Globally, 70% of freshwater is used for agriculture. Considering that in many regions the rates of groundwater depletion exceed rates of replenishment, we must look to alternative sources of water for future cropping. Intensive agriculture has also led to the erosion of some nutrients and organic matter and contributed to the pollution of ecosystems. The combined lack of freshwater and salinized and nutrient-deplete soils has encouraged me to focus on plant adaptation to these stresses.
Vanessa Melino's research has three main tiers: