Agricultural & Nutritional Sciences
Professor Jianbo Shen, an expert in plant nutrition and rhizosphere science, has been engaged in studies on plant-soil interactions and interventions that are aimed at enhancing resource-use efficiency and food security, particularly focusing on root/rhizosphere management for improving nutrient-use efficiency and crop productivity and enhancing environmental resilience. He has coupled the techniques of plant and soil sciences to augment understanding of biological and chemical processes in the rhizosphere, and he has developed effective approaches of rhizosphere management for improving the nutrient-use efficiency and crop yield while reducing environmental impact in cropping systems. Professor Shen has made contributions to the scientific innovation and technology transfer of rhizosphere nutrition and management. He found that root/rhizosphere efficiency can be maximized by creating an appropriate root-zone nutrient supply, stimulating root proliferation and rhizosphere acidification, and strengthening rhizosphere interactions. He is also engaged in research work on engineering plant-soil-microbe interactions for sustainable intensification and towards green development of agriculture. He develops the framework of green intelligent fertilizer and creates new smart fertilizers for Macadamia nut tree and maize crop. He proposes the tradeoffs among root morphology, root exudation and mycorrhizal symbioses for phosphorus-acquisition strategies of diverse crop species, linking root exudation to the belowground economic traits for efficient resource acquisition. His area of research is very important from both scientific and agricultural points of view. He has supervised 40 talented researchers in plant nutrition. In recognition of his scholarly contribution to knowledge innovation, he won the National Natural Science Award, and National Science and Technology Progress Award in China. He obtained the National Outstanding Youth Fund of Natural Science Foundation of China. He published more than 167 peer-reviewed papers (H-index: 58, Scopus), and was repeatedly selected as a “Global highly cited researcher" during 2019-2022. He has promoted China-Africa collaborations in training professional graduate students and sustainable agriculture.