Shyam Bahadur Saksena received PhD (1955) from University of Saugor, Sagar. He worked as Professor of Botany, University of Saugor, Sagar; and also Visiting Professor, School of Studies in Botany, Jiwaji University, Gwalior.
Academic and Research Achievements: Working in the areas mycology and plant pathology, Saksena worked on the ecology of soil fungi with respect to teak forests of Madhya Pradesh. He introduced the concept of frequency, abundance and density in studying the mycoflora of forest soils and succeeded in correlating edaphic factors with association of mycoflora and the vegetation types. This became a model for study of all tropical forests. He contributed to the study of biological control of soil-borne pathogens. He described many new genera and species, specially Saksenaea vesiformis, which constituted a new family of fungi. Later, this proved to be a virulent human pathogen. He also worked on various aspects of root diseases and fruit and vegetable rots.
Other Contributions: Saksena served as Member of the American and British Mycological societies, Indian Botanical Society (President, 1971), Indian Phytopathological Society (President, 1975), and Indian Mycological Society (President, 1978).
Awards and Honours: Professor Saksena was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences (India), Allahabad; and also President, Botany Section, Indian Science Congress (1978).
The Indian National Science Academy has instituted `Professor Shyam Bahadur Saksena Memorial Award’ in his honour.