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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

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Kathrine Behrman
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Kathrine (Kate) Behrman

Research Ecologist


Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory

808 E Blackland Rd.

Temple , TX 76502


Voice: (254)770-6508

Fax: (254) 770 6561






University of Texas at Austin, Doctorate, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, 2011

University of California, Santa Barbara, Bachelor of Science, Mathematics, 2005

University of California, Santa Barbara, Bachelor of Arts, Biology, 2005


Research Interests  

Predicting the potential environmental and biological impacts of agricultural conservation practices and potential land use change; modeling plant productivity; modeling potential gene by environment interactions; modeling plant responses to changes in temperature, precipitation, and rising greenhouse gas concentrations.


Research Projects

Conservation Effects Assessment Project

The primary goal of this project is to provide a better understanding of the role agricultural conservation practices and programs play in achieving the nation's environmental objectives - clean air and water, healthy soils, and functioning habitat for wildlife. By developing an improved understanding of current conservation performance, better decisions can be made about the development of future conservation programs and practices.


The primary goals of this project will be to estimate the environmental and genetic variability for drought-related traits, overall physiology, and performance among diverse Panicum virgatum varieties grown under diverse environments for potential biofuel use. A combination of genomic, physiological, and ecological data is used to parameterize ecosystem models to predict long-term potential of switchgrass productivity and associated ecosystem services of perennial grass production grown for cellulosic biofuel.



Behrman, K.D., J. Williams, and M.L. Norfleet. 2016. Rational Algorithm to Estimate Plant Available Water for Simulation Models. Agricultural Water Management.

Behrman, K.D., J.R. Kiniry, T.E. Juenger, and T.H. Keitt. 2015. Spatial Trade-Offs Between Land Use for Biofuel, Traditional Agriculture, and the Maintenance of Biodiversity. Landscape Ecology. 30: 1987-1999.

Smith, L.M., Effland, W.R., Behrman, K.D., and M-V.V. Johnson. 2015. Assessing the Effects of USDA Conservation Programs on Ecosystem Services Provided by Wetlands. National Wetlands Newsleter. 37: 10-14.

Johnson, M-V.V., M.L. Norfleet, J.D. Atwood, K.D. Behrman, J.R. Kiniry, J.G. Arnold, M.J. White, and J. Williams. 2015. The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP): The U.S. Experience in Determining a National Scale Natural Resource and Conservation Needs Assessment. Soil Research. 25:012012.

Behrman, K.D., T.H. Keitt, and J.R. Kiniry. 2014. Modeling Differential Growth in Switchgrass Cultivars Across the Central and Southern Great Plains. BioEnergy Research. 1-9.

Meki, M.N., J.R. Kiniry, K.D. Behrman, M.N. Pawlowski, and S.E. Crow. 2014. The Role of Simulation Models in Monitoring Soil Organic Carbon Storage and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Potential in Bioenergy Cropping Systems. CO2 Sequestration and Valorization (Chapter – 9).

Behrman, K.D., M.N. Meki, Y. Wu, and J.R. Kiniry. 2014. Applications of Biomass Production Modeling for Switchgrass. Compendium of Bioenergy Plants: Switchgrass (Chapter – 10).

Lowry D. B., K. D. Behrman, P. Grabowski, G. P. Morris, J. R. Kiniry, T. E. Juenger. 2014. Local and climatic adaptations across the Panicum virgatum species complex. American Naturalist. 183: 682-692.

Behrman, K.D., J.R. Kiniry, M. Winchell, T.E. Juenger, and T.H. Keitt. 2013. Spatial Forecasting of Switchgrass Productivity Under Current and Future Climate Change Scenarios. Ecological Applications. 23: 73-85.
Kiniry, J.R., L.C. Anderson, M-V.V. Johnson, K.D. Behrman, M. Brakie, D. Burner, R.L.

Cordsiemon, P.A. Fay, F.B. Fritschi, J.H. Houx III, C. Hawkers, T. Juenger, J. Kaiser, T. Keitt, J. Lloyd-Riley, S. Maher, R. Raper, A. Scott, A. Shadow, C. West, Y. Wu, and L. Zibilske. 2012. Perennial Biomass Grasses and the Mason-Dixon Line: Comparative Productivity across Latitudes in the Southern Great Plains. BioEnergy Research. 6: 276-291.

Behrman, K.D. and M. Kirkpatrick. (2011) Species range expansion by beneficial mutations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology. 24: 665-675.

Last Modified: 9/11/2017
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