Dec 06 2021

1.  Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role within the Department of Biological Sciences?

I was born and raised in Manipur State, India, and belong to the Thadou hill tribe. The Thadous are found in North-East India, Chin State (Myanmar) and East Bangladesh. We accepted Christianity via missionaries such as the Welsh missionary, Watkin Roberts. I am a born-again Christian who takes seriously the effects of climate change and environmental stewardship. Having studied in India, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, I have worked for the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry (Auckland and Japan) and the United Kingdom’s Environment Agency and DEFRA.

I joined Royal Holloway in March 2019 and my role here involves the overall management of the research glasshouses and provision of technical guidance on research crops. Other duties involve liaising with stakeholders and ensuring routine maintenance of the main glasshouse facility. Other responsibilities include health and safety, SOPs, COSHH and risk management. I enjoy guiding the researchers on their plant health issues.

Having some consultancy background, I regularly update the greenhouse users on relevant funding opportunities. My vision is for RHUL to get more plant-based research projects and for us to champion this area.

2.  Can you tell us more about any projects you are working on at the moment?

I provide horticulture support to the External Spaces team to fulfil the university’s objectives around biodiversity and the living laboratory, and so contributing towards our university’s strategy on sustainability. I am planning to produce a short video documentary on the development of the proposed orchard and its link to the Queen’s platinum jubilee. Filming of associated activities and interviewing the key people behind this project will be the focus of this documentary project.

3.  What do you find most rewarding in your role as a Horticultural Specialist?

I find most fulfilling when the researchers get good data from the greenhouse crops under my care. My skills, experiences and knowledge with different organisations in different countries is well used in this role.

4.  What do you enjoy most about working at Royal Holloway?

My personality fits in very well as I love working with people and plants. Stakeholder engagement is something very natural to me and I particularly enjoy interacting with colleagues/ stakeholders who are sharing my vision and ideas.

5.  How do you like to spend your free time outside of work?

I love spending time with my young family (two kids at Junior School) and as a horticulturist, enjoying nature comes naturally. I love exploring new places, meeting people, walking, gardening, and having friends and neighbours over for meals. I do enjoy gospel music and am often singing while working in the greenhouse.