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Dr. Alejandro Morales Sierra is a lecturer and researcher at the Centre for Crop Systems Analysis (CSA) at Wageningen University. He specializes in the development and use of computational tools and models for the study of plant production systems with an emphasis on productivity and the effect of the physical environment (e.g. climate change).
Alejandro obtained a double engineering degree on forestry and agronomy in Cordoba (Spain), followed by an MSc Crop Science degree at Wageningen University. There, he also obtained his PhD degree that focused on modelling plant photosynthesis and was funded by the IPOP Systems Biology program and the Biosolar Cells program. This was followed by postdoc positions in Wageningen University and Utrecht University on a joint NWO-funded program that centered on the effect of abiotic stresses on plant morphology, development and growth.
His current teaching and research interests are on the combination of scientific models and data and the development of better tools and methodologies for modelling plant production systems. He is involved in multiple research lines within CSA including modelling the risk of establishment of invasive species, the productivity and resource use of cacao plantations as well as addressing challenges in functional-structural plant modelling. He is a strong supporter of open and reproducible science and promotes the idea that every scientists should learn to program/code to achieve such goals.
He is the developer of the Virtual Plant Laboratory, a tool to build and simulate Functional-Structural Plant Models in the Julia programming language.