McGill's Don Smith honoured by Acfas
Donald L. Smith recognized with Michel-Jurdant Award
McGill University professor in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Donald L. Smith has been recognized for his exceptional contribution to the field of environmental science by the Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas). Professor Smith received the Michel-Jurdant Award at the 63rd annual Gala de l'Acfas at the Centre des sciences de Montréal on October 11.
Professor Smith, James McGill Professor and chair of the Department of Plant Science, specializes in areas of the physiology, ecology, production and quality of crops. His recent work focuses on methods to increase the sequestration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into crop plants, for ultimate sequestration into the soil. This research is directly linked to the harnessing of crop plants in greenhouse gas management. His progressive work has led to a number of publications, patents and the establishment of a spin-off company.
Prof. Smith is the scientific director of the Green Crop Network (GCN) — a network of leading scientists from across Canada conducting innovative research to develop crops that reduce carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, and to create new plants whose conversion to biofuels requires less fossil fuel.
Established in 1985 in honour of prominent Quebec ecologist Michel Jurdant, this prize is awarded annually to an environmental scientist whose work directly benefits society as a whole through the protection of our environment. "Climate change is the greatest environmental challenge of this century. Climate change is, ultimately, an energy issue and sustainable fuel development is a must," said Prof. Smith. "Those setting out on a career in biofuel crops have a very bright future, although for a very dark reason."
Quebec-based Acfas's primary mission is to promote scientific activity, to stimulate research and to disseminate knowledge. For more than 80 years, the organization has been an active player in the scientific community through a number of activities, including its annual congress, a bimonthly magazine and the awarding of prizes for outstanding contributions to research.