Moderator Bios

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Leonardo Bastos
Assistant Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia
Dr. Bastos’ research focuses on using proximal and remote sensing, geospatial soils and temporal weather data to inform crop management practices from within-field to regional scales, with a focus on nitrogen fertilizer management and crop quality mapping. He teaches on the topics of precision and digital agriculture, statistical programing and data science applied to agriculture.
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Doug Britton
Manager, Agricultural Technology Research Program, Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI)
Dr. Britton is a Principal Research Engineer with GTRI and serves as the Associate Division Chief of the Intelligent Sustainable Technologies Division and Program Manager for the Agricultural Technology Research Program (ATRP). The ATRP program is focused on driving transformational innovation in advanced technologies for poultry, agribusiness, and food processing. Working closely with stakeholders in academia, industry, and the public service sector, he identifies key unmet challenges and translates them into applied, actionable research initiatives. Britton’s technical expertise in image and signal processing has led to the development of eight different imaging based systems for a variety of food processing applications including citrus, baked goods, whole bird screening and poultry product inspection.
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Barry Croom
Professor of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication, University of Georgia
Dr. Croom has more than thirty-five years of experience in agricultural and extension education. He has taught more than 35 different courses at the graduate and undergraduate level in leadership, information technology, experiential learning, instructional methodology, educational program planning, and youth development and is the author of three textbooks. He maintains a research program that focuses on effective teaching, career and technical education policy, and diversity in agricultural and extension education. Dr. Croom served as Professor and Department Head for Agricultural Education and General Agriculture at Oregon State University prior to returning to his native South.
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Gerald Henry
Athletic Association Professor in Environmental Turfgrass Management, University of Georgia
Dr. Henry research program is focused on sports field management. Support from his Athletic Association endowment continues to create opportunities for the advancement of the Athens Turfgrass Research and Education Center. Over the years he has worked in conjunction with several investigators involved in engineering, biomechanics, and sports science with the collective objective of improving athletic field safety and performance. His team has published numerous studies that examine the influence of field playability on athlete injuries, performance testing techniques to accurately describe athletic field safety, and the impact of sports turf management on field playability and athlete perceptions.
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Lorena Lacerda
Assistant Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences, University of Georgia
Dr. Lacerda's broad research interests are to develop precision agricultural management systems for sustainable food and fiber production. Under this umbrella, Dr. Lacerda focuses on the use of proximal and remote sensing to study the spatial and temporal variability of soil properties and crop responses, and the interactions among soil, plant and environment and its effects on crop growth, development and final yield. She uses multispectral, thermal and hyperspectral images to perform in-season stress diagnosis to develop strategies for site-specific application of inputs with the main goal of increasing crop productivity and sustainability.
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Guoyu Lu
Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Georgia
Dr. Lu has broad research interests spreading across computer vision, machine learning, robotics, remote sensing, and their applications in agriculture. Before joining UGA, he was an assistant professor at the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Prior to that, he was a research scientist on autonomous driving at Ford Research and a computer vision engineer at Disney ESPN Advanced Technology Group. Dr. Lu is serving as the Associate Editor of IST/SPIE Journal of Electronic Imaging, IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, and ICRA 2023.
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Ashfaq Sial
Associate Professor of Entomology, University of Georgia
Dr. Sial serves as the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) coordinator for the state of Georgia. His research program seeks to investigate biology and ecology of economically important insect pests and utilize that information to develop more sustainable IPM programs in small fruits focused on blueberries. He has an extensive record of serving professional organizations in a leadership role at the regional, national and international level and has received awards for excellence in research, extension, and teaching, as well as professional leadership.
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Jin Sun
Assistant Professor, School of Computing, University of Georgia
Dr. Sun’s research interest is in developing efficient and effective deep learning and computer vision algorithms for a holistic visual understanding of complex scenes. In particular, he is interested in learning hidden information from a large collection of unlabeled visual data. He is also passionate about applying computer vision in applications to improve people’s quality of life. He has close collaboration with colleagues from areas such as agriculture, marine science, and public health. His work has been published at top computer vision conferences such as CVPR, ICCV, and ECCV, selected as “Notable Books and Articles” in the 19th Annual ACM Best of Computing 2014, and nominated for the best paper award at CVPR 2020.
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Simerjeet Virk
Assistant Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences and Extension Precision Ag Specialist, University of Georgia
Dr. Virk’s research interests are in the evaluation of precision ag technologies to improve performance of agricultural machinery and field productivity while his Extension programming efforts are focused on providing relevant and timely information to improve technology adoption and data management among the growers. He has a MS in Biosystems Engineering from Auburn University and PhD in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Georgia.