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Undergraduate Research Center

Robert Conner

  • SOAR Position: Member; Alumni
  • Major: Plant and Soil Science
  • Faculty Mentor(s): Dr. Song Cui

Current Focus: To investigate the interactions between the soil, plants and different fractions of greenhouse gases.

Additional Interests: Data Science, Computer Science, Agricultural Research, Precision Agriculture

Project Description

Determining the strength of GHG sources and sinks of soil under different cropping systems and management practices is critical for a greater understanding of the mechanisms impacting cropping system carbon footprint and sustainability. Particularly, the interactions between soils, plants, and different fractions of GHGs are not fully understood. Both alfalfa and tall fescue are among the most abundant forage crops commonly grown in the Eastern US Fescue-Belt region. In this project, I investigate the effects of different alfalfa and tall fescue mixing ratios on dry matter yield, nutritive value, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission over the growing season through the use of continuous real-time data collection and gas analysis.

Why does this topic interest you?

Agriculture and plants captured my interest after my military service. Since then, I have become fascinated by conducting research, data collection, and data analysis. In this project I am able to gather large amounts of data remotely and continuously for analysis.

What are your professional aspirations?

I plan on continuing my education with a graduate degree in Data Science. I hope to continue performing research throughout my graduate education.

Do you have any advice for future researchers?

If you have even a remote interest in research or studying a certain problem, the first step is approaching your professors. The hardest part is figuring out where to start but with guidance from mentors like our professors, it is very attainable for any student. Build your network. Refine your interests. Make the most of the resources you’re afforded during your college experience.

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Thursday, September 5th, 4:30pm

Learn more about URECA

Contact us

Jamie Burriss, Ph.D., Director
(615) 494-7669 
Jamie.Burriss@mtsu.edu

Casey Penston, Coordinator
(615) 809-4588 
Casey.Penston@mtsu.edu

Learn more about the URC