Botany

The Botany department remained as vibrant as ever in 2017-2018.

Dr. Shinde was appointed as the Head of Department with effect from  21 June, 2017.

Dr. Manek Mistry retired on 30 June, 2017. Mr. Royston Anil Lobo as well as Mr. Saif Khan joined the faculty on an ad-hoc basis. 

MOUs SIGNED WITH VARIOUS INSTITUTIONS/ ORGANIZATIONS:

  • The Natural History Museum (NHM), London and the Blatter Herbarium, St. Xavier’s College(Autonomous), Mumbai, signed an MOU on 17 July, 2017 for research collaborations between the two institutions.

  • G.M.M. Women’s College, Bhiwandi and St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Mumbai signed an MOU on 8 February, 2018 for mutual collaborations in research, teachers training, usage of infrastructure and facilities like Blatter Herbarium.

  • Rajarshi Shahu Mahavidyala (Autonomous), Latur & St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Mumbai signed an MOU on 24 February, 2018 for faculty and student exchanges, sharing and mobilization of resources, infrastructure, and utilization of resources from the departments, especially from Botany Department. 

  • The Department of Botany, St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Mumbai signed an MOU with Satish Pradhan Dnyansadhana College (SPD), Thane on 17 May,2018 for collaboration between the Botany departments of both institutions. Blatter Herbarium will help Dnyansadhana College for a Biodiversity Audit of their premises. 

  • The Botany Department of St Xavier’s College (SXC), under the guidance of Dr. Shinde, conducted a Biodiversity Audit (Tree Census) of the SPD College in the month of May 2018. Along with the students of SPD, MSc students of SXC conducted the tree census and analysed the data collected by them. The official report was submitted to the Head of the Botany Department of SPD College on 19 May, 2018. The techniques of Tree census and Tree identification were taught to UG students of SPD by MSc Students of SXC.

National Seminar:

  1. The Blatter Herbarium, Botany Department and National Society of the Friends of the Trees organized a day-long seminar on “Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP): A living Treasure amidst Concrete Jungle  & Sustainable Urban Forest Management”. Eminent Scientist and Director of the Bombay Natural History Society, Dr. Deepak Apte gave the keynote address on “Development and Conservation: A new paradigm”.

Other renowned speakers included Dr. Renee Borges, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore on  “The Forgotten Pollinators: Urban Forests as their Refugia” who warned againstthe environmental as well as economic consequences of the reducing populations of well-known and not so well-known insect pollinators.   Dr. Vidya Atreya (IISER, Pune) and her student Mr. Nikit Surve (alumni of SXC),delivered two separate talks on “Leopards in Maharashtra” and “Leopards and Human Conflict with reference to SGNP” respectively. Dr. Mayur Nandikar, Scientist and Head, Navroji Godrej Centre for Plant Research, Shirwal, Satara, spoke on Endemic Flora of SGNP.   Mr. Issac Kehimkar, Naturalist, gave an illustrated talk on “Butterflies of SGNP” and Mrs. MugdhaKarnik, Director of Extra Mural Studies of University of Mumbai, spoke on a much-debated topic, “SGNP – The Warli and Other Tribal Settlements, Problems and New Approaches to solve them.” 

MSc Botany Students also put up a small exhibition of Plants and Cosmetic products 

  1. Interdisciplinary Seminar “Confluence”, on Biostatistics, organized by Department of Botany, Statistics and Zoology, St. Xavier's College, (Autonomous), held on 12 January, 2018.

 

  1. Two-day workshop: “Introductory Course on Geographic Information System (GIS) in Plant Science Research” (16 and 17March, 2018) by Dr. Rajasri Ray, Indian a faculty from the Institute of Science, Bangalore.  M.Sc. and Ph.D. students of the Botany department attended the workshop. 

Ph.D. Awarded:

In April 2018, Ms. Smita Gaurea was awarded a PhD by the University of Mumbai for her thesis entitled, “Comparative study of resins from selected plants of families Burseraceae, Dipterocarpaceae, Rubiaceae and Sterculiaceae, under the guidance of ProfessorUjwala Bapat, (retired),  former HOD of the Department 

NET, SET and GATE:

Ms. Snehal Unde, M.Sc. (2016) and Mr. JatinVaiti (M.Sc 2016) qualified for the GATE exam in the subject of life sciences.

Ms. Snehal Unde also qualified for the CSIR-UGC-NET for JRF and SET exam. 

Along with her, Mr. Saif Khan (MSc 2017) and Ms. Kiran Thuma (MSc 2016) also qualified for the SET exam. 

GUEST LECTURES

The Department organized number of guest lectures by visiting scientists –

  1. Dr Renee Borges, Professor, School of Ecology: “Cross kingdom interactions-Mutualism and parasitism in tale of three cities”on 21 July,2017

  2. Dr. Meena Haribal, Scientist, Cornel University, Ithaca, USA:“Chemical ecology and importance of native plants” on 4 January,2018

  3. Dr. Leon Pereira, Asst. Professor, Universal Business School:“Snakes and Gardens”on 1 February,2018

  4. Dr. K. Prasad, Research Associate, Botanical Survey of India, Calcutta:“Salient Features of the Family Orchidaceae with special reference to genus Habenaria in Peninsular India”29 January, 2018

  5. Dr. Pratap Naikwade, Asst. Professor, ASP College, Devrukh:“Stress Physiology and Plant Molecular Biology”on 17 February,2018

  6. Ms. Rani Om Prakash, Curator, Natural History Museum, London;“Molecular Systematics: The APGsystem of classification of flowering plants”on 28 February,2018

  7. Mr. Rohit Pansare, Principal Environmental Planner, Environmental Management Centre, LLP, Mumbai:“Remote Sensing and its applications” on 24 February,2018

Training received by faculty:

  • The teaching faculty of the department participated in all the seminars conducted by the college including a Seminar on “Gender sensitization” by Fr. Keith D’Souza SJ.  organized by St. Xavier's College, (Automonuos). on 12 July, 2017

  • Dr. Rajendra Shinde participated in the STEM Teacher Training Workshop on Research Based Pedagogical Tools held from 10-13 December,2017 at IIT, Gandhinagar.

  • Dr. Rajendra Shinde attended a Training on “PFMS-EAT and DBT Module” on 11 October,2017 at Institute of Government Accounts and Finance, Regional Training Centre, Mumbai-01.

  • Mr. Alok Gude attended a workshop on teaching and learning skills in plant physiology and biochemistry on 3 and 4 March, 2018 and Dr. Vijaya Lobo attended a workshop on teaching and learning skills on Plant Molecular Biology on 1 March, 2018, both organized by Teaching and Learning Centre, Department of Botany, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune.

  • Dr.Vijaya Lobo attended a Workshop on “Revised syllabus on MSc Part II, Botany (Plant physiology and Biochemistry)” organized by the Department of Botany, the Institute of Science, Mumbai on 12 June, 2017.

  • Mr. Royston Anil Lobo attended National Science Academies' Lecture Workshop on "Advances in Toxicology" organized by the Haffkine Institute for Training, Research and Testing, Mumbai, on 22and 23February, 2018.

 

FIELD TRIPS:

As a part of the curriculum, the Department organized various field trips:

  • The T.Y.B.Sc. were taken to Khandala, Pune as a part of the curriculum. The trip duration was 28 to 31 July, 2017.

  • The S.Y.B.Sc. were taken to BPT Garden, Mumbai on 12 January, 2018 and to Hanging Gardens and Kamla Nehru Park on 16 February, 2018, as a part of the curriculum. 

  • The F.Y.B.Sc. were taken to the College garden and the nearby area in batches of 10, once a week, as a part of the curriculum.

