Dr Nicolette Taylor
Plant and Soil Sciences
My research focuses on the measurement and modelling of fruit tree water use. This has included several fruit types, from pecans and macadamias to apples, citrus and avocados. My research group has managed to collect comprehensive water use data sets for some of these crops for which there has been minimal information available in the past. This information is required by both growers and government to improve water management and water use efficiency in this sector of agriculture that makes an important contribution to the agricultural GDP. The group employs the latest techniques to quantify water use and the drivers thereof required to parameterise and validate water use models. This is required to allow the extrapolation of measured data to a wide range of orchards in different climatic regions. In order to improve spatial management of water, the team is currently investigating remote sensing options to determine tree size and the incidence of water stress, which could be linked to poor irrigation scheduling or broken irrigation. Attempts have also been made to try and predict pecan yield with remotely sensing tools.