Jemin Mangukiya will celebrate officially graduating from the College of Agriculture and Bioresources next week. (Photo: Shubham Patel)

AgBio graduate discovers a love of research

Jemin Mangukiya is graduating this fall with a BSA in Crop Science with Great Distinction

Jemin Mangukiya describes his University of Saskatchewan (USask) experience as “simply brilliant!”

Mangukiya will receive his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (majoring in crop science) with Great Distinction at USask’s virtual graduation celebration on November 10. The new graduate from the College of Agriculture and Bioresources was drawn to the study of crop science from his love of plants.

As a child growing up in India, Mangukiya’s interest in plants was sparked by the incredible plant biodiversity surrounding him in the tropics. His interest grew deeper when he received a book that described the medicinal properties of different plants. When Mangukiya was deciding what to study at university, he wavered between botany and crop science. He ultimately chose crop science because of the focus on plant genetics.

During his undergraduate degree, Mangukiya completed several research literature reviews for his classes.

“I learned that I love doing research,” said Mangukiya.

A topic that stood out for Mangukiya was apomixis, the production of seeds in plants without fertilization. For a plant sciences class taught by Dr. Tim Sharbel (PhD), Mangukiya wrote a literature review titled Generating male sterility using CRISPR by disrupting male organ development in Boechera to advance apomixis.

“Apomixis provides plant breeders with the opportunity to produce new crop varieties in a shorter time frame, which ultimately can help with world food insecurity,” said Mangukiya. In summer 2021, Mangukiya worked as a student research assistant in the college’s plant physiology lab under the supervision of Dr. Rosalind Bueckert (PhD).

“During my research experience, I had the joy of discovering new things every day,” said Mangukiya. “I saw first-hand what a plant sciences experimental trial required. I also learned how to operate various scientific instruments such as a photometer for measuring light interception.”

Mangukiya is graduating with great distinction, which requires an academic average of 80 per cent or higher in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources.

“My advice for students is to study smart to gain an in-depth knowledge of material instead of just trying to memorize mass amounts of information,” said Mangukiya.

As an international student, Mangukiya moved from India to Canada in 2017 after discovering USask when researching agricultural universities online.

“The College of Agriculture and Bioresources seemed quite interesting and has a strong history and reputation as a leader in agricultural education and research,” said Mangukiya.

Mangukiya is looking forward to the future and is researching different graduate studies programs to further his knowledge of crop genetics.

“Agriculture will need an innovative approach to deal with a rising world population and extreme weather,” said Mangukiya. “Developing new crop varieties will help feed the world.”

This fall, 926 students are expected to graduate from USask with 939 degrees, diplomas and certificates. These graduates join a century-old community of close to 165,000 alumni worldwide whose contributions are helping to shape our world. Due to the pandemic, in-person ceremonies will not be held. Instead, there are a variety of opportunities to celebrate. Learn more about the celebrations at students.usask.ca/usaskclassof2021.

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