DiTommaso Lab research
The DiTommaso Lab studies the biology and ecology of weed species in agricultural and natural systems. Many of our projects are also related to climate change.
- Johnsongrass: Johnsongrass, a problematic weed of field crops in the southern and mid-Atlantic United States, may impact New York crops in a warming climate. We are researching how its reproduction and spread may be affected by climate change, and by local adaptation to different environments.
- Milkweed: Monarch butterflies require milkweed plants to complete their life cycle. We are interested in ways to increase milkweed availability in agroecosystems.
- Ladybeetles: Ladybeetles appear to be attracted to plants in the Apiaceae family. Such plants could be included in biodiversity plantings that enhance ecosystem services and promote conservation goals.
- White-tailed deer: We are analyzing the influence of white-tailed deer browsing on soil seed banks and succession.
- Climate change and weed management: We are surveying New York farmers to see what questions and concerns they have about climate change, and synthesizing current information to answer those questions.
- Weed emergence: The DiTommaso Lab is involved in a multi-state collaboration to understand how factors such as temperature and precipitation affect the timing of emergence in different weed species. More information about emergence timing will help growers schedule weed management operations.
- Carbon amendments and weed ecology: We are investigating the use of carbon amendments to modify soil microbial communities, which in turn affect weed-crop interactions.
- Agrivoltaics: The DiTommaso Lab is working with interdisciplinary collaborators on the design of multifunctional landscapes that simultaneously generate solar power, support sheep grazing, and attract beneficial insects. See Electric sheep: Grazing in arrays supports economy, climate. Visit the Atkinson Center's Sustainable Solar at Cornell University page for more about these collaborations