Sonali Koundal completed a Bachelor of Science, then an Integrated Masters (Hons.) degree in Biochemistry from Punjab Agricultural University in Ludhiana, India. Her Masters project investigated the impacts of carbon and nitrogen metabolism on grain-filling in quinoa. Through her studies, Koundal acquired skills in data analysis using CPCS1, SPSS and Graph Pad Prism, and experience in biochemical techniques such as UV-visible spectrophotometry for enzymatic analysis and the protein biochemistry of enzymes; 2-D gel electrophoresis; the Kjeldahl method of crude-protein estimation; and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). In 2022, she was appointed to the Western Sydney University-based research team for the FFSCRC’s ‘Sustainable fertigation’ project. Her thesis “will lead to identifying effective agronomic and soil management practices for selected vegetable crops to improve water and nutrient use efficiency (in terms of yield and quality) in greenhouse conditions,” she explains. Post-doctorate, Koundal is keen to further her career as a research scientist specialising in plant-health, with the ultimate goal of “providing knowledge to local farmers wanting to develop different fertigation strategies for high yield and quality of vegetables”. Koundal’s doctoral studies are being supervised by WSU’s Professor Zhonghua Chen. Read more about Sonali  and her thesis here.

PhD student