Researcher biography

My fields of expertise and research interests:

  • Biophysical/crop modelling, agro-hydrological modelling, crop physiology, agro-meteorology, hydrology.
  • Climate change/variability, precision and climate-smart agriculture, sustainable farming.
  • Data analysis, machine learning, deep learning, business intelligence, programming.
  • Integrated water resources management, water resources planning, land use management, virtual water.
  • Geographical Information System and Remote Sensing (GIS and RS).
  • Farm (irrigation and drainage) system design and management, hydraulic modeling, water delivery systems.

My expertise is at the intersection of data science with crop physiology, cropping systems and water resources management, with a focus on biophysical/crop modelling, hydrological modelling, climate change/variability, and environment characterization (drought, heat and frost). As a biophysical and agrohydrological modeller and crop physiologist, I conduct model-aided impact and adaptation studies and systematically investigate ecophysiological and agrohydrological processes to understand the implications of genetic variability, climate change/variability, weather extremes, land use change, and management scenarios for crop production, water resources, economies and societies at various spatial-temporal scales. I study the impact of abiotic stresses on wheat crops across Australia to find potential avenues to improve crop adaptivity under current and future climates. I use data science techniques (R/Python/SQL) in combination with crop models (mostly APSIM and APSIM-NextGen) to explore the value of promising traits under various management and climate scenarios. For instance, I implemented a new photosynthesis module into APSIM-NextGen (C#) which enables analysing the impact of the limited transpiration rate trait on wheat transpiration efficiency and grain yield, and exploring the value of currently existing genetic variability in transpiration efficiency for breeding programs in Australia. Furthermore, I design and conduct field and greenhouse experiments to explore opportunities to improve drought and heat stress tolerance in wheat. I run glasshouse experiments in an automated lysimetric platform with tens of genotypes from various sources. In addition, I collaborate with UQ researchers to implement and test a new canopy photosynthesis-stomatal conductance module (DCaPST) developed for APSIM (C++/Fortran) and APSIM-NextGen.

As a research assistant at The University of Tehran (2008-2012), I designed and implemented a planning support system to integrate the DSSAT crop models (wheat, maize, barley, tomato, cotton, sorghum, and potato) into a data-fusion-based agro-hydrological model in order to quantify economic, social and environmental impacts of land use change and selected adaptation strategies under various climate scenarios (two future periods, 25 GCMs). I addressed multiple topics including crop modelling, weather generators, statistical downscaling of climate scenarios, hydrological modelling, optimization, and multi-criteria evaluation.

In 2015, I joined Limagrain Europe (the world's 4th largest seed producer) and led a joint project with the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), which was focused on crop modelling, model improvement, environment characterization, climate change, and data analysis at a pan-European level. I designed and implemented a comprehensive simulation and analysis framework to investigate the impact of abiotic stresses (drought and heat along with nitrogen deficiency) on wheat performance across Europe and identify trends in selected climate indices and wheat traits over 1984-2014 at +8000 locations and +25000 simulation units. I improved the source code (in C#) and interface of the SiriusQuality wheat model and added new modules for crop management automation.

Over 2006-2017, I participated in multiple interdisciplinary projects in integrated water resources management, hydraulics and hydrology, irrigation and drainage systems, rural water infrastructures, river engineering, and flood management. I served as senior engineer and project coordinator/manager, especially in the fields of irrigation systems and water resources management, being responsible for coordination and planning, design, preparation of technical reports, time and budget management, participation in meetings, and conflict resolution. I am a certified irrigation system designer and irrigation system installation specialist assessed by the Iran Ministry of Agriculture