2020 Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award: Dr. Raju Bheemanahalli Rangappa

Dr. Raju Bheemanahalli Rangappa, who grew up on his family’s farm in Bheemanahalli, Karnataka, India. He earned M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Agricultural Sciences in Bengaluru, India, graduated as a gold medalist in Crop Physiology, one of the university’s highest academic honors. He went on to work at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines before completing post-doctorate research in Dr. Jagadish Krishna at Kansas State University.  

Dr. Rangappa joined Mississippi State University as an assistant research professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences in 2020. He works closely with the university’s Geosystems Research Institute to connect stress physiology with aerial observable characteristics to improve soil-plant health sustainability. Specifically, he focuses on improving plant resilience to abiotic stresses at different development stages by identifying traits, mechanisms, and genomic regions that induce tolerance. 

An active member of several professional societies, Rangappa has a high impact research career with more than25 peer-reviewed scientific articles in abiotic stress physiology and molecular breeding. In 2019, he earned the Outstanding Young Scientist Award from the Indian Society for Plant Physiology.  

“Dr. Rangappa contributes to the culture of scholarship and excellence in both research and mentorship to the university as well as the scientific community”, said Dr. Raja Reddy, Professor in the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at Mississippi State University.

“Dr. Rangappa’s knowledge and fluidity across discipline boundaries, combining classical physiology and advanced high throughput phenotyping strategies, have enabled him to capture the genetic potential of grain crops to improve resilience to abiotic stresses”, said Darrin Dodds, Professor, and Head, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mississippi State University. 

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