In my lifetime – due to increasing climate change, expanding cities and populations, fracking, deforestation, and general resource waste – fresh water shortages are guaranteed.

Quite simply, water is the new oil. The lack of it around the world, will be one of the biggest crises of the 21st century.








Water is a fundamental resource for life. For us, it forms the backbone of many societal sectors including manufacturing, textiles, and agriculture. In fact, of all worldwide water use, 70% goes towards the creation of our food. Unfortunately, this is not sustainable. Water is not everlasting. Further, over the next 30 years, expanding human populations will increase our water demand while persistent droughts and climate change will exacerbate our dwindling water supply, ultimately threatening global food security.

For me, this relationship is the most critical challenge we’ll face in the 21st century.


3MT_SlideUpdate_MasaliaIt’s for these reasons that I wanted to focus my research efforts on crop resistance to drought stress, with the goal of understanding the genetic mechanisms of this crucial abiotic stress.

Using cultivated sunflower (Helianthus annuus) as a model organism, my PhD work couples plant physiological methods, genetic mapping, and -omic’ techniques to identify candidate genes responsible for improved drought resistance at the seedling stage of cultivated sunflower development.

For specifics on my dissertation work, click here.

For other bioinformatic project descriptions, click here.

Look here for a list of scientific talks, and posters.



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