Xi Zhang is an assistant professor and soil scientist. He has joint appointments between the Red River Research Station and the School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences. Zhang has expertise in soil physics and conducts research on soil physical and hydrologic processes as influenced by agricultural management practices under different cropping systems with the goal of improving crop production in Louisiana. He also works collaboratively with extension agents and specialists to help farmers improve soil health and water quality. Prior to joining the AgCenter, he received a doctorate in soil science from the University of Kentucky and worked at Oregon State University.
James Villegas is an assistant professor and field crops entomologist with extension and research appointments at the LSU AgCenter Dean Lee Research and Extension Center. His general research interests involve both applied and fundamental aspects of plant-insect interactions in crop agroecosystems. Villegas said he takes a holistic approach to insect pest management by integrating various control tactics that can help maximize grower profitability and promote sustainable approaches. He received his doctorate in entomology from LSU in 2021, where he investigated the role of plant tolerance and cultural tactics for the management of rice water weevil and the invasive stem-boring species, the Mexican rice borer. Prior to pursuing his graduate degrees, Villegas was a researcher at the International Rice Research Institute in his native Philippines.
Tri Setiyono is an assistant professor in the School of Plant, Environmental and Soil Sciences conducting research on digital agriculture applications to enhance resiliency of agronomic crop production in Louisiana. Setiyono’s work will support education and extension activities for the AgCenter’s digital agriculture program. He received a doctorate in agronomy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Prior to joining the AgCenter, Setiyono worked for the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines managing a team applying geospatial science and modeling in rice agri-food systems.
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture