Cynthia Crézé

PhD student (SBG), Plant Science GSR award, Western SARE Graduate Student Award 

Cover crops: Benefits, tradeoffs and optimization for California almond production systems

Email: cmcreze@ucdavis.edu

Education:

  • MSc – Bioresource Engineering (McGill University, Canada, 2015)
  • BS.C– Agricultural and Environmental Sciences – Specializations in Ecological Agriculture and Agrology (McGill University, Canada, 2014)

Research Interests: I am investigating the benefits and tradeoffs of cover cropping in almond orchards. Herbicides and mechanical control are commonly used to maintain bare orchard floors in California. However, these controlling methods lead to the simplification of plant-related ecosystem functions and create soil-related agronomic and environmental issues including dust, poor water infiltration and retention, and reduced nutrient availability. Through a systems-based approach, my study will evaluate how temporal, taxonomic and functional diversity in cover crop mixtures support agroforestry ecosystem services, particularly relating to soil health. The overall performance of cover crop mixtures will be assessed to determine their capacity to support stakeholders in achieving multiple management objectives.