Managing water scarcity in European and Chinese cropping systems

European projects indeed support interdisciplinary research, but they also provide other benefits to the participating teams and individuals. Some of the greatest opportunities include the chance to travel, meetings with colleagues, or even getting hosted for an internship or sabbatical by partner institutions. I am one of those lucky ones who took such an opportunity and began a short-term visiting professorship at Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible (IAS), CSIC in Cordoba, Spain.

There are many potential reasons why one would feel motivated to leave a daily routine. In my case, the main driver was some frustration due to covid restrictions limiting travel, the lack of personal contacts with foreign project partners, and online meetings. With the support of my wife and children, who apparently also realized that things can be done remotely, we all departed to sunny Andalusia in January 2022.

At IAS I work with José Alfonso Gómez and Gema Guzmán on topics related to the use of magnetic tracers in soil erosion research and the numerical modelling of soil water availability for grapes. On local vineyards, farmers implement an ancient management technique called ‘aserpiados,’ which is a series of small depr