 

FACULTY ACTIVITIES:

Dr. Rajendra D. Shinde

  1. Visiting Faculty at Dapoli Urban Bank’s Arts and Science College, Dapoli for MSc in Taxonomy

  2. MSc Lectures at the University of Mumbai (Mithibai College), Mumbai

  3. Visiting Faculty for the Biodiversity Course BIO5.03 at the Centre for Excellence in Basic Biology, - DAE-MU, Mumbai University.

  4. Pancham Khemraj Mahavidyalaya, Sawantwadi for M.Sc. Taxonomy. 

Publications:

Books:

  1. Rajendra D. Shinde 2018. “Floral Diversity of NandurMadhmeshwar Wildlife           Sanctuary – A pictorial guide”. Nashik Wildlife Division, Nashik. ISBN 978-93- 5300-168-1

  2. Contributed to – “Important Medicinal Plant Resources of Maharashtra and Online Data base of Medicinal Plants of Maharashtra” – sponsored by Rajiv Gandhi Science and Technology Commission, Govt. of Maharashtra and Agharkar Research Institute, Pune. The book was released on 22 February, 2018 by the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Devendra Phadnvis at his Chamber in Mantralaya, Mumbai.

Research papers: 

  1. Rajendra D. Shinde & Rajdeo Singh (2017),  Lectotypification of Seneciobelgaumensis and S. gibsonii (Asteraceae) in Rheedea, 27 (2): 99-102. ISSN: 0971-2313 https://dx.doi.org/10.22244/rheedea.2017.27.2.18

 

  1. Rajdeo Singh & Rajendra D. Shinde, (2017),  Lectotypification of Doronicum Hewrense Dalzell &Vicoacernua Dalzell (Asteraceae) in Journal of Indian Bot. Soc., 96 (3&4): 302-304. ISSN: 0019-4468, e-ISSN:2455-7218.

 

  1. Rajendra D. Shinde (2017),  Aarey Milk Colony Mumbai as Forest Territory - A Status Report in Xplore- The Xavier’s Research Journal 8 (3): 80-95. ISSN: 2249-1878



Patent:

Dr Rajendra Shinde and Dr. Kalpit Mhatre filed a Patent to the Patent Office, Government of India, Mumbai on May 22, 2018 related to Herbal Medicine. 

Evaluation of Ph.D thesis: 

  • Rashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj, Nagpur – evaluated Ph.D thesis and conducted Ph.DViva-voce examination April 12,.2018

  • Gujarat University, Ahmedabad, Department of Botany, May 2018. 

Reviewer for Journal and RGSTC – (Funding Agency)

  1. Refereed a Project Proposal for Rajiv Gandhi Science and Technology Commission (Nov.22,2017). 

  2. Reviewed Manuscripts of Research papers for the Journal of Bombay Natural History Society (JBNHS), Journal of Threatened Taxa (JOTT) and Rheedea. 

 

Invited for talks:

  1. “Scope of Botany and importance of taxonomy” at GurunanakKhalsa College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Matunga on 7 August,2017.

 

  1. “ Importance of Taxonomy with reference to Research, Industries and other allied areas” at Bhaskar Waman Thakur College of Science (VIVA College) Virar – 21 August,2017

 

  1. Delivered a talk on “the Concept and importance of Biodiversity in Forests”, at a Workshop on Community forest rights organized by KashtkariSangathana, at Dahanu –26 September,2017

 

  1. Resource person at Manghanmal Udharam College of Commerce, Pimpri, Pune – State-level one-day seminar on “Smart Cities: Strategies, Opportunities and Challenges for sustainable Environment” - Delivered a talk on – “Biodiversity in Smart Cities”- 10 January,2018. 

 

  1. Patna Women’s College – DBT  Sponsored Workshop – Resource Person for DBT to speak to a gathering of Principals from Bihar and Jharkhand about DBT Star College Scheme and its benefits – Case Study of  St. Xavier’s College, (Autonomous), Mumbai on25 January,2018.

