Group + Friends, May 2014

Front row: Amit, Gina Nichols, Sotiris Archontoulis (with Vaios), Fernando Miguez (with Felix), Amy Toth (with Leo). Back row: Aaron, Andrea Basche, Bhavna Sharma, Ranae Dietzel, Kevin, Hamze Dookoohaki, Guillermo Marcillo, Wendy, Alyssa Waldschmidt. MiguezGroup2014

Group, July 2013

Clockwise (starting at 12): Isaiah Huber, Andrea Basche, Fernando Miguez, Shane Bugeja, Gina Nichols, Bhavna Sharma, Jacob House, Sotiris Archontoulis, Connor Horton MiguezGroup2013

Group, May 2012

photo credit: Stefan Gailans

Group, Sept 2011

photo credit: Mark Newell

Fernando E. Miguez

I'm an assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University. I use mathematical and statistical modeling approaches, develop crop databases, and manipulate weather and soil databases to scale up field plot level findings to larger regions.

Before coming to ISU I was a postdoctoral research associate working in the Energy Biosciences Institute (University of Illinois) where I worked on modeling productivity of bioenergy crops such as switchgrass and miscanthus.

I received my PhD (and an MS) in Crop Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I also obtained a MS in applied statistics from the same university.

Bhavna Sharma

I am Post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University. I am working on the CEN USA bioenegy project with focus on development of system performance metrics, data collection, modeling, analysis, and tools for biomass feedstock production systems.

My research interests are harvest, collection, storage, and transportation of biomass feedstock, supply chain modeling, life cycle analysis, and hyperseptral sensing. I did my Bachelor's in Food Technology and MS in Processing and Food Engineering from India. I received my master’s from the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management and PhD from the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Enigimeering at Oklahoma State University.



Andrea Basche

I am a PhD student in the Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, working as a research assistant with Dr. Miguez in the Agronomy Department. I received an MA in applied climate science from Columbia University where I grew interested in the intersection of climate and agriculture. Namely, I want to be involved in the increasingly important work of adapting food systems to a future climate. During my masters work, I traveled both to Guatemala and Indonesia to work with smallholder farmers in better understanding and improving their climate and agronomic challenges.

Along with several other ISU faculty and students, I will be a part of the USDA-funded project investigating climate change mitigation and adaptation in corn cropping systems.

I am also a contributing writer to the Wall Street Journal's Metropolis weather pages, the Environmental Defense Fund's Restoration and Resilience blog and's running reviews.

Hamze Dookoohaki

I am PhD student in crop production and physiology Graduate Program under supervision of Dr.Miguez at Agronomy department in Iowa State University (ISU). In addition, I am working as Researcher Assistant as part of a biochar modeling project. I have received my BSc and MSc in Shiraz University (home town) and Isfahan University of Technology (IUT) respectively, both back home in IRAN. I did my previous educations in major called “Irrigation and Drainage” which it is a combination of Soil, Warer, Crop and atmosphere related topics.

Actually, I am interested in computer programming and that is the reason I am really determined to bring this ability to my projects just like the project that I’m in involved in my PhD. In my MSc project as well, I developed a new version of CSM-CERES-Maize called ‘CSM-CERES-Maize-hbased’ which uses the soil water potential in its calculation of soil water content.

Guillermo Marcillo

I was born in Ecuador. I studied crop science and agricultural economics before joining the department of agronomy at Iowa State University. I will be working under the supervision of Fernando Miguez and as part of a research project promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation in corn based systems. I am learning crop modeling and multidisciplinary research tools to analyze sustainable production issues, which is reinforcing my understanding of agriculture as a system.

My research interests are diverse, ranging from cropping system efficiency as influenced by sustainable practices, crop spatial and temporal variability, and agronomic and economic incentives to adopt sustainable practices.

I like to run, cycle and spend time at home with my wife Wendy.

Jacob House

I am currently an undergraduate at Iowa State University majoring in Agronomy. This fall I will begin my sophomore year. I am a research assistant for Andrea Basche, where we work together studying data from various Midwest field sites and apply this information to APSIM. I assist with developing data for one of Iowa State’s research fields.




Sotiris Archontoulis

Sotirios is now an Assitant Professor in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University. Congratulations!

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University, working in the project "Crop modeling and MS in Agronomy". The goal of this project is to improve students understanding in complex agro-ecosystems concepts involving crops, soils and climate. For this modeling approaches will be used, the APSIM model.

