Dinakar Challabathula – Visiting Scientist – Dinakar obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Hyderabad, India in the field of Molecular Plant Physiology. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Institute for Molecular Physiology and Biotechnology of Plants, University of Bonn, Germany with Prof. Dorothea Bartels. Currently, he is an Assistant Professor at the Central University of Tamil Nadu, India where his research focus is on the molecular physiology of drought/salinity stress responses in plants and plant-microbe interactions. He was a visiting scientist at IMBIO, Germany under the INSA-DFG Bilateral Exchange Programme, 2017 and IPID4all (International promovieren in Deutschland – für alle) DAAD funding programmes. He is investigating the role of ROS and various compounds in the formation of haustoria during parasitic-plant infections.
Anna Kokla – PhD student – Anna is from Greece and received her undergraduate degree from Athens and her MSc from Uppsala University. She is investigating the developmental basis for parasitic plant infections using the model plants Arabidopsis thaliana and Phtheirospermum japonicum.
Shamik Mazumdar – PhD student – Shamik is from India and completed his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Pune and Maharshi Dayanand University. He worked as a junior research fellow at the University of Delhi before working at the International Rice Research Institute on genome editing for two years. He is understanding how biotic and abiotic stresses affect plant vascular development.
Charles Melnyk – PI – Charles is from Canada and obtained his BSc Hons degree in Biochemistry at his local university in Ottawa. He moved to the UK where he did his PhD at the John Innes Centre and University of Cambridge with David Baulcombe studying mobile small RNAs. He stayed on in Cambridge as a Research Fellow at Clare College and the Sainsbury Laboratory with Elliot Meyerowitz and Ottoline Leyser where he initiated his research on understanding the developmental basis for how plants graft and how parasitic plants infect. Having worked at a plant nursery for four summers, Charles is a keen botanist but also enjoys road cycling, cross country skiing, jogging and traveling.
Amrit Kaur Nanda – Postdoc – Amrit is from Denmark and did her undergraduate and master’s degree’s in France. She then went on to do a PhD at the Australian National University studying embryogenesis and seed germination. She did short post-docs in Japan and at IRRI in the Philippines before joining the lab. She is investigating how monocots graft and identifying novel regulators of vascular formation in Arabidopsis.
Theo Serivichyaswat – PhD student – Theo is born and bred Thai. He received his BSc in Biotechnology from Thailand, then moved to South Korea for his MSc, studying ambient-temperature responsive microRNAs and their regulating roles in flowering at Korea University. Before he joined the lab, Theo worked at a seed company where he investigated the floral homeotic genes of marigold and tomato for commercial purposes. He is currently studying the cellular basis of vascular regeneration. Besides science, Theo loves tennis.
Ai Zhang – Postdoc – Ai is from China and obtained her PhD from the Northeast Normal University studying the global impacts of aneuploidy (genomic stability) on gene expression in polyploid (wheat). Currently, she is characterising the early activators of graft formation in Arabidopsis.