Summer Semester

Advanced experimental methods in soil and plant hydrology

In this module, students will gain an understanding of how to experimentally quantify the physical and hydrological properties of soils and plants. Specifically, students will learn:
1.    To assess basic soil physical properties such as soil texture, moisture, porosity, and density.
2.    To determine the water retention and flow characteristics of various soils.
3.    To investigate the infiltration and evaporation of water from different soils.
4.    To evaluate plant responses to soil drying, such as transpiration rate, stomata conductance, and xylem leaf water potential.
5.    To utilize various sensors and techniques to measure water content and water potential within soil and plant systems.

Soil plant water relationship

Upon completion of this module, students will have an understanding of the principles of soil and plant water relations. This includes studying the physics of water flow across various components of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum such as soils, the rhizosphere, the root system, the xylem, and leaves. Additionally, students will be introduced to various techniques for quantifying water flow across these key elements. In the end, students will be encouraged to discuss the potential of different soil and plant traits impacting plant drought tolerance under water and nutrient deficit condition.

Seminar on Water, nutrients and carbon exchange across soil-plant-atmosphere continuum

For the seminar part, students will be introduced to the latest research and discussions in the field of soil-plant-water relationships and potential strategies to cope with drought stress. Each student will choose a topic from a list of options, conduct a literature review, and prepare an oral presentation and an extended written summary. Students will be offered individual one-to-one meetings to guide them in the preparation of their oral presentation and extended summary.

Winter Semester

Soil Biophysics (Lecture)

The scope of this module is to learn fundamental biophysical processes taking place at the root zone and particularly at the root-soil interface and their emerging impacts on water and nutrient exchange between the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. In this module, we will discuss the basic principles of soil physics in the context of water and nutrient transport within soils and plant roots. The particular attention is to learn why, when, and where soil physics plays an important role in water and nutrients transport across the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum.


New emerging topics in Soil Biophysics (Seminar)

 This seminar aims to discuss the fundamental biophysical and biochemical processes taking place across the soil-root interface and their emerging impacts on water, nutrient, and carbon flux across the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Students will be briefly introduced to some selected state-of-the-art topics and will be asked to perform a deep literature review and present their findings in the form of an oral presentation and an extended summary at the end of the semester.