Meet Dr. Abinaya Sekar, our newest Advisor of the Month

Abinaya Sekar at the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, India

Mendeley Advisors can be found not only in university settings but also at research institutes, government departments, and working in private industry. We were excited to meet Dr. Abinaya Sekar, a Senior Research Associate at India’s Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi, visiting faculty at School of Planning and Architecture Delhi, and a Mendeley Advisor since 2021.

Abinaya’s research focuses on policy related to air quality and human health. She holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering Technology from National Institute of Technology Calicut, a Post Graduate Diploma in Environmental Law from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, a Masters in Environmental Engineering and Management and an undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Thiagarajar College of Engineering.

How did you become interested in your field?

During my undergraduate study, my professor, Dr. Chandran, raised a question that stuck with me forever: “How to control the water hyacinth invasion in water bodies in Madurai.” It was then that I realized I wanted to work for the environment and especially pollution. The paradox that the level of water is increasing, but we do not have water that we can consume, is hard-hitting. For both my undergraduate and master’s thesis, I studied the invasive and beneficial characteristics of water hyacinth. Later, for my Ph.D., I went on to study the challenging discourse of air pollution and gained expertise in exposure assessment, human health risk assessment, and air pollution science.

What attracted you to working at the Centre for Policy Research?

Since my Ph.D. I was interested in working with Delhi’s air quality crisis. I preferred working with the organization because CPR has been a consistent voice in the public discourse regarding the air pollution situation in Delhi. Working with CPR’s scholars, who are from the world’s finest universities, is a truly rewarding experience.

Where do you work the best? What kind of environment suits you?

I function best when it is peaceful. I cannot work around chaos. The Environment Engineering Laboratory at NIT Calicut is one such place. During my Ph.D. days, I would spend most of my time in the lab, carrying out my research. Often, days turned into nights and I often lost track of time while working. It was one place where I was disconnected from the other world and it was me, the instruments and my research. That is the kind of environment I thrive in.

How long have you been using Mendeley?

I was first introduced to Mendeley by professor Dr. Arun Kumar from NIT Calicut in 2017. I’ve been using it since then.

What were you using prior to Mendeley?

Before getting introduced to Mendeley, I was using the very difficult and tedious referencing method in Microsoft Word. After getting familiar with Mendeley, there was no looking back. Not only did it make referencing easier, but it also saved so much time. It was actually a life-changing decision.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

For the simple reason that more people should be familiar with such an easy to use and time saving referencing tool.

Is there a researcher you admire (dead or alive) that you would like to work with or meet?

Dr. George K. Varghese, my PhD supervisor, is someone I like and look up to. In India, Prof. Varghese is a pioneer in the field of Environmental Forensics. The questions he highlighted throughout our research discussions influenced the way I thought and approached my research questions. In addition to research skills, I’ve learned how to respond to people despite a hectic schedule, how to be approachable, and how to avoid procrastinating on work. I also deeply admire the work of Ms. Sunita Narin, Director General of the Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi. I would like to meet her.

What are you reading or listening to at the moment ?

This week I listened to the episode “Breathing the air in Lebanon: E-cigarettes, water pipes, and beyond” featuring Prof. Najat Saliba, professor at the American University of Beirut (Lebanon), hosted by Atmospheric Tales, a podcast that focuses on stories from around the world related to air pollution and climate change.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

The fact that globally, 40% of the secondary organic aerosols are formed from ammonia. In addition to the health effects associated with ammonia, its secondary particle formation potential makes it an important pollutant to regularly monitor. It may be a well-established fact; however, I came across it only this week.

I also picked up some skills in making chicken biryani as well. This week I made it for my husband’s birthday party, and it was a huge hit.

What is the best part about working in research?

The best part of research is searching. Every time I dig for something I end up finding some other newer related thing and the tabs in my browsers keep increasing.

And the most challenging part about working in research?

The challenging part about research is also attributed to the researching part of it. The fact that to be good at it, one has to go into such depths, can often be mentally draining. I am often tired by the end of the day. Also, there are many repetitive corrections, which require a lot of consistency and commitment.

What advice would you give to young researchers? 

My advice for young researchers is to read, re-read and read again. With that, write and jot down your ideas. Writing is an acquired skill which one acquires from writing a lot.

What is the most important thing that people should know about Mendeley?

Taking notes within the app is the most useful feature for me. It makes Mendeley a useful platform for literature review in addition to referencing.

