For his innovative and interdisciplinary research in the areas of soil science and soil microbiology, Arnab Bhowmik, Ph.D., has been named the university’s Rookie of the Year for Research.

Bhowmik is a professor of soil science and soil microbiology in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Design.

During his two years at N.C. A&T, Bhowmik has researched hemp’s soil needs and helped farmers manage nutrients efficiently to improve their soil’s health, while mitigating greenhouse gases, 

His newly formed Soil Sustainability Lab trains and mentors both graduate and undergraduate students in the areas of soil microbiology, soil health and environmental sustainability. 

“Dr. Bhowmik is a very hard-working, forward-thinking, committed faculty member and researcher,” said Shirley Hymon-Parker, Ph.D., associate dean for research in the CAES. “He is very passionate about his research and has built many partnerships and collaborations during his short tenure at A&T. He readily accepts requests for service on committees and to present his hemp research to interested audiences, including legislators.” 

Bhowmik plans to continue and broaden his research interests to grow the soil science program. 

“My overall goal is to develop a nationally recognized program focused on soil science and soil microbiology at N.C. A&T,” Bhowmik said. “Stewardship of natural resources like soil is critical to combat global issues including climate change, food security, human health and environmental health. Our program would allow a broad range of collaborations with multidisciplinary researchers in and across the United States to work on these common issues.” 

Bhowmik has also been principal or co-principal investigator on several grants, which have resulted in bringing more than $1.8 million in internal and external funds to the university for his research. 

“These grants have and will continue to significantly improve CAES and N.C. A&T research capacities in the areas of industrial hemp production, soil health, organic agriculture and climate change,” he said.