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Andrew J McElrone

Research Plant Physiologist
Phone: (530) 754-9763
Fax: (530) 752-0382

University of California, Davis

2154 Robert Mondavi Institute North

Davis, CA 95616


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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.

Dr. McElrone's research focuses on the development of and evaluation of irrigation practices for vineyard systems that optimally produce grapes while minimizing water usage and negative environmental impacts. Research efforts will focus on understanding of the effects of irrigation practices and water quality on environmental factors that may affect vine physiology, yield, and grape quality in different rootstock/scion combinations. This research is expected to lead to irrigation practices that can be integrated with other sustainable vineyard practices to enhance the competitive ability of California's wine industry. Dr. McElrone plans to apply his research experience in ecohydrology, whole tree sap flow, and root structure and physiology to address these research goals.


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, and 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.