Melba Ruth Salazar-Gutierrez, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Professor
Dr. Salazar is an Assistant Research Professor in the Biological Systems Engineering Department; currently she is the Interim Leader of the Research Program of the Agricultural Weather Network. She has over 15 years of experience in research, education, extension and outreach in biology, agricultural engineering, and statistics. She has published scientific papers in refereed journals as well as numerous proceedings. Her research focuses on cold hardiness, crop physiology and phenology of tree fruit and horticultural crops. Her varied experience in crop modeling and applied statistics brings a practical, real-world view of biology systems that she applies to her research.
Area of Specialty
Plant physiology, Phenology and Cold hardiness, Crop modeling and simulation, Decision Support Systems, Data collection, Experimental planning, Experimental design and applied statistics, SAS Programmer, DSSAT.
Dr. Salazar is also interested in teaching, and investigating in other domains such as impact of climate variability, agricultural production, water conservation, and use of resources for food agriculture. Her varied experience brings a practical, real-world view of biology, plant physiology and applied statistics in biological systems that she applies to her research.
In the News
- Pamphlet – Extension and Rural Education Subgroup – Land Grant University Colombia Consortium
- WAVE Minute: AgWeatherNet & Grape Growers
- New model forecasts grapevine bud break, bloom and veraison
- Predicting Phenology: A New Tool from AgWeatherNet
- Sophisticated presentations in Spanish
- Dr. Melba Salazar – AgWeatherNet Video Series
- Student Wins First Place
- Peña Q., A.J., Hoogenboom G., Salazar, M.R., Stöckle, C., and Keller M., 2018. Comparison of Air Temperature Measured in a Vineyard Canopy and at a Standard Weather Station. Submitted to Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research.
- Peña Q., A.J., Chaves, B., Salazar, M.R., Keller M., and Hoogenboom G. 2018. Radius of influence of air temperature from automated weather stations installed in complex terrain. Submitted to Theoretical and Applied Climatology.
- Camargo Alvarez, H., Salazar Gutiérrez, M., Zapata, D., Keller, M and Hoogenboom, G. 2018. Time-to-event analysis to evaluate dormancy status of single-bud cuttings: An example for grapevines. Plant Methods October 14:98. Available online: https://plantmethods.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s13007-018-0361-0 https://doi.org/10.1186/s13007-018-0361-0
- Valencia, A., J.A., Soto, G.A., Castaño, V, G.J., Villa, Vallejo E., L.F., Salazar-Gutierrez, M.R. 2018. Morphometric Identification of Stem Borers Diatraea Saccharalis and Diatraea Busckella (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in Sugarcane Crops (Saccharum Officinarum) in Caldas Department, Colombia. PlosOne. Available online: https://doi.org/10.1101/385955
- Camargo, H., Salazar-Gutierrez, M.R., Chaves, B. and Hoogenboom G. Modeling pollen tube growth of apple. 2018. Scientia Horticulturae 240. 125-132
- Chaves, B., Salazar, M.R., Schmidt, T., Dasgupta, J and Hoogenboom, G. 2017. Modeling apple bloom phenology. Acta Hortic. 1160. 201-206.
- Chaves, B., Salazar, M.R., Schmidt, T., Dasgupta, J and Hoogenboom, G. 2017. Modeling fruit growth of apple. ISHS Acta Horticulturae 1160. 335-340.
- Zapata D.M., Salazar M., Chaves B., Keller M., and Hoogenboom G. 2017. Predicting Key Phenological Stages for 17 Grapevine Cultivars (Vitis vinifera L.). Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 68 (1): 60-68.
- Salazar, M.R., Chaves, B., Hoogenboom, G. 2016. The freezing tolerance of apples flower buds. Scientia Horticulturae. Volume 198, 26 January 2016, Pages 344–351.
- Whiting, M.D., Salazar, M.R., Hoogenboom, G. 2015. Development of Bloom Phenology Models for Tree Fruits. Acta Hortic. 1068, 107-112. DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1068.12 http://dx.doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.2015.1068.12
- Zapata D.M., Salazar M., Chaves B., Keller M., and Hoogenboom G. 2015. Estimation of the base temperature and growth phase duration in terms of thermal time for four grapevine cultivars. International Journal of Biometeorology. December 2015, 59 (12) 1771-1781.