My research interests include crop phenology, morphology, agronomy, physiology and simulation modeling of crop species, with particular emphasis on bioenergy crops. I have worked with several food/fuel crops (miscanthus, cynara, sunflower, kenaf, rapeseed, sorghum fibre, sorghum sweet, sorghum sudan, maize, wheat and cotton) assessing G×M×E interactions on growth dynamics and biomass production.

I received my PhD and MSc in Crop Sciences from the Wageningen University, the Netherlands, and my 5-yr BSc degree also in Crop Sciences from the University of Thessaly, Greece.

Virginia Nichols

Gina is now working at CYMMIT and will be starting a PhD program at Washington State University. Congratulations Gina!

I am currently a Masters student (with intentions to earn my PhD) in the Graduate Program in Sustainable Agriculture here at ISU.

I earned my BS in Chemical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO (a lovely place). I will be working with Dr. Miguez on part of a larger project called Comparison of Biofuel Systems (COBS).



Laila Puntel

I’ m a graduate student and research assistant in Crop Production and Physiology at Iowa State University. I will be working in developing a database on corn and sorghum crops related to parameters of photosynthesis process and their response to stress conditions e. g. drought, nitrogen deficit. The development of this database will increase the performance of existing models of biomass production and their use in different regions.

Previously, I obtained my bachelor degree in Agronomy from the National University of Mar del Plata in Balcarce (Buenos Aires, Argentina). I worked and did my thesis on yield and quality of sunflower oil in the Physiology Lab at INTA-FCA Balcarce, Argentina.

Andres Basso

I am a research assistant in the Agronomy Department of Iowa State University. I will learn about crop modeling, while doing a master in Soil Science. I will combine Knowledge from both the clasess and the research to model Nitrogen and Carbon cycles.

Before coming to ISU, I studied chemical engineering in the National University of Cordoba (Argentina), and I became interested in soils. Furthermore, I have always wanted to connect chemical engineering with agronomy because I think that I could have a different point of view in approaching agronomy problems. In addition, after I received my degree, I was working in industry, and I think that it can be helpful if I connect me experiences.

My main goal is, using knowledge in both modeling and soil science, try to use non-productive lands to grow biomass to generate biofuels. If we use productive lands for biofuels, we will worsen the competition for land between food and fuel production.

Deepak Jaiswal

I am a postdoctoral research associate in the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). I am working with Dr. German Bollero, Dr. Fernando E. Miguez and Dr. Steve Long to evaluate C4 and CAM plants through the use of a semi-mechanistic crop model. Goal of this project is to understand the potential of CAM and C4 plants as bioenergy crops.

I obtained my PhD in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University (PSU). My PhD research was about soil phosphorus dynamics in wastewater-irrigated cropland. Earlier, I have worked with numerical methods such as Finite Element (FM), Finite Difference (FD) and Spectral Element (SE).

Isaiah Huber

I'm an undergraduate student of Computer Science and Math here at Iowa State. I am currently a senior and hope to graduate in Spring of 2014. My study interests are focused around computability and computational complexity, some pretty theory-heavy stuff, but I am able to help out with modifying APSIM.



Joseph Iverson

I am an undergraduate lab assistant in the Agronomy Department at ISU. I am currently a sophomore at the University of Chicago, where I am majoring in physics.

Joseph worked with us from May 2011 to Sept 2011.

Shane Bugeja

Shane is now a MS student under Michael Castellano. Congratulations Shane!

I am currently working as an student hourly with Gina Nichols but plan to attend Iowa State next year to earn a Masters in Sustainable Agriculture. I graduated from Iowa State University with a BS in Agronomy. I am particularly interested in alternative cropping systems and plant domestication. I have worked with prairie species composition with Iowa State University's Dr. Matt Liebman, soybean breeding with Dr. Walt Fehr, and shrimp production with Dr. Hank Harris. Currently I am investigating non-destructive methods for estimating LAI, such as using digital hemispherical photography.



Undergraduate Alumni

Russell Willett, Engineering, Iowa State. Summer 2012.

Stacie Shuler, Agronomy, Iowa State. Summer 2012.

Sarah Walsh, GRS, Iowa State, Spring 2013

Nathaniel Han, Computer Science Honors Program, Spring 2013

Alyssa Waldschmidt, Agronomy, Spring 2013