1981 …2018
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Personal profile

Biography

Professor Deep Saini is the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Canberra. Following PhD from the University of Adelaide, his lengthy academic career in Canada included Vice-President at the University of Toronto, Dean of the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, and Professor of Biology at the Universities of Toronto, Waterloo and Montreal. His research has focused on the physiological, biochemical and molecular mechanisms of stress tolerance in plans. He has served in numerous professional roles, including President of the Canadian Society of Plant Biologists, President of the Federation of Canadian Plant Science Societies, and member of the Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

Research interests

RESEARCH EXPERIENCE AND CONTRIBUTIONS:

Summary: My research activities over the course of my career have encompassed the physiological, biochemical and molecular responses of plants to environmental stresses; hormonal regulation of plant development; defense mechanisms in plants; and the application of biotechnology to improve crop tolerance against adverse environments. Specifically, three themes have dominated my research at various times: (i) Effects of reproductive-stage drought and heat stress on the reproductive performance of wheat and rice; understanding of physiological, metabolic and molecular mechanisms underlying stress-induced reproductive failure in cereals, with a view to developing means to stabilize yield under stressful environments; (ii) Role of ethylene and other plant hormones in the regulation of seed dormancy and germination, and the use of ethylene and its analogues to break dormancy and synchronize germination of weed seeds in agricultural soils to improve the efficacy of weed control; and (iii) biochemistry and molecular regulation of halide and thiol methylation in plants, its biological significance, and its potential manipulation to improve plant tolerance against salinity and biotic stresses. My approaches to research have been multi- disciplinary, deploying a wide array of analytical techniques and genetic manipulations to probe biological processes from cellular to whole-plant levels. This research has been liberally funded throughout my career by a variety of provincial, national and international agencies and industry.

My deliberate decision to preferentially focus on institutional administration over the past decade to deal with highly time-sensitive challenges and opportunities, combined with two successive moves, made it inefficient for me to continue supervising research in my own lab. This led to my conscious decision to close my research lab in 2014. I am now in the process of publishing the latest results, while also restarting my research activities in a manner compatible with my heavy administrative responsibilities. Notable among these is a recently initiated project in collaboration with Professor Marc Johnson of the University of Toronto on the genetic evolution of plants in rapidly changing urban environments. The project is coordinated by a jointly supervised Post- doctoral Fellow supported by my research funds and also involves a graduate student.

The following lists recent external funding for my research, my research publications and salient conference presentations.

HONORS, FELLOWSHIPS AND SCHOLARSHIPS:

2014 Male Professional of the Year, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce

2013 Honorary Fellow, Punjab Academy of Sciences (India) in recognition of outstanding research contributions and achievements in the field of biological sciences

2012 Queen Elisabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of contributions to Canada.

2011 Featured in the Canadian “Power List 2011” by India Abroad magazine [special issue highlighting 33 distinguished Canadians of Indian origin]

2010 Gleb Krotkov Award, Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists for distinguished services to the society and profession

2009 Guest Professor, Nanjing University, Nanjing, China

1999 Sir Frederick McMaster Visiting Fellowship (Australia) for a 3-month visit to Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Division of Plant Industry, Canberra, Australia

1987-97 Attaché de recherche du CRSNG fellowship, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, for faculty appointment, Université de Montréal

1978-82 URG Post-graduate Merit Scholarship, University of Adelaide, Australia for Ph.D.

1975-77 Junior Fellowship of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research for M.Sc.

1975-76 National Merit Scholarship of India for M.Sc.

1972-73 Undergraduate Merit Scholarship of the Punjab Agricultural University for 1st yr, B.Sc.

 

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, University of Adelaide

19781982

Master, Punjab Agricultural University

19751977

Bachelor, Punjab Agricultural University

19721975

External positions

Member - Mississauga International Partnership Program Committee, City of Mississauga

20152018

Member - Mayor’s Taskforce on Innovation and Entrepreneurship, City of Mississauga

2015 → …

Member - Transition Advisory Team, Mississauga Mayor elect, Bonnie Crombie

2014

President’s Advisory Committee on Institutional Communications Review, University of Toronto

2014 → …

Committee on the Review of Campus Councils, University of Toronto

2014 → …

Advisory Committee on the Appointment of a Vice-President, Communications, University of Toronto

2014 → …

Appointed Member ‘Governor,’ U of T Governing Council, University of Toronto

2013 → …

Advancement Compensation Committee, University of Toronto

2013 → …

Member -Board of Directors, Research, Innovation, Commercialization (RIC) Centre, the Region of Peel

