Alessandra Zuniga

PhD student in the joint doctoral program in ecology (JDPE)

Effects of climate change stress on perennial cropping systems in California



  • B.S. in biology from New Mexico State University
  • Master of biological sciences from Northern Arizona University

Research Interests

In broad terms, my research focuses on investigating the effects of several climate change factors on perennial cropping systems in California. My current project observes the interactive effects of elevated CO2 and drought on grapevine physiology and water use efficiency. My next step is to explore the soil physical and microbial characteristics for solutions to mitigate the effects of drought on grapevines. I am particularly interested in determining the role of mycorrhizal fungi in supporting healthy soils and how this improves crop resilience to environmental stressors. Through this work I hope to advocate for the use of sustainable management practices in perennial systems that help promote a more robust soil community that is ready to defend crops against the future impacts of climate change.