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Department of Plant Science

M.Sc. Degrees in Plant Science: Theses Completed 

Spring 2022

Evaluating Vicia faba germplasm lines from around the world for Genotypic diversity and trait associations.  Laura Boots-Haupt. Thesis Chair: Dr. Ranjit Riar

Salinity Effects on Growth and Physiological Traits of Young Pistachio Trees on Two Rootstocks.  Ranvir Tung.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Gurreet Brar

Use of Ground-Penetrating Radar in Mapping and Assessing Tree Root Systems.  Allen Vizcarra.  Dr. Dilruba Yeasmin and Dr. John Bushoven

Fall 2021

Improving Phosphorus Availability in a Calcareous Soil: Effect of Phosphorus Source and Addition of Humic Substances. Jonathan Hubble.  Dr. Florence Cassel Sharma

Trapping and Behavioral Studies for Improvement of Mating Disruption and Monitoring of the Navel Orangeworm (Amyelosis transitella).  Foster Hengst.  Dr. Jacob Wenger. 

The Effect of Synthetic Amorphous Silica for Post-Harvest Control of Tribolium castaneum and Plodia interpunctella in California Tree Nut Commodities Under Varying Factors of Temperature and Humidity. Rebecca Metz.  Dr. Jacob Wenger

An Investigation of Survival of Neofusicoccum spp., in California’s Mediterranean Climate. John Lake.  Dr. Margaret Ellis.  

The Effects of Shade and Moisture Stress on the Efficacy of Post Emergent Herbicides and the Control of Glyphosate-Resistant Junglerice (Enchinocloa colona (L.Link)).  Katrina Steinhauer.  Dr. Anil Shrestha. 

Spring 2021

Characterization of Spatial and Temporal Characterization of Soil Salinity in Relationship to Alfalfa Productivity.  Simarjeet Singh.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Sharon Benes

Yield and Nutritonal Quality of Forage Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) and Corn (Zea Mays) grown under Different Irrigation and Nitrogen Fertilizer Regimes. Ramandeep Kaur Brar.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Florence Cassel Sharma

Foliar Nutrient Dynamics and Soil Nitrate Distribution under three Nitrogen Fertilizer Management Strategies in Pistachios (Pistacia vera L.). Francisco Parra.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Dave Goorahoo.

Fall 2020

Improving Vine Mealybug (Planococcus Ficus) Controls Through Adjuvant Addition in Major Grape-Growing Regions Of California. Thomas Martin.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Jacob Wenger. 

Airjection Irrigation Potential for Regulation of Oxidative stress in Tomatoes Grown in Clay Soils. Chaitanya Lakshmi Muraka.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Dave Goorahoo. 

Commercial Viability of In-Container Budding and Grafting of English Walnut (Juglans regia). Mauricio De Almeida.  Thesis Chair: Dr. John Bushoven. 

Yield and Nitrogen Use Efficiency for Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) grown with Airjection.  Daniel Gutierrez.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Dave Goorahoo

Spring 2020

Effects of Mass Rearing, Strain and Irradiation on the Comparative Fitness of Navel Orangeworm (Amyelois transitella) and Implications for Sterile Insect Technique in California Tree Nut Crops.  Joshua Reger.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Jacob Wenger.  

Effect of Different Photoperiodic Regimes with LED Lighting on Growth and Physiology of Containerized Citrus Nursery Trees. Hardeep Singh*.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Gurreet Brar.  *Jordan College Graduate Medalist.

Early Season Response of Tomatoes to Different Soil Residue Levels of Pre-plant Herbicides.  Jorge Angeles. Thesis Chair: Dr. Anil Shrestha.

Fall 2019 

Efficacy Trials of New Dormancy-Breaking Treatments in Pistachios. Daniel Y. Poon Syverson. Thesis Chair:  Dr. Gurreet Brar.

Spring 2019

Water Use Efficiency and Nitrogen Use Efficiency in Drip and Deficit Drip-irrigated Sugarbeets (Beta vulgaris).  Anthony Mele*.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Florence Cassel  Sharma.  *University Graduate Medalist and Jordan College Graduate Medalist;  Outstanding Thesis, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. 

