Research Program: Dr. Andrew McElrone is applying his training in plant ecophysiology and ecohydrology to study grapevine water-use in California vineyards. The ultimate goal of his research program is to improve water-use efficiency of vineyard ecosystems, where water demands for irrigation continue to increase while water supply quality decreases in many growing regions. Current and planned studies in his lab include: evaluating grapevine rootstock water transport physiology in response to salt and drought stress; developing sap flow techniques to measure whole vine water use; assessing the effects of vineyard floor management on grapevine water use and fruit quality; and understanding mechanisms of vascular pathogen movement and disruption of water transport in host xylem.
Biography: Dr. McElrone received his Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of Maryland at College Park in 2001. His dissertation research investigated the interaction between Xylella fastidiosa-infection and drought stress on water transport physiology in a woody vine host. He completed a 3 year postdoctoral position in the Biology Department and Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. There, he studied 1) the structure and function of deep tree roots accessed via caves at 20m depth, 2) ecohydrology of woody plant encroachment, 3) plant disease responses to atmospheric change. From 2004-2006, Dr. McElrone worked as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology & Environmental Sciences Program at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. Dr. McElrone joined USDA-ARS in Davis, CA in September 2006.