| NSA Spotlight of the Month February 2020: Dr. Devendra Pandeya |

Whatever you are working with, you need patience, dedication and hard work. – Dr. Devendra Pandeya, Ph. D.

Howdy, Namaste, Hola and Bonjour! NSA is back with the February edition of SPOTLIGHT OF THE MONTH. Any guesses? Hmmm… let me introduce him with a little anecdote. So, long ago and far away… just kidding.
Earlier in 2018, soil and crop sciences professor Dr. Rathore and his team received USDA approval for the edible cottonseed research that the team had been working on for two decades. He was among the team and had a pivotal contribution to the research. In fact, he has been actively working on the project since 2011. He is none other than one of our advisors Dr. Devendra Pandeya, Ph. D., who is working as a Research Scientist at Texas A&M AgriLife Research in the field of Crop Improvements.
Dr. Pandeya joined Texas A&M in 2011 and have been working as a research scientist. During this period, he has been involved in two major projects which include the development of edible cotton approved by both USDA/APHIS and FDA to grow and utilize in the US. The other was the development of a non-herbicidal method of weed control. In fact, he has got several research publications and two patents.
He aims at leading the Agri Research as the head scientist in 10 years from now; however, apart from academics, he loves gardening, cooking, and parenting. He credits his success to his parents and brother for an excellent foundation, and his wife for her encouragement, support and critical advice.
“I was raised and grown up in the rural part of Nepal where we used to grow all food, vegetable, and fruits on our own. I was in close contact with the families who used to work hard the entire year on their farm but couldn’t produce enough just for their survival. Since then, I used to think something needs to be changed with the traditional way of farming.” – Dr. Devendra Pandeya

NSA SPOTLIGHT QUESTIONNAIRE

Name: Devendra Pandeya
Current position: Research Scientist at Texas A&M AgriLife Research.
Qualification: PhD
Research Topic interests: Crop improvement

Why did you choose to become a (your profession)?
A. More than half of the world population is under poverty line and can not afford enough/nutritious food. The food production will have to be increased by 70% by 2050 to meet requirements of the projected 9.1 billion people. Therefore, I am interested in the research related to crop improvement to address the crisis that we encounter today.

What do you love doing the most duing the free times?
A. I love gardening, driving, spending quality time with family and hiking.

What is one of your favorite places to hang out in College Station?
A. Walking trail in Lick Creek Park

How did your research interest come about?
A. I was raised and grown up in rural part of Nepal where we used to grow all food, vegetable and fruits in our own. I was close contact with the families who used to work hard entire year In their farm but couldn’t produce enough just for their survival. Since then, I used to think something need to be changed with the traditional way of farming.

What advice would you give your younger Self?
A. Whatever you are working with, you need patience, dedication and hard work. Never forget who you are and where are you from. ‘Eiffle tower was not built overnight’

Any suggestion for the upcoming students or those aiming for pursuing a career in your field?
A. Before selecting your major/research topic, always be aware with the scope of your research outcome at least 5 years from now and if your program allows to chose the topic always choose the research topic that has direct application to human kind.

Can you please write something about your most rewarding part at Texas A&M ?
A. I joined Texas A&M in 2011 and have been working as a research scientist. During this period, I have involved in two major projects. We developed edible (low gossypol cottonseed event) which was approved by USDA/APHIS in 2018 to grow in US and the edible cotton event was approved by FDA in 2019 to utilize in human food or in animal feed. This is the fifth biotechnologically derived crop product coming from private sector and approved by FDA. The high protein source coming from this edible cotton will help to reduce hunger and malnutrition, especially in developing countries. This research was also listed in 12 most memorable events in Texas A&M in past 10 years. The news was also published/aired in more than 100 local, national and international medias.
The second successful project that I have been involved was development of non-herbicidal method of weed control. This research also published in Proceeding of National Academy of Science USA (PNAS) and cought lot of national and international media coverage.
Regarding these results, I have got several research publications and two patents.

What are the activities/organizations you are/were involved within the University?
A. I have been serving an advisor for Nepali Student Association TAMU.

Can you describe your success story?
A. The secret of success in brief is: working smart not working hard. Your result comes positive or negative, always talk to others. Need a lot of discussion and input of ideas from others. Whether you take others idea or not, its up to you but listen carefully every one.

There are several factors for my great academic and research achievements:
1. Good research project and favourable working environment
2. Patience, hard work, dedication and positive attitude towards your project and research outcomes.
3. Being up to date with current mostly related and some unrelated research around the world.
4. Discussion with supervisors, co-workers and collaborators.
5. Good data keeping and converting data to report/manuscript/presentation form
6. Discussing about research, designing hypothesis and analyzing data in different ways.

Apart from the academics, what other skills do you have? How did you learn those and manage time?
A. Gardening, Cooking and parenting. I learned them with my interest. I can work at morning, evening and weekends.

Whom do you credit your success?
A. My parents and brother for excellent foundation. My wife for her encouragement, support and critical advice.

FUN TIME:
Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
A. Lead Scientist in Agri Research

What qualities would you like to see in you significant other?
A. Patience and Dedication in her part of job, either at home or at work.

If you were God for a day, what changes would you make to the world?
A. Treat everyone for their ‘healthy mind and body’

If you could ask a sage any question that you want to know the answer to, what would you ask?
A. How to become sage?

What things in your life would you give up in an instant if it got you to an even better place than you are now?
A. Current place

Do you have any best inspirational quotes? It could be someone’s thought!
A. ‘Learn from the past, act smart now and always look for the future’