Pankaj Banik

Research Technician, Root-Soil-Microbial Interactions

Phone: 1-306-966-3719

Pankaj was born in Bangladesh. He graduated in Agricultural Engineering from Bangladesh Agricultural University. Pankaj won a prestigious Commonwealth Shared Scholarship to pursue in a Master Degree in Sustainable Crop Production from The University of Plymouth, England. He also received a SAGES grant to pursue in a Master Degree in Plant Science at the University of Saskatchewan.

At GIFS, Pankaj is currently working on roots phenotyping. Wheat and canola plants are grown in hydroponic system, soils and sands with exposure to phosphorous deficiency and different toxicity levels such as aluminium, lanthanum and gadolinium toxicity. Two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) imaging systems and hard Xray are being used to image the root system architecture. He also carries out some wet lab work.

Prior to joining GIFS, Pankaj was working at a vertical hydroponic farm through the NRC IRAP program where he grew different herb crops on re-circulating hydroponic system with LED lights and carried out different research trials in respect of ideal propagation, nutrient optimization, plant health, LED light recipes and integrated pest management.

Pankaj had worked on effect of different abiotic stresses on crop plants - cold and freezing stress tolerance in corn plants with a focus in plant imaging using infrared thermography, confocal and fluorescence microscopy to observe different leaf and stem level characteristics during cold acclimation and stress; drought stress resistance in potato plants in whole plant level by measuring different agronomic and physiological responses; frost and salinity stress resistance in cauliflower and barley plants with a focus of proline assay using HPLC. As part of other projects, he conducted in person interviews with organic vegetable growers in England, farm machinery users and dealers in Bangladesh.

Pankaj demonstrated his independent research capabilities and communication skills by publishing journal articles and giving oral talks at international conferences. He also worked in different business and retail organizations in England and Bangladesh where he developed leadership, interpersonal and networking skills through his work as a supervisor, in a large team and directly with the customers. Pankaj likes to make new friends and feels good in helping people. He also enjoys travelling, sightseeing and is interested on foods and movies of different countries of the world. Pankaj’s wife and two daughters are the source of his inspiration.


Twitter: @PanBanik