Herbert J. Kronzucker

Professor Kronzucker was born and raised in Germany, where he pursued degrees in biology, chemistry, medicine, and the arts, at the University of Würzburg. A professionally trained violinist, he first came to Canada in 1988 as an arts scholar. After finishing his undergraduate education in Germany, he returned in 1991, to pursue a Ph.D. in plant biology at the University of British Columbia, under the tutelage of Prof. A.D.M. Glass, a pioneer in plant membrane transport.

Following his graduation from UBC in 1996, Kronzucker joined the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines, as a Rockefeller 'Human Frontier' Fellow, with the mission of developing novel approaches to the study of the cell physiology of nitrogen acquisition in tropical-lowland rice, the world’s principal food crop. In 1998, he accepted a professorial position at the University of Western Ontario, and was recruited three years later by the University of Toronto, where he has held the rank of Full Professor since 2007.

Prof. Kronzucker is renowned for his physiological, biochemical, and biophysical studies on ion acquisition by trees and cereals, from cellular to ecosystem levels, with a focus on nitrogen dynamics, potassium, and salt toxicity. He currently holds the Canada Research Chair in Systems Biology of Plant Nutrition and Ion Transport, and recently established the Canadian Centre for World Hunger Research (CCWHR) at the University of Toronto Scarborough, a multidisciplinary think tank and research base dedicated to addressing the challenge of world hunger through cutting-edge research. He has published some 95 articles, including in the foremost international science journals (Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Trends in Plant Science), and his work is covered in over 90 textbooks as well as the Encyclopedia of Life Sciences (www.els.net). He is among the most widely cited biologists at the University of Toronto, with work having been cited more than 5,300 times since 1995, including 15 papers with over 100 citations. His m-quotient (the h-index corrected for time in career) is the highest in Biology on the three campuses of the University of Toronto. Internationally, he is ranked in the top 1% of his field.

Prof. Kronzucker’s work has been prolifically featured in the national and international media, including the New York Times, the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Christian Science Monitor, and cover articles in the Globe and Mail and Toronto Life Magazine. His work was also featured at the G20 Conference in Toronto and has been highlighted on the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Convention and Visitors Association/Tourism Toronto websites. He is a celebrated lecturer and public speaker, winner of the 2012-2013 Principal’s Research Award at the University of Toronto Scarborough and a lifetime achievement award from Laval University, has been nominated for major international awards, including an Australian Laureate Fellowship, one of Australia’s top science prizes, and, in 2013, was selected, by Bayer Canada, to join an elite group of honourees from across the country (including David Suzuki and Roberta Bondar) to receive a ‘Science for a Better Life’ award, presented to Canadians who have made a mark on society through science and innovation. Prof. Kronzucker has served in a large number of major administrative roles, including as member of the UTSC Research Advisory Board and as Associate Chair, Research & Graduate Studies (Biological Sciences, UTSC), on 12 granting councils (including the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, NSERC, and the BBSRC, Britain’s largest public funder for the non-medical biosciences), as scientific advisor for organizations such as IRRI and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as reviewer for 33 scientific journals, and as a member of seven editorial boards. Most recently, he was selected to become the new Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Plant Physiology (published by Elsevier, Netherlands), one the oldest and most established journals in his discipline, and, simultaneously, was appointed Consulting Editor for the highly respected journal Plant & Soil (Springer). In late 2014, Prof. Kronzucker was nominated for membership in the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada (RSC).