Principle Investigators

LAMP Principle Investigators

Our Principle Investigators are located at Colorado State University, Cornell University, Rutgers University, Texas A&M, the University of Georgia, USDA Agricultural Research Services (ARS) and Utah State University. They do a great job keeping all of our teams connected.

Colorado State University

Joshua Craver, PhD

Assistant Professor
Controlled Environment Horticulture, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

J. Craver CSU Faculty Page
J. Craver – ResearchGate

Dr. Craver’s research focuses on enhancing vegetable and floriculture crop production in controlled environments. His work aims to evaluate whole-plant physiological and morphological responses to 1) optimize the timing and extent of production inputs; 2) improve the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources; and 3) increase the productivity and quality of crops produced in controlled environments. For Project LAMP, Dr. Craver is assessing plant photobiology and lighting optimization for both greenhouse (supplemental lighting) and indoor (sole-source lighting) production of floriculture crops using light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

Cornell University

Neil Mattson, PhD

Associate Professor & Greenhouse Extension Specialist
Horticulture Section, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Cornell Controlled Environment Agriculture
N. Mattson Cornell Faculty Page
N. Mattson-ResearchGate
N. Mattson-Google Scholar

Dr. Mattson is director of Cornell’s Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) group. Cornell CEA has over 25 years of interdisciplinary research successfully integrating plant physiology, agricultural engineering, and computer science to improve efficiency of horticultural crop production systems. Current projects include determining the scalability of urban CEA (in light of its water use, carbon footprint, and economic impact) and determining response of tomatoes and strawberries to light and CO2 enrichment. For Project LAMP, Mattson is developing light intensity and quality strategies to improve quality and reduce crop time of flower and vegetable transplants. Dr. Mattson also leads the Outreach Team for the project.

Rutgers University

A.J. Both, PhD

Professor & Extension Specialist
Environmental Sciences, College of Environmental and Biological Sciences

AJ. Both Rutgers Faculty Page
Rutgers Center for Controlled Environment Agriculture
AJ Both – ResearchGate
AJ Both – Google Scholar

Dr. Both is an agricultural engineer with research interests in environmental control for crop production systems and supplemental lighting, and systems engineering and renewable energy systems for controlled environment agriculture. He is a regular contributor for greenhouse publications such as Greenhouse Grower and Hort Americas. For Project LAMP, Dr. Both is focused on carbon footprint and life cycle assessment (LCA) of lighting systems, decision support system(s) for cost-effective lighting strategies, light distribution in tall plant canopies and lamp testing. He is also a member of our Outreach Team.

Texas A&M University

Shuyang Zhen, PhD

Assistant Professor
Controlled Environment Horticulture, College of Agriculture

S. Zhen TAMU Faculty Page
S. Zhen – ResearchGate
S. Zhen – Google Scholar

Dr. Zhen worked on Project LAMP as a post-doctoral fellow and research assistant while at USU with Dr. Bugbee. We are excited to have her continue working with us in her new position as faculty in Controlled Environment Horticulture at Texas A&M. Her research interests include photosynthesis and crop yield, LED lighting, plant nutrition, hydroponics, and the selection of crops with improved performance in greenhouses and indoor vertical farms. For project LAMP, Zhen is working on plant physiology and lighting optimization of specialty food and ornamental crop production.

University of Georgia

Marc van Iersel, PhD

Vincent J. Dooley Professorship
Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences

M. van Iersel UGA Faculty Page
UGA Horticulture Physiology Laboratory
M. van Iersel – ResearchGate
M. van Iersel – Google Scholar

Dr. van Iersel oversees the UGA Horticulture Physiology Laboratory focused on photosynthesis and light use efficiency research. He also works on applied research in controlled agriculture environments. He is the recipient of numerous awards and accolades, including 2019 UGA Entrepreneur of the Year and fellow of the American Society of Horticulture Science. He co-founded Candidus, Inc. with Erico Mattos where they transition greenhouse lighting technologies to products. For Project LAMP, van Iersel’s research focuses on identifying the optimal light intensity and spectrum for the profitable production of crops in greenhouses and plant factories. Much of his work is based on developing a good understanding of plant physiological responses to light and to use that knowledge to develop optimized lighting strategies. Dr. van Iersel is the director of Project LAMP.

