- Advance horticultural science through basic and applied research. By combining basic and applied research, we strive to understand both how and why plants respond in certain ways.
- Support the horticulture industry by developing new sustainable and economical production practices.
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- The research in the Horticultural Physiology Lab currently has two focus areas:
- Optimizing the cost-effectiveness of lighting in controlled environment agriculture. The electricity costs of horticultural lighting are estimated to be $600,000,000/year in the US alone. We aim to use smarter lighting control approaches to manipulate light spectrum and intensity to optimize crop growth and quality and maximize the return on investment of horticultural lighting. For more information n our lighting work, please visit www.hortlamp.org.
- Canopy imaging to monitor plant growth and stress. Non-destructive methods to monitor plant growth can accurately detect how plants respond to growing conditions. Rather than using regular RGB images, we take advantage of the fact that leaves fluoresce. This fluorescence can be photographed. This same technique also is a powerful method to detect various stresses.
Watch as Dr. Marc van Iersel explain his philosophy regarding horticulture lighting in this seminar presented at Utah State University.
Our lighting research is supported through federal grants, lighting companies, and industry.