 The interaction between Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. vasinfectum and Rhizoctonia solani: Two important fungal pathogens of cotton and their management through variety selection and fungicide chemistries.  Josue Diaz*.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Margaret Ellis.  *Outstanding Thesis, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.

Controlled environment vertical farm design and the role of supplemental light quality and quantity on chlorophyll and anthocyanin content in selected microgreens.  Kyra Smith.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. John  Bushoven.

Pyrolysis of Agricultural Waste Plastic into Diesel and Evaluation of the Carbonaceous Byproduct as a Soil Amendment.  Alexis Jackson.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Dave Goorahoo

Fall 2018

Development of Molecular Tests (Diagnostic PCR) for the Identification of Lepidopteran Pests in Almonds and Pistachios.  Rohith Vulchi.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Jacob Wenger.

 Fall 2017

Use of EM-38 Soil Surveys in Forage Fields at a Saline Drainage Water Reuse Site to Calibrate a Hydro-salinity model for Decision Support.  Amninder Singh.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Sharon Benes. 

Spring 2017

Field Response of Improved Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa) Varieties to Saline Irrigation: Shoot Dry Matter Yield, Ion Concentration, and Soil Salinity Assessment.  Giuliano Galdi.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Sharon Benes

Developing Crop Coefficient (Kc) for Sugar Beet (Beta Vulgaris) under Drip Irrigation System Using a Weighing Lysimeter.  Touyee Thao.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Florence Cassel Sharma.  *University Graduate Medalist and Jordan College Graduate Medalist; Outstanding Thesis, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.  

 Fall 2016

 Development of Grafting Protocols for Salt-tolerant Cactus Pear (Opuntia ficus-indica)Jacob Hurst.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. John Bushoven

 Effect of Lygus spp. Feeding on the Anatomy of the Cotton Squares in Correlation with Electrical Penetrating Graph.   Eeva Sharma. Thesis Chair: Dr. John Bushoven

 An Analysis of Choerospondias axillaris “Lapsi” Regarding Production, Product Development and its Effect on Rural Lapsi Farmers in Nepal. Craig Seber.  Thesis Chair: Dr. John Bushoven

 Effects of an anthranilic diamide insecticide on early season pest control, quality and yield of head lettuce in the Salinas Valley.  Kylie Baker.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Dave Goorahoo

 Effect of Foliar Nutrient Combinations on Zinc Uptake in Almonds.  Zachary Ellis.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Sharon Benes

Spring/Summer 2016

Effect of Saline Irrigation on Biological Nitrogen Fixation in Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and its Response to Applied Mineral Nitrogen.  Sangeeta Bansal.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Sharon Benes

Yield, Biomass and Nitrate Leaching Potential for Cauliflower Grown in a Sandy Loam Soil with Organic and Conventional Fertilizers.  Josue Samano Monroy.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Dave Goorahoo

A Comparison between Automated Thinners with Manual Thinning of Lettuce in the Salinas Valley: Weed Control and Efficacy.  Elizabeth Mosqueda.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Anil Shrestha

Fall 2016

Effects of Regulated Deficit Irrigation (RDI) on Fruit Quality, Yield, and Weeds in Navel Oranges [Citrus Sinensis (L.) Osbeck, cv Washington ‘Frost Nucellar’]". Natalio Mendez.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Dave Goorahoo

Impact of Common Pesticides on Beneficial Arthropods in the Almond Orchard.  Nathan Cannell. Thesis Chair: Dr. Andrew Lawson/ Dr. Anil Shrestha (final)

AY 2014 - 2015

Agricultural Landscape Ecology of Spotted Wing Drosophila in the Central Valley of California.  Thomas J. Stewart.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Andrew Lawson/ Dr. John Bushoven (final)

Evaluation of Oil Seed Cover Crops as a Pre-bloom Alternate Food Source for Pollinator Honeybees (Apis mellifera) in the San Joaquin Valley.  Adam Novicki.   Thesis Chair: Dr. Andrew Lawson/ Dr. John Bushoven (final)

Effects of Ozone and Water Deficit on Stomatal Kinetics, Diel Trends in Stomatal Conductance, Growth and Allometry in Crops and Weeds.  Rama Paudel.  Thesis Adviser: Dr. Anil Shrestha.

