Raju Bheemanahalli, first author of Classical Phenotyping and Deep Learning Concur on Genetic Control of Stomatal Density and Area in Sorghum
Current Position: Assistant Research Professor, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University
Education: Ph.D. in Crop Physiology, University of Agricultural Sciences, GKVK, Bengaluru, India
Non-scientific Interests: I enjoy playing and watching cricket, playing chess, and listening to music
Brief bio: Raju grew up on a family farm in Bheemanahalli, India, and later earned both a master’s and a doctoral degree from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bengaluru, India, where he graduated as a gold medalist. It was here that Raju’s interest in plant-environment interactions was sparked. After completing his Ph.D., Raju transitioned to work at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines before accepting a post-doctoral position at Kansas State University. At K-State, Raju worked with Dr. Krishna Jagadish, the Crop Ecophysiology Lab, from June 2016 to April 2020. During this journey, they established multiple innovative concepts and implemented them to improve crop adaptation to different stresses. They discovered a novel way of integrating physiological, deep learning, and genomic approaches to explore the natural variation stress resilience strategies in field crops. Working with a diverse team and an interdisciplinary mixture of scientists, the group addressed many knowledge gaps in plant stress physiology, including the phenotyping of stomata density and area. Since accepting his current position as an Assistant Research Professor at Mississippi State University in 2020, Raju’s lab has concentrated on connecting classical stress physiological and high throughput phenotyping tools to improve field crops’ resilience to abiotic stress.