Syed Wajih Ahmad Naqvi received BSc and MSc from Lucknow University, and PhD (1987) from Poona University. He joined National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) in 1974 from where he retired as Director in 1974. After working at Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research for one year, Naqvi rejoined CSIR as a Distinguished Scientist in 2017. Naqvi has visited many laboratories including Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, New York, as a Raman Research Fellow (1990-91); Institute for Hydrospheric-Atmospheric Research of Nagoya University, Japan as Visiting Professor (2000); Centre for Marine Tropical Ecology and Max-Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, Bremen, Germany as Hanse-Wissenschaftskolleg Fellow (2004-05); and MPI-Bremen again as a Marie-Curie Fellow (2008-2011). He was an Adjunct Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, USA, during 2007-2017.
Academic and Research Achievements: Naqvi specializes on biogeochemistry of oxygen-depleted aquatic systems, both in the oceans and on land, especially microbially-mediated redox transformations of nitrogen such as denitrification. He pioneered research on nitrogen cycling in the Indian Ocean, demarcating the zone of denitrification in the Arabian Sea, documenting its variability in space and time, and quantifying its rate using diverse physico-chemical, isotopic and enzymatic techniques. His work provided new insights into processes associated with suboxic ecosystems, including high respiration rates and associated bacteria-produced nepheloid layers, and mechanisms of nitrous oxide production. He demonstrated that human activities are causing an increase of nitrous oxide emission from the oceans. He discovered a linkage between methane oxidation and nitrogen loss in Indian freshwater systems. His most recent research focuses on human impact on biogeochemistry of the Persian Gulf and its implications on open ocean oxygen deficiency. Naqvi has guided a large number of PhD students. He has co-authored around 200 research articles, edited several books and special issues of scientific journals.
Other Contributions: Naqvi was instrumental in setting up a world-class biogeochemistry group and laboratory at NIO. He was involved in planning and implementing international ocean-related projects dealing with global change: JGOFS (Joint Global Ocean Flux Study), LOICZ (Land-Ocean Interaction in the Coastal Zone), SOLAS (Surface Ocean - Lower Atmosphere Study), and IMBER (Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research). He has been an Editor-in-Chief of Biogeosciences, and Associate Editor of Aquatic Biology, Marine Biology and Indian Journal of Marine Sciences.
Awards and Honours: Naqvi has received the following awards: CSIR Young Scientist Award in Earth Sciences (1987), MAAS Young Scientist Award in Physical Sciences (1992), SS Bhatnagar Prize in Earth Sciences (1996), Vigyan Ratna Samman by the Government of Uttar Pradesh (2004), National Award for Ocean Science & Technology (2013) and National Geoscience Award for Excellence (2018). He is a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1994), National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (2002), and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, Trieste. The University of Southern Denmark conferred upon him an honorary doctorate degree in 2019.