2012 → …

Presidential Assessor, U of T’s Academic Board -Senate, University of Toronto

20122013

Committee on International Relations, University of Toronto

2012 → …

Chair - Vice-Principal Special Initiatives, University of Toronto Mississauga

2012

Chair - Vice Principal Research, University of Toronto Mississauga

2012

Member - ad-hoc search committee for UTM Chief Librarian, University of Toronto Mississauga

2012

Member - Board of Directors, United Way of Peel Region

20112013

Member - Information & Technology Services Priorities & Accountability Committee, University of Toronto

20112012

Member - Divisional Advisory Committee for budget allocation to shared-services Divisions, University of Toronto

2011 → …

Member - UTM Governance Review Committee, University of Toronto Mississauga

20112012

Principal (chief executive), University of Toronto Mississauga

Jul 2010Jul 2015

Adjunct Professor - Department of Biology and Department of Environment & Resource Studies, University of Waterloo

Jul 2010Jun 2013

Member - Economic Development Advisory Board, City of Mississauga

2010 → …

Member - Healthy City Stewardship Committee, City of Mississauga

2010 → …

Vice-President - tri-campus system, University of Toronto

20102015

Member - U of T “Tri-Campus Vice- Presidents” group, University of Toronto

2010 → …

Member - U of T “Principals and Deans” group, University of Toronto

2010 → …

Professor - Department of Biology, University of Toronto Mississauga

20102015

Ex-officio Member - Campus Council, University of Toronto Mississauga

2010 → …

Chair - Principal’s Table (UTM executive), University of Toronto Mississauga

2010 → …

Chair - ad-hoc search committees for Vice-Principal Academic & Dean, University of Toronto Mississauga

20102011

Member - Ontario Premier’s “2009 Clean Tech Mission to India”, University of Waterloo

6 Dec 200911 Dec 2009

Member - Advisory Council on Corporate Social Responsibility, Export Development Canada

20092013

Member - Program Committee, Balsillie School of International Affairs, University of Waterloo

20092010

Member - Senior Advisory Committee, Water Institute, University of Waterloo

20092010

Member - Working group on determining the mandate of ‘Associate Provost Student Services’, University of Waterloo

20092010

Visiting Professor, University of Balamand

Jun 2008

Member - Chair - Gold metal Selection Committee, Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists

20082009

Member - Selection Committee, Toyota Earth Day Scholarship Program

2008

Member - Management Committee, Sino- Canadian College - UofW Nanjing U joint venture, University of Waterloo

20082010

Member - Provost’s Info Group (Provost’s Cabinet), University of Waterloo

20082010

Member - Advisory Committee, Faculty Salary Negotiations, University of Waterloo

20082010

Adjunct Professor - Department of Biological Sciences, University of Montreal

Jan 2007Dec 2010

Member - NSERC Grant Selection Committee, Plant Biology and Food Science GSC-03/Life Sciences Group 1502

20072010

Member - Marketing & Communications Taskforce, University of Waterloo

20072008

Member - Marketing & Recruitment Taskforce, University of Waterloo

20072008

Member - Taskforce on Human Resources Review, University of Waterloo

2007

Visiting Professor, University of Balamand

May 2006

Dean - Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo

Jan 2006Jun 2010

Professor - Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo

Jan 2006Jun 2010

Member - Gold Medal Selection Committee, Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists

20062009

Member - Grant Adjudication Committee, Fonds de recherche sur la nature et les technologies (FRQNT), Québec; Team Grants – Plant Biology

20062007

Ex-officio member Deans’ Council, Senate, Executive Committee, & University Tenure & Promotion Committee, University of Waterloo

20062010

Member - Senate Finance Committee, University of Waterloo

20062010

Member - Senate Long Range Planning Committee, University of Waterloo

20062010

Chair - Campus Wildlife Management Taskforce, University of Waterloo

20062010

Visiting Professor, University of Balamand

Mar 2005

President, Federation of Canadian Plant Science Societies

20052007

Member - Board of Governors, Plant Canada - Federation of Canadian Plant Science Societies

20042005

Member - U of M Committee for NSERC Scholarships, University of Montreal

20042005

Associate Editor, Canadian Journal of Botany

20032010

President, Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists

20032005

Member - Department of Biological Sciences - Committee for Promotion, University of Montreal

20032004

Visiting Fellow - CSIRO - Division of Plant Industry, CSIRO

Mar 2002Apr 2002

Vice-President, Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists

20022003

Member - Comite scientifique, Reseau quebecois de recherche en phytoprotection

20022006

Invited participant - “Roundtable consultations on biotechnological intellectual property and patenting of higher life forms”, Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee

Apr 2001

Visiting Professor - Biology Department, McGill University

Apr 2001Dec 2002

Member - Search Committee, Senior Research Chair, NSERC Biocontrol Network, University of Montreal

