PhD Opportunity // Food-Energy-Water Nexus in Drylands at the University of Arizona

Prof. Greg Barron-Gafford is looking for a PhD student to start in the Fall of 2019 to work at the Food-Energy-Water Nexus in Drylands. Municipalities and states – particularly those in the Southwestern United States –increasingly seek resilience strategies to manage expanding populations and demands for food and energy. At the same time, a changing climate threatens our historic reliance on dwindling sources of water and may reduce capacity for food and renewable energy production.

For the last four years, the Barron-Gafford Research Group has been studying the potential for co-locating agriculture and photovoltaics – agrivoltaics – as an untapped opportunity to simultaneously increase food and energy production while reducing water use. The group uses a combination of field measurements of carbon and water fluxes (plant ecophysiology) and environmental monitoring to describe the impacts of this co-location in terms of water use efficiency, changes in phenology, plant performance, impacts of solar panel performance, potential for up-scaling to larger installations, etc. 


Students with a background in carbon and water flux measurements, physical geography, ecohydrology, and / or urban gardening are encouraged to apply, but prior knowledge of plant ecophysiological techniques should not be a barrier for an interested student. The team is a diverse group looking to use their research to make meaningful change in the world.

To learn more about this project, please visit the Barron-Gafford Research website.


The deadline for fall admission is January 5 for both domestic and international applicants. 

The position will have guaranteed funding through the first four years through TAships, and the group is constantly seeking federal, private, and industry funding to extend their research. The Barron-Gafford Research group is committed to fostering an inclusive learning and working environment that embraces the diversity of experiences and interests represented in their communities and the broader world.

For additional information, please visit the University of Arizona website


For questions on the application process, please contact the University of Arizona admissions department: 

Graduate Progam Questions
Dr. Carl Bauer

Graduate Application and Curriculum Questions
Elizabeth S. Cordova

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