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CSU LogoColorado State University (CSU) was my destination of choice back in January 2014 when I wanted to learn more about the systems modelling that my PhD research entailed. Through support from CEH and Shell I was able to attend a week-long training course for the DayCent model in the NREL department at CSU. After the course I then began working with DayCent and a number of researchers in the Paustian Lab at CSU, aiming to use my data from the UK to help parameterise and validate model simulations. Ultimately this work helped to inform the final chapter of my PhD thesis and allowed a comparison to the ECOSSE model that I had been using with the University of Aberdeen and Prof Pete Smith.

In total, I spent 3 weeks in Fort Collins at CSU and enjoyed the people, the place and the work. So, I had no choice but to come back at the end of my PhD. In October 2014, while I was finishing up my PhD, I applied for a postdoc with Dr Meagan Schipanski at CSU and was lucky enough to secure the position. I started work here in April 2015 as a part of a 2-year postdoctoral research project in collaboration with ARS and AgMIP. Loosely, the aims of this research are to use long-term datasets from agricultural field sites across the American Great Plains to assess how ecosystem scale systems models can be improved to ensure reliable simulations given various management and climate change scenarios. This specific work will feed into larger projects and help inform some of the more fundamental questions about mechanistic processes and how they are handled by systems models.

To find out more about this research and wider goals of this department and lab group within CSU, please refer to our lab webpage.