You can read more about Abinaya and her work on these sites:

Centre for Policy Research Staff pages:

Interested in the Mendeley Advisor program? Visit to learn more.

Advisor of the Month: Meet Andrii Kyrylchuk, Chemist and 10-year Mendeley user!

person facing the camera with desk and computer in the background

Andrii Kyrylchuk in his office at University of California, San Francisco, USA

We’ve noticed that some Mendeley Advisors’ research takes them places around the globe. One Advisor whose career exemplifies this is Andrii Kyrylchuk. Initially graduating from the National Technical University of Ukraine in Kyiv with a Master’s in Organic Chemistry and Chemical Technology of Organic Substances, Andrii has spent the first decade of his career as a visiting researcher in Finland, Italy, and now as a Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in the United States.

What attracted you to working at UCSF?

 UCSF is one of the world leading institutions in medicinal chemistry and life sciences. Shoichet’s lab, where I am currently working, is among the top research groups that specialize in virtual drug discovery.

How did you become interested in your field?

I’ve been passionate about chemistry since my early childhood. I had my small laboratory at the balcony of the ordinary soviet-style apartment. My bookshelf was full of high-school and university chemical textbooks. I was hunting for new books and glassware across the small city where I lived. So, it was really easy to choose what I want to do with my life.

I studied industrial organic chemistry for my master’s, then did organic chemistry in my PhD years, and then transitioned to computational organic chemistry. In addition to the research in organic chemistry, I worked on carbon membranes during my Fulbright Fellowship. In 2020 I got interested in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery, and spent some time working in the leading Ukrainian chemical company Enamine Ltd. This year I joined UCSF and my key focus is virtual screening and early drug discovery.

Where do you work the best? What kind of environment suits you?

Surprisingly, I often find inspiration strikes in rather unusual places: a coffee shop, a train ride or on a flight. I also enjoy working outside. But the best place is always where my colleagues are!

How long have you been using Mendeley?

My journey into science with Mendeley started on May 13, 2012. Oh, I had a 10th anniversary this year!

What were you using prior to Mendeley?

I was using MS Word’s own endnotes for citing, and organized my PDF files in simple folders on my PC. That was dreadful.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

When I started using Mendeley, I saw how much easier my life became with it, so naturally I wanted to share this joy with others. Many fellow scientists didn’t know much about reference managers at the time, so encouraging them to use Mendeley was difficult sometimes.

Andrii and a llama friend

What book are you reading at the moment and why?

A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking. My goal is to present my findings in the same engaging and exciting manner this book is written in.

What is the best part about working in research?

The joy of discovering something new, that no one have seen before. Connection through the generations of scientists. And the things you do vary a lot: a bit of programming, wet lab work, paper writing, conferences and so on. Overall, research is the most exciting job one can have!

And the most challenging part about working in research?

For me it is time management and expectation management. Starting a new project, one doesn’t know if the main problem can be solved at all, let alone what means are necessary to solve it. And often it takes much more time and effort thanexpected, and the result is far from the expected.

What advice would you give to young researchers? 

My advice would be not to be afraid to change your field! All science is interdisciplinary, so every researcher must know lots of trades. Entering a new field is scary sometimes, but it’s also fun.

What is the most important thing that people should know about Mendeley?

If you make Mendeley a key point in your everyday research, things will become much simpler. People tend to think of reference managers as of tools for writing papers, but Mendeley is much more. When I start a new project, I add all the papers I find to a new folder in Mendeley so that it’s easier to keep all information in one place. A new paper is out from a group I follow? Adding it to Mendeley. Learning new methods or tools? The papers go to a specific subfolder in “Methods” directory. And don’t forget to highlight and make notes while reading!

You can read more about Andrii and his work on these sites:

University website:
Own website:

Interested in the Mendeley Advisor program? Visit to learn more.

Advisor of the Month: An awesome team from UASLP in México

Manuel Armenta, Wendy Pérez Díaz, and Sinuhé Rodriguez on the campus of Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, México

We decided to do something a little different this time–our first Advisor of the Month story featuring a group of Advisors from a single institution. Since the 2021 LATAM North “Elsevier Live” webinar series where we presented the Mendeley Advisor program, we’ve been hearing more from Advisors in the region. Among them are three from the Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí (UASLP), who share Mendeley know-how by organizing events within UASLP’s large library system. Advisors Manuel Armenta, Sinuhé Rodríguez, and Wendy Pérez Díaz spoke with us about their experiences and inspiration. Each works in a different division within the libraries at UASLP. Manuel supports research and user training at the Information Center for Science, Technology and Design; Sinuhé is a Librarian Documentalist at the Information Center for Humanities, Library Science and Psychology, and Wendy works as a Librarian in the central Library Services office.

