Rudrani Gajraj – ESR3 – Universität für Bodenkultur Wien
Agricultural emission scenarios for different regions of Europe (WP3)
Rudrani Gajraj is an Indian student hailing from the “lychee kingdom” Muzaffarpur, Bihar and an aspiring agricultural scientist specializing in crop protection. He holds bachelor’s degree in agriculture science (major in crop protection) from Dr. Rajendra Prasad Central Agricultural University, Pusa, Samastipur, Bihar, India and did five months advance research training in greenhouse projects at the University of Helsinki, Finland under the Erasmus Mundus BRAVE exchange semester undergraduate program.
He holds European dual Erasmus master’s degree in plant health in sustainable cropping systems from Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany (M.Sc. Crop Protection) and Università degli Studi di Padova, Italy (M.Sc. Sustainable Agriculture). During his studies, he focused on the identification and integrated management of plant pests and diseases in temperate, tropical and sub-tropical climate zones along with their biological control, weed management, pesticidal modes of action, and ecotoxicological risk-assessment of plant protection products. He did scientific internship at Julius Kuehn Institute (JKI), Braunschweig, Germany researching the behavioral responses of different wireworm species to different potato cultivars at varying soil moistures. He worked at the United Nations and attended conferences during COP23 in Bonn, Germany and updated his knowledge database with climate change effects in agriculture and the unexcepted challenges in the pest management. He has gathered facts on sustainable IT tools required to cope up with pest management issues in agriculture. During his master thesis, he researched on the multispectral reflectance response of spider mites in ornamental greenhouse plants with the help of optical sensors and multispectral cameras. This way he gains specialization in remote sensing tools, Geographical Imaging System (GIS) techniques and digital tools used in crop-pest management under climate change scenarios.
Since February 2019, Rudrani Gajraj holds Ph.D. position at Institute of Meteorology, Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Austria as an early stage researcher and postgraduate research associate under Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks project ECORISK2050.
His Ph.D. project is based on understanding how pest pressures and related critical chemical emission risks in agriculture will change in the future due to drivers such as climate. During the project he will establish database for selected agro (eco) systems for pest models; simulate/identify main pest pressures considering representative farm level conditions under the applied scenarios; identify hotspots regarding orography and specific management options for representative farms of case study regions. Additionally, he will work on an established set of the combined scenarios, where pest models will be applied to predict changes in the pest pressures on main cash crops over time for representative farms of the case study regions covering main climates of Europe based on the selected scenarios.