People

Karla Cornelio

  • MSc Student
Working with the Linquist Lab, my research will identify and refine fertilizer management strategies to maximize yield and fertilizer nitrogen recovery efficiency in California's water-seeded, permanently flooded rice systems. In particular, the fundamental purpose of my research is to develop alternative surface-applied fertilizer practices to safeguard farmers from yield and profit losses during seasons with heavy rainfall. Besides my research, I am also passionate about technical skills in welding, operating field equipment, landscaping and carpentry. As someone born in the Philippines and raised eating Filipino foods, rice has special place in my heart (and stomach!).

Audrey Geise

  • PhD Student
My current research is centered around understanding biological nitrogen fixation in California rice. My research aims to quantify biological nitrogen in rice and its contribution to the rice nitrogen budget. In addition, it explores key drivers of nitrogen fixation in rice along with the impacts of common management practices. Enhanced knowledge of the process and its drivers may better allow us to maximize the benefits of fixed nitrogen, reduce nitrogen fertilizer inputs, and improve nitrogen use efficiency and overall sustainability.

Peter Geoghan

  • MSc Student
My broad interests are related to soil fertility, water, and crop systems management. Early season nitrogen (N) fertilizer loss can occur when fertilizer is placed in the soil, and due to adverse weather-related events or unplanned field drainage events the N can nitrify leading to denitrification losses when the field is reflooded. My research is focused on quantifying nitrification rates in rice fields with the intent of developing a simple tool that farmers can use to access potential N losses when such events occur. Such a tool will lead to both economic and environmental benefits. I have prior experience working on farms in the Washington D.C. metro area and as a project manager for global health programs.

Henry Perry

  • PhD Student
My primary interests are in the effects of water management practices on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in California rice systems. Specifically, my research involves the implementation of midseason drainage of flooded rice fields and its subsequent effects on soil nitrogen dynamics, GHG emissions, and grain yield. Having grown up in New Mexico, I was raised with an appreciation for sustainable water management. The ultimate goal of my research is to help develop water management practices that can be effectively utilized by rice growers in California and other parts of the world to reduce overall seasonal emissions without sacrificing yield. I graduated with a BS in Science Pre-professional from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana where my work with Collegiate 4-H reinforced my interest in sustainable agriculture.

Telha Rehman

  • PhD Student
The primary focus of my research is to promote sustainable nutrient management in California rice systems. Specifically, I am developing remote sensing tools that can guide sustainable N management decisions, as well as, investigating the effectiveness of existing management practices and optimizing them to attain high yields with minimal environmental impact.

Luke Salvato

  • PhD Student
I study patterns of land use change in California’s Central Valley and their interaction with environmental factors. Specifically, I study the recent trend of switching land use from rice production into other perennial and annual crops with the goal of describing the location, timing, and extent of this trend and investigating relationships between these patterns of land use change and environmental factors such as soil type, drought conditions, and climate. I aim to utilize forecasted climate change scenarios to make predictions about future land cover patterns in the Central Valley. My goal is to conduct research that serves as a tool to help policy makers and practitioners build sustainable, resilient agroecosystems.

Zhenglin Zhang

  • PhD Student
I am broadly interested in C:N dynamics and management practices that promote long term soil health for sustained agronomic productivity. My research focuses on nitrogen availability in relationship to rice field management, specifically fallow and continuous flooding. Continuous flooding with winter straw decomposition can cause an accumulation of lignin-derived recalcitrant phenols that bind to mineral nitrogen in the humic faction, making applied nitrogen less available for crop uptake and causing yield losses. The research attempts to understand if increased nitrogen application are needed for continuous flooding to obtain optimal yields and quantify the degree of soil N immobilization caused by soil phenols. Additionally, I am also quantifying greenhouse gas emissions for the two management practices specific to this rice growing region of Sacramento Valley.