Astrid Volder Lab
- Plant Sciences
Here at UC Davis, I’m excited to research root system architecture and physiology to understand how regenerative cultivation practices and land management can be leveraged to raise crop yield ceilings and improve the surrounding ecology. Understanding how root vigor interacts with plant health, harvest yield and quality, and contributes to the local rhizosphere and larger ecosystem are of critical interest to me. In Astrid’s lab, my initial project will focus on almond root development and architecture. Specifically, I’ll research whether clonally produced root systems are at increased risk for root disease compared to seed produced root systems.
My research background began in aquaponics, where I established a foundation in plant-microbe symbiosis. At Bowdoin College in Maine, my undergrad thesis examined the effects of diurnal and nocturnal pollinators on wild blueberry fruiting on an island off the coast of Canada. In industry, I became an Agricultural Scientist at a hydroponic vertical farm headquartered in NYC. I worked on new product development in leafy green and herb crops, root zone quality and form factor, and research translation from R&D into production. My time at Bowery helped shape my perspective on sustainable agriculture and honed my research interests for grad school. I was born and raised in NJ, am very close to my family, and love to travel, hike, and garden!