 

  1. Lala Lajpat Rai College as a Resource Person at National Seminar on Biodiversity Management Concerns and Challenges. Delivered a talk on “Agricultural Biodiversity – Use it or lose it.”  - 17 February,2018.

 

  1. Resource Person at Ruparel College for a workshop on Autonomy- 3 March,2018.

 

  1. Resource Person for Autonomy Seminar at Jai Hind College on Assessment,Evaluation and Exam Norms under Autonomy on 20 March,2018.

Popular Publications:

  1. Article in Marathi weekly magazine – Lokprabha – “Jhada- Jhudpanchya Desha” (Flora of Maharashtra) in Marathi. March 2018.

  2. Popular article in reputed Marathi weekly newspaper – ‘Disha’ by Zee Marathi – on “April cha phulora.”

Appointments: 

  1. Mentor’s committee for DBT STAR college scheme,B.K. Birla College, Kalyan from 16 April,2018

  2. Member of Advisory Committee for DBT Star College Scheme – Patkar College, Goregaon(W), Mumbai.

  3. Plant Expert Committee in Maharashtra State as per Rule 1 of the Maharashtra Biological Diversity Rules 2008, Maharashtra State Biodiversity Board, Government of Maharashtra. 

  4. Elected as a member of Board of Management from Teaching faculty, at St. Xavier’s College (Autonomous), Mumbai for the period from 2017-2019.

  5. Elected as member of BOS in Botany at the University of Mumbai for the term of five years starting from 1 September,2017 to 31 August,2022.

  6. Member of Selection Committee for Biotech Consortium India Ltd, for interviewing students from different universities Sponsored by DBT on 21 and 22 September, 2017.

  7. Member of BOS in Botany at Ruia College (Autonomous), Mumbai and Mithibai College (Autonomous), Mumbai

Mr. Alok Gude

Publication:

Gude, Alok (2018), in Life Sciences Protocol Manual,DBT Star College Scheme,Identification of timber-yielding plants, pages 41-49.

Paper Presentation:

Presented a paper entitled 'Biodiversity enhances Ecosystem Services' at the 6thinternational conference on 'Recent Trends in Life Sciences' (ICRTLS-2017) 29 and 30 December, 2017, at New Arts, Science and Commerce College, Parner, District Ahmednagar, sponsored by BCUD, SPPU and Microbiologist Society India. 

Paper setter for FYBSc Botany all papers of Semester 1 and 2, University of Mumbai for year 2017-18. 

Examiner for TYBSc Botany practicals for the 5thsemester at Ruia, Wilson and Khalsa Colleges, and for MSc. part1 practical exams semester1 and 2 at Ruia College (Autonomous). 

 

Dr. Vijaya Lobo

Paper Presentation:Attended and presented poster “Potential Biofertilizers - isolated soil bacteria.” in the Seminar on “Biosciences: A Journey towards Innovation” organized by Department of Biotechnology, Bioanalytical sciences and Environmental sciences, Birla College held on 10 March, 2018.

Member of the Placement Committee;also the departmental coordinator for the Quest for Excellence program, and DQAC.

 

Dr. Manek K. Mistry

Gave a lecture and demonstration on “Palynology” to M.A. part 1 students of Ancient Indian Culture of the College on 30 November, 2018.

Mr. Saif Khan:

Publication: Naaz, Khan S.Y. – “Study of Reduction Properties of Enzyme Alcohol Dehydrogenase from Saccharomyces cerevisiaeMeyen ex. Hansen on Some Selected Compounds”. Int. J. Life. Sci. Scienti. Res., July 2017; 3(4):1234-1237.

 

Dr. Smita Gaurea:

Publication: Gaurea, S H, Smrity P and Bapat U C (2017). 'Antifungal activity of gum-resin extracts of Boswellia serrata, Commiphoramukul, Gardenia resinifera and Shorearobusta against some plant pathogenic fungi'. Indian Phytopathology, 70 (2) 224-227.

 

Dr Rajendra D. Shinde

Head, Department of Botany

Additional information