Marie-Claude (Maric) Boudreau, PhD

Associate Professor & Department Head
Management Information Systems, Terry College of Business

M. Boudreau UGA Faculty Page
M. Boudreau – ResearchGate
M. Boudreau – Google Scholar

Dr. Boudreau’s research areas of interest include organizational change induced by information systems and technologies and energy informatics. For Project LAMP, Dr. Boudreau is working with Dr. Rick Watson to enhance Virtual Grower (VG) software to incorporate lighting optimizations via different scenarios leveraging historical solar energy and electricity rates for the major growing areas. From this data, they assess large scale impacts for energy consumption. They are working with current users of VG to investigate other ways the platform could help them reduce their lighting costs.

Benjamin (Ben) Campbell, PhD

Associate Professor & Extension Economist
Agricultural and Applied Economics, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

B. Campbell UGA Faculty page
B. Campbell – ResearchGate
B. Campbell – Google Scholar
IDEAS/Research Papers in Economics

Dr. Campbell’s research focuses mainly on the economics and marketing of greenhouse, nursery, and turf products. For Project LAMP, Dr. Campbell oversees the economic and consumer marketing components of the grant with a focus on understanding the feasibility of implementing lighting technologies in greenhouses and consumer reaction to these technologies. Campbell is a member of our Outreach Team.

Mark Haidekker, PhD

Biophotonics and Bioimaging, School of Electrical and Computer Engineering

M. Haidekker UGA Faculty Page
UGA Biophotonics and Bioimaging Laboratory
M. Haidekker – ResearchGate

Dr. Haidekker has a background in biomedical engineering and computer science. His research areas include biomedical imaging with a focus on optical and x-ray based tomographical imaging, and fluorescence sensing and imaging. For Project LAMP, he is developing sensors and instrumentation for single-plant and canopy-wide measurement of chlorophyll fluorescence and the plant’s light use efficiency.

Kay Kelsey-Angle, PhD

Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

UGA Faculty Page
UGA Impact Evaluation Unit
K.Kelsey – ResearchGate
K. Kelsey – Google Scholar

Dr. Kay Kelsey is the director of the UGA Impact Evaluation Unit (IEU). IEU works with research teams to conduct project evaluations for broader impacts (BI) of a project. Dr. Kelsey has served as program evaluator, adult educator and qualitative research methodologist for over 25 years. She is the recipient of two Fulbright Senior Scholar awards. For Project LAMP, Dr. Kelsey is directing impact evaluation services for the life of the project. She is also a member of our Outreach Team.

Tom Lawrence, PhD, PE, LEED-AP 

Professor of Practice & ASHRAE Fellow
Mechanical Engineering, School of Environmental, Civil, Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering

UGA Faculty page
UGA Engineering and Education Transformations Institute
T. Lawrence – ResearchGate
T. Lawrence – Google Scholar

Dr. Lawrence is former director and a fellow of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). His research interests are focused around energy and water efficiency in the built environment. For Project LAMP, he is working to investigate the impacts of the newer lighting systems on the indoor agricultural environments, such as thermal and air distribution effects. He is a also member of our Outreach team.

WenZhan Song, PhD, PE, LEED-AP 

Georgia Power Mickey A. Brown Professor & Director
Computer Engineering, School of Environmental, Civil, Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering

W. Song UGA Faculty Page
UGA Center for Cyber-Physical Systems
UGA Sensorweb Research Lab
W. Song – ResearchGate
W. Song – Google Scholar

Dr. Song is the director of the UGA Center for Cyber-Physical Systems and runs the UGA Sensorweb Research Laboratory. His research focuses on cyber-physical systems informatics and security and their applications in energy, health and the environment. He is a recipient of the NSF Career Award. Song’s Project LAMP work focuses on designing energy management algorithms, sensor networks and data analytics tools.