- Anothai, J., Salazar-Gutierrez,M.R., Tojo-Soler, C., Flitcroft, I, Hoogenboom, G. 2015. Soybean growth and mineral concentration under deficit irrigation for a humid environment. Submitted to Agricultural Water Management.
- Salazar-Gutierrez, M.R., Chaves, B. Anothai, J. Whiting, M., Hoogenboom, G., 2014. Variation in cold hardiness of sweet cherry flower buds through different phenological stages. Scientia Hort., 172, 161-167.
- Salazar-Gutierrez, M.R., Johnson, J., Chaves, B., Hoogenboom, G. 2013. Relationship of Base Temperature to Development of Winter Wheat in the Southeastern US. The International Journal of Plant Production. 7 (4): 741-762
- Salazar, M.R., Hook. J. E., Garcia y Garcia, A., Paz, J.O., Chaves, B., Hoogenboom, G. 2012. Estimating Irrigation Water Use for Maize in the Southeastern USA: A Modeling Approach” Agricultural Water Management. 107:104-111
- López. M.A., Chaves, B., Flórez, R. V. J. Salazar, M. R. 2010. Modelo de aparición de nudos en clavel (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) cv. Delphi cultivado en sustratos. Node appearance model for substrate grown carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) cv. Delphi. Agronomía Colombiana. 28(1): 47-54
- Salazar, M.R., Jones, J.W., Chaves, B., Cooman, A., Fisher, G. 2008. Base temperature and simulation model for nodes appearance in Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana L.), Revista Brasilera de Fruticultura. 30 (4): 862-867
- Pulido, S., Bojaca, C., Salazar, M.R., Chaves, B. 2008. Node appearance model for Lulo (Solanum quitoense Lam.) in the high altitude tropics. Biosystems Engineering. 101(4): 383-387.
- Salazar, M.R., Jones, J.W., Chaves, B., Cooman, A. 2006. A model for the potential production and dry matter distribution of Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana L.).Scientia Horticulturae. 115 (2), 142-148.
- Carranza, C., Lanchero, O., Miranda, D., Salazar, M.R., Chaves, B. 2008. A simple simulation model of dry matter distribution in broccoli (Brassica sp.) variety Coronado and cabbage (Brassica oleracea) hibrid Delus cultivated in Bogotá plateau. Agronomía Colombiana 26, (1), 23-31.
- Salazar, M.R., Jones, J.W., Chaves-Cordoba, B., Cooman, A. 2006. A Simple Phenological and Potencial Production Model for Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana L). Acta Horticulturae, 718, 105-112
- Salazar, G.M.R., Lopez F. Y., Mosquera S. L. P., Riaño, H.N.M., Arcila, P.J. 1997. Characterization of photosynthetic activity of coffee (Coffea sp) fruits. Supplement of plant physiology, 14 (3):1109.
- Salazar, G.M.R., Chaves C.B., Riaño, H.N.M., Arcila, P.J., Jaramillo, R.A. 1994. Crecimiento del fruto de café C arabica L. Cenicafé (Chinchiná). Revista Cenicafe, 45 (2): 41-50.
- Salazar, G.M.R., Riaño, H.N.M., Arcila, P.J., Ponce, D.C.A. 1994. Estudio morfológico, anatómico y ultraestructural del fruto de café C arabica L. Cenicafé (Chinchiná). Revista Cenicafe, 45 (3):93-104.
- Salazar, G.M.R., Arcila, P.J., Riaño, H.N.M., Bustillo, P.A.E. 1993. Crecimiento y desarrollo del fruto de café y su relación con la broca. Cenicafé (Chinchiná). Avance Técnico. Nº 194 Septiembre.
- Salazar, G.M.R., Arcila, P.J., Riaño, H.N.M., Bustillo, P.A.E. 1994. Crecimiento y desarrollo del fruto de café y su relación con la broca. Revista Asocia. 2 (3).
