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Disciplines and Majors

1. Agricultural Resources and Environment

Agricultural Resources and Environment in Nanjing Agricultural University (NAU) has been designated as a national grade-one key discipline. It has a 90-year teaching and research history comprising three subjects, Plant Nutrition, Soil Science, and Agricultural Environment Sciences; NAU is among the first schools in the country to award the PhD degree in these subjects. In the past decades, research in this discipline is closely aligned with the national strategic goal of achieving efficient utilization of agricultural resources and protecting agricultural environment. The discipline has devoted to understanding the biological processes and control measures to enhance environmental quality and resource utilization efficiency in agricultural systems, particularly focusing on the following four research topics:

Enhancement and Control of Soil Bio-fertility

Our research has led to successful utilization of exogenous functional microorganisms to promote healthy soil microbial community for high-yielding crop production and a deeper mechanistic understanding of microbial interactions in the rhizosphere. In this subject, we have devised dozens of the new bio-organic fertilizer aiming to improve soil bio-fertility, which were licensed to the national invention patents by the State Intellectual Property Office of the P.R. China. The research achievements in this field have been awarded a State Golden Medal of Patent and one of the second-class National S&T Awards of Invention.

Mechanisms of Nutrient Use Efficiency

We have made significant progress in elucidating the molecular mechanisms of nitrate and phosphate transport systems in paddy rice and have discovered new genes that can be used to increase significantly nitrogen use efficiency and yield. For the research achievements, we obtained the first-class Award of S&T Progress from Chinese Society of Soil Sciences in 2009.

Soil C/N Cycling and Agriculture Option for Mitigating Climate Change

The research at CRES in this area covers a wide range of C/N cycling processes, C sequestration and greenhouse gases emission from croplands, and mitigating climate change in agriculture. The significant contribution from this research includes C sequestration potential of China’s croplands, C sequestration mechanism of rice paddy soils and estimation of emission factors of N2O from croplands. Most recently, biochar is of interest as “black for green” option in China’s agriculture. The research has impacts in national policy briefing and international consultancy on climate change and agriculture, including LA for National Climate Change Assessment Report, CA and RE for IPCC AR4 and CLA for IPCC AR5. The studies on the process of greenhouse gases emission from Chinese croplands and the models were achieved one of the second-class S&T Awards of Natural Science from Ministry of Education, P.R. China.

Control and Remediation of Pollution in Agricultural Environment

Our research has led to the identification of the uptake pathways of inorganic and organic contaminants by plants and strategies to minimize the risk of contaminant transfer from soil to the food chain.

2. Ecology

Ecology discipline started to accept Master and PhD students in 2003, with now six research subjects covering main fields of ecology science. Currently, there are 20 academic staffs including 6 professors and 8 associate professors working with soil food web structure and function, biogeochemical cycling, plant-soil interactions, restoration of degraded ecosystem, climate change and ecological risk assessment. The studies of ecology team dedicated to mechanically understand biotic interactions and their effects on ecosystem functioning. In particular, we attempt to apply the ecological theory to ecosystem management and sustainability. The ecology discipline devotes to international cooperation, in which more than 90% staffs have working experiences in abroad laboratories. Now more than 20 research national programs are implemented and numerous achievements have been obtained including 10 national awards and more than 100 papers appeared in international journals. We cordially welcome overseas students to join us!

3.Environmental Engineering

When environmental engineering discipline (EED) first opened its doors to BSc and Master students in 1993 and PhD student in 2006, it was already ahead of its time. At present, there are 29 academic staffs including 12 professors and 10 associate professors working in the field of solid waste disposal, water and wastewater treatment, environmental chemistry and biology, the remediation of contaminated soil or site, and environmental risk assessment. In recent 5 years, more than 20 practical engineering projects were designed and operated involving in the treatments of solid waste and wastewater and the remediation of contaminated site. EED has won 8 ministerial and provincial awards and also published amounts of papers appeared in Environment Science & Technology, Water Research, Environmental Pollution, etc. About 40-50 students devoted themselves to master or PhD program each year.

4.Marine Science

Marine science was inaugurated in 2003, with 100 graduate students pursuing Marine Biology master programs and Application Marine Biology PhD programs. There is a research team of four professors and six associate professors in the Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Marine Biology. The research interests of the marine science include Marine Algae Biotechnology, Marine Environment and Ecology, Marine Biological Active Substances, Stress Biology of Coastal Salt-tolerance Plant, Marine Molecular Biology, Research and Utilization of Coastal Resources and Informational Aquaculture in Artificial Seawater. More than 15 research projects of national 863 and 948 are carried out and a series of sscientific research achievements are obtained by our faculty members. The Missions of the Marine science are to provide a high-quality marine academic base, which will enable the graduates to contribute to the marine biotechnological development of Jiangsu Province and the whole nation.