Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC)

In recognition of their outstanding contributions toward Accelerating Transformation through Agricultural Innovation (ATTAIN), SEARCA awarded four Southeast Asian academicians with the SEARCA Regional Professorial Chair Grant for AY 2022-2023. The grantees are Assoc. Prof. Dr. Siti Khairunniza Bejo and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Helmi Zulhaidi Mohd Shafri from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sirikachorn Tangkawattana from Khon Kaen University (KKU), Thailand, and Dr. Renato G. Reyes from Central Luzon State University (CLSU), Philippines. They are entitled to a grant of USD 5,000.00 each.

Dr. Siti Khairunniza Bejo is an Associate Professor at the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, and the Head of the Smart Farming Technology Research Center at UPM. Dr. Bejo has published over 65 articles in scientific journals in the last five years while her research projects have been recognized and awarded internationally. She was selected for the Regional Professorial Chair Grant for her contributions to the field of Imaging Technology and Remote Sensing. As part of the grant, Dr. Bejo will share her research through a public lecture on Plant disease sensing using hyperspectral imaging and machine learning techniques: A case study in ganoderma boninense infection.

Dr. Helmi Zulhaidi Mohd Shafri is the Deputy Dean of Post Graduate Studies and Associate Professor at the Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, UPM. Dr. Shafri’s excellent achievements in the field of agricultural innovation, specifically in remote sensing and geomatics engineering, afforded him the Regional Professorial Chair Grant. As a prolific researcher, he has published more than 100 articles in scientific journals as well as books/book chapters. Dr. Shafri will disseminate his work through a public lecture on the Development of Oil Palm Yield Prediction Model Using Advanced Geospatial and Machine Learning Techniques as part of the grant.

Dr. Sirikachorn Tangkawattana is an Associate Professor at the Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, KKU, Thailand. She was involved in the creation of the Lawa Model which focuses on community engagement to support the improvement of community knowledge on liver fluke prevention and control. The said model has been adopted by the National Health Policy of Thailand and was also selected to be one of the two showcases on neglected parasitic zooneses control by the World Health Organization (WHO). Her immense contribution to the field of OneHealth, pathology, and zoonotic diseases for the development of her country’s health system has been duly recognized by the Regional Professorial Chair Grant. Dr. Sirikachorn will share the findings of her study “From liver fluke control to community’s supplemental income/agricultural benefits” during her public lecture.

Dr. Renato G. Reyes is the current Vice President for Academic Affairs of CLSU, Philippines, and is a multi-awarded academician in the field of Mycology, which includes his recent recognition as the 2021 Outstanding Filipino JSPS Fellow. Dr. Reyes authored the manual on the Philippine National Standard for Natural Ingredients titled “Standard for Edible Fungi and Code of Hygienic Practice for Mushroom and the Code on Good Cultivation Practices for Mushrooms.” He will present his work on Recent advances on the domestication and mykopharming of wild edible mushrooms in the Philippines for the biofunctional food industry as part of the grant.

The SEARCA Regional Professorial Chair Grant recognizes the contribution of institutions and individuals in the fields of agriculture and related sciences, contributing to agricultural and rural development in Southeast Asia through instruction, research, innovation, and extension work. Since the academic year 2012/2023, the Center has awarded SEARCA Regional Professorial Chair Grants to 51 deserving individuals.

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