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Research Interests: crop physiology
Brief description of current research:
Dr. Westgate’s research program focuses on understanding the physiological basis for the effects of water deficits on the reproductive development in corn and soybean; using molecular approaches to improve the value of soybean seeds; and establishing quantitative relationships between floral development and seed set in corn. Dr. Westgate teaches two advanced level graduate courses in Crop Physiology. Agron 516: Crop Physiology explores the physiological processes that determine crop growth, development, and yield. Agron 616: Advanced Topics in Crop Physiology and Biochemistry provides an in-depth treatment of physiological and biochemical processes and their relationships to crop growth and development. Both courses emphasize integration of molecular, whole plant, and canopy approaches for crop improvement. They nurture student capabilities for evaluation, synthesis, and communication through written and oral peer reviews, proposal evaluations, and class discussions. Dr. Westgate also is a member of the M.S. in Agronomy Distance program and coordinates Agron 594: Workshop in Agronomy. This on-campus workshop integrates coursework in climatology, crops, and soils through interactive discussions, hands-on labs, and local agri-business tours.
Westgate, M. E., G. Sebuwufu, and M. K. Kabahuma, 2011: Enhancing yield and biological nitrogen fixation of common beans. Iowa State Research Farm Progress Reports, Paper 34.
Severini, A. D., L. Borras, M. E. Westgate, and A. G. Cirilo, 2011: Kernel number and kernel weight determination in dent and popcorn maize. Field Crops Res., 120, 360-369.
Viner, B. J., M. E. Westgate, and R. W. Arritt, 2010: A model to predict diurnal pollen shed in maize. Crop Sci., 50, 235-245.