Portraits of Success: Meet Laxman Adhikari, from Nepal

By Hugo Alexander Morán Chávez| November 20, 2017

Portraits of Success: International Students’ Path to College, Graduate School, and Beyond.

From a humble and farming family in Nepal, meet a successful graduate student, Laxman Adhikari. We spent hours with him discussing his successful career and how his hard work and perseverance has helped him to overcome obstacles. He is currently a Ph.D. Student in Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics at the University of Georgia. His area of research is the improvement of a legume forage crop, Alfalfa, via utilization of genetics and genomics and plant breeding understandings.

Laxman shared with us how he got interested in agriculture, specifically in forages. He mentioned that his family used to produce several crops including corn, rice, legumes and other small crops. While he was in school, he used to engage himself in farm works to help his parents. This led him to apply to an Agricultural University in Nepal, where his worldwide journey began.

After graduating from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science, Tribhuvan University of Nepal with his bachelor degree in agricultural science with major in Plant Breeding and Genetics, he was accepted and attended to earn his master at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, USA. There, he worked with Switchgrass and other promising forages for bioenergy production. Soon after earning his master’s degree, he attended the University of Texas at Austin as a research associate to continue his work on Switchgrass and other forages. But his journey did not end there, he got accepted and is attending the University of Georgia to earn his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding, Genetics, and Genomics. Here at the University of Georgia, Laxman is part of the Institute of Plant Breeding, Genetics and Genomics, specifically, the Grass Breeding and Genetics Lab where his work focuses on Alfalfa.

His alfalfa research focuses on two main traits: “Dormancy and Cold Tolerant.” His main goal is to develop better cold tolerant alfalfa varieties and non-dormant alfalfa varieties that could help farmers in the Southeast of the United States to have a longer season for biomass harvest.

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“I want to develop cold-tolerant non-dormant alfalfa varieties that would yield higher biomass for longer production season.”

 

Watch a short video of his incredible journey!

 

At the end of the interview, we asked him what he recommends to prospective international students. He recommended:

  • They need to know their true interest
  • Do not apply randomly to any universities
  • Find two universities where you would like to do research at
  • Be passionate about your research

 

If you want to learn more about his research, please visit the following links:

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12155-014-9528-3

http://www.scirp.org/journal/PaperInformation.aspx?paperID=79625

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01904167.2016.1264601

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