Botany

Dr. Rajdeo Singh joined the Department of Botany as Assistant Professor on December 2nd, 2019.

 

Seminar and Workshop

The department organized two workshops and one national seminar this year.

The Botany Department and The National Society of the Friends of the Trees under the aegis of RUSA, organized a National seminar on ‘Tree Ecology and Urban Forest Management’ on February, 13th 2020. Dr. Rajendra Shinde and Dr. Ashok Kothari, President of The National Society of the Friends of the Trees inaugurated the seminar. Dr. B. Nagarajan, Scientist G, Institute of Forest Genetics & Tree Breeding, Coimbatore gave the keynote address on ‘Making Trees in India: Addressing Conservation Solutions and Industrial Needs’. Other renowned speakers included Professor Amit Lahiri, Chief Sustainability Officer, O. P. Jindal Global University, Delhi. He spoke on ‘Ecologies, Communities & Markets: A Tale of Two Trees in the Western Ghats’. Dr. Mandar Datar, Scientist C, Agharkar Research Institute, Pune; spoke on ‘Forests of Northern Western Ghats: New Insights from Old Habitat’. Dr. H.  S.  Singh, Ex- Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Gujarat State; gave an illustrated talk on ‘Urban Forestry’. Dr. Advait Edgaonkar, Assistant Professor, Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal; gave a talk on ‘Valuation of Ecosystem Services’.

Under the guidance of Dr. Vijaya Lobo, inspired by the theme of ‘reuse, recycle and innovate’, the MSc-I students Ms. Shirin Khan and Ms. Saloni Kothari put up an exhibition of naturally dyed cloth. Continuing the theme further, Ms. Jidnyasa Tare assisted by Ms. Aditi Nimbalkar exhibited ‘Biojewellery’, made out of waste.

Mr. Praveen Kale, Asst. Curator Blatter Herbarium exhibited herbarium specimens and publications of Blatter Herbarium.

The First Botany Department student’s association called the ‘Botany Association of Xaviers’ was inaugurated during the seminar. More than 200 participants from various colleges, institutes, and NGOs including students, teachers, researchers, and activists attended the seminar. The Committee members included General Secretary Mr. Harsh Pant of Msc-I, Assistant General Secretary Ms. Anushka Agarwal of SYBsc, Treasurer Ms. Aditi Nimbalkar of MSc-I, and Events Head Ms. Shirin Khan.

A one-day workshop on ‘Plant Identification Methods: Current and Future Trends’ was organized on 5th October 2019. Dr. Manek Mistry, Mr. Kevin D’cruz, and Ms. Rene Vyas were the key speakers. Dr. Manek Mistry & Ms. Rene Vyas arranged a campus field visit for the participants to explore the plants. The teaching faculty of various disciplines across the colleges attended the workshop.

A half-day workshop on ‘Plant nomenclature’ was organized on January 2nd, 2020. Dr. Kanchi Gandhi, Senior Nomenclatural Registrar, Harvard University Herbaria, USA; explained the basic and important rules of plant nomenclature. MSc, Ph.D. students, and faculty attended the workshop from other colleges.

 

Research Projects

The following minor research projects have been sanctioned by the University of Mumbai MRP grant.

  1. Dr. Vijaya Lobo, ‘Taxonomic studies of Genus Zingiber from Northern Western Ghats’. University of Mumbai Minor Research Project of Rs. 35,000/- of one year.

  2. Mr. Alok Gude, ‘Revision of the genus Dactyloctenium and discourse on the dubious occurrence of Dactyloctenium scindicum Boiss, from Maharashtra’. University of Mumbai Minor Research Project of Rs. 30,000/- of one year.

 

Guest Lectures organized:

  1. Dr. Mark Carine, Principal Curator in Charge of the Algae, Fungi and Plants Division, Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom delivered a lecture on February 10th 2020. He spoke on taxonomic problems and understanding phylogenetic relationships in a number of taxa and island systems in the Atlantic.

  2. Ms. Ranee Om Prakash, Curator of Flowering Plants –General Herbarium, Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London, United Kingdom spoke about ‘Samuel Browne – A cross-cultural study of medicinal plant use from India’ on 10th February 2020.

  3. Dr. Sudhir Khodwekar, Senior Consultant and Head at SAFE (Seed Academy of Foreign Education), Thane, Maharashtra, India; gave a talk on 5th December 2019 about the opportunities available for biology students to study abroad. He guided them on the different universities offering different programs, loan facilities available with the banks, travel, and the opportunities, which lie ahead after doing these courses.

 

Alumni Meet

An Alumni meet was held on January 25th, 2020 for the TYBSc and MSc students. The alumni shared their experiences and expertise giving students a glimpse of the real world.

