Research Projects – Controlled Environment Agriculture (NEMALI Lab)

Research Projects

Current Research Projects:

1. Increase Nutritive Value of Leafy Greens by Optimizing Spectral Composition:

We are currently testing effects of different light spectra on vitamin A and vitamin K levels in leafy greens. The goal of the project is to improve ‘crop value’ by increasing healthy nutrients while maintaining crop productivity















2. Develop Best Practices for Producing E.coli-free Lettuce in Indoor and Greenhouse Hydroponic Production:

The goal of the project is to utilize UV sterilization and water sanitization approaches to produce E.coli-free lettuce in indoor and greenhouse production. The project is a collaborative effort between our lab and Dr. Amanda Deering from Food Science Department at Purdue. The research is funded by USDA SCBG.











3. Develop Affordable and Efficient Hydroponic/Aeroponic Production Systems

The goal is to develop affordable hydroponic/aeroponic production technologies for Egyptian small-scale growers which will aid in producing more food with less water and increase crop productivity. We are testing different custom-built and commercial hydroponic and aeroponic technologies for their efficacy. The project is funded by USDA FAS.












4. Smart Sensors for Monitoring Plants

We are developing novel technologies that allow greenhouse growers to use smartphones monitor several plant traits of economic value include size, area, number of flowers, height, damage area, nitrogen stress, and shelf-life. Funding for the project is provided by Horticulture Research Institute, American Floral Endowement, and Fred Gloeckner Foundation.
















Past Research Projects:

1. Develop region-specific best production technology for greenhouse hydroponic lettuce production

The project tested different supplemental lighting, spectral composition, rootzone heating, production systems, recycling techniques, and varieties of lettuce to develop guidelines for maximizing productivity of hydroponic lettuce production during different months of the year in the US Midwest. The project was funded by USDA SCBG.






















2. Training Beginner Farmers in Indoor Production

The project tested different LED light spectra, commercial fixtures, and lettuce varieties for maximizing crop productivity and optimizing electrical energy use in indoor (vertical farm) production. The project was funded by USDA SCBG.


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