Highly cited PhilRice scientist and crop physiologist Dr. Rolando T. Cruz ended his 19 years of government service at the Institute, January 23.
Cruz, who worked at the Agronomy, Soils, and Plant Physiology Division (ASPPD), was responsible for conducting systems analysis and simulation modelling for potential yield and nitrogen optimization in irrigated rice systems.
In addition, he spent several years developing practical field diagnostic tools for plant nutrient status and evaluating chemical and physical properties of soil-plant-water interactions.
To date, Cruz is the most cited PhilRice scientist with 1,221 citations both in local and international refereed journals.
“When you are cited in scientific literature, it means you are a recognized scientist both nationally and internationally. Dr. Cruz gave PhilRice a name, and it’s a great honor for our Institute,” said Dr. Eufemio T. Rasco, Jr., executive director.
He also led the development of the Palaycheck System for irrigated rice ecosystems to increase on-farm rice yields. PalayCheck is PhilRice’s banner program for favorable environments.
“PhilRice offers anyone the chance to be with the farmers,” said Cruz during a short program organized by the Institute. He cited the Institute as a “farmer-oriented” agency and thanked his colleagues and the staff he worked with in the development of new technologies for the farmers.
Cruz finished Bachelor of Science in Agronomy and Master of Science in Agronomy and Crop Physiology from the University of the Philippines Los Baños. He obtained his PhD in Agronomy, Plant Physiology, and Soil-Plant-Water Relations from the Texas Agriculture and Mechanical (A&M) University.
He also spent 10 years at IRRI as a researcher and as a visiting research associate at the Michigan State University for a year. He was conferred Scientist I in the Scientific Career System in 2008. In 2010-2011, he was a visiting professor at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia.
Cruz was born in Dapitan, Manila and is based in Los Baños, Laguna. He will continue working for PhilRice as a consultant and mentor of young researchers.