TAMPA, Florida – Two Texas A&M AgriLife Research professors were honored for their professional achievements with the title of Fellow by the Crop Sciences Society of America Oct. 23 in Tampa, Florida.
The two honored were Dr. Amir Ibrahim, wheat breeder in the Texas A&M University department of soil and crop sciences in College Station, and Dr. Gerald Smith, Regents Fellow at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Overton.
The designation of Fellow is awarded by the Crop Sciences Society based on professional achievements and meritorious service. Ibrahim and Smith were among 10 named for 2017.
“Amir was 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 small–grains breeding program at Texas A&M, managing wheat cultivar development for the South, Central and Northeast regions of the state, Baltensperger said. He also noted Ibrahim has been recognized for southern-adapted oat varieties and other small-grain research. Ibrahim has released and/or co-released 18 winter wheat and three oat cultivars.
His award recognition also cited 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.
In addition to his teaching duties, Ibrahim has served as the adviser or co-adviser of 17 doctorate and 15 master’s students, most of whom hold research and leadership positions in the public and private sectors. He has published 90 refereed journal articles, 36 Extension papers, 11 technical reports, two book chapters and 87 abstracts and proceedings.
Ibrahim earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Gezira in Sudan, his master’s degree from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon and his doctorate from Colorado State University.
“Also an international leader, Dr. Smith is highly recognized in the area of legume breeding for forages, having released new cultivars adapted to the southern states,” Baltensperger said. “He is known for leading the way with forage genetics.”
Smith’s primary research emphasis is to improve forage legumes and grasses through genetics and plant breeding with a focus on new scientific discoveries, genetics of disease resistance and cultivar development, his award recognition stated.
He is working to improve forage-livestock pasture systems with a focus on cultivar development, nutrient cycling and genetics of disease resistance.
Smith’s cooperative breeding programs have led to the release of new cultivars of arrowleaf, white and crimson clover, annual sweet clover and lablab bean.
He has dedicated his research program to serve the agricultural community by delivering improved forage cultivars and advanced technologies to Texas and U.S. farmers, ranchers and consumers, the nomination stated.
Smith earned his bachelor and master’s degrees from Auburn University and a doctorate from Mississippi State University. He is active in the Crop Science Society of America and has served as chairman for the North American Trifolium Conference.