What attracted you to UASLP?

Manuel appreciated “the large university community, opportunities for research collaboration and cultural outreach,” while Sinuhé says that “it is one of the best universities in Mexico and has beautiful libraries.”  Wendy describes the UASLP library system as “the best place to develop professionally and personally.” She added that the university “is a national reference, and the library system is one of its particular strengths.”  

How did you become interested in your field?

Wendy’s interest grew out of a broad curiosity, “a need to have answers to questions. There is a lot of work to be done and a very wide field to be explored.” Sinuhé highlighted interacting with people, noting he likes working “with PhD students and researchers and assessing their information needs.” Manuel discovered his interest by accident. “I was looking at another area, but the course was changed to focus on reference managers.” He appreciates being able to “propose ideas, to look for solutions that can benefit all who need information for their research.”

How long have you been using Mendeley? What’s the most important thing about Mendeley that people should know?

All three have used Mendeley for eight or more years and highlighted its flexibility and accessibility. Manuel notes that Mendeley’s “free” access is the main thing. Many people he has worked with “think it is necessary to invest money to be able to cite and manage references. When you talk to them about the qualities and wonders within Mendeley and tell them that it is free, they are surprised and excited.” He also appreciates how Mendeley is “in constant growth and adaptation for the benefit of research.”

Wendy Pérez Díaz

Wendy emphasized how Mendeley allows researchers “to organize their information in a smart, dynamic and professional way.” For Sinuhé, who previously had been managing references and citations manually, it’s the ease of creating citations and bibliography and the flexibility to change the citation style automatically that are Mendeley’s most important strengths.

Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

Wendy joined to “teach Mendeley to the university community of researchers and share…experience with Mendeley Reference Manager.” Sinuhé finds the Advisor program supports him in offering a higher quality of service to users, as does Manuel: “I worked with researchers and academics who struggled with citations and references, managing their documents…and finding information was a problem. I had knowledge of Mendeley and wanted to share it with more people, so when I saw the opportunity to join, I did not hesitate.”

Is there a researcher you admire (dead or alive) that you would like to work with or meet, and why?

Wendy appreciates Dr. Lourdes Feria “for being a librarian who inspires and motivates colleagues to generate research.” Sinuhé admires medical technology and innovation researcher Samuel Kolosovas, who he has known since childhood,because of his superb analysis of power and the relationships and dependencies it creates in individuals.” 

Manuel Armenta

A researcher Manuel would have liked to meet is Rui Pérez Tamayo, “a Mexican pathologist and immunologist, researcher, science popularizer and academic. I liked very much how he expressed himself about science, his contributions, how he saw the future – and how directly and indirectly everyone contributes to science.”

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

Manuel participated in a “Design thinking” collaboration “to find solutions for problems in our university community. Incredible as it may seem [after] 7 years inside the institution, we have realized that we are really far from knowing. We are excited about the idea of looking for possible solutions to the most frequent problems.”

Wendy’s insight is “the importance of shared knowledge, and the fact that there are new things to learn every day.”

Can you recommend a “good read?”

As you might expect, these Advisors have diverse reading and listening interests. Manuel “would always recommend the series of ‘The Cemetery of Forgotten Books’ by the author Carlos Ruiz Zafón. “There is no age limit, there is no reading order, you are immersed in the reading from beginning to end.”  Sinuhé suggested George Orwell’s “1984” and Wendy likes the podcast “Creative,” “because they talk with outstanding creative people from different industries to learn a little about their way of seeing life.”

What is the best part about working in research?

For Sinuhé, it’s that you can “learn about many topics and interact with knowledgeable people,” while Manuel points to both the cross-disciplinary aspects and the opportunities for “collaboration, and freedom to share knowledge.” Wendy also appreciates “sharing new knowledge” and being able to contribute to the larger community.

Sinuhé Rodriguez

And the most challenging part about working in research?

Both Wendy and Manuel identified the time investment necessary for the process of scientific research, while Sinuhé mentioned the challenge of trying to understand researcher’s needs.

What advice would you give to young researchers? 

Manuel advises that “they love their discipline” and feel encouraged to further the research in their field. Wendy suggests that they see the generation of new knowledge as contributing to the community. But Sinuhé offers perhaps the most important piece of advice: “Approach the librarian. They can help you.”

