Welcome and farewell

By Mila Bristow, Principal Research Scientist, Darwin, Teagan Alexander, Technical Officer, Katherine.

The Katherine Research Station team has recently welcomed Hemant “Raj” Pandeya who has come from the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, to work on two experiments on ‘Nitrogen Efficiency in Mangoes’ in the research project ‘Optimising nutrient management for improved productivity and fruit quality in mango’. This project is funded by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources as part of its Rural R&D for Profit program, along with the Northern Territory Government Department of Primary Industry and Resources, Queensland University of Technology’s (QUT) Institute for Future Environments and Hort Innovation.

Raj completed his Bachelor of Agricultural Science in Nepal (from which he hails) and his Master of Agricultural Science in Germany. The ‘Nitrogen Efficiency in Mangoes’ trials are part of his study to gain his PhD, which is supervised by QUT’s Dave Rowlings and our own senior nutrition scientist Tony Asis. Raj’s research is all about understanding nitrogen management in mangoes. He will quantify nitrogen supply and losses through the soil-plant-atmosphere system of mango crops. His studies will quantify potentially mineralisable plant available nitrogen, soil nitrogen turnover, losses, and supply, and quantify mango leaf litter derived nitrogen contribution to the plant. Combined this research will help our mango farmers understand profitable use of nitrogen in our NT conditions.

Raj will be based in Katherine until late January next year as he completes his first Wet season trials.

Raj with one of the automated chambers

Raj with one of the automated chambers

And as we welcome Raj, we farewell Dr Ali Sarkhosh. He has headed off to Florida in the United States of America to further his horticultural research career with the University of Florida after three and a half years at Katherine Research Station. His valuable hard-work, experience, knowledge and happy-go-lucky personality will be missed.

Ali was always keen to get in and give things a goAli was always keen to get in and give things a go

Ali was always keen to get in and give things a go

Last updated: 16 October 2017