Full Name
Dilantha Fernando
Job Title
Farm Name / Company
University of Manitoba
Speaker Bio
Dr. Dilantha Fernando, Department of Plant Science, is a professor, plant pathologist, and Dean of Studies at the University of Manitoba. Dilantha is an internationally renowned host-pathogen interaction (i.e. canola-blackleg; canola-Verticillium; canola-Sclerotinia; wheat-fusarium head blight) researcher, specializing in the epidemiology and spread of the pathogen on canola and cereals (8528 citations; 50 H-Index; 141 i-10-Index; 200 publications). Prof. Fernando’s core research area is sustainable agricultural systems through disease, management using new technologies such as AI, machine learning, gene editing, and others. Dilantha’s earlier work also included weed control research with plant pathogens (fungi). Dilantha studies the host-pathogen interaction at the field and molecular level using omics. Dilantha has been associated with the naming of R-genes in canola, introducing a new disease management strategy in Canada. Dilantha has trained 15 Ph.D. students and 17 master’s students who have graduated and found excellent employment in academia, industry, and government research institutions, Dilantha is a frequent keynote speaker at conferences, and at grower meetings and sits on several boards nationally and internationally. In 2022, Dilantha was named a Fellow of the Asian PGPR Society. Dilantha is the Editor in Chief of Plants and will be the Editor in Chief of Plant Pathology the flagship journal of the British Society of Plant Pathology from Jan 2023. This is the very first-time BSPP has appointed a scientist outside of the UK to lead their flagship journal. In 2021, Dilantha received the Merit Award for Excellence in Research and Service, from the University of Manitoba. In 2020, Dilantha received the highest award for research from the Canadian Phytopathological Society, the 2020 CPS Outstanding Research Award. In 2019, Dilantha was named a Fellow of the American Phytopathological Society, USA. Also in 2019, Dilantha received the highest award for excellence in research on plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR). In addition, Dilantha has won numerous other international, national, and local prestigious awards for research, teaching, and service to the grower communities. Dilantha has been successful in receiving research funds from various groups. The total research funding he has received is $ 42 million. Dilantha sits on several scientific boards and on several editorial boards across the world. Dilantha has published 200 peer-reviewed research articles and 17 book chapters. Dilantha has been a co-developer of 37 canola/HEAR cultivars bringing prestige and royalty funds to the University of Manitoba, adding millions to the Canadian economy and grower profits.
Dilantha Fernando