Jamuna Sharan Singh received BSc and MSc degrees from Allahabad University, and PhD (1967) from Banaras Hindu University (BHU) for his studies on the dynamics of grassland vegetation and autecology of noxious weeds under the supervision of Professor R Misra and Dr KC Misra. Subsequently, he moved to Kurukshetra University as Lecturer (1968), Kumaun University (1976) as Reader, and BHU (1984) as Professor where he headed the Department of Botany (1991 to 1993) and was also Coordinator, Centre for Advanced Studies in Botany (1997-2003). He worked as Visiting Scientist with US/IBP Grassland Biome, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University (1971-74; 1981-82) and Visiting Professor, Department of Rangeland Ecosystem Science, Colorado State University (1993-94). He also has been Professor Emeritus (2004- ) and INSA Senior Scientist (2007- 08) at BHU, and NASI Senior Scientist (2009-).
Academic and Research Achievements: Singh conducted intensive studies on: tropical grasslands; oak and pine forests and alpine grasslands; temperate grasslands; and dry tropical forest, restoration ecology and biodiversity. He made significant contributions towards understanding the development, dynamics and disruption of natural ecosystems in order to provide a scientific basis for environmental protection, management and conservation. He discovered new facts and concepts concerning ecosystem functioning, new methodology for biological resource study, and collection of hitherto unavailable data on a variety of ecosystems for evolving management strategies. He authored over 350 research articles and edited several books. During his long career spanning over four decades, he mentored a large number of students including 43 PhD students.
Other Contributions: Singh served as Chairman/Member on many policy-making committees, notably of GB Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment & Development, and Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeobotany; Special Committee for IGBP, ICSU; Interdisciplinary Committee of the World Cultural Council, Mexico; Executive Council, International Association for Vegetation Science, Sweden; Board of Governors, ICIMOD, Nepal; and Secretary and Chief Editor, International Society for Tropical Ecology. He also served as INSA Council Member (1989-91). He was on the Editorial boards of several journals, e.g. Oecologia Montana (Czechoslovakia), Reclamation and Revegetation Research (Elsevier), Journal of Vegetation Science (Sweden), Applied Vegetation Science (Sweden) and Journal of Plant Ecology (China).
Awards and Honours: Professor Singh won several awards, notably: SS Bhatnagar Prize (1980), Pitamber Pant National Environment Fellowship by MoEF (1984), Swami Pranavanand Saraswati Award by UGC (1985), Dr Birbal Sahni Gold Medal by IBS (1999), Honour of Distinction (2003), Society for Protection of Environment & Sustainable Development, Life Time Achievement Award (2005) by AWA, Professor SB Saksena Memorial Medal by INSA (1999) and Biodiversity Lecture Award by NASI (2009). He was President, Environmental Sciences, Indian Science Congress (2004). He was elected Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore, National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS).