Prof. Hemanta Kumar Patra was born on 9th October, 1952 in the village of Tanupur (Pattamundai) of Kendrapara District, Odisha. He passed H.S.C. Examination with First class from MNHE School, Pattamundai in the year 1968 and subsequently qualified for B.Sc.(Hons), M.Sc. and Ph.D. Degree in Botany under Utkal University. He started his career with the award of UGC Junior Research Fellowship. Subsequently he has been awarded CSIR Senior Research Fellowship, UGC Visiting Associateship, USSR Govt’s Post-Doctoral Fellowship (at Moscow State University), German Govt’s DAAD Fellowship (at University of Hohenheim), CSIR-Emeritus Scientist Fellowship and UGC Emeritus Fellowship for advance research in Environmental Biotechnology.
Prof. Patra has been honoured with several awards naming a few ‘Eminent & Best Scientist of the year Award by National Environmental Science Academy (2004,2005) and ‘International Benevolent Research Fellowship (Environmental Science)’ in 2005. Being the fellows of various renowned science societies like ‘Fellow of Indian Society of Agricultural Biochemists:FISAB-2001’, ‘Fellow of National Environmental Science Academy:FeNESA-2006’ and ‘Fellow of National Environmentalist Association:FeNEA-2009’, he earned pride to the state of Odisha. Prof.Patra has also been awarded Professor Harihar Pattanaik Memorial Award in the field of Environmental Biology and College of Basic Science & Humanities Award for his significant contribution to Botany by Orissa Botanical Society. He was elected as president, Orissa botanical Society for the year 2015.
Prof. Patra headed the Department of Botany from 1st June, 2000 to 31st May, 2002. He has also served the University in different capacities as member of the syndicate, Registrar (I/C), Chairman, PG Council (I/C), Director, College Development Council/Student’s Welfare and Coordinator of NSS. As a Professor of Environmental Science, he has the distinction of heading M.Sc. Course in Environmental Science as founder Course Co-ordinator. The department came to lime light for its advance research by the recognition UGC & DST funded under DRS-SAP and FIST programme during the year 2000 with his leadership.
His expertise research outputs in the field of Stress Biology and Environmental Biotechnology have been recognised through his publications and wide-ranging citations. He has successfully executed research projects funded by UGC, CSIR, NORAD, IBM (Coal & Mines, Govt. of India), MoEF (Govt. of India) and MCCL Ltd. Prof Patra has published 159 research papers in peer-reviewed international/national journals, book chapters including the proceedings of the national and international seminars. He has published 11 books/ proceedings and 27 scientific articles in Science Reporter and others . To date, Dr. Patra has guided one D.Sc. and 24 Ph.D. students of Utkal University. Dr Patra has organised 11 national/state level seminars/workshops and chaired/delivered lectures in International /National seminars. He has successfully managed editorial assignment as Chief -Editor, Managing Editor and reviewers of various journals at the state, national and international level.