Growing up on a small agroforestry farm in India, Shibu Jose found an interest in the land management practice, which combines both agriculture and forestry, at an early age. That interest in agroforestry morphed into a passion as Jose began his bachelor’s degree in forestry at Kerala Agricultural University in Kerala, India.
Jose, now the associate dean in the CAFNR Office of Research, has spent his distinguished career researching a variety of topics, including agroforestry practices and ecological sustainability. Jose recently added to his long list of accolades after being named a 2020 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Jose was named a Fellow “for distinguished contributions to agroforestry science, particularly in studying interspecific interactions for resources that define sustainability and ecosystem services of these integrated production systems.”
“It’s indeed a great honor to be elected as a Fellow of the AAAS,” Jose said. “I am fortunate to join a list of very distinguished researchers who are Fellows of this prestigious organization.”
Jose joined the University of Missouri in 2009 as the H.E. Garrett Endowed Chair Professor and director of the Center for Agroforestry. It was actually the late Doug Allen, a supporter of the Center for Agroforestry, who helped convince Jose to join MU. Allen helped create the endowed chair position.
“Honestly, he was a big part of why I came to Mizzou,” Jose said. “I was looking at an opportunity to lead a unique program, and it was comforting to know that there was someone there who was so invested and was backing that investment up. He saw how much potential there was here to grow the Center for Agroforestry.”
Jose became the director of the School of Natural Resources in 2017 and served as the interim associate dean in the CAFNR Office of Research for a year before being named the associate dean in late 2019.
He has received nearly $46 million in funding ($13 million as PI) and has published eight edited books (three more in press) and 220 research articles, with nearly 9,000 citations. Jose has led major interdisciplinary research projects involving agronomists, plant breeders, soil scientists, animal scientists, natural resource scientists and socio-economists. He has published in such journals as Agronomy Journal, Plant and Soil, Frontiers in Plant Sciences, Soil Science Society of America Journal, Applied Soil Ecology, Agroforestry Systems, Forest Science, Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, and Nature, among others. He has served as the Editor-In-Chief of the leading journal in the discipline, Agroforestry Systems, published by Springer-Nature, for the past 13 years.
His economic development activities have led to several invention disclosures, two patents (pending) and one start-up company. Jose has also served as the major professor for 14 PhD and 36 MS students, 11 postdoctoral scientists, and 21 visiting scholars, including four Fulbright Scholars, during his career.
After earning his bachelor’s degree from Kerala Agricultural University, Jose received his master’s degree and PhD from Purdue University.
“My early training in forestry was truly interdisciplinary, with a number of courses from agronomy, soil science and horticulture in the curriculum, which further deepened my desire to focus on agroforestry for my PhD,” Jose said. “You will see that I continued that interdisciplinary line of research throughout my career.”
Jose was one of three professors at the University of Missouri who were awarded the distinction of Fellow this year. Dongsheng Duan, a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology, and neurology, in the MU School of Medicine, and Paula McSteen, a professor of biological sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science, were also named AAAS Fellows. McSteen is a member of the Interdisciplinary Plant Group (IPG), one of CAFNR’s Programs of Distinction.