A researcher in agricultural automation engineering, Dr. Sankaran engages in sensing data-driven research that transform how we study the interaction between crops, genetics and environment to produce sustainable food, fiber and fuels. Based at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington, Sankaran's work focuses on advanced sensor technologies that detect and measure phenotypes—the physical expression of genes—in crops, supporting plant breeding, crop plant research, and precision agriculture. She utilizes opto-electronic, biological, and chemical sensors for non-invasive, rapid and continuous monitoring of plant responses to environmental stress, helping create a faster and better understanding of how our food crops react to a changing environment. Over the past six years, she has been working closely with multiple crop breeding programs ranging from cereal, grain legume, and specialty crops to evaluate traits including crop vigor, stress tolerance, and seed size and quality. She is a member of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, the National Association of Plant Breeders, the North American Plant Phenotyping Network, and the International Society of Precision Agriculture.