Prof. Wasim Ahmad, Department of Zoology, Aligarh Muslim
University has been selected for the prestigious Prof. E.K. Janaki
Ammal National Award on Animal taxonomy for the year 2009 for his
distinguished and outstanding contribution to the field of
taxonomy and biodiversity of soil inhabiting nematodes.
The award carries Rs.1,00,000/- ( Rupees one lakh) cash along with
a citation, scroll and Medallion and is conferred each year on 5th
June at the World Environment day function organized by the
Ministry of Environment and Forest.
Taxonomy is the science of identification, classification and
naming of organisms. Taxonomic work involves study of
morphological characteristics and phylogenetic relationship of
organisms which is essential for applied biological sciences
including medicine, agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Current
requirements of taxonomic work and available expertise and studies
indicate a dire need to encourage excellence and motivate experts
to do work in hitherto neglected groups of organisms e.g.
microbes, lower groups of plants, animals, etc. The challenge is
quite serious because while on the one hand the existing expertise
is ageing and retiring, on the other not many young scholars are
opting for studies in taxonomy.
Prof. Ahmad has made outstanding contribution in the field of
Biodiversity, taxonomy, ecology and phylogenomics of soil
inhabiting nematodes. In his about 170 research publications which
have been published in high impact factor foreign journals, he has
described some 290 new species and over 40 new genera of soil
inhabiting nematodes which include some interesting taxa such as a
marine residual form from silent valley, several new nematode
genera and species from North-East and other biodiversity rich
areas of the country. He has also distinction of describing
several new taxa of soil inhabiting nematodes from over twenty
different countries in East Asia (Japan, China, Korea, Vietnam,
Singapore), Africa (Cameroon, Bennin, Azores, Dominica, Ivory
Coast, New Guinae), Europe (Germany, UK, Austria, Spain, Turkey),
Central America (Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Colombia) and New Zealand.
Prof. Ahmad’s monumental book titled “Dorylaimida; Free-living,
predaceous and plant parasitic nematodes” published by E.J. Brill,
Leiden is a unique world-wide reference for study of dorylaim
nematodes and till date it is the most cited book in nematode
taxonomy. A similar treatise by him on Mononchida was published in
2010 by E.J. Brill under their prestigious Nematology Monograph
Prof. Ahmad has visited a large number of countries of the world
as an expert for the study of dorylaim and mononchid nematodes.
and is recipient of prestigious visiting fellowships/scholarships
from Royal Society (London), DFG (Germany), Japanese Society for
Promotion of Science (Japan), Erasmus Mundus Scholar (European
Union), Chinese Academy of Sciences (China), KOSEF (Korea), TWAS
(Italy), Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research Fellowship of
National University of Singapore and Instituto Nacional de
Biodiversidad, Costa Rica visiting Fellowship and many others.
Prof. Ahmad is a Fellow of the National Academy of Agricultural
Sciences and has received many awards and medals from several
scientific societies. He has guided several students for their
M.Phil and Ph.D degree and is regularly associated with imparting
taxonomic training at National and International level.