Jose Rolando is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Agronomy with a concentration in Agroecology under the direction of Dr. Jose Dubeux. Rolando is from Lima, Peru, where he received his BS in Biology from the “Universidad Agraria La Molina”. After graduation, he worked with the International Potato Center in potato ecophysiology and was involved in the screening of plant traits related to drought tolerance. In 2015, he started a MSc in Agronomy, Agroecology concentration, at UF. For three semesters, he took classes on-line from Peru while performing his research in the Peruvian Andes. He finished his last semester at the North Florida Research and Education Center where his major advisor (Dr. Dubeux) is based.
Of his experience at UF, Rolando says: “I enjoyed the whole experience of the MSc program, especially the flexibility provided in order to do research with partner institutions abroad.”
Jose Rolando’s research focus is on the impact of land use change on soil fertility, nutrient cycling and carbon sequestration in the Peruvian high-Andean grasslands. Typically, these high elevation, moist grasslands have been converted to perennial ryegrass/white clover pastures. Recently, the demand for the herbal supplement maca (Lepidium meyenii Walp.) has resulted in additional grassland land cover being converted to cropland. Prior to Jose’s research, little was known about the impact of land use change on these grassland soils, which have high organic matter contents.
Jose’s advisor, Dr. Jose Dubeux is a professor of pasture and forage management at UF. Dr. Dubeux has a focus in nutrient cycling in forage production systems. UF Agroecology students can gain valuable international experience through research with the concentration’s partner institutions in Australia, Brazil, France, United Kingdom, and US Virgin Islands.