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About Nishanta Rajakaruna

I received my B.A. degree in human ecology from College of the Atlantic (1994), Bar Harbor, ME, USA. In 1995, I joined the Department of Botany, The University of British Columbia, Canada, and received an M.S. degree (1998) and a Ph.D. degree (2002) for my work on the evolutionary ecology of the Californian endemic annual plant Lasthenia californica (Asteraceae). I pursued postdoctoral research in 2003-2004 with Dr. David Ackerly, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University (currently, at UC Berkeley) as an NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, Canada) Postdoctoral Fellow. I served as Professor of Botany at College of the Atlantic (2004-2008; 2010-2016) and Assistant Professor of Plant Biology at San Jose State University (2008-2010). During 2016-2017 I was a Fulbright Scholar at the Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, Sri Lanka. Currently, I am an Associate Professor in Plant Biology at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. My research focuses on the factors and mechanisms driving plant speciation and community assembly on serpentine and other edaphically harsh environments.

Positions

Present Associate Professor, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo ‐ Biological Sciences
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Adjunct Associate Professor, San Jose State University ‐ Biological Sciences
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Disciplines


Research Interests

Ecology, Plant Physiology, Plant Evolution, and Plant Biology

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Honors and Awards

  • Fulbright US Scholar Program Grant (2016-2017)
  • Honorable Mention, Merritt Lyndon Fernald Award, New England Botanical Club, Best Paper Published in Rhodora 2009 (111: 417-448)
  • Best Overall Botany-Related Oral Presentation, Northeast Natural History Conference X, Albany, NY
  • NSERC Doctoral Prize 2004 Nominee, Dept. of Botany, University of British Columbia
  • NSERC Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Canada

Education

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2003 Ph.D., University of British Columbia ‐ Botany, Evolutionary Ecology
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1998 M.S, University of British Columbia ‐ Botany, Evolutionary Ecology
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1994 B.A, College of the Atlantic ‐ Human Ecology
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Contact Information

Nishanta.Rajakaruna@sjsu.edu

Email:


Peer-Reviewed Publications (43)