Tali Neesham-McTiernan

Ph.D. Student

As a PhD student in the Department of Geography, Development, and Environment, I am conducting research on agrivoltaics (the co-location of solar panels and agriculture) as a multifaceted climate adaptation strategy and a means of resilience-building.

My current work examines the impacts of agrivoltaics on the working conditions of agricultural laborers, notably their exposure to hazardous environments such as extreme heat. Through the utilization of GIS techniques, I am identifying the best locations for agrivoltaic deployment to reduce exposure to extreme heat and mitigate some of the challenges posed by climate change.

Additionally, I am also analyzing changes in crop nutritional composition in response to agrivoltaic system microclimates.  This research uses inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry to examine elemental variations in crops grown under agrivoltaic systems as compared to those grown in open field conditions.

Before joining the University of Arizona, I worked for the World Agroforestry Centre researching the suitability of agrivoltaics in East Africa through community-engaged spatial modeling.