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Alfredo Aponte-Zayas Presents Ph.D. Seminar

Alfredo Aponte-Zayas presented his Plant Sciences Ph.D. dissertation, Advanced Cropping Systems for Food, Feed and Energy Production in the Northern Great Plains on Monday, January 11, 2016 at North Dakota State University in Fargo, ND.
Alfredo Aponte-Zayas Presents Ph.D. Seminar

Alfredo Aponte-Zayas (right) with adviser Dr. Marisol Berti

February 2, 2016

Alfredo Aponte-Zayas Ph.D. Dissertation Video

Alfredo Aponte-Zayas presented his Plant Sciences Ph.D. dissertation on Monday, January 11, 2016. His paper is titled Advanced Cropping Systems for Food, Feed and Energy Production in the Northern Great Plains.

The main focus of Aponte-Zayas’ research was improvement on the overall sustainability of common cropping systems for food, feed, and fuel crops in the Northern Great Plains (NGP). Focused research on how winter camelina (an industrial oilseed plant for biofuel production) can be grown on the same plot in the same season in North Dakota by double cropping it with corn, soybean, and forage sorghum found a positive outcome, producing oil for fuel (camelina) or a feed (forage sorghum). Camelina can also be grown with soybean to produce a food grain (soybean) and oil for biofuel (camelina).

Along with crop rotation diversification, Aponte-Zayas studied ways to increase forage production sustainability. His findings, working with alfalfa, show that combining several species of grasses grown with alfalfa yields more and better quality forage than just alfalfa or a single grass species monoculture.

Aponte-Zayas joined NDSU Plant Sciences in 2011 as a summer intern from Puerto Rico. He fell in love with campus, and with fellow intern, Julianna Franceschi. They both decided to pursue graduate studies at NDSU because of the warmth they felt here and the Department of Plant Sciences’ reputation as one of the most advanced and well-known programs in the USA.

While attending NDSU, Aponte-Zayas was a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Societies, as well as the Plant Sciences Graduate Student Association.

Aponte-Zayas, his wife, and two children have returned to Puerto Rico to begin a family farm using agro-ecological practices. Alfredo aspires to establish an Agroecology Research Institute in Puerto Rico to support small scale, sustainable farming.

Alfredo Aponte-Zayas’ graduate committee members were Dr. Edward Deckard, Dr. Russell Gesch, Dr. Burton Johnson, and Dr. Kevin Sedivec. He was advised by Dr. Marisol Berti.

Source: Alfredo Aponte-Zayas (contact Dr. Marisol Berti, 701-231-6110, )
Author: Shannon Ueker, 701-231-7971, shannon.ueker@ndsu.edu
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,

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