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Syed Zahoor Qasim

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Syed Zahoor Qasim

Distinguished marine biologist and promoter of aquaculture in India

A marine biologist, Dr. Qasim extensively worked on the biological oceanography of backwaters of Kerala and atolls of Lakshadweep. He also led the first Indian expedition to Antarctica and followed up with seven more. He promoted ocean research in India and was active in building infrastructure and resources for marine research. The first person to highlight the role of aquaculture, he actively promoted the technology of cultured pearls. 

Dr. Qasim’s research areas span across estuarine ecology, marine biology, Antarctic research and environmental pollution. He has published more than 200 original research papers in national and international journals. He also played a key role in establishing Dr. D. Swaminadhan Research Foundation, a non-profit organisation with the objective of contributing towards  development based on eco-friendly, pro-poor and gender equity parameters. He also served as the Director of the National Institute of Oceanography and was the member of the Planning Commission from 1991 to 1996. 

Recognising his scientific contributions to the field of marine biology, the Government of India awarded him the Padma Bhushan in 1982. 

Led the first Indian expedition to Antarctica