IS-MPMI > COMMUNITY > Interactions > Posts > Two New Junior Members Join the IS-MPMI Board Of Directors
Aug 25
Two New Junior Members Join the IS-MPMI Board Of Directors

In order to include the viewpoints of our members-in-training in society decision making and congress planning, the IS-MPMI Board of Directors (BOD) has added two junior members. The BOD received applications from several impressive candidates from around the globe and evaluated each based on excellence in scholarship and training, collaboration within the society, leadership at his or her institution, and outreach within his or her community. We are pleased to welcome Priya Sengupta and Goodluck Benjamin to the board! Read further for more about Priya and Goodluck.​

Priya Sengupta

I am a doctoral researcher at the Institute for Plant sciences/CEPLAS, University of Cologne in Germany. I received my master's degree in botany from University of Calcutta, India, in 2017. Afterward, I moved to Germany to pursue my doctoral degree in the lab of Prof. Gunther Doehlemann at the University of Cologne. At the moment, I am conducting my Ph.D. research on the topic of microbial antagonism on the Arabidopsis thaliana phyllosphere.

Aside from active research, I enjoy doing science communication and outreach, so I can often be found in a crowded marketplace or pub discussing plant–microbe interactions.

I look forward to serving as a junior board member for IS-MPMI and as the voice of early-career researchers.

Goodluck Benjamin

Hi! I am Goodluck, a Ph.D. student in the labs of Pierre Frendo and Marylene Poirie at INRAE/Université Côte d'Azur, France, and I am thrilled to join the IS-MPMI BOD as a junior member. Using multi-omics strategies, I investigate how the symbiotic interaction between nitrogen-fixing bacteria and legumes protect legumes against infestation from herbivores such as the pea aphid. I have a bachelor's degree in microbiology and a master's degree in biocontrol solutions for plant health from Babcock University, Nigeria, and Université Côte d'Azur, France, respectively. I started my career in plant science and plant–microbe interaction at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), where my work centered around developing and applying phytosanitary measures, as well as collection and conservation of healthy virus-free collections of tropical clonal crop Dioscorea (yam). I have been fortunate to study plant–microbe interactions from both pathologic and symbiotic perspectives, as this has greatly increased my knowledge and appreciation of the field.

When I'm not being a scientist, I am a virtual football (soccer) manager of whatever club I'm coaching on Football Manager (FM), as I am an ardent gamer and a lover of the beautiful game of football. I am also passionate about food and cooking, as well as having conversations on subjects centering around philosophy, politics, science in general, society, and religion.

As a young scientist from Nigeria, I have always been interested in the development of science and seeing to the participation of other young scientists with backgrounds similar to myself in the practice of basic and applied sciences, which seems to be a declining and underappreciated field in Nigeria. This led to the cofounding of the Science-Space Initiative (Sci-Space), a nonprofit started with a group of young Nigerian scientists to spear head the promotion of STEM within the Nigerian science and education space. We also look to serve as a resource community for young and budding scientists, as well as pique the interest of younger science students at grassroot science levels.

I joined IS-MPMI in a bid to increase my participation within the STEM community and to connect and interact with other scientists within the field. Over the past two years, I have been involved in the planning and execution of events on the platform of IS-MPMIConnect, and I have attended various talks, both scientific and nonscientific, on IS-MPMI. Coming onboard as a member of the IS-MPMI BOD fully aligns with my interests in science promotion and participation by early-career scientists in science communities. I present the BOD with a diversity of ideas and personality, as I come from a minority group with a diverse view of scientific involvement. I will propose and develop ideas to increase collaboration across various countries with differing socio-economic statuses to enrich our scientific community. Recognizing that much has been done on these subjects by our society in the last couple of years, much more can still be done to bridge the gap in involvement and outreach to other untapped communities. Together with other IS-MPMI members, I would like to work on better and more efficient strategies to better impact our society.

I look forward to the advancement of the brilliant research society that is our IS-MPMI.​

​Must be ​logged in to post comments.


There are no comments for this post.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Blog Tools