Subject of interest: use of compute cycles in a high performance computational facility to analyze published data sets from plants exposed to water stress.
Climate Ecosystem Sciences Division
Subject of interest is plant microbe interactions for sustainable nutrient supply.
Systemic insecticides have residual activity and often mobility in ecosystems. Hence, these chemicals and compounds contact non-target species, often with adverse health effects. In the case of bees and other keystone pollinators, some insecticides have low individual toxicity and yet result result in colony collapse disorder. In general, it is not possible to predict which systemic insecticides will lead to population decline in ecologically important, non-target species, and this critical information is learned from retrospective studies, long after the damage has been done. Pollinator loss endangers over $15B in agriculture in the US alone, and is poised to become a foundational and devastating global problem in the next century. In order to feed a growing population, it will be essential to accurately model and predict the ecological consequences of new and emerging compounds. We are applying systems biology and molecular toxicology to uncover the molecular mechanisms of low-dose insecticide toxicity in non-target species. Using the model organism Drosophila melanogaster, we can rapidly identify affected genes and pathways, discover trans-generational effects, develop remediation strategies, and recommend product design revisions to ameliorate off target effects. Our goal is to use the unrivaled power of fly genetics and molecular biology to improve agricultural yields and achieve food security for our growing global population
Subject of interest includes 1) Exploring plant-microbe interactions for sustainable supply of N and P- experimental and 2) micronutrients in crops grown using non-conventional agriculture – literature survey.
Future climate projections are potentially very useful for informing agricultural adaptation strategies to climate change in California. To guide the appropriate use of climate projections, this project will systematically evaluate the credibility of various projections for capturing local-scale climate phenomena that are critical for crop productivity. The project requires the ability to process and organize large amounts of data, as well as basic familiarity with climate science and agricultural science.
How future changes in climate and resource availability will impact the nutritional output of California Agriculture, with particular emphasis on vulnerable demographics.
Subjects of interest include: irrigated agriculture salinity management – modeling, remote sensing, GIS; wetland real-time salinity management – cyberinfrastructure, field monitoring, water quality forecast modeling; algae biofuels – crop protection, waste CO2 conversion, algae production from wastewater including well field production water (fracking fluids); integrated surface and groundwater modeling at the Basin scale – decision support, climate change, planning studies, groundwater banking and conjunctive use.
Investigate the reuse of produced water from oil and gas development for the purpose of groundwater recharge and irrigated agriculture. The fellow would examine various aspects of produced water reuse, including but not limited to treatment of hydraulic fracturing chemical additives, fate of additives in agricultural ecosystems, and the effects of additives on crops. The Fellow will also examine the technical, economic, and cultural challenges of produced water reuse in the San Joaquin Valley of California, a major crop and energy producing area of the US.