Prashasti Agarwal

Plant and Environmental Sciences

Prashasti joined the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences (SPES) as a Ph.D. student in spring 2021. She is co-advised by Drs. Brian Badgley and Jacob Barney. Her research interests broadly include understanding plant-microbe-soil interactions in agroecosystems. Her current research focuses on investigating the relationship between plant functional traits and their associated soil microbiomes. She will then use this fundamental knowledge to design cover crop mixtures with diverse plant functional traits to manipulate the soil microbiome for enhanced agroecosystem services.

Prashasti hails from India where she received her bachelor’s degree in Agriculture. She then pursued her master’s at New Mexico State University where she worked on evaluating the feasibility of growing cover crops under water-limited arid agroecosystems for improved ecosystem benefits.

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Growing up in an agriculturally rich country, Prashasti was always fascinated by lush, green wheat and rice fields, tea gardens and coffee plantations, and wondered about the ‘how’ of food production. Now that she has figured out the ‘how,’ she strives to make food production more sustainable in the face of climate change. She believes that the Interfaces of Global Change program will help her develop the skill set necessary to conduct collaborative and interdisciplinary research crucial for solving ever-evolving global issues. It will also facilitate her in becoming an active member of the science community and making positive contributions to the realm of science communication, outreach, and advocacy.