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NAPA Research & Capacity Building Committee (2022-2024)


Pramod Pokhrel, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Email: pokhrelpramod99 at gmail dot com

Dr. Pramod Pokhrel is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M University. He completed his B.Sc. (Agriculture) from the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), Nepal, in 2010. He worked as a District Coordinator for Vegetable Seed Project (VSP-III) at the Center for Environmental and Agricultural Policy Research, Extension, and Development (CEAPRED), Okhaldhunga, from 2012- to 2013. He joined Dryland Agricultural Institute at West Texas A&M University, Canyon, Texas, in 2014 and completed the MS in 2016. He completed his Ph.D. in 2020 from Texas A&M University. Dr. Pokhrel’s past and current research focuses on cropping systems, crop simulation modeling, and greenhouse gas emission. He is the vice-leader of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) Soil Carbon and Greenhouse Gas Emissions community and will serve as leader of the community in 2023. Dr. Pokhrel is a life member of NAPA. In the immediate past term, he was a member of the Resource and Capacity Building Committee (RCBC) and chair of the Career and Outreach Committee (COC). He initiated and coordinated the NAPA Graduate Assistantship compilation and posting page.


Santosh Dhakal, PhD

Faculty, Johns Hopkins University, MD, USA

Dr. Santosh Dhakal is a faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, USA. He completed Bachelor of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry (B.V.Sc.&A.H.) from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, in 2011 and earned a Ph.D. in Comparative and Veterinary Medicine (CVM) from The Ohio State University, USA, in 2018. His expertise includes veterinary medicine, infectious diseases, vaccines, therapeutics development, and public health research. Dr. Dhakal has published over 65 peer-reviewed articles, delivered more than 30 scientific presentations, and worked as an editor and reviewer for over 30 scientific journals. He is a NAPA life member and served as the treasurer of the NAPA executive committee, advisor of NAPA's Student Coordination Committee (SCC), and co-chair of the membership drive committee during the executive term 2020 – 2022. He also served as the General Secretary of NAPA's 2nd Biennial International Scientific Conference 2020 and Scientific Committee Member for NAPA's 3rd Biennial International Scientific Conference 2022..

Sharad P. Marahattha, PhD

Risk Analyst, USDA-APHIS-PPQ, Raleigh, NC

Email: sharadparasar at gmail dot com

Dr. Sharad P. Marahatta is an analyst who has worked in education, research, and development. He earned his doctorate from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, College of Agriculture and Human Resources, in Tropical Plant Pathology in 2011. He had worked as an Instructor/Assistant Professor (Integrated Farming Systems) at the University of Hawaii, Kauai Community College for seven years and as an Assistant Professor (Tropical Cropping Systems) at the University of Hawaii at Hilo for three and a half years. He had taught horticulture, integrated pest management, hydroponics, and related courses. His research interests include nematology, nematode communities, soil health management, and integrated pest management. Dr. Marahatta is a life member of NAPA. Since 2019, he has been serving as a member of the Research and Capacity Building Committee (RCBC).

Keshav Sharma, PhD

Postdoctoral associate, USDA-ARS, Saint Paul, MN

Dr. Keshav Sharma is a postdoctoral associate working as a Research Molecular Biologist at the USDA ARS Cereal Disease Laboratory in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA. His current research is focused on identifying wheat resistance to control its fungal disease, stem rust, using various molecular approaches. He completed his bachelor's degree in agriculture science from the IAAS TU Chitwan Nepal in 2009 and earned his Ph.D. in 2018 from the Mississippi State University USA. During his graduate studies, he conducted gene cloning, plant genetic engineering, and gene expression studies to identify host resistance in soybean and cotton to help reduce crop loss caused by plant parasitic nematodes. Dr. Sharma is a NAPA life member and has contributed to the scientific community by reviewing and publishing peer-reviewed journals. He is interested in improving plant quality traits by exploring genetic resources and applying cutting-edge technologies.

Sushil Paudyal, PhD

Faculty, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Email: vetsushil at gmail dot com

Dr. Sushil Paudyal is an Assistant Professor of Dairy Science at the Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University. His research focuses on herd health management of dairy cattle using novel tools and precision monitoring technologies. Paudyal's research aims to optimize the production, health, and well-being of dairy animals by using data at an animal and herd level. He completed his B.V.Sc.&A.H. from Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science -TU in 2013, MS in Animal Health from West Texas A&M University in 2015, and Ph.D. in Dairy Herd Health Management from Colorado State University in 2018. Dr. Paudyal is a life member of NAPA and served as Secretary of the Conference Organizing Committee for NAPA's 3rd Biennial International Scientific Conference in 2022.

Shital Poudyal, Ph.D.

Faculty, Utah State University, Logan, UT

Email: shitalpoudyal at gmail dot com

Dr. Shital Poudyal is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist at Utah State University Department of Plants, Soils & Climate. Dr. Poudyal completed his M.S. degree in Plant Science from the University of Wyoming in 2015 and his Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University in 2020. Dr. Poudyal's research focuses on developing sustainable management practices for landscape and nursery plants, emphasizing water conservation. He aims to evaluate and understand the physiological, morphological, and biochemical responses of various ornamentals subjected to irrigation with unconventional water sources and develop effective techniques to protect surface and groundwater resources by reducing agrochemical runoff. Dr. Poudyal was a member of the Scientific Committee for the NAPA 2022 Conference. He is also a member of the Graduate Student Activities Committee for the American Society of Horticultural Science (ASHS). Dr. Poudyal is passionate about working with young researchers to train them in conducting scientific research.

Shyam L Kandel, Ph.D.

Research Scientist, USDA-ARS, Fargo, ND

Email: kandelsl at gmail dot com

Dr. Shyam Kandel is a Research Plant Pathologist at the USDA-ARS Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center in Fargo, North Dakota. Dr. Kandel received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Agriculture from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. After completing his master’s degree, he joined the Department of Agriculture, Government of Nepal, and worked as a Plant Protection Officer for two years. In Nepal, he worked on managing various crop pests and diseases in cereal and vegetable crops. In the US, he received his MS in Plant Pathology from the Washington State University and Ph.D. in Environmental and Forest Sciences from the University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Dr. Kandel conducts basic and applied research to find solutions to minimize the damage caused by plant pathogens in crop plants. Dr. Kandel was awarded OIP Global Experience Award from the American Phytopathological Society, Office of International Programs, and conducted a plant disease diagnostic workshop at the University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka, in 2018. Dr. Kandel has published more than 20 peer-reviewed articles, delivered scientific presentations, and worked as an editor and a reviewer for various scientific journals. He is a NAPA life member and served as a member of the NAPA executive committee (2020-2022) and a member of NAPA’s Biennial International Scientific Conference in 2020 and 2022.

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