Position title: PhD Student - Plant Pathology
My name is Smita Shrestha and I was born and raised in a small landlocked country, between India and China, Nepal. Before joining UW-Madison, I spent some of my years accumulating skills, experiences, and understanding the professional fields of Agriculture research at a research-based INGO (CIMMYT) and Agriculture and Science Research Institutions in Nepal. My work allowed me to interact closely with farmers, and learn the hardships they are facing and the importance of commercializing research outcomes for practical use. This inspired me to focus my research goals to obtain advanced crop improvement techniques to deeply understand how plants and microbes interact in their developmental cycle. Consequently, in Geven’s lab, my research focuses on understanding the nature of the bacterial genera causing soft-rot and blackleg disease in potatoes, especially, the Dickeya species’ pathogenesis and environmental conditions conducive to infection. I am also really interested in studying the role environmental conditions play in bacteria-bacteria interactions to cause more aggressive symptoms in the potato system. I am hoping that the result of this study will create a platform for future research work on the control and management of Dickeya strains. Besides my studies, I like to read articles and watch videos related to supernatural entities, mythological stuff, and archeological findings. I also like to try new and adventurous things be it food or place.
M.S. Crop Biotechnology – University of Nottingham (The UK), Malaysia Campus, Malaysia
B.Sc. Chemistry, Zoology, and Biotechnology – Bangalore University, India