HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Lavanya Aburri was a young woman friends and colleagues described as smart, compassionate, and selfless.
Thursday the Alabama A&M University community paid tribute to her memory.
"She had a lot of compassion for others. She would never say no if somebody came to ask her for help," said Aburri's major adviser and friend, S.R. Mentreddy. "She was very much into life."
Aburri came to the United States to follow her passion for research. After completing an MS in Biotechnology in India, Aburri came to the United States to get a second MS in Biotechnology from West Virginia State University. In 2014, she joined AAMU as a Graduate Research Assistant.
A Ph.D. candidate, she became known for her sharp mind, compassionate nature, and love for all life brought her.
Those who worked by her side spoke of her tireless efforts in the field of molecular biology, researching the natural variation of fruit traits in watermelon and the evolution of cultivated watermelon varieties.
"She had this in-depth knowledge of the molecular world. And she had this kind of confidence that she could handle this huge research," said Mentreddy. "She took to it, like a fish takes to water. She was there in the field by 6 o`clock in the morning and had a plan for the day."
Aburri`s absence will be felt on campus and in the fields.
In her memory her department will plant a rose garden, a reminder of a vibrant and fearless young woman.
Aburri's research can be found in several publications:
- Differential gene expression and alternative splicing between diploid and tetraploid watermelon
- A Genome-wide scan of selective sweeps and association mapping of fruit traits using microsatellite markers in watermelon
- High-resolution genetic map for understanding the effect of genome-wide recombination rate on nucleotide diversity in watermelon
- Single nucleotide polymorphisms generated by genotyping by sequencing to characterize genome-wide diversity, linkage disequilibrium, and selective sweeps in cultivated watermelon
- Linkage disequilibrium and population-structure analysis among Capsicum annuum L. cultivars for use in association mapping