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Dr. Andrew J. McElrone
Ph.D., Department of Plant Biology, University of Maryland, College Park
Dr. McElrone is a Research Scientist with the USDA-Agricultural Research Service and 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 Dr. McElrone’s lab include: evaluating rootstock water transport physiology; 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 in host xylem. Dr. McElrone received a BS in Biology from Millersville University (Millersville PA) in 1996 and continued his education at the University of Maryland at College Park, where he earned a PhD in Plant Biology in 2001. His dissertation research investigated the interaction between bacterial leaf scorch (caused by Xylella fastidiosa) and drought stress on disease symptoms, water transport, and photosynthetic physiology in a woody vine host. Dr. McElrone then completed a 3 year post doctoral position at Duke University in Durham, NC. There he studied: the structure and function of deep tree roots accessed via caves at ~20m depth; ecohydrology of woody plant encroachment; and plant disease responses to atmospheric change. In 2004, Dr. McElrone joined the faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at St. Joseph’s University (SJU) in Philadelphia, PA. While at SJU, he continued work on the projects listed above in addition to teaching a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses. Dr. McElrone joined USDA-ARS in September 2006.