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144. Dr. Sulthan Ahamed Ismail

Soil biologist and ecologist

BornOctober 9, 1951 (1951-10-09) (age 59)
Chennai, India

M.Sc., 1974 Madras University
M.Phil, 1978 Madras University
Ph.D., 1984 Madras University
D.Sc., 2001 Madras University
Dip Hr Edn 1986 Madras University

Director, Ecoscience Research Foundation, Chennai, 2002+
Director (Research), Dr MGR Janaki College, Chennai, 2003+
Deputy Director, Shri AMM Murugappa Chettiar Research Centre, Chennai, 2001-2002
Director, Institute of Research in Soil Biology and Biotechnology, Chennai 1994-2001
Vice Principal, The New College, Chennai 1999-2001
Head of the Department of Zoology, The New College, Chennai 1998-2001
Reader in Zoology, The New College, Chennai 1990-2001
Reader in Zoology NCERT (on lien) 1987-1990
Lecturer in Zoology, The New College, Chennai 1975-1987
Demonstrator in Zoology, The New College, Chennai 1974-1975

Published 58 papers in National and International Journals & Proceedings
Supervised 31 students for M.Phil, and 13 students for Ph.D
Presently guiding five students for Ph.D

Dr Sultan Ahmed Ismail putting some earthworms into a vermicompost tank in Penang.


University of Lancaster 1983-1996
Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai, India, 1982-1983
B.J. Medical College, Pune, India, 1987-88
Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), Chennai, India 1991-92
Agricultural Renewal in India for a Sustainable Environment, India 1992+
Auroville 1992+
EXNORA International, India: 1992+
Miyazaki Medical College, Japan 1993+
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, India, 1993+
Uttar Pradesh Land Development Corporation (UPLDC), India 1996-01
KCP Sugars & Industries Corporation Limited, India, 1997-99
UNIDO Asia Programme, 1998-01
Chief resource person in India on composting technology (especially vermicomposting) to several Government and Non-Government agencies through out the country.

Authored several books and booklets on environment and on earthworms.

Prepared 28 Video Lessons in Zoology for the University Grants Commission

"Vermitech: Harnessing earthworms for the benefit of mankind" has been recorded in English, Tamil & Hindi.

Developed educational Software on "BLOOD CELL COUNT" for the NCERT.


Vocational Service Award 1992-93 by the Rotary Club of Madras Metro
Exnora's Friend of the Environment Award for 1993
Commonwealth Association for Science Technology and Mathematics Educators (CASTME) Award for 1994-95 in London, UK
Australia International Education Foundation's Visiting Fellowship for 1996
Award for Vocational Excellence by Rotary Club of Besant Nagar, Chennai, 2002

Biography cited in

o The World Who is who and does what in Environment and Conservation 1997
o Men of Achievement 1997
o Who's who in the World 1997

His technology called Vermitech is extremely popular with farmers and urbanites and is used to recycle organic garbage into extremely valuable fertilizer using local varieties of earthworms and is also applied in soil bioremediation.


* Coordinator for Research, The New College, Chennai, India
* Vice-Principal, The New College
* Professor in charge, The New College
* Vice President, EXNORA International
* Member, New York Academy of Sciences, USA
* National Expert on Composting, UNIDO, Asia Programme
* Member CPCSEA, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Govt. of India
* Committee member, Environmental Society of Madras, Chennai, India
* Chairman, Agricultural Renewal in India for a Sustainable Environment (ARISE)
* Member (Environment) High Level Committee for study of Rivers and Riverbeds as a result of sand quarrying. Government of Tamil Nadu.


Ismail is associated with the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, in the development of a module on vermicomposting as a sustainable ecological practice for children, He also conducted a project for the Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu for implementing vermicomposting in 50 schools in Chennai(Madras)and also delivered several lectures including more than 200 schools across the country and abroad creating awareness on environment, solid waste management and vermicomposting. He is currently associated with the Consumer Association of Penang (CAP), in creating awareness on organic farming, vermitech and waste management to educational institutions and organic farmers of Malaysia.
He has submitted world's first reports about Anti inflammatory properties of Earthworms, Ultra structure of the penial setae of earthworms, Electrobioluminescence of earthworms.


