Prem Dutt Dogra earned his PhD (1962), Panjab University, Chandigarh, and his DSkog (DSc) in 1967 from the Royal College of Forestry, Stockholm with a specialization on forestry, forest genetics, botany, and reproductive biology of conifers. He was variously employed as the Siliviculturist, Central Arid Zone Research Institute, Jodhpur (1975-76); Deputy Director of National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI), Lucknow (1989-91); as the Dean, College of Forestry, University of Horticulture and Forestry, Solan (1990-91). Dogra served as INSA Senior Scientist from 1992 to 1995 at Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun.
Academic and Research Achievements: Dogra studied the distribution, natural variation, species diversity, wild gene resources, reproductive biology and evolutionary trends in embryology of 11 genera and 24 species of conifers of India. Seven broad provenances of Pinus wallichiana were described by him from the Himalayas and reproductive barriers were shown to be effective between populations. In a collaborative work (with HB Kriebel) provenance trial of 25 provenances of P. wallichiana showed that 16 provenances from Kashmir had a high level of winter hardiness. Pollen sources from monsoon zone of western Himalayas produced vigorous hybrids between P. wallichiana and P. strobes under his supervision. He studied 80 outstanding broad-leaved forest tree species for gene resources. The knowledge gained has been useful in updating the fundamentals of conifer embryogeny and its pattern of evolution. It is also useful in the application of embryological knowledge in forest seed testing, tree breeding and tree improvement techniques. The work is especially important for the genetical control of the seed, by use of X-ray seed radiography for screening of provenances for fertility, of widely distributed species and in selection and survey of germplasm.
Other Contributions: Prem Dutt Dogra was a Member of the editorial board, Phytomorphology and Journal of Tree Science. He was also a Member of the FAO Panel of Experts for Forest Genetic Resources from 1980-85 and again from 1986-90; Member, INSA Council (1991-93).
Awards and Honours: Dogra was a recipient of the Seth Memorial Award for Forestry of Indian Society of Tree Scientists (1989). He was a Fellow, National Academy of Agricultural Sciences, New Delhi.