Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Adaptive Cropping Systems Laboratory » People » Kirsten Paff

Kirsten Paff

Research Agricultural Engineer


Research Interests

My research focuses on creating interdisciplinary solutions to current and future issues facing agricultural production systems and food security. The challenge is to increase yields while minimizing environmental impacts and contending with changing, and often more extreme, climatic conditions. This work includes developing mechanistic soil-plant-atmospheric mathematical models and applying those models to evaluate agricultural and environmental challenges and determine best management practices to address those challenges. Crop models allow for the rapid evaluation of environmental conditions, genetics, and management practices on crop growth and yields at a spatial and temporal scale that is not feasible with field experiments alone.  I am currently working on using models to develop management practices that minimize fertilizer losses and reduce water usage in potatoes under current and future climate conditions. My previous modelling experience includes developing a crop model for the Ethiopian grain Eragrostis tef (Zucc.) Trotter and calibrating a crop model aimed at simulating intercropped agronomic crops.