WIT Award Year: 2018
Organization: University of New Hampshire
Radhika is a plant geneticist pursing her doctoral studies at the University of New Hampshire under the guidance of Dr. Iago Hale. She is working to unravel the genetic mechanism resistance to the wheat stem rust pathogen in barberry i n research supported by the Durable Rust Resistance in Wheat and Delivering Genetic Gain in Wheat Projects. This project integrates her two main research interest: 1) Developing durable disease resistance strategies based on improved understanding of host - pathogen interactions, and 2) Improving a staple crop by utilizing genetic diversity beyond its traditional primary or secondary genepools. In 2011, Ridhika completed her B.Sc. in Agriculture at Tribhuvan University in Nepal. Radhika then worked for two years as a research assistant in the wheat breeding program at the Nepal Agriculture Research Council, where focusing on the improvement and dissemination of rust resistant wheat varieties to farmers, before attending the University of New Hampshire in 2013 to pursue her PhD. Growing up in a farming family in rural Nepal, Radhika saw how her and many other families struggled, she dreamed empowering resource-poor farming communities in developing nations. She is passionate about serving farmers and broader food system as a modern plant breeder and applied plant geneticist.