Chair - Graduate Group Horticulture and Agronomy
- Ph.D., Utrecht University, the Netherlands; Plant Physiological Ecology, 1998
- M.S., University of Washington, Seattle; Botany, 1997
- B.S., Utrecht University, the Netherlands; Biology, 1994
Research interests and expertise:
Wide-ranging interests related to whole plant physiology, root biology, and rhizosphere in perennial plants, growing a range of ecosystems including urban, grazing pastures, oak-savanna, and production orchards.
- Root production dynamics in almond orchards in response to irrigation and canopy management; funded by Almond Board of California.
- Root production and lifespan in response to additional water inputs for groundwater recharge; funded by Almond Board of California.
- The effect cover crops on soil health characteristics in pear orchards; funded by Calif. Dept. of Food and Agricultureís Healthy Soils Initiative.
- Assessing Key Factors Influencing Farmers' Water Use and Irrigation Technology Adoption on the U.S. West Coast; funded by USDA-NIFA.
- Direct and indirect effects of liquid organic fertilizer on root and overall plant growth; funded by industry sponsor and Jastro endowment funds.
- Bulk soil, rhizosphere and root dynamics changes due to tillage in a vineyard ñ effects of 25 years of soil management; Jastro endowment funds.
Recently finished projects (last five years):
- Using intercropping with halophytes to improve watermelon yield and quality under saline conditions; Texas Department of Agriculture SCRI block grant.
- Nitrogen fertilizer impacts on root production and physiology of field-grown young pecan trees; USDA SCRI.
- Impact of continuous water recycling on green roof media and plant performance on roofs of different ages in Houston, Texas; in-kind funding.
- Effects of rootstock, grafting, and salinity on citrus seedling growth and salt uptake; in-kind funding.
- Using pervious concrete to improve root zone conditions for mature Sweetgum trees ñ potential use to preserve mature urban trees; in-kind funding.
- Impact of climate change (precipitation patterns, temperature) on oak-savanna dominant species and their interactions; funded by DOE ñ NICCR.
- Introduction to Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry; ENH 1 (fall quarter)
- Urban Forestry; ENH 100, (fall quarter)
- Arboriculture; ENH 133 (winter quarter)
- Graduate Seminar; HRT 290, (spring quarter)
Outreach and Extension:
- Pear research advisory council
- Nickels research advisory council
- Fruit and Nut center advisory board
- Speaker at Principles of Fruit and Nut Production, Almond Production, and Walnut Production short courses.
- Invited speaker to various grower meetings for walnut, almond, and pecan
- Book chapters on root physiology in soilless culture textbook, as well as almond production manual
External activities that contribute to scholarship:
- Associate editor, AoB PLANTS
- Ad-hoc reviewer for many journals and some NSF grant panels
- Invited speaker: ASPB Northeast meeting, Western Pecan Growers, Sonora Pecan Growers (Mexico), Plant Growth Regulator Society
Prizes, Awards, Honors:
- Montague Scholar, Texas A&M University, Center for Teaching Excellence, 2010-2011
- Root biology
- Urban ecology
- Plant physiological ecology
- Perennial plants
- Plant water relations
- Plant water use