PSS students shine in Graduate School thesis, dissertation competition
By: Norman Martin
Two top-flight graduate students from Texas Tech University's College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources were honored today (Jun. 21) with Outstanding Thesis and Dissertation Awards, according to officials with the university's Division of Graduate and Postdoctoral Affairs. The winners competed in the category of biology/life sciences.
Jasmine Neupane, a master's student from Nepal, won First Place – Outstanding Thesis Award for 2019. She received a certificate for the honor, along with a $1,000 cash award. The title of her thesis was, "Cotton Yield Variability in Relation to Irrigation Rates, Soil Physical Properties and Topography."
Neupane was nominated by Wenxuan Guo, an assistant professor of crop ecophysiology and precision agriculture in the Department of Plant and Soil Science. Neupane graduated in 2018, and has begun a doctoral program in Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science.
Separately, Vimal Balasubramanian, a doctoral student from India, received the Second Place – Outstanding Dissertation Award for 2019. He received a certificate and a $750 cash award. The title of his dissertation was, "Understanding the Genetic Factors Involved in Cell Wall Biosynthesis and Biomass Production."
Balasubramanian was nominated by Venugopal Mendu, an assistant professor of cell wall biology in Tech's Department of Plant and Soil Science, and the recipient of a Chancellor's Council Distinguished Research Award (2018).
"He [Balasubramanian] was one of the most hard working and productive graduate students in my lab," Mendu said. "His work is seminal and published in high-impact journals." Following his graduation from Texas Tech in December 2018, Balasubramanian joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratories in Richland, Washington, where he is working on biomass and biofuel characteristics of dedicated bioenergy crops.
CONTACT: Eric Hequet, Department Chair, Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2838 or firstname.lastname@example.org
0621NM19 / PHOTO: Vimal Balasubramanian in Department of Plant and Soil Science laboratory
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Editor: Norman Martin
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