Pratima Pahadi

Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Yongjiang Zhang

Office Location: 304 Deering Hall, University of Maine, Orono, ME

Biographical Statement:  I was born and raised in Nepal where I received my Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with a major in Plant Breeding and Genetics. Soon after my undergraduate I joined Nepal Agriculture Research Council as a Research Assistant where I worked on developing biofortified wheat varieties for the people of Nepal. For a year I also worked in one of the humanitarians based International Non-Governmental Organization to help people affected by a disastrous earthquake, climate change effects, and drought. That is when I became more and more interested in understanding drought and how plants are able to cope with the challenges brought about by droughts. To get an answer to my long-standing question, I joined Yongjiang Zhang Plant Physiology Lab at UMaine for my master’s degree where my research focused on understanding the functional diversity of wild blueberries and their responses to extreme drought conditions. I am now a PhD student in the same lab with a research focus on understanding the trees and wild blueberries response to climate change effects such as drought and heat waves.

Research Area: In Zhang Plant Physiology Lab, broadly I am trying to understand how climate change impacts leaf economic spectrum relationships and plant performance. Specifically, I am trying to quantify the drought resistance and drought and heat resistance of Northeastern United States (NE US) forest and tree seedlings respectively. Other research also focuses on quantifying embolism under high vapor pressure deficit and heat waves in pines. My research location ranges from Southern, Central to Northern Maine, and to the deserts of Israel.