Evaluation of Saflufenacil on Glyphosate Resistant and Glyphosate-Paraquat Resistant Hairy Fleabane  Michelle Dennis.  Thesis Adviser: Dr. Anil Shrestha.

Optimization of a Novel In Planta Culture Method of ‘Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum’ and Discoveries of Endophyte Population Dynamics in Excised Tomato Leaves.  Nicholas Clark.  Thesis Chair: Dr. John Bushoven

Evaluation of San Joaquin Valley Palmer Amaranth (Amaranthus Palmeri) Populations for Glyphosate Resistance and Tolerance.  Sonia Rios*.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Anil Shrestha. *Jordan College Graduate Medalist.

The Development and Assessment of a Horticultural Curriculum for a Transition to Adulthood Program for Young Adults with Disabilities.  Calliope Correira.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. John Bushoven

AY 2013-2014

Bioavailability of Selenium in ‘Jose’ Tall Wheatgrass (Thinopyrum ponticum var ‘Jose’) Hay as a Substitute for Sodium Selenite in the Diets of Dairy Cattle.   Grace Cun.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Sharon Benes

A Survey of Fungicide Resistance in Botrytis cinerea on Strawberries in California’ Central Coast Region.  Andrew Pokorny.  Thesis Chair (Dr. James Farrar, followed by Dr. Anil Shrestha)

Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Cotton Fertilized with Urea Ammonium Nitrate.  Navreet Mahal Thesis Chair: Dr. Dave Goorahoo.

Using the 15N Stable Isotope Natural Abundance Method to Estimate the Impact of Manure Application on Nitrogen Budgets for Alfalfa Grown in the Santa Clara and San Joaquin Valleys of California.  Jarred Sturla.   Thesis Chair: Dr. Bruce Roberts.

Comparison of Salt Tolerant Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) Genotypes: Seed Germination, Emergence and Dry Matter Yield and Mineral Composition of Mature Plants.  Inderjot Chahal.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Sharon Benes

Growth and Yield Response of Bell Pepper cv. Pismo to Slow Release Nitrogen Fertilizer and Irrigation Regimes.  David Scheidt.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Dave Goorahoo.

Growth, Yield and Water Use Efficiency of Tomatoes Subjected to Elevated Carbon Dioxide under Two Different Irrigation Regimes.  Bardia Dehghanmanshadi.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Florence Cassel-Sharma

AY 2012-2013

Effects of calcium fertigation and acidification on tomatoes grown in salt-affected soils.  Prasad Yadavali.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Dave Goorahoo.

The Correlation of Soil Texture, Leaf Water Potentials, and Infrared Leaf Temperatures in Pistachio (Pistacia Vera L.).  Kevin Brooks.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Bruce Roberts

Viticultural and Enological Performance of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot Grapevines
in Response to Rootstock Selection in California’s Central Coast.  Yannis Toutountzis.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Sharon Benes.

Growth, Development, and Pest Population Dynamics in Conservation Cotton Cropping Systems in the San Joaquin valley.  Joy Hollingsworth.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Anil Shrestha. Graduate Medalist for the College

AY 2011-2012

Selenium Accumulation in ‘Jose’ Tall Wheatgrass (Thinopyrum ponticum) Irrigated with Saline Drainage WaterJaya Ram K.C.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Sharon Benes

Response of Yield and Quality to Plant Density and Nitrogen Fertilizer Levels in Sweet Corn

Nathalia Mourad Moretti.  Thesis Chairs:  Drs. Sharon Benes and Ganesan Srinivasan.

Evaluation of seed germination-based protocols for screening of salinity tolerance in turfgrasses. Eeshan Mokashi.  Thesis Chair: Dr. John Bushoven. 

Determination of multiple herbicide resistance in populations of hairy fleabane (conyza bonariensis) in the central valley of California and evaluation of alternative chemical control.  Marcelo Luvizotto Moretti.  Thesis Chair: Anil Shrestha.  Graduate Medalist for the University

AY 2010- 2011

Steam as a Methyl Bromide Alternative in California Cut Flower Production. Christine Rainboldt.  Thesis Chair: Anil Shrestha.  Graduate Medalist for the University

Efficacy of Slow Release Nitrogen Fertilizer Formulations Applied to Vegetables.  Shashi Kiran Reddy Yellareddy Gari. Thesis Chair: Dr. Dave Goorahoo. 

