The awards were presented during the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) annual meeting in Salt Lake City in November (2021).
The first is the CSSA Early Career Award. This award recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions in crop science within seven years of completing their final degree. Narayanan has an undergraduate degree in agriculture from Kerala Agriculture University, India, and master’s and doctorate degrees in agronomy from Kansas State University. She graduated with her doctorate in May 2015. Narayanan is the first Indian woman to receive the CSSA Early Career Award.
Narayanan’s research focuses on abiotic stress tolerance of crops. She studies plant responses to climate extremes and collaborates with crop breeders for developing climate-resilient varieties. She is known for her findings on applications of lipidomics for improving heat tolerance of plants. Narayanan provides leadership for multiple organizations and is serving CSSA in committees and as an associate editor of CSSA’s Crop Science magazine.
In addition to the CSSA award, Narayanan also won the Association of Agricultural Scientists of Indian Origin (AASIO) Early Career Agricultural Scientist Award. This award is given annually in recognition of outstanding contributions made by an early career agricultural scientist of Indian origin who has received the terminal degree no more than seven years prior to the closing date for nominations, in any area of agronomy, crop science, natural science, horticultural science, soil science, environmental science, plant biology, or plant molecular biology.
“Sruthi’s leadership and her extraordinary ability to conduct original research have resulted in developing a program for sustainably improving crop production and working for food security,” said Raja Reddy of Mississippi State University who nominated her for the CSSA award. “In the face of climate change, her work on improving resource use efficiencies, maximizing crop yields and minimizing environmental risks of crop production would generate a huge impact.”
The nominators also noted Narayanan’s work in the classroom.
“Sruthi is a gifted teacher and passionate about training and equipping the next generation of scientists,” said Vara Prasad of Kansas State University who nominated Narayanan for the AASIO award.
Narayanan has received multiple teaching awards at Clemson including the prestigious Provost’s Award and the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Life Sciences’ award.