Ms. Aishwarya Mehendale, Ms. Pratiksha Patil, Mr. Chintan Bhatt, Mr. Rushabh Chaudhari, Ms. Varsha

Giri, Mr. Maniruddin Dhabak, Mr. Subrata Jana, Mr. Pratik Sinalkar, Mr. Janhavi Jadhav, Ms. Sneha Nikam & Ms. Avinash Gangurde participated in the meet.

 

BAX Activities


BAX Team with Faculty and Principal

Under the Botany Association of Xaviers (BAX), ‘Shove it in your coconut’, an activity was held in the woods on December, 9th 2019 for interested FY, SY, and TY students. It involved designing a sustainable non-plastic pot for your saplings. The committee members of the BAX distributed half-cut coconuts to the participants and asked them to add soil and saplings in them, decorate and carve it giving a Halloween look.

Ms. Swapnaja Shinde (Founder and MD- Clinical Nutrition Pvt Ltd) delivered a talk on ‘Innovation & Entrepreneurship in Nutrition’ on January 27th, 2020. She explained the significance of adequate nutrition in curing health issues.

 

Students Initiative

In the lieu of consistent rape incidents in the country and extremely low conviction rate, MSc students staged a protest against rape and sexual harassment from December 10 – December 12th, 2019 on the college campus. The initiative garnered support from students and staff members who not only joined the protest but also shared their views on the issue.

 

Faculty development

Dr. Vijaya Lobo completed a Refresher Course on ‘Drug and Drug Delivery Research: A Recent Advancement’ organized by the UGC- Human Resource Development Centre, JNT University Hyderabad from December 5th to December 18th, 2019.

 

Non-teaching staff training programs

Mr. Sandip Patil (Lab Attendant), Mr. Uddhav Patole (Field Collector), and Mr. Gleeson Dias (Lab Assistant) attended ‘Xaviers Online Connect Vyakhyanmala’ from May 27th-29th May 2020 and ‘Kovid Chya Kalat Shikshan’ on 10th June 2020 as a part of the above Vyakhyanmala organized by IQAC, Department of Life-Sciences and Biochemistry, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.

Mr. Gleeson Dias attended a webinar titled ‘Laboratory Safety Practices’ held on May 31st, 2020 hosted by the Department of Chemistry, SIES College of Arts, Science and Commerce (Autonomous), Sion (W), Mumbai. He also attended a one-day state-level workshop on ‘Shikshaketar Karmacharyanche Vividh Prashn va Samasya’ held on June 10th, 2020 organized by IQAC of Late Dattatrya Pusadkar Arts College, Nandangao Peth, Amravati, Maharashtra.

 

Field / Industry Visits

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

  1. The students of SYBSc were taken to BPT Garden, Colaba in the morning to see and study the vegetation growing there on January 17th, 2020 by Dr. Rajdeo Singh.

  2. A field trip of MSc II and TYBSc to Matheran, Neral was organised on January 11th, 2020 by Dr. Rajdeo Singh and Mr. Alok Gude.

  3. The students of FYBSc and MSc-I were taken to Veer Jijamata Udyan, Byculla to see the different varieties of plant species growing there on January 13th - 14th January 2020 by Dr. Rajdeo Singh and Mr. Alok Gude.

  4. Dr. Vijaya Lobo took MSc-II students to see the working of mineral water distillation plant at a factory called Ashok Stove Pvt. Ltd. TTC Industrial area, MIDC Turbhe, Navi Mumbai on November 30th, 2019. Mr. Bhavesh Barchha, the owner of the factory and other three staff members accompanied our students and explained the setup, process, handling and working of machines in the factory.

  1. The MSc I students went to Khandala, Pune for a botanical field study tour from August 27th to 29th August 2019. Dr. Rajdeo Singh and Mr. Alok Gude accompanied them. The places visited were Bhoma hill, old St. Xavier’s Villa, Kune plateau and the area beside the St. Mary’s Villa where the students were staying.

  2. Another field visit was organized for MSc I & II students from March 1st to 4th March 2020 to Pachmari, Madhya Pradesh. Dr. Rajdeo Singh, Dr. Vijaya Lobo, Dr. Manek Mistry and Mr. Uddhav Patole accompanied the group and studied the vegetation of places near Duchess Falls, Bison lodge, Pandav caves, Jata Shankar temple, Dhupgar, Handikho, and Pachmari lake.

  3. The MSc- II students were taken to Dr. Balasaheb Sawant Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli by Mr. Alok Gude and Dr. Manek Mistry from 21st to 23rd August, 2019 to study about the diseases of plants.

 

Department SIP

The Department SIP involved FY and SY students who made a soft copy of the Blatter library literature reprints, cleaning the herbarium books, cleaning and arranging the specimens in the Botany storeroom.

 

Mr.  Alok Gude
In-charge Head, Department of Botany
 

Additional information