You can follow these Mendeley Advisors on LinkedIn:

Manuel Armenta:ús-armenta-martínez-1ba3735a/
Wendy Pérez Diaz:
Sinuhé Rodríguez:

Interested in the Mendeley Advisor program? Visit to learn more.

Advisor of the Month – Chinwe Chukwudi

We’re delighted to introduce Dr. Chinwe Chukwudi, Senior Lecturer of Veterinary Pathology and Microbiology at the University of Nigeria in Nsukka. Chinwe is currently a visiting fellow of the African Postdoctoral Training Initiative (APTI) at the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland (USA).

Where did you start your research journey?

My research journey started at the Royal Veterinary College, University of London where I obtained my PhD in Molecular biology and Microbial genetics, and subsequently did my first postdoc, both sponsored by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK.

While growing up in a semi-urban community in South East Nigeria, I had a first-hand experience of the impact of infectious disease burden in Africa. Knowing that the sufferings caused could be alleviated with dedicated research into these diseases spurred my interest in researching on therapeutics/interventions for infectious diseases.

What is your favorite place to work?

A scientific laboratory and/or classroom, anywhere in the world!

How long have you been using Mendeley? 

11 years (since 2011)

What were you using prior to Mendeley?


Why did you decide to become an Advisor?

To help others unlock the immense benefits of using Mendeley for reference management.

Teaching Mendeley at University of Nigeria Nsukka in 2021

What is the most important thing about Mendeley that you think people should know?

It’s free and easy to use.

Is there a researcher you admire (dead or alive) that you would like to work with or meet, and why?

Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, USA who discovered the CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors that have revolutionized genome editing.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week?

I was at a drug repurposing conference this week, and realized how much the little we do as scientists could impact the lives of people/populations we may never know, and how much some of these people are helplessly waiting for us (scientists) to ‘discover’ a cure for their ailment.

What is the best part about working in research?

You get to explore your imagiNATION and make impact in the lives of people doing that.

And the most challenging part about working in research?

Having no defined work time….you have to work in and out of ‘normal’ working time, including through the nights, weekends and public holidays!

Levity in the lab: a few favorite organisms decorating a mask.

Do you have any advice for young researchers? 

Research is a commitment to serve humanity, and that should be the driving force and yardstick for the measurement of success for young researchers.

You can follow Chinwe and her work by visiting her LinkedIn profile, ResearchGate profile, or searching her OrchidID. Curious about the Mendeley Advisor program? visit our website.

Advisor of the Month: Bertha Santos

We’re pleased to introduce April’s Mendeley Advisor of the Month, Bertha Santos!

Bertha is an Assistant Professor of Transport Infrastructure Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture at the University of Beira Interior in Covilhã, Portugal.

How did you get into your field? 

I have always been fascinated by civil construction. When the opportunity arose to study civil engineering, I discovered my interest in the field of transportation engineering, in which I have been researching and teaching since 1998. Maintenance of transport infrastructures, road user costs, road safety and sustainable mobility are topics of my interest. 

Where do you prefer to work? 

I especially enjoy working at my university, surrounded by and interacting with colleagues and students. 

How long have you been using Mendeley?  

About 4-5 years. 

What were you using prior to Mendeley? 

I was using EndNote. 

Why did you decide to become an Advisor? 

As a higher education teacher, adequate referencing of scientific and technical documents is essential for me. To make students aware of this important aspect, and to support them in the use of referencing tools as a way to fight plagiarism, I became a Mendeley Advisor. 

What researcher would you like to work with or meet, dead or alive, and why? 

I would like to meet and work with transportation researchers from around the world to exchange knowledge, experiences and understand their perspectives. Among the leading researchers in the field of transportation, I would like to work with Prof. Gerardo W. Flintsch of Virginia Tech and Prof. Fred Mannering of University of South Florida-Tampa, and continue to work with Prof. Luís Picado-Santos of Instituto Superior Técnico in Lisbon. 

What’s the most interesting book or article you’ve read recently? 

I have recently read several interesting documents on European strategies and policies to promote sustainable mobility in urban areas, especially those related to cycling and pedestrian transport modes. For those interested in this topic, I recommend reading: 

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned this week? 

Once again, I realized that perseverance and hard work are essential for our personal and professional evolution. 

What is the best part about working in research? 

Discovering new things and solving problems that help ensure people better living conditions. 

And the most challenging part about working in research? 

