Since 2021, Jinita Sthapit Kandel is a Research Geneticist (Plants) at the USDA-ARS Thad Cochran Southern Horticultural Laboratory in Poplarville, MS. Her current research projects focus on improving horticultural traits and tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses in ornamental plants. Some of the ornamental plants she works on include Camellia, Hibiscus, Kalmia, Rosa, and Weigela. Jinita completed her PhD in Plant Pathology at Washington State University in Pullman, WA, working on wheat landraces for stripe rust and stem rust resistance and freezing tolerance. Furthermore, she did her postdoctoral research at the USDA-ARS Crop Improvement and Protection Research Unit in Salinas, CA, working on diverse lettuce germplasm to study genetics of quality traits and resistance to several biotic and abiotic stresses.