AY 2009- 2010

Grapevine Deficit irrigation and its effect on mite (Acari: Tetranychidae) and leafhopper (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) populations. Emily Smith.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Andrew Lawson, in conjunction with Dr. Kent Daane (Univ. California, Kearney Ag Center).

Etephon, gibberellic acid, and kinetin’s effect on guayule (Parthenium argentatum) seed germination and seedling development.  Frances Rond.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Bruce Roberts

AY 2008-09

QTL Analysis and Marker Addition in a Recombinant Inbred Population of Pepper (Capsicum annuum L.).  Chad Jorgensen.  Thesis Chair: Dr. James Farrar, in conjunction with Dr. Jim Prince, Biology Dept.

Factors Affecting Glyphosate Control of Horseweed (Conzya canadensis) and Hairy Fleabane (Conzya bonariensis).  Scott Scheufele.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Bruce Roberts.

Use of Preharvest Ethephon Applications to Reduce ‘Breba’ Crop Load and Postharvest Performance Evaluations of Fresh Fig (Ficus carica) Varieties/ selections.  Vanessa Bremer Blanch.  Thesis Chair: Dr. John Bushoven, in conjunction with Dr. Carlos Cristoso (Univ. of California, Kearney Ag Center).  Outstanding Thesis Award and Graduate Medalist for the College

AY 2007-08

Effects of Application Timing and Water Chemistry on Phosphate Uptake Efficiency for Tomatoes grown on a Tulare Clay Loam.  Robert Blattler.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Bruce Roberts.

Reclamation Potential of Amendments for Soils Irrigated with Saline-sodic Drainage Water.  Vijayasatya N. Chaganti. Thesis Chair: Dr. Sharon Benes.

Optimizing Nitrogen Rates for Organic Vegetables Subjected to Airjection® Irrigation.  Namratha Pulla Reddy Gari. Thesis Chair: Dr. Dave Goorahoo. Graduate Medalist for the College

AY 2006-07

Steps to the Development of a triploid clone through endosperm tissue culture of Sapium sebiferum” (L.) Roxb.  Jeremy Bahne.  Thesis Chair: Dr. James Farrar.

Identifying the Primary Vector or Vectors of Xylella Fastidiosa (Xf), the Cause of Almond Leaf Scorch Disease (ALSDE) in the San Joaquin Valley.  Tatjana Sikuljak.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Andrew Lawson, in conjunction with Dr. Russell Groves, USDA-ARS, Parlier.  Outstanding Thesis Award for the University and Graduate Medalist for the College

AY 2005-06

Population dynamics and insecticidal control of the black widow spider Latrodectus hesperus (Araneae:Theriididae) from California’s San Joaquin Valley table grape vineyards.  Pedro Hernandez.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Andrew Lawson in conjunction with Dr. Kent Daane (Univ. California, Kearney Ag Center).  Graduate Medalist, Division of Student Affairs  

Propagation of Asimina triloba (L.) Dunal: A Native American Fruit for Temperate Regions. Greg Drier.  Thesis Chair: Dr. James Farrar.

AY 2004-05

Ammonia Emissions from Nitrogen Applied in a Site-Specific Manner. Matthew Beene.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Charles Krauter.

The Asian Woolly Hackberry Aphid, Shivaphis celti Das (Homoptera: Aphididae), an Introduced Pest in California.  Laurel May. Thesis Chair: Dr. Andrew Lawson.  Graduate Medalist for the University 

Biomass Production and Nutritional Value of Salt-Tolerant Forages Irrigated with Saline-Sodic Drainage Water: Field and Greenhouse Studies.  Hitoshi Suyama.  Thesis Chair: Dr. Sharon Benes. Outstanding Thesis Award for the College. 

Determination of Hydraulic Parameters for Soils Irrigated with Recycled Saline-Sodic Drainage Water.  Kimberly Senatore.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Sharon Benes, in conjunction with Dr. Dave Goorahoo.

Effects of Nitrogen Source and Amount on Lettuce Yield.  David Jamison.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Sharon Benes. 

Developing Base Crop Coefficients for Irrigation Management of Lettuce in Relation to Canopy Growth in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Sebastian Guillen.  Thesis Chair:  Dr. Mahlon Hile.