Kevin van Diepen (PhD)

My name is Kevin van Diepen and in December 2020 I started a PhD project that is nested within two chair groups of Wageningen University: the Horticulture and Product Physiology (HPP) group and the Meteorology and Air Quality (MAQ) group. The two chair groups reflect my dual character of plant physiology and micro-meteorology. The aim of my PhD project is to upscale dynamic plant photosynthesis and transpiration from the leaf towards the canopy. Plants in the field are often subject to rapidly fluctuating light intensities (sunflecks). The responses of photosynthesis and stomata to sunflecks are slow, resulting in loss of efficiency. However, these inefficiencies are often estimated on single leaves under laboratory conditions: thorough examinations of a plant’s response to sunflecks in the field are lacking. In my PhD project we will measure leaf- and canopy gas exchange in the field, characterise field sunflecks and use these field observations for dynamic modelling to assess how strongly leaf lab inefficiencies propagate to field canopies.