Prof. (Dr.) Ajay Kumar Patra former UGC-Emeritus Fellow of Post-Graduate Department of Zoology, Utkal University, Bhubaneswar has been conferred the most coveted and globally reputed Professor E.P. Odum Gold Medal -2007 and professor J.S. Datta Munshi Gold Medal-2009 by international Society for Ecological Communication at an International Symposium held at Dumka (Jharkhand). Dr. Patra has also been awarded Best Citizen of India Award in 2008 by International Publishing House, New Delhi along with certificate of excellence were conferred on him in recognition of the meritorious and outstanding services rendered by him in fisheries and environmental science sectors of Odisha. Earlier in his young age, Zoological Society of India conferred him FZSI on 10' April, 1998 for his valuable research work. Dr. Patra has also been awarded twice as Playwright in Children's drama festival on 7 March, 1991 and 4m March, 1993 by Orissa Sangeet Natak Academy respectively. Recently Prof. Patra has been awarded UGC Emeritus Fellowship (2014-2016).
Prof. Patra's successful career covers teaching and research with distinction in environmental and fisheries sciences nearly 34 years (from 1978 to 2012). He has contributed immensely to different aspects of biological sciences and has published about 67 research papers in peer reviewed journals, 3 books, 77 popular science articles, delivered 5T.V. and 21 Radio talks, participated 17 SIET programmes. He has also delivered invited lectures at more than 15 Research and Teaching Institutions in India.
A pioneer in the field of Environmental and fisheries sciences, Dr. Patra is the driving force behind the investigations of major terrestrial and aquatic resources of Odisha, the praise worthy of which include Chilika lagoon. Reservoir Hirakud, Lake Ansupa, River Mahanadi, River Brahmini, Nicco-park lake, Similipal Reserve forest, Bhitarkanika wetland, Daringbadi forest and river Ganga in India independently and under ICMR, ICAR, ERC, UGC, CSIR major research projects, New-Delhi. Under his able supervision 48 scholars have already received Ph.D degree and 02 have received D.Sc. Degree and another 08 Ph.D. scholars are nearing completion of their doctorate programmes. He has organized two health care, food and nutrition workshops and two National symposiums. He has participated 12 International and more than 41 National conferences in various capacities and also chaired in certain scientific sessions.
Prof. Patra has served as the expert member in various prestigious committees. These included NASc. (Allahabad) as scrutinizer of National and International research papers, thrice to evaluate UGC Minor Research projects in Zoology, East Zone, Kolkata. He has also served for two years as Head of the Department of Zoology, Utkal University and Director, University Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (UDPS) and has been served as Course Co-ordinator of Master of Fisheries Science (MF.Sc.) for about 10 years. Currently he is serving in the expert panel of Ph.D evaluation in over half a dozen Universities in India. He has also served as expert member of UGC, New-Delhi NAAC to evaluate autonomy of various Colleges of Odisha.
Dr. Patra was greatly influenced by his beloved learned teachers like Prof. H.L. Sirkar, Prof. A.B. Das, Prof. Sameer Bhattacharya, Prof. Shalley Bhattacharya, Prof. Tanmay Bhattacharya and above all his guide. Prof. J.S. Datta Munshi while pursuing his studies in M.Sc. and Ph.D. Born on 2nJ January, 1952 in a poor farmers' family, the life of this great Indian Scientist has been to be selfless service.