Sunila Rai is a Nepalese fisheries scientist whose graduate education was supported by the AquaFish CRSP/ACRSP, earning a Master’s and a Doctorate at Thailand’s Asian Institute of Technology (AIT). Sunila’s doctoral advisor was Dr. Yang Yi, who himself completed a PhD in Aquaculture Sciences at AIT supported by AquaFish. Sunila was motivated to pursue her education in fisheries and aquaculture science in part because of the need to address the significant gender gap in the aquaculture sector in Nepal. Through her formallong-term training and experience working on AquaFish-funded projects, Sunila was well positioned for building on her accomplishments and continuing into a promising career in aquaculture science.
After completing her graduate education, Sunila worked as the Head of the Aquaculture Department at the Institute for Agriculture and Animal Sciences (IAAS) at Agriculture and Forestry University (AFU, formerly Tribhuvan) in Chitwan, where she conducted research for enhancing carp production in polyculture ponds. In 2013, she was appointed the Associate Dean of Academics of the Faculty of Animal Science at the AFU. Sunila is a pioneer for women in the field of aquaculture science, and she sets a strong example to encourage women to not only pursue higher education, but to become leaders in the aquaculture sector.