Title: Effect of early spring temperature on apple and sweet cherry blooms – Tree Fruit Commission. Granted for 3 years (with Hoogenboom) 2012-2015
Proposal Date: 3/13/2014
V&E research internship
Title: Influence of Climate on Vine Grape Production
Total: $2000 (with Hoogenboom)
Title: Development of Apple Bloom Phenology and Fruit Growth Models. Granted for 3 years (with Hoogenboom et al) 2012-2015
Total: $ 237,500
Proposal Date: 10/17/2011
Award Date: 12/16/2011
Title: Crop and Rangeland Forecasting Platform. Review and Design Guidance
Total: $24.945 (with Hoogenboom)
Proposal Date: 1/31/2011
Award Date: 1/31/2012
Title: Predicting Key Phenological Stages for Grapevines. A Simple but Scientific Approach for Management and Site Selection. (with Hoogenboom et al)
Budget from 7/1/2012 to 6/30/2015
COLCIENCIAS (Colombia Science and Technology Institute), Fellowship Doctoral Program, 2004-2006
COLCIENCIAS (Colombia Science and Technology Institute) & CENICAFE (Scientific Research Program of the National Coffee Federation of Colombia), Fellowship Graduate Student, 1993 -1995
COLCIENCIAS (Colombia Science and Technology Institute) & CENICAFE (Scientific Research Program of the National Coffee Federation of Colombia), Fellowship undergraduate Student, 1991-1993
Assistant Research Professor, 2013- Present, Washington State University. Biological Systems Engineering Department – AgWeatherNet – Previous appointments with WSU include Post-doctoral Associate from August 2010 to Dec 2012 and Research Associate from January 2013 to Dec 2013.
My role at the AgWeathernet Program is mainly applied research that focuses on plant cold hardiness, winter hardiness acclimation, re-acclimation and de-acclimation of tree fruit and horticultural crops. Dormancy progression and low temperature response, phenology, plant growth and development in response to different environments, and crop modeling, computer modeling and simulation of agricultural and biological systems. My current projects are related with phenology of apples and grapes, cold hardiness of cherries and apples and crop modeling of tree fruit, grapes and wheat. My responsibilities inside the program include but are not limited to:
- Writing proposals and applying for grants
- Participate of several projects related with tree fruit, vine and concord grapes, and wheat
- Plan, design and analyze experiments in the field and in the lab including experiments under different environments to determine crop growth
- Use of growth chambers and lab experiments, collection of data in the field and analysis of data
- Mentoring graduate students
- Participate in meetings with growers and industry to identify their needs and plan projects as well as, writing project reports and give presentations inside and outside of the University in English and Spanish
Universidad de la Sabana, Engineering School. Chia-Colombia
Associate Professor- Head of Mathematics and Statistics
- I had Administrative, Teaching, Research, and Extension functions
- As a Head of Mathematics and Statistics my role was to provide leadership, motivation, and management toward the achievement of excellence in teaching, research, continuing education and service activities of the department as:
- Call and preside over all meetings of the department faculty and staff.
- Coordinate the recruitment of new faculty members.
- Developed syllabus and overall course structure, and administered all grades.
- Advise students and colleagues in the experimental design, analysis and data interpretation results from different research projects. I was also responsible to conduct research mainly in flowers and horticulture.
- The courses that I taught were Applied Statistics Methods I and II, experimental design, time series & forecasting tools at undergraduate and graduate level.
- Conference presentation in several academic events.
The University of Georgia, Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, GA
Postdoctoral Research Associate
My responsibility as a part of a project on Agricultural IrrigationWater Demand Forecast of the Major Crops in Georgia, was to applied the crop simulation models to do simulations for the irrigation requirements for maize, cotton, peanut and soybean, and fall and spring tomato in the Southeast of the U.S.A. This innovative application and results not only contribute to the advance of the use of models to estimate rural water use for growing crops but also to an instrument that can guide the farmers in doing appropriate use of water.
University of Florida Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, Gainesville, FL
Visiting Research Scientist
During my visit to the University of Florida I attended the course Agricultural Model Simulation and I developed a model of growth and development for a tropical fruit (Cape Gooseberry), finding different base temperatures for phenological stages of the plant as well as physiological parameters affecting growth responses from climate variables, also I apply a model based on Growing Degrees and Thermal time accumulation. This research was original, and was the base of my Ph.D. thesis.
Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas y Ambientales, Departamento de Planeación, Colombia
Statistics Coordinator-Lecturer Professor in Statistics
My role was to provide statistical advisor and support, including planning, experimental design, analysis and interpretation of results from research projects of professors and students. Teach basics of statistics to different programs including Medicine, Veterinary and Agronomy. Developed syllabus and overall course structure, and administered all grades.
IACR-Rothamsted, Plant Pathology and Biochemistry Department, Harpenden. England, UK.
Casual employment-Research Assistant
My responsibility was sampling plants from a winter linseed (Linium usitatissimum) field experiment and assessing the incidence of diseases on these plants in controlled environmental experiments on pasmo disease (Mycosphaerella linicola) on linseed. Maintained a Bukard spore sampler for monitoring concentrations of air-bone pathogen spores and identified and counted numbers of spores of different pathogenic species, which I collected. Part time research in Borage (Borago officinalis) doing P.C.R. and other preparations in the lab.
Universidad de Caldas, Medicine and Biology School, Colombia
Lecturer Professor in Applied Statistics
Teaching and develop a syllabus and overall course structure, and administered all grades.
Universidad Católica de Manizales, Microbiology-Bacteriology Program, Colombia
Lecturer Professor in Applied Statistics
Teaching and develop a syllabus and overall course structure, and administered all grades.
Statistical Advisor in Microbiological Research projects. Colombia.
The FNC´s National Coffee Research Center (Cenicafé)/Centro Nacional de Investigaciones de Café
My role was to model the growth and development of the coffee berry fruit using thermal time, as well as I did a detailed anatomy and physiology study of the coffee fruit tissues for different stages of development, using electronic microscopy this study was the base of my BS thesis. Also I participate in other projects related with photosynthesis and physiology of the coffee tree.
2007 Research and Modeling exotic fruits and horticultural crops. Uchuva, Cape gooseberry (Physalis peruviana L); Lulo (Solanum quitoenseL.);.Lettuce (Lactuca sativa); Cabbage (Brassica olearacea); Celery (Apium graveolens); Broccoli (Brasica sp.)var. Coronado at the Sabana de Bogota.
2006 Academic interchange. Universidad de Almeria Spain. Project “Clean production of Rose (Rosa sp) and Carbation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) with two subtrates in Bogota Plateau.
1996-1 Caldas Committee of Coffee Growers. Professional services. Statistical Analysis of National Census for Coffee growers. “Identification and characterization of homogenous groups of units of agricultural production coffee” “An application to the statistical multivariate analysis of the national survey coffee”.
1991/1994. Carried out experiments in coffee berry. Research assistant. Plant Physiology Department.
1990/1991 Limnology and ichthyology study of the high Cauca river basin and Salvajina dams. UNIVERSIDAD DEL CAUCA – Biology Program. CVC- UNICAUCA Popayán.
2015-16; see full CV for more
- Corydon Funk, Melba Salazar-Gutierrez, Bernardo Chaves, Rick Hamman, Bill Riley, Gerrit Hoogenboom. 2016. Climate and Relation to Quality. Poster Presented at WAWGG Conference 2016, Feb 9-11. Three Rivers Convention Center.
- Camargo, A, Héctor A, Salazar, G., Melba R., Hoogenboom, Gerrit. 2016. Predicting Key Phenological Stages for Grapevines. A Simple but Scientific Approach for Management and Site Selection. Poster Presented at WAWGG Conference 2016, Feb 9-11. Three Rivers Convention Center.
- Maria Jose Paternina, Melba R. Salazar, Rick Hamman. 2016, Is Cold Really Cold? and Warm, Really Warm? Poster Presented at WAWGG Conference 2016, Feb 9-11. Three Rivers Convention Center.
- Salazar, M.R. 2016. Fisiología Vegetal. Conference for Pesticides Credits – Re – certification course. Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), in partnership with Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and collaboration with the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries. February 2, 2016. Columbia Crest Winery, Hwy 221 Columbia Crest Drive, (178810 Hwy 221), Paterson, WA 99345
- Salazar, M.R. 2016. How to Get the Best Use of AgWeatherNet Tools for Better Decision Making. Wilbur-Ellis Grower Meeting, Yakima Convention Center. January 19 Spanish session.
