Rajashekar or “Raj” as he is known in the HFRR Department is originally from Bangalore, India. His interest in horticulture came at an early age, as his father is a renowned entomologist in India.
“I was always interested in bugs and science, so I decided it couldn’t be a bad career to follow,” said Raj.
After receiving his Ph.D. at Colorado State University, Raj took a post-doctorate position at the University of Minnesota, where he focused on environmental stress. Upon completion of his post-doctorate, there was a job opening at K-State.
A large part of Raj’s position at K-State revolves around research. He primarily focuses on environmental stress, which is looking at how plants handle environmental stress, such as freezing and survival in extreme temperatures. He then uses this information to more fully understand the mechanism and develop strategies for plant improvement. Raj and his associates use environmental stress and molecular approaches to improve health-promoting phytochemicals and nutritional quality of food crops.
Raj says of the HFRR Department, “The people are wonderful to work with and I enjoy interacting with the students. The whole atmosphere is just great.”
Outside of research, Raj enjoys reading and spending time with his kids and family.