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Press Release
29 Nov 2023

Dr. Jian Feng Ma, Dr. Chelsea Janke, and Dr. Shan Li Honored as the winners of the IFA Science Awards 2023

Doha, Qatar, November 28, 2023

The International Fertilizer Association (IFA) today announced the recipients of the IFA Science Awards for their exceptional contributions to the field of plant nutrition science and sustainable development.

Dr. Jian Feng Ma, Professor at the Institute of Plant Science & Resources, Okayama University, Japan, received the prestigious IFA Norman Borlaug Plant Nutrition Award for his groundbreaking research in plant nutrition spanning over three decades. His work has clarified key aspects of nutrient uptake, transport within plants, and responses to changing environmental conditions. Dr. Ma's efforts hold promise for safer, more productive crop production.

The two recipients of the Emerging Scholar Award are Dr. Chelsea Janke, from the University of Queensland, Australia and Dr. Shan Li, from the College of Agriculture at Nanjing Agricultural University, China.

Dr Chelsea Janke 2023 Dr Shan Li

CEO and Director General of IFA, Alzbeta Klein, said:

“Science is the bedrock of IFA's work, guiding everything we do. In recognizing these outstanding individuals, we salute their dedication to plant nutrition science and sustainability. Their groundbreaking work aligns with IFA's vision for the future. Congratulations to our winners; we eagerly anticipate their ongoing positive impact on our industry and society at large.”

Dr. Jian Feng Ma's research spanning three decades aligns with the New Paradigm for Plant Nutrition ‑ a holistic approach to nutrient management prioritizing productivity, income, efficiency, resilience, nutrition, health and environmental enhancement. His significant contributions have impacted nutrient transport, crop breeding, and sustainable agriculture.

Dr Feng Ma said:

“It is my great honor to receive the IFA Norman Borlaug Plant Nutrition Award. We have addressed fundamental questions of plant nutrition during last three decades, i.e. how plants take up nutrients from the soil and transport them to different organs, tissues and cells, and how plants respond to environmental changes in the concentrations of mineral nutrients in the soil.  I hope that our works will further contribute to better and safe crop production in future.”

Dr. Chelsea Janke, a distinguished researcher renowned for her pioneering work in nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer dynamics, has been acknowledged for her research's substantial impact on improving nutrient utilization efficiency, boosting agricultural productivity, and promoting environmental sustainability.

Dr. Janke said:

“I am honored to receive the 2023 IFA Emerging Scholar Award. I am confident that my research and that of my peers will continue to progress the scientific understanding which underpins sustainable solutions for crop nutrition around the world.”

Dr. Shan Li, honored with the IFA Emerging Scholar Award, has spearheaded research on high-yielding crops with enhanced nutrient use-efficiency. Her work, based at Nanjing Agricultural University's College of Agriculture in China, aligns with the New Paradigm for plant nutrition, aiming to reduce economic and environmental costs linked to fertilizer production.

Dr. Li said:

"It’s my great honor to receive the IFA Emerging Scholar Award, which spotlights the importance of my research, developing high-yielding crops with enhanced nutrient use-efficiency, which addresses several aspects of the new paradigm for plant nutrition and minimizes both economic and environmental costs associated with fertilizer production."

From 1993 to 2010, as the IFA International Crop Nutrition Award, and since 2010 as the IFA Norman Borlaug Award, IFA has granted an award to a person whose research or extension work has led to significant advances in crop nutrition. In 2021, IFA updated its awards in recognition of the need to look at plant nutrition in a way that pursues multiple socioeconomic, environmental and health outcomes. The association also added the Emerging Scholar category.

IFA contact information
LinkedIn: international-fertilizer-association-ifa
Twitter: @FertilizerNews
Media contact: Sally Ekanayaka, Communications Manager,

About the International Fertilizer Association

The International Fertilizer Association (IFA) was founded in 1927 and is the only global fertilizer association, with over 480 members from more than 70 countries and a mission to promote the efficient and responsible production, distribution, and use of plant nutrients. This mission plays a critical role in helping to feed the world sustainably. IFA represents providers of plant nutrition solutions. Members include fertilizer producers, traders and distributors, as well as their associations, service providers to the industry, research organizations, AgTech startups and non-governmental organizations.

Author(s): Sally Ekanayaka