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February 16, Tucson

US (AZ): Advanced sensing technologies & data mining in crop phenotyping

"Move over farmers! The robots and drones are coming!!!" The pastoral environments of agricultural crop fields are being invaded by an army of robots and unstaffed drones (UAVs) carrying advanced technologies which are used to collect essential data from plants including growth rates, shapes and sizes of plants, measuring photosynthesis and even sniffing volatile chemicals emitted by plants when they are subjected to stresses such as drought, heat, wind, and mechanical abrasions. Of course, technologies alone are not sufficient to use the huge amounts of data generated in this way. They require plant engineers, physiologists and pathologists to assemble and analyze the data, and most importantly to derive useful information from these data that will impact how farmers then treat their crops to vastly improve production and significantly lower the onslaught of plant disease agents.

This is where Professor Sindhu Sankaran and her team enter the scene. Together, they reduce the mountains of data generated by field technologies into actionable descriptions of what the plants are doing, behaving and being subjected to stresses. Such plant behaviors, monitored by noninvasive sensors, result in an inclusive description of the plant’s biology—the plant phenotype. In her presentation, Sindhuja Sankaran will share recent and advanced sensor technology developments and how these new tools are used to assess infield and postharvest crop characteristics. The goal of Sankaran’s research is to get these data to the farming communities to improve crop production, fighting plant diseases more effectively, and thus add to the global initiatives designed to mitigate food shortages and hunger as the world’s population is expected to double by 2050 (The 10BPQ).

The CEAC Covering Environments Seminar will be held Friday Feb 16th from 4:15 PM to 5:15 PM in the CEAC Lecture Room.

A networking, get acquainted session, with light refreshments, will take place between 3:45 to 4:15 pm at the CEAC lecture room (1951 E Roger Rd, Tucson). A Q&A period will follow the talk.
If you are unable to attend in person, the seminar series will be available via the web. Register here:

Publication date: 2/6/2018



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