It is with sympathy and sadness that we share the passing of Prof. Alireza (Ali) Navabi on March 10, 2019. Ali was a wheat breeder and professor in the Department of Plant Agriculture. He first joined the department in 2008 as an adjunct professor and since 2014 held the Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO) Professorship in Wheat Breeding.
Ali led and managed the very successful University of Guelph wheat breeding program, and was well known for his exceptional teaching and thoughtful guidance. He strongly believed in higher education’s ability to make people’s lives better. He taught multiple undergraduate and graduate courses as well as advising 12 graduate students and sat on over 25 graduate advisory committees. He stood out for his strong mentorship of students, which he considered a mutual learning experience that broadened his perspective as much as it did his students’.
He published 65 peer reviewed papers, 30 variety disclosures and gave over 100 conference presentations both nationally and internationally. In 2016 he was inducted as a Fellow of the Canadian Society of Agronomy and in 2018 was recognized as a Seed Champion by the Ontario Seed Growers’ Association. Ali was an executive board member for Plant Canada from 2015-2017 and was the President of the Canadian Society of Agronomy from 2016-2017.
In remembrance of Dr. Navabi, his family invites friends, colleagues and students to a celebration of his life on Sunday March 17, 2019 from 1:00pm - 3:00pm. Location: University of Guelph’s, Arboretum Centre.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Canadian Cancer Society through the memorial link: http://convio.cancer.ca/goto/navabi
A tree will be planted in Dr. Navabi’s honour in the Arboretum’s Wall-Custance Memorial Forest and dedication service will be held on Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 2:30pm.