Manipulating the light environment in the field using shading and particle films
We are looking for a graduate student to contribute to the current knowledge about tree physiological responses to light intensity. This is a last-minute opportunity, so we are looking for someone who can start in August.
Our lab has been working using shading and particle films to improve tree physiological performance. We have shown that we can mitigate the effects of disease and improve tree growth by manipulating light intensity and distribution in the canopy. The new student will help us refine the efforts and develop recommendations for growers while gaining a deeper understanding of citrus tree water relations and photosynthetic performance. This project is ideal for a student interested in either sustainable agriculture, horticulture, or plant environmental physiology.
The selected candidates will be perform experiments to quantify these underlying tradeoffs between irradiance (light intensity) and temperature and the degree to which they affect growth. Experiments will include the impact of temperature and water use on photoprotective vs. photosynthetic tradeoffs. The selected candidate will have the opportunity to use unique methodologies at the UF Tree Ecophysiology Lab, including a range of methods to assess photosynthesis, growth and water relations. This project will focus on the woody subtropical genus, Citrus. The work focuses on field work and would include some laboratory work.
The work environment is highly collaborative, and demonstration of the ability to work in diverse teams will be valued in the selection process. Critical thinking, independent judgment, and interest in the subject matter are essential. Other valued skills include:
- Quantitative analysis
- Written communication
- Experience with gas exchange methods
- Knowledge of plant carbohydrate allocation processes or phloem function
The ecophysiology lab (website here) at the Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred, Florida, uses whole-plant physiological approaches to address challenges in horticultural productivity in perennial plants. The Citrus Research and Education Center offers ample opportunities for collaboration with 25 labs working in areas as varied as genetics, plant pathology, and entomology. The PI of the Tree Ecophysiology lab places a high importance on mentorship and the development of skills of and opportunities for students and post-doctoral scholars. If you are interested, please send your questions or a resume to Christopher Vincent at [email protected].