Prof. Dr. Ismail Cakmak, a major HarvestPlus collaborator, has received the prestigious Georg Forster Research Award of the Humboldt Foundation. Prof. Cakmak, who heads the HarvestPlus-supported HarvestZinc Project, was presented with the award on June 4, 2014 in Berlin, Germany, by the Foundation’s President, Dr. Helmut Schwarz.

Before the award ceremony, a reception was held at the official residence of the President of Germany, Joachim Gauck. Based at Sabanci University in Turkey, Prof. Cakmak is recognized internationally for his expertise in the field of plant nutrition and plant physiology, connecting basic research with practical application. He has been coordinating HarvestZinc, a global fertilizer research project, since 2008.

The project seeks to explore and test fertilizer use to improve the zinc concentration of various staple food crops, particularly wheat and rice. As part of the award, Prof. Cakmak is spending a year at Göttingen University, working in collaboration with scientists from the Institute of Applied Plant Nutrition (IAPN) and from the Department of Crop Sciences.

The Georg Forster Research Award, worth 60,000 euros, is granted in recognition of a researcher’s entire achievements to date to academics of all disciplines whose fundamental discoveries, new theories, or insights have had a significant impact on their own discipline and beyond, and who are expected to continue developing research-based solutions to the specific challenges facing transition and developing countries.