Javad Mohammadpour Velni, PhD

Associate Professor
Electrical Engineering, School of Environmental, Civil, Agricultural and Mechanical Engineering

J. Velni UGA Faculty Page
UGA Complex Systems Control Lab
J. Velni – ResearchGate

Dr. Velni runs the UGA Complex Systems Control Laboratory (CSCL). CSCL is engaged in advancing several aspects of modeling and model-based control design for complex systems. His research interests involve multi-agent systems coordination, precision agriculture, secure control of cyber physical systems and modeling and model-based control of complex distribution systems. For Project LAMP, Dr. Velni and his group are developing new model-based lighting control algorithms that take into account predictive information about the sunlight. His team is also implementing and validating the to-be-developed control algorithms in inexpensive, yet powerful microcontrollers in greenhouses.

Richard (Rick) Watson, PhD

Regents Professor & J. Rex Distinguished Chair for Internet Strategy
Management Information Systems, Terry College of Business

R. Watson UGA Faculty Page
R. Watson-ResearchGate
R. Watson-Google Scholar

Dr. Watson was the research director for the Advanced Practices Council of the Society for Information Management. His research interests include ecological sustainability, energy informatics and information systems strategy. He is a recipient of the Association for Information Systems’ LEO Award for exceptional lifetime achievements in information systems. For Project LAMP, Dr. Watson applies the principles of energy informatics to minimize the energy costs of supplemental lighting and is working with Dr. Boudreau to enhance Virtual Grower.

USDA Agricultural Research Services

Jennifer Boldt, PhD

Research Horticulturist
Greenhouse Production Research Group (GPRG)

USDA Greenhouse Production Research Group
Virtual Grower
J. Boldt – ResearchGate

Dr. Boldt has over 25 years of experience in commercial greenhouse production, garden trial management and research. Along with ARS colleagues, she investigates production technologies, diseases, pests and abiotic stresses for greenhouse ornamental industries. Their goal is to transfer developed technologies to the industry through partnerships with state extension services and direct stakeholder activities. For Project LAMP, Dr. Boldt is updating Virtual Grower (VG) software with the help of our research team. VG allows greenhouse growers to estimate heating and lighting needs, predict crop growth, assist in scheduling, make real-time predictions of energy use, and assess supplemental lighting impacts on plant growth and development. Project LAMP will expand the lighting section of the software by integrating our research results to allow growers and our team to simulate specific lighting scenarios for different greenhouse operations to estimate the economics of supplemental lighting.

Kale Harbick, PhD

Research Agricultural Engineer
Greenhouse Production Research Group (GPRG)

USDA Greenhouse Production Research Group
Virtual Grower

Dr. Harbick studied computer science and robotics at the University of Southern California, earning a Ph.D. in 2008. He researched crater detection for Mars landers and autonomous helicopters at NASA-JPL, before shifting his career focus to energy. Kale taught many courses in physics and energy management for over 10 years. He managed a program at Oregon Department of Energy which implemented energy efficiency measures in over 800 K-12 schools. For five years he performed research in the CEA group at Cornell focusing on optimizing environmental controls and modeling of energy and light, and continues research in these areas in his current position as a scientist at USDA-ARS. For Project LAMP, Kale is working on energy modeling of CEA buildings using ASHRAE heat balance and other standard methodologies. His work supports project changes for Virtual Grower (VG).

Utah State University

Bruce Bugbee, PhD

Department of Plants, Soils and Climate
College of Agriculture and Applies Sciences

B. Bugbee USU Faculty Page
USU Crop Physiology Laboratory
Apogee Instruments
B. Bugbee – Wikipedia
B. Bugbee – ResearchGate
B. Bugbee – Google Scholar

Dr. Bugbee is a crop physiologist who teaches graduate level courses in plant nutrition and plant physiology. He is well known for his work with NASA to determine potential crop yield in controlled environments and he is currently funded by NASA to study food production on Mars. Nine of his former students are now on the faculty at other Universities. In 2011, he received the Governor’s Medal for Science from the State of Utah. Among his seminal achievements is a TED talk titled, “Turning Water into Food.” In 1996 he founded Apogee Instruments, a research-based company that develops and manufactures instrumentation for environmental monitoring. For Project LAMP, Dr. Bugbee is working on crop growth and yield.

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