Dr. Rob Aiken
Crops Research Scientist
Biography & Education
Rob Aiken joined NWREC in 1999 to focus on water-limited cropping systems. Long-term studies examine effects of cropping intensity and cultural practices on water use and land productivity. He provides instrumentation support to identify irrigation management effects on yield formation, physiology support to identify transpiration efficiency and cold tolerance traits in sorghum, and agronomic support for developing pest-resistant sunflower hybrids.
- Ph.D. Soil Biophysics, Michigan State University, 1992
- M.S. Agronomy, University of Nebraska, 1988
- B.S. Botany, University of Nebraska, 1977
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Aiken's research goal is to contribute knowledge of factors regulating the crop transpiration fraction of the annual water budget and the transpiration efficiency of yield formation for water-limited cropping systems. The NWREC Crops Program maintains long-term cropping system studies to evaluate cropping intensity and tillage effects on water use, yield formation and critical soil properties. Field instrumentation quantifies canopy formation, thermal indices of water stress and photosynthetic/transpiration relationships. Physiology support for sorghum breeding focuses on transpiration efficiency and cold tolerance; agronomic support for sunflower breeding focuses on pest-resistance and pest management traits.
Project 1. Objective: Identify critical traits and germplasm sources in sorghum for rapid emergence, vigorous growth and transpiration efficiency under chilling conditions (13 degrees C or 55 degrees F soil planting temperature).
Project 2 Objective: Develop and evaluate analytic tools to scale energy and water balance components of crop systems in semi-arid regions; and quantify relationships to canopy formation, components of yield, transpiration fraction and efficiency for alternative management practices.
Project 3 Objective: Evaluate germplasm sources of adaptive traits for emerging oilseed crops including pest resistance and herbicide tolerance in sunflower.
View Dr. Aiken's Research Site at the Western Kansas Agricultural Research Center.
Staff & Students
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