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Karuna Shrestha

Walsh Scholar

Research Interests

My research interests include ecological population genetics and molecular breeding of forest tree species.

I have an interest in genetic diversity, genetic improvement, and breeding for disease tolerance by developing innovative strategies to enhance the efficiency of tree improvement programmes with the ultimate goal of restoring as well as promoting sustainability and resilience in forest ecosystems.

I am also interested in collecting and conserving germplasm of tree species for future restoration.

Previously, I have worked on DNA fingerprinting of tropical trees.

Current Projects

The ElmAsh Research Project is focused on investigating the multiplication techniques and the microbiome of Ash (Fraxinus excelsior). In addition, the research will work towards genetic conservation of Wych elm (Ulmus glabra).

The overall aim is to select and breed disease-tolerant genotypes and to conserve the germplasm for the future applications.

Past Projects

  • The Use of Barcoding Sequences for the Phylogenetic Assessment in Meliaceae from Fragments of Rainforest in Indonesia, M.Sc. project (2021)
  • Population Status and Threats on Egyptian Vulture. A case study from the dumping site of Damauli, Tanahun, Nepal (2016)


  • M.Sc.: Tropical and International Forestry, University of Goettingen, Germany
  • B.Sc.: Forestry, Institute of Forestry, Tribhuwan University, Nepal
  • Ferrari, R.C., Shrestha K., Dominguez-Flores T., Chano V., Maia Ridley, Fussi B., Past F., Bubner B., Steiner W., Gailing O., Budde K.B. 2022. The key is in the details: identifying differentially expressed genes of Fraxinus excelsior in response to ash dieback. 4th CiBreed Fall Workshop. October 13-14, 2022. (Poster presentation)