Dr. Michael Ottman
Water scarcity is a growing global issue that particularly affects arid regions, where annual precipitation and natural water resources are especially low. Agriculture productivity in dryland regions faces a multitude of challenges including persistent water scarcity, frequent droughts, and high climatic variability. If droughts become more common, widespread, and persistent -- as projected by climate change forecasts -- arid and semi-arid regions will have difficulty sustaining viable agricultural systems. My research focuses on the physiological mechanisms of drought tolerance in grains, specifically barley. I am particularly interested in rooting characteristics. My work has involved field trials comparing the performance of low-input barley varieties to high yielding, high input varieties under high and low irrigation conditions. Overall, I am interested in cultural methods and breeding efforts for low input (minimal water and fertilizer) production.