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Mississippi State scientist receives international cotton honor

raja reddy

Raja Reddy, research professor in MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, is pictured in a cotton field at the university’s R.R. Foil Plant Science Research Center — photo by Dominique Belcher)

Mississippi State’s Raja Reddy, a world-renowned crop expert, was recognized with a premier, international award for cotton science.

Named Researcher of the Year by the International Cotton Advisory Committee, Reddy’s award spotlights his important work in improvements to the quality of crops that feed, clothe and fuel the world. Specifically, he focuses on climate change impact on cotton and other crop physiology, growth and development.

An MSU professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Reddy also directs the university’s Soil-Plant-Atmosphere-Research unit, or SPAR, and is a scientist in the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

“I am grateful to the International Cotton Advisory Committee for this incredible honor. I am equally honored to work with many outstanding students, postdocs and visiting scientists to develop a highly reputable environmental plant physiology program focusing on cotton and other crops,” Reddy said. “I’m also appreciative of my wife, Anu, and son, Sasank, who have always provided support and encouragement.”

Reddy recently presented a virtual lecture on cotton and climate change as part of the World Cotton Research Conference’s plenary monthly lecture series, which is sponsored in part by ICAC.

In his 32 years at MSU, Reddy has trained more than 30 students including 15 doctoral, 11 master’s and five undergraduate research scholars in addition to his regular teaching schedule. He also has hosted 35 visiting and 15 postdoctoral scientists from around the globe. His research, which also encompasses crop stress, crop modeling and remote sensing, has helped generate nearly 300 publications including peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters.

Darrin Dodds, head of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, said the award is a testament to Reddy’s long tenure as a leading cotton researcher.

“Dr. Reddy is a world-renowned expert in plant physiology and has been a valued faculty member in MSU’s Department of Plant and Soil Sciences for more than three decades. It is fitting that he is recognized with this award as he has spent his career performing cutting-edge research in environmental plant physiology,” Dodds said. “His contributions to Mississippi State University and the greater body of scientific research will last for decades to come.”

Mississippi State University contributed this article.