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Remembering Peter Jones, Pioneer in Understanding Crop Adaptation

Peter Jones, a pioneer in using computers to understand crop adaptation, passed away in Wales on October 8, 2023. The DSSAT community may recognize Peter as the developer of the widely used MarkSim weather generator, which can generate series of daily data both for current weather and for climate change scenarios of future weather. A notice from Alliance Bioversity & CIAT provides an excellent summary of this and related work.

Peter Jones (on right) and Jim Jones (Univ. Florida) visiting a CIAT experiment near Silvia, Colombia in 1995 that compared temperature adaptation of bean, soybean and peanut.

We would add that Peter was a long-time supporter of crop modeling, dating to his Ph.D. research on modeling soybean phenology. Peter also was instrumental in the early success of the CIAT Bean Program’s efforts to breed bean varieties with improved drought tolerance. Recognizing the problems of in-field variation in drought stress, he introduced the use of rectangular lattice designs. His work has had considerable influence on many researchers from all over the world. It would be hard to identify someone who has had such broad impact on agricultural research in developing countries.

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About Gerrit Hoogenboom

Professor, University of Florida

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