Greg Barron-Gafford

Professor

Associate Director of the Community and School Garden Program

I'm a Biogeographer, which means my science sits at that exciting nexus of understanding how external forces (like environmental and human factors) and internal characteristics (like leaf biochemistry and plant functional type) act as determinants of where species can live and thrive. 

The Barron-Gafford research group studies the interactive effects of vegetation and climate change on plant & ecosystem function to inform forecasting and decision makers. We tackle questions related to fields of Biogeography, Plant Ecophysiology, Ecosystem Ecology, Ecohydrology, and Critical Zone Science. We study how semiarid plants and ecosystems respond to threats from drought, climate change, and human pressures like over grazing or clearing for renewable energy production.

For the last 8 years, I have been building the field of 'agrivoltaics' - the concept of colocating agriculture and photovoltaics (renewable energy from solar panels). We began this work in southern Arizona to study the benefits across the food-energy-water nexus, and over the years have developed a national and international program connecting with researchers in Colorado and Oregon (USA), and in Africa and the Middle East. Helping develop science-based solutions to help people adapt to the increasing pressures that come from a changing climate is a personal and professional goal.