates and visiting scientists alike, with an emphasis on promoting diversity and fostering global collaboration. Resulting in 300 publications, including peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, Reddy’s research on crop stress physiology, crop modeling and remote sensing focuses on the effects of climate change on crop physiology, growth and development. His work has resulted in improved quality of crops that feed, clothe and fuel the world.

Just this year, Reddy also was honored as the Researcher of the Year by the International Cotton Advisory Committee and received the Contribution to Science Award by the Mississippi Academy of Sciences. He has received several other noteworthy awards for his research, teaching and service activities, including MSU’s Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence Award, the Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award and the National Cotton Council’s Outstanding Research Award in Cotton Physiology. He is a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America.

As current president of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences, Reddy has focused on furthering the state’s conversation on science, engineering and technology, including agriculture,  while facilitating new opportunities for students by developing a junior academy platform for K-12 students to engage with the organization.

Reuben Moore, interim vice president of MSU’s Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine and interim director of the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station, spoke about Reddy’s commitment to the scientific community at large and his research in the field of crop physiology.

“Dr. Reddy’s work to address environmental stress on crops that are needed to feed and clothe the world is cutting-edge and relevant in our growing population,” Moore said. “Dr. Reddy embodies the land-grant mission with his work to advance science and make new discoveries, train the next generation of leaders and serve his profession and community. He is most deserving of this honor and the other accolades he has received this year.”

For more information on the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, visit www.pss.msstate.edu. More can be found about the SPAR unit by visiting www.spar.msstate.edu. Learn more about MAFES at www.mafes.msstate.edu.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.