COLLEGE STATION – Dr. Amir Ibrahim, Texas A&M AgriLife Research wheat breeder in the Texas A&M University department of soil and crop sciences in College Station, was honored with the agency’s Faculty Fellow award Jan. 9 in College Station.
Dr. Amir Ibrahim, Faculty Fellow and professor in the department of soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)
AgriLife Research established the Faculty Fellow program in 1998 to acknowledge and reward exceptional research faculty within the agency. The Faculty Fellow title becomes a permanent part of the individual’s title.
“Amir is recognized for his leadership in wheat research programs both here in the U.S. and worldwide,” said Dr. David Baltensperger, head of the Texas A&M soil and crop sciences department in College Station. “In addition to his international research, his graduate research program is producing the wheat breeders for the next generation.”
Ibrahim leads the Texas A&M small grains breeding program, managing wheat cultivar development for the agency’s South, Central and Northeast regions of the state, Baltensperger said.
He has released or co‐released 18 wheat and three oat cultivars with high yield potential, excellent quality and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses, according to his nomination. Eleven of his 21 releases and co‐releases had viable seed production in 2016, covering over 1 million acres in five states.
Ibrahim is known for his applied research on genetic control of end-use quality and biotic and abiotic stress tolerance in wheat, as well as his continuing research of hybrid wheat, Baltensperger said. His most recent release, TAM 305 hard red winter wheat, was highlighted in Crop Science Association News for its superior resistance to disease.
“This cultivar is in demand by wheat breeders throughout the world to use in their breeding programs,” Baltensperger said.
Another significant impact is his management and leadership of the Uniform Disease Nursery at Castroville, the nomination stated. The nursery serves the wheat breeding community, both public and private, in ensuring wheat cultivars available to U.S. producers are resistant to the latest biotypes of wheat leaf, stripe and stem rusts as well as oat crown and stem rusts.
Thirty‐three hard red winter and hard white wheat released cultivars from 11 programs in the U.S. went through testing at the nursery during the past five years.
Ibrahim has obtained almost $3 million to fund his research program during the past five years, according to the nomination. He has been active in presenting his research findings, publishing 90 refereed journal articles, 36 Extension papers, 11 technical reports, two book chapters, and 98 abstracts and proceedings.
“The effectiveness and quality of Dr. Ibrahim’s scholarly activities are seen in his growing influence in the international arena that includes collaborative efforts with the Texas A&M Borlaug Institute as well as within his research expertise in wheat breeding and genetics,” Baltensperger said.
According to the nomination, Ibrahim is in demand as an international expert in areas such as Mexico, northern Africa, Western Asia, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. He continues to be committed to dissemination of knowledge and the relief of poverty and hunger through improved agriculture via his formal and informal educational efforts.
Ibrahim’s latest project in the Republic of Georgia increased grain yield of wheat to 4.5 tons per hectare from the country’s average of 1.5 ton per hectare by addressing soil issues and using improved agronomic practices and germplasm.
Ibrahim’s teaching includes classroom teaching, graduate student advising and communication of research information. During the past five years, Ibrahim graduated 11 doctoral and nine master’s students, most of whom hold key positions in other universities, the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service and private sector.
His commitment to education is demonstrated by his giving of his time to individually assist numerous students with the statistical analyses and experimental designs of their graduate research problems, Ibrahim’s nomination states. And, he has become the “go to” professor in his department regarding experimental designs since he teaches a course in this subject area.
Ibrahim was recognized recently as the title of Fellow by the Crop Sciences Society of America. He has received the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean’s Award for the Best International Impact and Dean’s Award for the Best Multidisciplinary Team, the Texas A&M Technology Commercialization Team Innovation Award, Texas A&M Vice Chancellor’s team award, and the Texas A&M soil and crop sciences department Individual Achievement Research Award.
Ibrahim currently serves as a member of Texas A&M Plant Release Committee, Texas Small Grains Advisory Committee and chair of the AgriGenomics Laboratory Advisory Committee. He also has served as associate editor of the Journal of Plant Registrations and Journal of Crop Improvement; and is director of the Multi‐state Wheat and Oat Rust Evaluation Nursery.
Ibrahim is a member of the Crop Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy and Sigma Xi Honor Society.