Saluki Pride: Amir Sadeghpour researches resiliency and sustainability within agriculture

Amir Sadeghpour, an assistant professor in the School of Agricultural Sciences, has brought in over $3.9 million in external funding through his grant writing efforts. For his dedication to research and teaching, Sadeghpour has received the 2022 Early Career Faculty Excellence Award.

Sadeghpour has introduced meaningful new classes to the SIU program in modern soil science and is an active mentor to graduate students, according to Eric Brevik, dean of the College of Agricultural, Life and Physical Sciences.

“It is apparent that Dr. Sadeghpour takes the teaching component of his job assignment seriously,” Brevik said.

Sadeghpour has spoken at multiple SIU field days to show local farmers, public officials and other stakeholders his research as well as local and state events in his field. He is a great asset to SIU, said Brevik.

“I served six years as a department chair and have completed my first round of dean reviews of faculty,” Brevik said. “In this time, I have not seen a more impressive record built by someone in their first four years on faculty.”

Get to know AMIR SADEGHPOUR

Name: Amir Sadeghpour

Department/title: Plant, Soil and Agricultural Systems, assistant professor

Years at SIU Carbondale: 4

Give us the elevator pitch for your job. 

My position has four components, which are teaching, research, mentoring and service activities. I teach several courses related to soil management and fertility. My research is focused on helping growers to cope with increased climate variability. I use integrated management approaches to design regionally adapted cropping systems that are profitable, efficient, sustainable and resilient. I combine agroecological principles and precise nutrient management practices and evaluate the sustainability of the designed systems. I train undergraduate students, preferably through REACH awards, and mentor graduate students through funded projects and serve my scientific community and SIU the best I can.

What is your favorite part of your job? 

I love research and mentoring my undergraduate and graduate students. I really enjoy brainstorming ideas with growers, my colleagues and students that lead to finding research gaps. I also love working in the field, analyzing data and writing manuscripts with my students and going through multiple rounds of revisions. Watching my students improve and celebrating their success is very joyful!  

Why did you choose SIU?  

I liked the small student to faculty ratio here at SIU. I loved the programs for mentoring undergraduate students such as REACH (Research-Enriched Academic Challenge), a program that allows students to work with a faculty member on independent creative activities or research and that our students, including graduate and undergraduates, can compete and present their research in the Student Research and Creative Activities Forum. I also liked that we have a research station in Belleville, Illinois, with a 50-year-old trial. That was very attractive to me, and I have been doing my best to keep that trial going until I retire!

What is your favorite type of plant, and why?

I have been focused on conducting research on cover crops because they are providing many benefits to soil and the environment, and if managed well, can help growers improve their operations.

What is the best place in Carbondale to go and capture nature and wildlife?

I and my wife, Laura, usually go to Giant City State Park and enjoy the beauty of this place. There is also Shawnee National Forest, which is worth checking out.

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