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Suraj Kar, PhD

Postdoctoral Scholar

The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania

Dr. Suraj Kar is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Department of Plant Science and the Department of Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology at The Pennsylvania State University


Research Interests


“The sun, with all those planets revolving around it and dependent on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.”

- Galileo.

My research interests lie in understanding nature through the lens of a plant scientist. 

I currently work in the Centinari lab at The Pennsylvania State University where I study the insect-plant interaction of Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) with grapevines.

I worked at the viticulture program at Texas Tech University where I focus on evaluating the response of wine grapes to various local environmental stress factors. My training as a plant physiologist helps me explore the photosynthetic process of these plants as affected by abiotic stressors such as heat, low moisture, diurnal temperature variation, high solar UV flux, and herbicide drift.

Formerly, I worked in the Yamada lab at Hokkaido University in Japan, where I was trained in low-temperature stress physiology and genetics of Saccharum complex, a group which includes sugarcane and its cousins, and helped identify improved genotypes of Saccurum x Miscanthus intergeneric hybrids (Miscane) which can adapt to cooler subtropics and warm temperate climates.

Diversity and Inclusion

I acknowledge the systemic biases and barriers that impede the success of underrepresented groups in STEM fields and I am committed to improving accessibility to STEM education and careers. I believe it is important to use my experiences and resources as a scientist of Asian origin to support the recruitment, retention, and needs of a diverse student body and faculty. Through inclusive mentoring and teaching practices, I strive to create both laboratory and classroom environments that support the diverse backgrounds and learning styles of students.