An international body is praising the research report of a Mississippi State doctoral student that evaluates the use of plants to extract metals from contaminated soils.
M. Sridhar Balaji Bhaskar, a doctoral student in forest resources from India, was among three honored recently for investigative achievements in competition open to students from around the world. Of 20 reports accepted for judging, his shared the co-equal distinction of being among the trio of best entries.
The 2003 student challenge was part of a biennial symposium sponsored by Ohio-based Battelle Memorial Institute. A nonprofit corporation providing research and development expertise to government and industry, Battelle specializes in environmental, health and safety issues.
This year's symposium will focus on bioremediation-the treatment of pollutants or waste by using bacteria and other microorganisms that break down the undesirable substances-and technologies that support it.
Balaji Bhaskar's report is titled "Monitoring the Internal Structure of Barley Plants Subject to Metal Phytoremediation." As a result of the Battelle honor, he will be among researchers invited to speak next month at an international symposium in Orlando, Fla. He is receiving $1,500 to defray travel expenses to the gathering, which is expected to attract more than 1,000 participants.
The report will be presented as a formal lecture, accompanied by a supporting visual display.
Balaji Bhaskar is scheduled to graduate from MSU in May 2004. His research is being conducted in the Department of Forest Products under the direction of Susan Diehl, associate professor. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in agriculture from the Acharya N.G. Ranga Agricultural University in Hyderabad, a southeastern city in his native country.