Skip to main content

Madhav Nepal




Office Building

Edgar S. McFadden Biostress Lab



Mailing Address

McFadden Biostress Laboratory 249D
Biology & Microbiology-Box 2140D
University Station
Brookings, SD 57007


Born in a rural village (Payekha, Kudak Kaule, Arun Valley) in Eastern Nepal, Dr. Nepal attended Arun High School in Dingla before attending Tribhuvan University (Kathmandu) for his Bachelor's degree. Then he attended the University of Northern Iowa for his Masters in Biology. Before joining the faculty position at SDSU in 2009, he completed both of his PhD and post doctoral training at Kansas State University.


• Ph.D. (Biology) Kansas State University, USA
• HBX-CORE, Harvard Business School, Harvard University, USA
• M.S. (Biology), University of Northern Iowa, USA
• B.Sc. (Biology/Botany), Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Academic Interests/Expertise

Systematics, comparative genomics and population genetics of plant species

Academic Responsibilities

• General Biology-Honors (BIOL 151/L; until Fall 2019)
• General Botany (BOT 201/201L: Spring)
• Biology Survey II (BIOL 103/103L; Spring, until 2012)
• Evolution (BIOL 373; Fall, until 2015)
• 7-12 Science Methods (SEED 413; Fall)
• Molecular Plant Physiology (BIOS /PS 664; Spring)

Committee Activities

• SDSU Faculty Senate (Vice President, 2020 -2021)
• Natural Science Discipline Council (Chair, 2018-Current); Biology Discipline Council (Ad-hoc; Fall 2013) (For System Academic Affairs, South Dakota Board of Regents)
• SDState Representative, WICHE- Interstate Passport Initiative (Natural Sciences Group, Spring 2015-Current) (For System Academic Affairs, South Dakota Board of Regents)
• F. O. Butler Foundation Trustee (May 2019-Current)
• SDSU HLC-NCA Accreditation Steering Committee
• SDSU Academic Appeals Committee (Fall 2018-Current)
• SDSU International Committee (Chair- Fall 2016-Spring 2018; member 2015-2016)
• SDSU Honors College Faculty Advisory Committee (Fall 2016-Current)
• SDSU CETL Advisory Council (Fall 2016-Current)
• SD Science Advisory Council (Spring 2017-Current)
• Dept. Representative to Teacher Education Faculty (TEF; 2009-current), Academic Appeal Committee CEHS (2014-current); Dept. Curriculum Committee (until summer 2016);

Specialty Area

  • Plant molecular systematics
  • Bioinformatics of plant gene families

Awards and Honors

• Samuel Noel Postlethwait Award for Outstanding Service to Teaching Section of the Botanical Society of America (2018)
• Honor Society of Agriculture (Gamma Sigma Delta) Past President Recognition (2017)
• Honor Society of Agriculture Distinguished Service Award (2017)
• Edward Patrick Hogan Award For Teaching Excellence (2016)
• Sigma Xi Past President Recognition (2015)
• National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences (2015 National Academies Northstar Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology)
• Gamma Sigma Delta Teaching Award (SD Honor Society of Agriculture; 2014)
• Tom Cheesbrough Excellence in Teaching Award (Dept. of Biology and Microbiology, SDSU; 2014)
• Lee Olson Travel Award (Dept. of Biology and Biology, SDSU; 2014)
• 2014 Outstanding Faculty Award nominee (Biology and Microbiology Graduate Student Association)
• 2014 CE Bessey Teaching Award nominee (Botanical Society of America)


• NSF REMAST Phase-III (Vestal, Nepal, Browning, Miller and White; 2020-2025)
• NSF Synthetic Biology (Butzin, Nepal, Fernandez; 2019-2024)
• USDA-NIFA; FAST-REEU (Nepal, Bott-Knutson, Janaswamy, Mathew and White; 2018-2022)
• South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotional Council (with F. Mathew, 2017-2018)
• USDA-NIFA; iLEARN (Nepal, White, Browning and Miller; 2016-2019)
• USDA-NIFA; AES Hatch Fund (Nepal; 2013-2018)
• DOE/SDBOR; Science and Technology Resources for Engagement Activity Modules (STREAM) (Browning, Nepal and Miller; 2015/2016)
• NSF-REMAST Robert Noyce Scholarship Program –Phase II (Vestal, Nepal, Browning, Miller and Bertolini; 2014-2016)
• South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotional Council (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016).
• Department of Education-SD Board of Reagents (SETI^2, SETI^2-PhaseII)(Browning, Nepal and Miller; NCLB, Title II Grant) 2012/13 and 2013/2014
• NSF-REMAST Robert Noyce Scholarship Program (Vestal, Nepal, Browning, Emo and Miller; 2007-2012)
• SDSU Academic and Scholarly Excellence Initiative (Miller, Nepal, Browning, Vestal and Emo; 2010-2011)
• USDA Forest Service (2010-2012)
• SDSU Research Scholarship Fund 2010 (2009-2010)

Professional Memberships

• Botanical Society of America-Teaching Section Chair (Elected; 2015-2018)
• Botanical Society of America- Vice Chair & Program Director (2012-2015)
• American Society of Plant Biologists-member
• Sigma Xi Chapter President (2013-2014)
• SD Honor Society of Agriculture President (2015-2016)
• AAAS Member (2014-current)

Creative Activities

• Founding Faculty Member of Institute for STEM Education Enhancement (ISEE@SDSTATE)
• Founding Faculty Adviser of Bio-Micro Graduate Student Association (BMGSA)
• Principal Investigator/Project Director- FAST@SDSTATE; an externally funded project aligned to Wokini Initiative to serve Native American students)
• Principal Investigator/Project Director-iLEARN@SDSATE; an externally funded PD program for K-12 science teachers from both public and private (including BIE) schools
• Co-Principal Investigator, NSF-funded REMAST Program that provides $10,000 scholarships/year for the students pursuing teaching degrees in Math and Science Education ((PI:S. Vestal)
• Co-Principal Investigator, NSF-funded Synthetic Biology project titles "Using a queueing framework to explore the design principles of synthetic circuits in microorganisms" (PI:N. Butzin)

Area(s) of Research

Plant Systematics, Molecular Phylogenetics and Comparative Genomics

Applications of Research

• Advancement of knowledge (Plant Evolution)
• Plant species identification and management (Biodiversity and Conservation):
• Stress responsive gene identification and characterization (Crop Improvement)