M Dileep Kumar obtained his BSc, MSc and PhD degrees from Andhra University, Visakhapatnam. He joined the National Institute of Oceanography (CSIR), Goa, as a JRF (1979), was selected as a Trainee Scientist (1982) and later regularized as Scientist (1983). His research foci included speciation of elements in seawater, control of seawater composition, and biogeochemistry with particular reference to carbon dioxide and dimethylsulphide in the North Indian Ocean. Kumar was a Visiting Scientist at the University of Hawaii for six months in 1990 under Raman Research Fellowship, where he researched on regeneration of silica and radium in the Indian Ocean, and later at the University of Tokyo (Ocean Research Institute) as a JSPS Fellow (2004-05) to conduct studies on aerosols.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dr Dileep Kumar's contributions helped advance the understanding of carbon and sulphur biogeochemical cycles and significantly brought out the contrasting patterns between the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. His pioneering studies showed the Arabian Sea to be a source of atmospheric carbon dioxide, whereas the Bay is a seasonal sink. Strong stratification at the Bay of Bengal surface and organic carbon decomposition processes account for differences in carbon deposition rates and emissions from the North Indian Ocean. In 1988, Kumar initiated precision measurements of dimethyl sulphide (DMS) in waters of the Indian Ocean. His pioneering detection of DMS and DMSP in marine aerosols contradicts the notion that sea-to-air fluxes occur only through degassing of DMS and significantly influence atmospheric sulphur budget. Kumar has published over sixty research papers and has trained five doctoral students. He has been associated with academic activities at Goa, Andhra, Cochin and Bharatidasan Universities and CSIR, New Delhi.
Other Contributions: Dileep Kumar has contributed to the national Global Change (IGBP) projects JGOFS and LOICZ, and climate (ICRP) related projects BOBMEX and INDOEX. He has served as a member of the Planning Committee (1997-2000) of SOLAS project of IGBP (Stockholm), of its Scientific Steering Committee (2001-04), and as SOLAS-LOICZ International Link (2003-05). Kumar has also served on SCOR (Washington) and IOC (Paris) Ocean CO2 Advisory Panel (2000-03), and SCOR Working Group 120 (2001-05). He served on the SSC of Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) of WMO, Geneva from 2007-2012. He is on the Editorial Boards of Journal of Earth System Science.
Awards and Honours: Dileep Kumar was awarded CSIR Young Scientist Award (1988), Professor BN Ghosh 80th Birthday Medal and Prize (2002) by the Indian Chemical Society, Kolkata. He has been elected as a Fellow of Indian Academy of Sciences, Bangalore (1999) and National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad (2007).