MSc Prayan Pokharel
Prayan Pokharel, MSc
Phone: +49 641 99-37644
Since 04/2017 Doctoral student under the supervision of Dr. Georg Petschenka
2014- 2016 MSc Agrobiotechnology, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany
Thesis: Antimicrobial properties of bacterial communities in the feces of stored food pest insects such as ham beetles and cigarette beetles, Institute for Insect Biotechnology
Internship: Detection of Wolbachia in Varroa mites on honey bee colonies, Collaborative project of Fraunhofer IME, Giessen and Bee Institute, Kirchhain
2009- 2013 BSc Pharmacy, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore, India
2007- 2009 General Science, Caspian Valley Higher Secondary School, Kathmandu, Nepal
My doctoral research is centered in the realm of plant insect coevolution. I am interested in plant-herbivore interactions, mainly in the uptake and use of plant toxins by phytophagous insects (i.e. sequestration) as a defense to ward off predators. I will investigate the mechanisms underlying sequestration of cardiac glycosides (cardenolides) in milkweed bugs (Lygaeinae). During my PhD, I will try to understand the mechanisms and the evolution of these physiological processes by using various methods, including feeding assays and chemical analyses. In brief, I will integrate my mechanistic findings into the conceptual framework of insect plant coevolution. The ultimate goal of my research is to understand how the interplay of resistance and sequestration directs coevolutionary interactions between plants, insects, and their predators.
Pokharel, Prayan. “Why Some Fireflies Become Femme Fatales in Their Race for Survival.” The Conversation, http://theconversation.com/why-some-fireflies-become-femme-fatales-in-their-race-for-survival-91252 . Published 7 Feb. 2018.
Pokharel, Prayan. “The Hidden Secrets of Insect Poop.” The Conversation, http://theconversation.com/the-hidden-secrets-of-insect-poop-81908 . Published 8 Aug. 2017.
Pokharel, Prayan. “‘Himalayan Viagra’ Is Threatened by Fervent Chinese Demand and Climate Change.” The Conversation, http://theconversation.com/himalayan-viagra-is-threatened-by-fervent-chinese-demand-and-climate-change-78558 . Published 5 June. 2017.