Aayudh Das


  • Time Zone

  • Organization
    University of Vermont

  • Role
    Scientist Mentor: I will mentor teams of students online

  • Research Interests (300 words)
    The focus of my thesis is to elucidate the physiological and genetic mechanisms underlying niche variation in grasses, and to determine to what extent major niche transitions from tropical to temperate regions were facilitated by historical factors, such as phylogenetic history and past climate. Since my previous work was restricted to a single species, my aim was to find a project that would expand my understanding of plant evolution. My current research does just that. Not only am I utilizing my previously honed skills in stress physiology and experimental design, but I am now thinking about how different levels of stress responses (e.g. genetic, genomic, and whole-trait) have evolved and been constrained. Since starting at UVM, I have already gained a wealth of knowledge that has allowed me to assemble and annotate comparative transcriptomic data, and to identify differentially expressed candidate genes for future functional testing. Developing new methods to study complex plant traits, with very inexpensive tools, is something I cherished doing during my dissertation work.

  • Do you have previous experience in mentorship or educational outreach? Please list here (200 words)
     Advised five undergraduate students at the University of Vermont, Department of Plant Biology for high-throughput methods in physiology.

  • Which of the following best describes your career stage?
    Graduate Student

  • Profile Question 1
    What is your favorite plant? Why?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 1 here (300 words):
    Nepenthes khasiana

  • Profile Question 2
    What is best about being a scientist?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 2 here (300 words):
    The biggest reason which driven me the most to be a plant biologist, is that research on plant science can address various problems related to agriculture, food security and the environment. Currently, the researchers of life science field has shown greater interest in research with plants. With advanced technologies, plant biologists are doing cutting edge research solving greater problems related to food security and climate change. Combining all various steps and reason, I decided to move forward with plant science to pursue a career on it.

  • Profile Question 3
    What is the coolest thing you have discovered or learned about plants?

  • Answer the question you selected for profile question 3 here (300 words):
    I applied proteomic and metabolomic approaches to determine some of the mechanisms allowing soybean to tolerate drought and heat stress.

  • Help represent the outreach efforts of your societies. Please click all those organizations you are a member of:
    Botanical Society of America
    American Society of Plant Biologists
    Society for the Study of Evolution

  • How did you hear about PlantingScience?
    Partner Organization E-mail

  • Availability
    I am currently available for mentoring, please send me team match invitations

  • Preferred Student Level(s)
    Undergraduate Students

  • Preferred Investigation Themes
    Foundations of Genetics (traits, variation and environment in rapidly cycling Brassica)

  • Challenge, ELL, Honors
    None of the Above

  • In addition to English, I am comfortable communicating with students in the following languages:
    (not set)

  • Videoconference Ability
    (not set)

  • Capacity: How many teams at a time are you comfortable working with?

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