University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign plant biology professor emeritus Govindjee is a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Photosynthesis Research, an honor he shares with Eva-Mari Aro, a professor emeritus of molecular plant biology at the University of Turku, in Finland.

Govindjee, who turns 90 in October and goes by the one name only, made pivotal discoveries into the mechanisms that drive photosynthesis in plants and algae. He also has written or edited dozens of books about the process of photosynthesis and the scientists who studied it.

According to the letter of nomination, which was anonymously submitted, Govindjee “made key contributions to chlorophyll fluorescence induction and photosystem II function … and after retirement he continued to impact the field in many other ways, including by providing a historical perspective of the field.”

The award was presented Aug. 5 during the closing ceremony of the 18th International Congress on Photosynthesis Research in New Zealand.

Professor Govindjee smiles for the camera in his office, where books and equipment are on display on a table in front of him. Behind him, a plaque titled "Understanding Photosynthesis" is propped up.
Photo by Fred Zwicky