Research Interests

Increasing global food production while greatly reducing environmental impacts is a critical challenge facing humanity. Our research aims to develop effective crop management strategies that can be used to enhance the productivity, sustainability, and profitability of agricultural systems. To achieve this goal, we utilize a combination of field experimentation, data synthesis, and modeling to develop a holistic understanding of sustainability challenges facing major grain cropping systems in the world.

Key research areas include i) sustainable intensification – options for increasing yields while minimizing soil greenhouse gas emissions, water quality impacts, and energy and carbon footprints of agriculture, ii) cropping systems analysis – holistic approaches for quantifying efficiency gains and sustainability tradeoffs of agricultural intensification efforts, and iii) improved nitrogen management practices – enhancing fertilizer use efficiency and yields while minimizing nitrogen losses to the environment. Example research projects include:



Cropping Systems Analysis 

Assessing the eco-efficiency of rice production in Uruguay at a national scale

Improving the sustainability of intensive rice cropping systems in the Taihu Lake region of China

Life-cycle assessment of traditional and intensive rice production systems in the Philippines, Bangladesh, and India





Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Evaluating fertilizer N sources for mitigating N2O emissions while increasing nutrient utilization

The effects of long-term crop residue removal and tillage practices on soil N2O emissions from continuous maize

Reduced- vs. high-input soybean production: yield, energy balance, and estimated GHG emissions









Nitrogen management

Yield-scaled N leaching losses as a function of N rate in corn-soybean rotations

Biochar effects on soil N availability and N use efficiency in maize systems

Monitoring and modeling soil N availability and N losses in Illinois

Yield-gap analysis of corn production in Illinois