Hi I'm Rishi! I'm a plant scientist at the University of Georgia currently seeking a PhD in the department of Plant Biology. My dissertation work focuses on identifying candidate genes involved in drought resistant using cultivated sunflower as a model system. Broadly, I have a strong interest in science communication, outreach, and policy particularly conveying to the lay audience the necessity of plant research and what role that plays in global water scarcity and food security. 

Science Communication:

Since 2013 I have dedicated a portion of my time to improving science education outreach in the city of Athens, GA as well as at the University of Georgia. Many of the organizations I am a part of have graduate student participation from the plant sciences. Further, I have started many organizations, most notably I have co-founded the Athens Science Café and the Athens Science Observer


Click here for more videos from Rishi. These include interviews with plant scientists, science communication, and workshop videos.

Research Areas:
Abiotic Interactions, Applied Plant Biology, Ecophysiology, Education and Outreach, Food Security, Genetics, Genomics, Phenomics, Policy, Systems Biology


A list of publications can be found on my website:

Volunteer Activities

Athens Science Café, co-founder | Athens Science Observer, co-founder | Science Athens, co-founder | ASPB Grad. Ambassador | ASPB, Grad. member Plantae steering committee | SPEAR at UGA, co-founder | STEMzone at UGA, co-creator | SciPod: The science podcast, cofounder & cohost | Plant Biology Graduate Student Assoc.Peer Development Mentor | Georgia State and Engineering Fair Judge (annual)

Current Affiliations
Experience & Education