Biophysical Modeling Of Cherry Microclimate And Growth In Relation To The Use Of Protection Covers

Universities and Institutes of Italy
January 31, 2024
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

3 Nov 2023

Job Information


University of Modena and Reggio Emilia


Life Sciences

Research Field

Agricultural sciences » Temperate agriculture

Physics » Biophysics

Computer science » Modelling tools

Researcher Profile

Recognised Researcher (R2)



Application Deadline

31 Jan 2024 - 12:00 (Europe/Rome)

Type of Contract


Job Status


Hours Per Week


Offer Starting Date

4 Mar 2024

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme

Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

Multifunctional covers have long been used to protect tree crops from direct damage due to meteorological events, such as hailing, with their diffusion still increasing due to exacerbating extreme climatic events related to climate change. Nonetheless, nets and screens influence all climatic variables, generally with an increase in air humidity and temperature, a reduction in wind and incident solar radiation and a modification of the light quality (Grandi et al., 2017; Mika et al., 2019; Blanco et al., 2019). In addition, the introduction of barriers to gas exchange implies changes in gradients of meteorological variables and shifts in the timing of their emergence (Siqueira et al., 2012; Tanny, 2013). In this modified environment, plant growth and fruit quality, as well as ecosystem gas exchanges, may be significantly impacted.

In the case of cherry trees, screens are also used to 1) reduce the amount of rain intercepted by the fruit surface, on which long wetting times may favor skin cracking and fruit rottening (Knoche and Winkler, 2019); and 2) prevent the intrusion and feeding from pests, such as Drosophila suzuki. As such, the use of screens may result in higher and longer fruit viability, shelf life and economic returns, and ultimately in higher food safety.

Several authors investigated the effects of protection covers on microclimate and fruit growth. However, these depend on multiple factors, such as the shape and properties of the cover material, the canopy and orchard density and the local climate, so that results are hard to extend across different settings. For this reason, the use of a proper modeling framework may ease the task of predicting the impact of multifunctional covers on microclimate and plant responses, and help guiding growers to choose the optimal solution for their context.

Important modeling efforts have been made in recent years to predict the impact of environmental (e.g. radiation, wind speed, air and soil temperature and humidity) and plant structural factors (e.g. leaf angle, plant shape) on plant radiative regime, microclimate, physiology and growth (e.g. SCOPE - Collatz et al., 1991, PROSAIL - Baret et al., 1992, RATP - Sinoquet et al., 2001, DART - Gastellu-Etchegorry et al., 1996). Nonetheless, the influence of tree covers have been barely taken into account.

The proposed project aims at building a framework for modeling the microclimate, cherry growth responses, wetness duration and quality under different multifunctional covers and across various microclimate conditions across Italy. Activities will focus on 1) the use of radiative models, and their linking to existing and newly developed models for carbon allocation and for the estimation of fruit surface wetness duration, and will also include 2) micrometeorological monitoring, eco-physiological measurements and data analysis.


Research Field

Agricultural sciences » Temperate agriculture

Education Level

PhD or equivalent

Research Field


Education Level

PhD or equivalent

Research Field

Environmental science

Education Level

PhD or equivalent

Research Field

Biological sciences

Education Level

PhD or equivalent


Plant growth and water relations, micrometeorology, plant reconstruction, elements of scripting, programming and biophysical modeling (python, R)

Specific Requirements


Candidate must hold a MSc degree in one among Agricultural Sciences (Scienze Agrarie 77/S, LM-69), Food sciences and tecnologicies (Scienze e tecnologie alimentari 78/S, LM/70), Biology (Scienze Biologiche 6/S, LM-6), Environmental Sciences (Scienze Ambientali 82/S, LM-75), Natural Sciences (Scienze Naturali 68/S, LM-60); Forest Sciences (Scienze forestali 74/S, LM-73), Physics (Fisica 20/S, 50/S, LM-17, LM-44), Mathematics (Matematica 45/S, LM-40), Geophysical Sciences (Scienze geofisiche 85/S, LM-79), Geology (Scienze geologiche 86/S, LM-74), Environmental Engineer (Ingegneria per l'ambiente e il territorio 38/S, LM-35), Informatics (Informatica 23/S, LM-18, LM-66), Informatic engineer (Ingegneria informatica 35/S, LM-32). Candidate may preferably hold a PhD degree.

Degree equivalence: Candidates holding non-italian degrees will need to provide certificates of equivalence of their degrees (PhD, MSc) with italian ones.




Additional Information


Duration : 18 months, from March 2024 to August 2025

Salary : 1837 euro/month (net), 27087 euro/year (gross)

Selection process

Application deadline is not yet fully defined and could be shifted by about 1 month. The opening on the official Unimore website will be available online from December 2023 for one month.

Work Location(s)

Number of offers available



University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Life Science Department




Reggio Emilia


via Amendola 2


Where to apply


[email protected]





Reggio Emilia


https: // www.


via Amendola 2

Postal Code



From this employer

Recent blogs

Recent news