To convey research findings in a clear and supported way and inspire young researchers. Mendeley can help address these challenges. 

What is the one thing you want people to know about Mendeley? 

I would like people to know that Mendeley is a precious tool that can be used in the process of researching, organizing, analyzing and referencing the information consulted in a given research area.

Do you have any advice for young researchers?  

My advice is don’t give up and enjoy the investigation process as much as possible. These are the two fundamental pillars of success in research. 

You can follow Bertha by viewing her profile on LinkedIn. Curious about becoming a Mendeley Advisor? Visit to learn more.

How to host a successful Mendeley training event in 5 easy steps

[Editor’s note June 2022 – we’ve updated the hyperlinks in this article to the new event resources for Mendeley Advisors]

Mendeley’s Advisor program boasts over 5,500 active Advisors in 130 countries around the world. From small agricultural colleges to major international universities, Advisors are enthusiastic “subject-matter experts” on Mendeley’s reference management solutions and are devoted to sharing good research skills with students and researchers in their regions. Mendeley training “events” are the most common way Mendeley Advisors share Mendeley know-how.

So how do you create a successful training event? Here are the key things to know when your organize your first (or 50th) event – plus helpful links and answers to the most frequently asked event questions we receive from Advisors.

Make a plan

Know your audience and their needs.

  • Who will be attending your Mendeley training? The best people to offer Mendeley training to are those in your own department, lab, school, or institution, who are doing academic research and writing theses or articles.
  • What are you going to be sharing in your training? Mendeley offers teaching materials and guides you can share with your attendees. But also listen to your event feedback – are your attendees interested in a specific topic?
  • When will you host your training? Understand your audience and their schedules. Are they full-time students? Do they work? Make sure you pick a time that most of your audience can attend. Offer them enough notice to make a plan.
  • Where will your event be held? Virtual trainings are a flexible option for people who cannot commute or be physically in the same room as you. In-person events require enough space and resources (like electrical outlets, chairs, a projector screen). Hybrid events (virtual and in-person) require attention to detail and possibly an assistant to monitor the virtual event while you address your physical audience.
  • Why does someone need Mendeley training? Maybe they are first-time users or need to know the newest feature updates.
  • How will they benefit from training? Will training help them with their research or to become more organized? Is the training also serving as a networking opportunity?

View our Mendeley training lesson plan

Promote your event

Fist, be sure to register your event on our special Advisor’s event platform. Include all the details that will prepare your audience like what to bring, helpful resources, and what to expect to learn. Also consider including a link to an attendee signup form (using resources like Microsoft Forms or EventBrite). This allows you to learn more about your attendees’ interests before the event. You can also collect contact details to build your outreach list for future events. The event platform does a lot of work for you – sending automatic reminders and generating personalized certificates of attendance for registered participants.

Download an event poster

Request merchandise. After your event is approved you can request free Mendeley giveaways to offer your attendees (please allow 4 weeks’ notice). If your event is virtual, or a hybrid (virtual and in-person), you can request merchandise for all participants or only those you’ll see in-person. (Note that a few countries’ import regulations limit what you can receive without paying an import tax. We’ll contact you in advance if we know this about your location).

Promote your event on social media by sharing the unique link provided in your event confirmation email.

Create a promotional image with our template

Prepare (practice, practice, practice)

Review the available Mendeley teaching materials and familiarize yourself with the content. You can edit the presentations for your local needs. Set aside time to practice giving your presentation.

Present and teach

Wear some Mendeley gear – a button or a t-shirt will make you feel smarter, we swear – and give yourself enough time to make sure the space is set up well before people start to arrive.

Perk up your virtual classroom with optional Mendeley backgrounds!

Conclude and share

Take the opportunity at the end of your event to ask for feedback about what people have learned and create a way for them to stay engaged. Some ideas:

  • Send a follow up email to your participants thanking them for attending. Ask them how Mendeley is helping them so far, and what else they want to learn
  • Create an advanced workshop that addresses specific kinds of research or writing
  • Create a social media group where people can ask you questions or collaborate
  • Host regular Mendeley “office hours” where anyone with questions can come in for guidance and one-on-one help

Take a photo with your group! Tell everyone in your network about your successful training with a photograph of you presenting, or a group photo with all your participants.

Be sure to share it with us too at It really helps inspire the team behind Mendeley. A photo is a great way to connect everyone in the Mendeley world.

Interested in becoming a Mendeley Advisor and hosting your own training event? Sign up to become an Advisor.