Indefatigable University of Manitoba Professor Publishes 300th Refereed Article, Significantly Challenges and Advances our Understanding of How to Feed the World

Aug 22, 2011 | Corporate Member News

Dr. Digvar Jayas

Distinguished Professor Digvir Jayas is a father, husband, teacher, researcher, vice-president of research at the oldest university in Western Canada, and now he’s a member of the 300 club: his 300th refereed article has been approved for publication. 

His first refereed article, “Finite element modelling of carbon dioxide diffusion in stored wheat”, was published in 1983 and appeared in the Canadian Agricultural Engineering. His 300th article, written just 25 years after he obtained his PhD, is titled: “Synchrotron based infrared imaging study of compositional changes in stored wheat due to infection with Aspergillus Glaucus”. It will be published in an upcoming Journal of Stored Products Research. 

David Barnard

“Dr. Jayas is an outstanding example of the type of passionate researchers at the University of Manitoba who are steadfast in their commitment to trailblazing and innovating. I want to congratulate him on behalf of his peers for all his success,” says David Barnard, president and vice-chancellor at the University of Manitoba. 

In an unscientific, just-for-fun comparison, famed physicist Stephen Hawking has about 200 publications since 1965. 

Over the years Jayas has advised 19 PhD candidates, 17 postdoctoral fellows, 45 MSc students, and 27 undergraduate students plus another 20 undergraduate research assistants. 

“I am grateful to the University of Manitoba for providing me an opportunity to fulfill my dream of conducting interdisciplinary research, and to Dr. Noel White” – an entomologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – “for being an ideal long-term collaborator on my research,” Jayas said. 

“I am thankful to graduate students who chose to come to the University of Manitoba to spend their productive years with my group.  They are truly outstanding and could have gone to any university of their choosing, but they privileged me by coming here.” 

Jayas began his studies at the G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology in Pantnagar, India. In 1982 he received his masters at the U of M, and then completed his PhD at the University of Saskatchewan in 1987.  He returned to the U of M to take the position of Assistant Professor, and in 2002 he received his Tier 1 Canada Research Chair, later becoming a Distinguished Professor in 2004.

He has received professional awards from numerous international and Canadian scientific societies and institutes and has an army of acronyms after his signature – FAZRA, FASABE, FCSBE, FAIC, FCIFST, FEC, FEIC, FCAE, FRSC, FNAAS, FISAE – identifying his many fellowships in national and international organizations.

As for his research, it focuses on finding the optimal way to store grains. 

For thousands of years, grains have formed the basis of the human diet. Access to a consistent supply of quality grains is the lifeblood for countries so any loss in quality or quantity can have far-reaching effects. Yet post-harvest losses continue to range from nine per cent in North America to 50 per cent in developing countries. In the latter, high losses can contribute to famine. Jayas’ research aims to rectify this. 

His research has three main objectives: reduce the qualitative and quantitative losses in stored grains; develop mathematical models of stored grain ecosystems to explain the causes of grain deterioration that results from interactions of biotic and abiotic variables; and develop innovative techniques such as machine vision for monitoring the quality of grain and incorporate these techniques into the current grain receiving, cleaning, binning and shipping systems. 

His research will lead to improved grain quality for consumers, increased cost efficiency for farmers, and reduced waste product. 

For more information contact Sean Moore, Marketing Communications Office, University of Manitoba, 204-474-7963 ([email protected]).

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