PhD student (Host & Ag)
Managing for soil health: targets and potential in almond orchards
- BS – Biological Systems Engineering: natural resources and the environment (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
Research Interests: I am investigating the relationships between soil health, almond tree health, and resource conservation. By defining benchmarks values for soil health in regional almond orchards and exploring the relationships between soil health and almond production, I seek to understand how soil health improving practices might be utilized to enhance the sustainability and resilience of California almond agroecosystems. I am interested in uncovering which management practices support essential ecosystem components and processes such as nutrient cycling, soil organic matter content, microbiota, and tree productivity. In addition, I want to explore how these essential agroecosystem functions and soil health indicators relate to yield, productivity, and input use (i.e., water and nutrients) to identify which soil health improving practices are most promising for balancing environmental and grower benefits. More broadly, I’m interested in examining the relationships between soil and other physical and biological agroecosystem components as well as how agroecological practices can be used to create more sustainable and resilient cropping systems that benefit the environment, economy, and society.