Troy Magney

Troy Magney

Position Title
Assistant Professor

1139 PRB


  • NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, 2015-2018
  • Ph.D., University of Idaho; Natural Resources (Geospatial Laboratory for Environmental Dynamics), 2015
  • B.A., University of Denver; Physical Geography (Remote Sensing), 2010

Research interests and expertise:

Our lab seeks to better understand plant systems through the lens of remote sensing and environmental informatics. This work is largely interdisciplinary and combines the fields of plant ecophysiology, biophysics, optics, statistical and computer science.

We develop instruments and methods for mapping vegetation structure and function at the leaf, tower, airborne, and satellite scales. This includes optical sensors that measure vegetation reflectance, thermal emission and solar-induced fluorescence (SIF), as well as active sensors (lidar, radar, microwave). Our work spans the plant kingdom – from agricultural applications (i.e., water and nutrient use efficiencies) to managed and unmanaged ecosystems (i.e., CO2 uptake, productivity, stress).

Current projects:

  • Multi-decadal time series of vegetation chlorophyll fluorescence and derived gross primary production (NASA MEASURES, 2019–2023)
  • Ecophysiological and physical mechanisms linking solar-induced fluorescence and vegetation reflectance to Boreal forest productivity (NASA ABoVE, 2019–2022)
  • Seasonality of photosynthesis of temperate and boreal conifer forests across North America (NSF Macrosystems Biology, 2019–2022)
  • Exploiting diurnal cycles to evaluate vegetation responses to heat and drought stress (NASA ECOSTRESS, 2020–2023)
  • Developing solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence as a ground-based and remotely-sensed physiological indicator of grapevine stress under field conditions (American Vineyard Foundation, 2019–2022)
  • A Synoptic Approach to Physiological Breeding for Drought Resilience in Bean (USDA-NIFA, 2019-2022)
  • A model-data fusion approach to quantify and predict the fate of terrestrial carbon in California (Center for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, 2020-2022)
  • AI-enabled sensors for forecasting yield, ripeness, and disease in strawberry (USDA Areawide sub-project)
  • Sensing and modeling of leaf biochemical and physiological traits, including early vigor (NSF Artificial Intelligence for Food Systems)
  • Remote-controlled evaluation of distribution uniformity and stem water potential: Extending imagery to integrated decision support (Almond Board of California, 2020-2023)

Current teaching:

  • PLS 198: Environmental Data Science (Spring quarter)
  • PLS22: Plant Physics (Winter quarter, 2022)

External activities that contribute to scholarship:

  • Associate guest editor, AoBP Plants
  • Peer reviewer for more than 25 scientific journals
  • NASA Arctic Boreal Vulnerability (ABoVE) Science Team
  • NASA OCO-2/3 Science Team
  • Board Member, SpecNet (
  • American Geophysical Union Outstanding Student Presentations Award Committee
  • Plant Sciences Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee member

Prizes, Awards, Honors

  • Early Career Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists (2021)
  • Top downloaded articles in Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences (2019 & 2020)
  • NASA Group Achievement Award. OCO-2 Science Team. 2018.
  • NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship. 2015–2018.
  • University of Idaho Outstanding Doctoral Student Research and Creativity Award. 2015.
  • College of Natural Resources Overall Outstanding Graduate Student, University of Idaho. 2015.
  • NASA Idaho Space Grant Consortium Graduate Fellow. 2013–2015.
  • Decagon Devices GA Harris Instrumentation Fellow. 2014.

Google Scholar:

ORCID (16-digit identifier): 0000-0002-9033-0024

Social media links:



  • Remote sensing
  • Environmental informatics
  • Plant biophysics
  • Photosynthesis