"I would advise new researchers to follow an interdisciplinary approach and nurture team spirit."
I am an agricultural economist with 30 years of post-Ph.D. experience in teaching, research, outreach, and governance in a variety of agricultural and natural resources contexts. I have worked in various academic and research organizations and have conducted research on several subsectors of agriculture and natural resources, including crop, livestock, and fisheries. Currently, I serve as Chair of the Department of Agriculture.
My research areas have been wide-ranging. My main areas of technical expertise include aquaculture and fisheries economics, food and agricultural sector modeling, international agricultural development, agricultural and food policy, and analysis of agricultural marketing and trade. My contributions range from the most synthetic and global, such as global projection of agricultural output to specific modeling/policy studies, such as catfish marketing strategies in the U.S.A., and the potential impact of alternative carbon emission policies on the U.S. aquaculture sector.
I am a strong advocate of multidisciplinary research and have been fortunate to work with colleagues from various agricultural and natural resources disciplines (for example, crop science, soil science, animal science, agricultural engineering, fisheries, wildlife, and forestry). I have profound appreciation for these disciplines. I would advise new researchers to follow an interdisciplinary approach and nurture team spirit. Successful implementation of projects and programs requires team efforts from within and outside the main implementing unit.
The agricultural research and development community has been facing the challenge of budget cuts. I have been taking proactive action in that regard and have written a number of research proposals. As a principal/co-principal investigator, I have secured grant funding of more than $10 million during the last 20 years. I currently have three externally funded projects: U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded “Development of Leadership & Global Competency to Enhance Recruitment” and “Designing and Testing New Catfish Products to Enhance Competitiveness of the U.S. Catfish Industry”; and U.S. Agency for International Development- funded “Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish.”
Over the past 30 years, I have led and implemented a number of pioneering, innovative, and interdisciplinary agricultural projects in the U.S., Asia, and Africa. I have published widely in several fields of agricultural development and policy, including 93 refereed journal articles, several books, and 45 book chapters and reviewed proceedings. In addition, I have directed the M.S./Ph.D. work of many graduate students at different universities in Asia, Europe, and the United States.
I was born in Bangladesh and have held posts in Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the U.S. I have also led research and development projects in more than 20 other countries of Asia, Africa, and the Pacific (including People’s Republic of China, Cameroon, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Fiji, Malawi, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vanuatu, and Vietnam) and worked with people from all continents of the world, representing different religions and cultures.