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Dr. Ram Krishna Bhatt is an environmental scientist, with 28 years of experience in development and biomass production in pastoral and silvo-pastoral systems. He holds a PhD in Plant Physiology from Garhwal University in India.
Dr. Bhatt currently serves as Acting Director of the Central Arid Zone Research Institute (CAZRI) in Jodhpur, India and heads CAZRI’s Division of Plant Improvement, Propagation and Pest management, CAZRI. Prior to this, he was a senior scientist at the Indian Grassland and Fodder Research Institute working on several research studies related to drought tolerance, production under pastoral and silvo-pastoral systems, adaptation and basic physiological research of cultivated fodder, pastoral crops, elite trees and fodder/pastoral crop genotypes/varieties selected for production at farmers field. Dr. Bhatt was involved in developing a successful participatory seed production system based on his research findings. Currently, he is also involved in India’s programme on National Innovation on Climate Resilient Agriculture focusing on adaptation research and coping strategies in the changing climate scenarios in the arid ecosystem.
Dr. Bhatt has authored and co-authored more than 86 peer-reviewed publications, 13 popular articles, 25 article in newsletters, 29 book chapters, 16 papers in proceedings, 21 in compendium and presented 22 papers in international conferences and 132 research papers in several national conferences.
He is an active member of several scientific and professional associations, such as the Indian Society of Plant Physiology, the Range Management Society of India, the Indian Society of Agroforestry National Institute of Ecology and the Indian Society of Seed Research. In the past, he has also served as Vice President of the Indian Society of Plant Physiology (2010) and Vice President of Society for Science of Climate Change and Sustainable Environment Climate (2011-2013).
He is a recipient of several awards and honors, such as ICAR’s Outstanding Team Research Award, CAZRI’s Dr. K.A. Shankarnarayan Memorial Award or the Indian Society for Plant Physiology AAAS Award.
His current research interests focus on the development of agroforestry, silvo-pastoral and pastoral systems in semi-arid and arid region of India and participatory seed production of fodder and arid crops. His past research topics include: tree-crop interaction, morpho-physiological studies, photosynthesis and shade tolerance of C3 and C4 grasses and legumes under light stress, carbon sequestration under different grasses communities in watershed area, vulnerability assessment and adaptation strategies for agriculture in respect of climate change in arid western Rajasthan, the effect of high level CO2 on biomass production, carbon sequestration in silvo-pastoral system under semi-arid tropics, the establishment of Field Gene Bank of Arid Crops, and seed production of fodder crops and pearl millet, mothbean, clusterbean, mung bean and pasture grasses.