December 8, 2015Lincoln, Neb. — Samodha Fernando, assistant professor in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, has been selected to receive the 2015 IANR Dinsdale Family Faculty Award. The award honors faculty members for outstanding teaching, research and outreach in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. It is especially focused on untenured faculty who have demonstrated a strong commitment to academic excellence.
Fernando is quickly earning a reputation as a leading researcher. In his role, Fernando studies how gut microbial structure-function relationships affect animal and human nutrition and health. He has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on more than $1.9 million in exteral grants, including two Agriculture and Food Reseach Initiative (AFRI) grants. Over the course of his short career, Fernando has published 20 refereed journal articles, 23 abstracts and 11 research reports.
Along with teaching an advanced animal nutrition graduate course and a nutritional biochemistry graduate course, Fernando also serves as the advisor to six graduate students and two postdoctoral fellows. He serves on the committees of six M.S. and 11 Ph.D. candidates. Nominators wrote that Fernando's cooperative spirit and team building skills are key to his success.
In recognition of his accomplishments, the American Society of Animal Science selected him to receive its Early Career Achievement Award at its 2015 annual meeting and he was selected as one of the recipients of IANR's Junior Faculty for Excellence in Research Awards.
Fernando will receive a certificate and cash award.