  • Aspects of Behaviour (Ismail, S.A., and Alawdeen, S.S., ed)., The New College, Chennai, India. 161 pp. 1987.
  • Environmental Studies for Class I (Gopalan, R., Sundaram, V., and Ismail, S.A.), Tata McGraw Hill Publishing Company Ltd., India. 60 pp. 1994.
  • Environmental Studies for Class II (Gopalan, R., Sundaram, V., and Ismail, S.A.), Tata McGraw Hill Publishing Company Ltd., India. 59 pp. 1994.
  • Composting through earthworms (Ismail, S.A., Seshadri, C.V., Jeeji Bai, N., and Suriyakumar, C.R.), M.C.R.C., Chennai, India. 38 pp. 1994.
  • Vermitech (vermicompost and vermiwash) (Ismail, S.A.), Ajju's wormery, Chennai, India. 10 pp. 1996.
  • Vermitech (mannpuzhu uram mattrum mannpuzhu serivuttapatta neer) In Tamil, (Ismail, S.A.), Ajju's wormery, Chennai, India. 11 pp. 1996.
  • Usar sudhar khetu vermiculture tatha vermiwash ka uthpadhan In Hindi. (Ismail, S.A.). Uttar Pradesh Land Development Corporation, Lucknow, India. 07 pp. 1996.
  • Vermitech: Worm powered technology (ed Ismail, S.A.), Council for Advancement of People's Action and Rural Technology, New Delhi, India. 40 pp. 1997.
  • Vermicology: The Biology of Earthworms, (Ismail, S.A.) Orient Longman. 92pp. 1997.
  • Mannpuzhu: Valarppum, Tozhilnutpamum, Payankalum (In Tamil) (Ismail, S.A.) Orient Longman. 115pp. 2001.
  • The Organic Farming Reader. (Alvares,C., Shiva,V., Ismail, S.A., Vijayalakshmi, K., Mathen, K., and Declercq, B. editors) ARISE and Other India Press, India. 1999. 298 pp.
  • The Earthworm Book, (Ismail, S.A.,), Other India Press, Goa. 2005. 101 pp


  • Vocational Service Award 1992 93 by the Rotary Club of Madras Metro.
  • Exnora's Friend of the Environment Award for 1993 presented by the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu.
  • Commonwealth Association of Science Technology and Mathematics Educators (CASTME) Award for 1994-95.
  • Australia International Education Foundation's Visiting Fellowship for 1996.
  • Award received from CPR Environmental Education Centre 1998-1999.
  • Environmental Award by Green India Foundation 1999.
  • Award for Vocational Excellence, Rotary Club of Besant Nagar Chennai, 2002.
  • Arignar Anna Award by the Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu, India for environmental education and awareness 2005.

Symposia Organised

  • Organised the All India Symposium on Animal Behaviour at The New College, Chennai as Organising Secretary (June 21 23, 1985).
  • Organised a ten day Awareness-cum-training programme on Vermitech in Organic Farming funded by CAPART (January 13–22, 1997).
  • ARISE National Workshop on Sustainable Organic Farming, The New College, Chennai. Jan 24-27, 1998.
  • Organic Home Gardening Workshop. The New College, Chennai. January 31, 1999.
  • On-the-job Training Programme for the students of Bharathi Women's College, Chennai. The New College June 1–30, 1999.
  • Conducted a five day workshop-cum-Taining Programme on Practices in Organic Farming for CAPART (East Zone) from 28 January 2000 to 1 February 2000, at the Institute of Research in Soil Biology and Biotechnology, The New College, Chennai.
  • One day seminar on biotechnology BioteCHennai 2KX on feb 24 2010.The New college,chennai.
Source : Wikipedia


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