Lab Members Participate in the South West Groundwater and Sustainable Agricultural Systems Symposium

From left to right, Charlie Reis, Sarah Brickman, and Nall Moonillal

Members of the Lazcano Laboratory attended the 2nd Annual South West Groundwater and Sustainable Agricultural Systems Symposium in Phoenix, Arizona. This event brought together teams of researchers from UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Stanford, Fresno State, University of Arizona, and New Mexico State University to showcase their current projects and discuss the future of irrigated agriculture in the South West. 

Advisory board members present current challenges and solutions

The Lazcano Lab team included members: Dr. Nall Moonilal (Postdoctoral Researcher), Sarah Brickman (PhD Student), and Raymond “Charlie” Reis (Junior Specialist). Each team member designed and presented a poster highlighting their most recent findings. Congratulations to Dr. Moonilal for his poster winning 2nd place amongst the postdoctoral researchers!

Dr. Moonilal in action


New article: Nature-based strategies to regenerate the functioning and biodiversity of vineyards

As a result of a workshop hosted by the University of Cadiz (Spain) in March 2023, our lab had the opportunity to work with a team of Spanish researchers to write this collaborative paper. In this article, we provide an overview of nature-based management strategies that may be used for the regeneration of the functioning and biodiversity of vineyards and that may also lead to improved plant nutrition, grape berry quality and the suppression of pathogens and pests. These strategies include the use of microbial and nonmicrobial biostimulants, fertilization with organic amendments as well as foliar fertilization with nature-based products, the use of cover crops and the reintegration of livestock in vineyards, especially sheep. We will also pay special attention to the implementation of circular economy in the vineyard in relation to the previously mentioned management strategies and will also discuss the importance of considering all these aspects from a holistic and integrative perspective, rather than taking them into account as single factors. Assuming the integral role of soils in the functioning of agroecosystems, soils will be considered transversally across all sections. Finally, we will argue that the time is now ripe for innovation from the public and private sectors to contribute to the sustainable management of vineyards while maintaining, or even improving, the profit margin for farmers and winemakers. The full article can be accessed here: 

Best paper of the year award by the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology

We are excited to announce that our 2022 paper ” Assessing the Short-Term Effects of No-Till on Crop Yield, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Soil C and N Pools in a Cover-Cropped, Biodynamic Mediterranean Vineyard was selected as the winner of the 2023 ASVO Viticulture Paper of the Year Award. Our paper was chosen by a panel of industry experts from research papers in the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. This award honours outstanding researchers where the potential application of their research to industry is deemed the most significant.

We are grateful to the ASVO for this recognition. This award gives a true purpose to the many hours spent in the field, analyzing samples, and data.

We would like to thank our industry collaborator in this work, Tablas Creek, and many other producers throughout the world, for pushing the envelope leading the charge on regenerative practices and redefining the meaning of success in the wine industry.

Thank you to the Healthy Soils Program of the California Department of Food and Agriculture for supporting our work. By supporting these unique partnerships between growers and researchers, this funding has helped advance our understanding of the potential of soils to mitigate the climate crisis under real life, commercial-scale conditions. This funding has also supported several early career scientists many of us from underrepresented groups.



Summer conference season was a success

This summer the Lazcano Lab participated in two of the most important conferences in viticulture and enology, the 74th ASEV National Conference in Napa, California on June 26 – 29, 2023, and the 22nd GiESCO (Group of International Experts for Cooperation on Vitivinicultural Systems) meeting at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., July 17-20, 2023.

At the ASEV Conference, Dr. Axel Herrera presented a poster with an overview of our current project on regenerative viticulture, titled ‘Assessing the efficacy of regenerative agriculture to sequester C and support soil health in vineyards ‘. The PhD candidate Noelymar Gonzalez presented part of her dissertation work in the poster ‘Assessing the variability of Soil Health indicators across California Vineyards‘. Noely received the best student poster presentation award for this work!

At the 22nd GiESCO meeting Dr. Lazcano presented a summary of the lab’s research over the last 6 years in the talk ‘Managing soil health in vineyards: knowns and unknowns’ and the PhD student Amanda Rodriguez presented the first results of her dissertation in the poster ‘Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi on Grapevine roots Across and Edaphoclimatic Gradient‘.

After many conversations with colleagues and lots of interesting talks, we feel more inspired and full of energy than ever!

Luisa Robles is going to graduate school at Penn State!

Luisa Robles will be starting a MSc at Penn State this August to study temporal variability in soil health. She will be working under the supervision of Dr. Many Ann Bruns and Dr. Estelle Coradeau. Luisa started working with the lab back in January 2021 as an undergraduate student assistant and then continued to be our Junior Specialist for one more year after graduating in 2022. Upon graduation, she received a Citation for Outstanding Performance in Environmental Science and Management and a Department Citation in Land, Air, and Water Resources. During her time at the lab she also presented at two conferences and was awarded with the best poster at the 2021 SSSA diversity student poster competition. We are looking forward to seeing her achievements in her new role as a graduate student! Go Luisa!!