Kerala scientist Dr Mamiyil Sabu conferred with EK Janaki Ammal National Award for plant taxonomy

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Dr Mamiyil Sabu receives EK Janaki Ammal National Award | Photo: Special Arrangement

Kolkata: Former professor at the University of Calicut and botanist Dr Mamiyil Sabu was conferred with the EK Janaki Ammal National Award for Taxonomy at the 107th foundation day programme of the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) in Kolkata.

Union Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Bhupender Yadav handed over the award. “The honour bestowed on the leading scientist will give impetus to taxonomists in future,” Yadav said.

Taxonomy is the branch of science concerned with classification, especially of organisms.

Prof Sabu, who has done outstanding work on the flowering plant families especially, wild gingers, wild bananas and arrowroot, is presently working as CSIR-Emeritus Scientist, at Malabar Botanical Garden, Calicut.

He has 36 years of experience in teaching and research. He served as the Head of the Department of Botany at University of Calicut from 2012 to 2014.

Dr. Sabu has been researching on the Taxonomy of Indian Zingiberales for the past 25 years. He also set up a germplasm of over 190 species in the ginger gene bank of Calicut University Botanical Garden. He also identified and described 67 new species of plants. Five new species were named after him as an honour.

He has published over 160 papers in National and International Journals and has also penned 11 books on this subject.

Dr Sabu is the recipient of several honours, including Prof Panchanan Maheswari Gold Medal (2010) instituted by the Indian Botanical Society (IBS), Prof VV Sivaraman Gold Medal (2014) of the Indian Association for Angiosperm Taxonomy, and fellowships of the Indian National Science Academy in Delhi (2019), Indian Academy of Science in Bengaluru (2019), IAAT, IBS and Linnean Society (FLS).

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and climate change instituted the award in 2000 after Ammal, who was instrumental in reorganising the over 200-year-old Botanical Survey of India in 1955, to promote work in taxonomy in the fields of plants, animals and microbiology. The award comprises of a purse of Rs 5 lakh and a medal.

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