Tipperary soil scientist John Ryan to receive another major international award

John Ryan

International soil scientist, Professor John Ryan, from Cahir, is to receive a second major international award in the United States in November

Professor John Ryan, an international soil scientist and a native of Carrigataha, Cahir, was chosen to receive the prestigious Justus von Liebig Award, the unofficial Nobel Prize of soil science and the highest accolade in the profession.

The Liebig Award is presented once every four years by the International Union of Soil Scientists and was presented to Dr. Ryan at the World Soils Congress in Rio de Janeiro in August.

The prize was instituted in 2006 in honor of Justus von Liebig, a German chemist who established the basic principles of plant nutrition in the mid 19th century.

The award recognises outstanding contributions in applied soil discoveries, techniques, inventions or materials that increase food security, improve environmental quality or conservation.

This is the fourth time the award has been given - the three previous recipients were US scientists.

Dr. Ryan is also to be honoured with the Presidential Award from the President of the American Society of Agronomy. The award ceremony will take place at the ASA Annual Meetings in Baltimore in November.

Dr Ryan’s 50-year career involved international agriculture, with professorial positions at the University of Arizona, The American University of Beirut, The University of Nebraska and the International Centre for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (in Aleppo, Syria).

He holds degrees from University College Dublin (B.Agr.Sc., Ph.D., D.Sc) and the University of Arizona (M.S.).

He has variously served as researcher, teacher, editor and administrator, and has published extensively in the area of soil science and plant nutrition, agronomy and education and development.

He has lectured extensively throughout the world including New Zealand, India, China, Canada and Israel in recent years, and has served on various international scientific committees.

Dr. Ryan has received numerous academic accolades in recognition of his achievements, including Fellow of the American Societies of Soil Science, Agronomy and Crop Science; the International Soil Science Award, the International Service in Agronomy Award; the International Service in Crop Science Award; the Distinguished Service in Soil Science Award;  Fellow of the American Society for the Advancement of Science; the International Crop Nutrition Prize; International Plant Nutrition Institute’s Science Award; and Honorary Member of the International Union of Soil Scientists.

He is also a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Arizona.

Dr. Ryan had the distinction of delivering  the Dr. Tom Walsh Centenary Lecture in Johnstown Castle, Wexford on World Soils Day in 2014, in recognition of one of Ireland’s premier soil scientists and the founder of Teagasc, the national agricultural research organisation.

Dr. Ryan is an active member of Probus Clonmel and the Cahir Social and Historical Society.

He was inducted into the Tipperary-Dublin Association’s Hall of Fame in 2015 for his international academic contributions as a Tipperary native.

Though “retired” in Ireland, he continues to be active professionally in the international scene. In September 2017 he participated in the UCD’s Golden Golden Jubilee celebrations for his graduating class of 1967.