Pauline Welikhe

Pauline Welikhe Profile Picture
IGP:
Ecological Sciences & Engineering

Mentor / Lab:
Dr. Sylvie Brouder

Specific Research Area / Project:
Development and Evaluation of Risk Assessment Tools for Effective Soil Phosphorus Management while Maintaining Water Quality

Undergraduate Institution:
Egerton University (Kenya)


Research Profile:

During the last decade water quality success-stories from intensive conservation programs have seldom occurred. Several likely causes for the increased cases of re-eutrophication of fresh-waters are being debated and closely scrutinized by the scientific, conservation and industrial communities . One suggested causal factor that has come under scrutiny is legacy phosphorus (P). Analysis of long-term P fluxes in agricultural watersheds reveal that net P exports exceed net P inputs, suggesting intermediate storage, remobilization and re-release of legacy P along flow paths between the agricultural fields (sources) and eutrophic water bodies even after the cessation of inputs. As theory suggests, legacy P may be one of the challenges to overcome in the prevention of eutrophication particularly in areas with long-term P applications, intensive tile drainage and established contemporary conservation measures. The goal of my research is to quantitatively investigate the impacts of legacy P on P losses in tile-drained systems and assess its individual relative importance to overall P losses when compared to other potential explanatory variables. My research will be done through laboratory and field work at the Purdue Water Quality Field Station , including measurements, data interpretation and computer modeling.


About Me:

Pauline Welikhe About Me Picture

Saying I love science is an understatement! Right from the time I was introduced to basic biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics in my high school years, I knew I had met my first love. Unfortunately, after high school I was forced to chose one science to pursue for my undergraduate degree. By choosing a degree in Biochemistry, I felt that in some way I had not constrained myself to only one science. After receiving my undergraduate degree, I had the opportunity to work as a biochemist researcher. However, with increasing environmental problems, I started to think about how I could contribute towards a better stewardship of natural resources. This led me to pursue a masters degree in environmental sciences which would allow me to integrate my background in biochemistry and new knowledge gained in Geo-spatial modeling to assess climate change impacts on soil moisture variability and crop yields. By the time I finished my master, my interest in modeling natural systems had grown. However, I wanted to transition from being a model user to a model developer therefore, pursuing my PhD at Purdue University in an interdisciplinary program (Ecological Sciences and Engineering) provided the best circumstances (great faculty, curricula and research environment) for me to adopt an interdisciplinary approach towards dissecting issues that are fundamental to our interrelationships with the environment.

Awards:

  • Best Oral Presenter (Nutrients and Environmental Quality Community - American Society of Agronomy 2018
  • George D. Scarseth Travel Scholarship - Purdue University, 2018
  • Lynn PhD Fellowship - Purdue University, 2016
  • Best Graduate Student College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences - Tuskegee University, 2016
  • Outstanding Academic Achievement, the Honor Society of Agriculture - Tuskegee University, 2016
  • Best Oral Presenter, 73rd Professional Agricultural Workers Conference - Tuskegee, Alabama 2015

Publications:

  • Welikhe, Pauline; Essamuah-Quansah, Joseph; Boote, Kenneth; Asseng, Senthold; El Afandi, Gamal; Fall, Souleymane; Mortley, Desmond; and Ankumah, Ramble (2016) "Impact of Climate Change on Corn Yields in Alabama," Professional Agricultural Workers Journal: Vol. 4: No. 1, 12.
  • Welikhe, Pauline; Quansah, J.E., Fall, S., McElhenney, W. (2017) Estimation of Soil Moisture Percentage Using LANDSAT-based Moisture Stress Index. J Remote Sensing & GIS 6: 200. doi: 10.4172/2469-
  • 4134.1000200.

Presentations:

  • Welikhe, Pauline; Essamuah-Quansah, Joseph; Boote, Kenneth; Asseng, Senthold; El Afandi, Gamal; Fall, Souleymane; Mortley, Desmond; and Ankumah, Ramble (2016) "Impact of Climate Change on Corn Yields in Alabama," Professional Agricultural Workers Journal: Vol. 4: No. 1, 12. Oral presentation at the 73rd Professional Agricultural Workers Conference (2015), Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Welikhe, Pauline; Quansah, J.E., Fall, S., McElhenney, W. (2017) Estimation of Soil Moisture Percentage Using LANDSAT-based Moisture Stress Index. J Remote Sensing & GIS 6: 200. doi: 10.4172/2469-4134.1000200. Oral presentation at the 2015 National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) symposium, Springfield, Virginia.
  • Welikhe, Pauline; Quansah, J.E., Fall, S., McElhenney, W. (2017) Estimation of Soil Moisture Percentage Using LANDSAT-based Moisture Stress Index. J Remote Sensing & GIS 6: 200. doi: 10.4172/2469-4134.1000200. Poster presented at the 2016 3rd Geospatial Intelligence (GEOINT) at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) meeting, Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama.
  • Welikhe, Pauline and Brouder, S. Development and Evaluation of Phosphorus Sorption Capacity – Based Environmental Indices. Oral presentation at the 2018 American Society of Agronomy – Nutrients and Environmental Quality Community graduate student competitions.

Leadership:

  • Agronomy Society of America, Member (2017-Present)
  • Crop Science Society of America, Member (2017-Present)
  • Soil Science Society of America, Member (2017-Present)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science, Student Member (2018-Present)
  • Mentoring Network of African Women in Academia (MTAWA), Student representative (2018-Present)
  • Tuskegee Graduate Student Association, Secretary (2014 – 2016)
  • Decision Support System for Agro-technology Transfer (DSSAT) modeling community, Member (2014-Present)
  • Agronomy Department (Purdue University) Health and safety committee, Student representative (2018-Present)

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