20012004

Visiting Fellow - Division of Plant Industry, CSIRO

Jan 1999Apr 1999

Secretary, Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists

19992002

Member - Comite d’orientation, Centre de valorisation des plantes, l’Assomption, Quebec

19992000

Professor - Research Institute of Plant Biology, University of Montreal

Jun 1997Dec 2006

Member - Meeting Site Committee, Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists

19971999

Consulting Editor, Journal of Crop Production

19972000

Director General - Institute of Research and Plant Biology, University of Montreal

Jun 1996Dec 2001

Ex-officio Member - Administration Council Board of Directors, and Executive Comittee for the Research Institute in Biological Science, University of Montreal

Jun 1996Dec 2001

Member - Publications Committee, Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists

19961999

Member - Department of Biological Sciences Committee for Planning, University of Montreal

19962001

Member - Grant Adjudication Committee, Agence francophone pour l’enseignement supérieur et la recherche, International Strategic Grant Competition, Paris, France

19941995

Editor - Bulletin of the Canadian Plant Physiologists Society, Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists

19931996

Member - Department of Biological Sciences - Committee for Graduate Studies, University of Montreal

19931996

Member - Department of Biological Sciences - Committee for Scholoarships, University of Montreal

19931996

Associate Professor - Institute of Research and Plant Biology, University of Montreal

Dec 1992May 1997

Associate Research Professor - Institute of Research and Plant Biology, University of Montreal

Jun 1990Dec 1992

Member - Department of Biological Sciences - Committee for Public Relations, University of Montreal

19891992

Member - Several search committee for faculty position and numerous committees at the Institute de recherche en biologie végétale (Research Institute in Biological Science), University of Montreal

19882006

Assistant Research Professor - Institute of Research and Plant Biology, University of Montreal

Dec 1987May 1990

Sessional Lecturer (part time) - Department of Plant Science, University of Alberta

Jan 1987Apr 1987

Research Associate - Department of Plant Science, University of Alberta

Dec 1985Dec 1987

Post-Doctoral Fellow - Department of Plant Science, University of Alberta

Aug 1982Dec 1985

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Deep Saini is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Triticum Medicine & Life Sciences
Pollen Medicine & Life Sciences
ethylene Agriculture & Biology
Dehydration Medicine & Life Sciences
anthers Agriculture & Biology
wheat Agriculture & Biology
pollen Agriculture & Biology
seed germination Agriculture & Biology

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1981 2018

7 Citations (Scopus)

Contrasting the effects of natural selection, genetic drift and gene flow on urban evolution in white clover (Trifolium repens)

Johnson, M. T. J., Prashad, C. M., Lavoignat, M. & Saini, H. S., 25 Jul 2018, In : Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 285, 1883, 10 p., 20181019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Trifolium
Genetic Drift
Medicago
Gene Flow
Hydrogen Cyanide
19 Citations (Scopus)

Plant evolution in the urban jungle

Johnson, M. T. J., Thompson, K. A. & Saini, H. S., 1 Dec 2015, In : American Journal of Botany. 102, 12, p. 1951-1953 3 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Urbanization
urbanization
urban areas
organisms in general
urban area
7 Citations (Scopus)

Water-stress-induced inhibition of α-tubulin gene expression during growth, and its implications for reproductive success in rice

Sheoran, I. S., Koonjul, P., Attieh, J. & Saini, H. S., 1 Jan 2014, In : Plant Physiology and Biochemistry. 80, p. 291-299 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tubulin
tubulin
Dehydration
water stress
Gene Expression
161 Citations (Scopus)

Cold-induced repression of the rice anther-specific cell wall invertase gene OSINV4 is correlated with sucrose accumulation and pollen sterility

Oliver, S. N., Van Dongen, J. T., Alfred, S. C., Mamun, E. A., Zhao, X., Saini, H. S., Fernandes, S. F., Blanchard, C. L., Sutton, B. G., Geigenberger, P., Dennis, E. S. & Dolferus, R., 1 Dec 2005, In : Plant, Cell and Environment. 28, 12, p. 1534-1551 18 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

beta-Fructofuranosidase
beta-fructofuranosidase
Pollen
anthers
Cell Wall
92 Citations (Scopus)

Selective transcriptional down-regulation of anther invertases precedes the failure of pollen development in water-stressed wheat

Koonjul, P. K., Minhas, J. S., Nunes, C., Sheoran, I. S. & Saini, H. S., 1 Jan 2005, In : Journal of Experimental Botany. 56, 409, p. 179-190 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

beta-Fructofuranosidase
beta-fructofuranosidase
Pollen
anthers
Triticum