- Salazar, M.R. 2016 Cuándo, Cómo, y Porqué usar las Ayudas de AgWeatherNet para Tomar Decisiones en la Huerta”. January 6. 2016 Eastern WA Ag Expo (formerly Pasco Real Ag Show) TRAC.Pasco.
- Salazar, M.R. 2016. Why we should care about plant stress and climate variability. Precision Farming Expo. January 7-8.Three Rivers Convention Center & Toyota Center Kennewick, WA
- Salazar, MR, 2015. Panelist: Agricultural Education Extension Models in Practice. U.S Land Grant University Colombia Dialogue 2015: “Alianzas para la Agricultura” Holiday Inn Express – Bogota, Colombia, December 9-12.
- Salazar, MR, 2015. Monitoreo de datos climáticos y modelación de cultivos en el Estado de Washington, USA. U.S Land Grant University Colombia Dialogue 2015: “Alianzas para la Agricultura” Holiday Inn Express – Bogota, Colombia, December 9-12
- Salazar, M.R. Chair Spanish Session.2015 Washington State Tree Fruit Association Annual Meeting, Dec, 7-9. Yakima, WA
- Salazar, M.R. Tree Fruit Thinning: Why, When and How / Raleo de frutos: Cómo, cuándo y porqué. , 2015. 111th Annual Meeting & NW Hort Expo. Washington State Tree Fruit Association, Dec, 7-9. Yakima, WA
- Wasko DeVetter L., Hoheisel G., Salazar, M.R. Determining Cold Hardiness in Washington Blueberry. Small Fruit Conference. December 2-4, 2015. Lynden, WA.
- Salazar, M.R. 2015. Monitoring Weather Data and Modeling Horticultural Crops in Washington State, Montpellier, Cirad Lavalette, bâtiment 3, salle 159, de 11h à 12h. France June 8- 2015.
- Salazar, MR. et al., 2015. Modeling phenology of apple. X International Symposium on Modelling in Fruit Research and Orchard Management. June 2 – June 5, 2015 Agropolis international, Avenue Agropolis Montpellier, France
- Salazar, MR. et al., 2015. Modeling Apple growing. X International Symposium on Modelling in Fruit Research and Orchard Management. June 2 – June 5, 2015 Agropolis international, Avenue Agropolis Montpellier, France
- Funk, C., Salazar, M., Chaves, B., Hoogenboom, G., Hamman, R., Riley, B. 2015. Climatic trends, bioclimatic indices and the relation to wine-grape harvest qualities.Past, Present, & Future Challenges to Natural & Managed Ecosystems Sagebrush, Salmon, & Syrah in a Non-stationary Environment. 86th Annual Meeting Northwest Scientific Association April 1-4, 2015 Columbia Basin College, Pasco, WA
- Peña, Q. A.J., Salazar, G. M.R., Hoogenboom, G. 2015. A Methodological Approach to Determine Flower Bud Vulnerability to Low Temperature during Early Spring. Past, Present, & Future Challenges to Natural & Managed Ecosystems Sagebrush, Salmon, & Syrah in a Non-stationary Environment. 86th Annual Meeting Northwest Scientific Association April 1-4, 2015 Columbia Basin College, Pasco, WA
- Castillo, O., Hoogenboom, G., Salazar, M,. Chaves, B., Loyd, N., Hill, S. 2015. Spatial Interpolation Approach Of Temperature Observations For The State Of Washington. Past, Present, & Future Challenges to Natural & Managed Ecosystems Sagebrush, Salmon, & Syrah in a Non-stationary Environment. 86th Annual Meeting Northwest Scientific Association April 1-4, 2015 Columbia Basin College, Pasco, WA
- Participant/attendant. Women in Agriculture Conference, Union Gap March 2015.
- Salazar, G., M.R. 2015. Tools to Help with Management and Control Strategies – AgWeatherNet Models Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Session: Focus on Viticulture – Presented in Spanish. 2015 Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers Annual Meeting, Convention, and Trade Show. February 10-13, 2015 Three Rivers Convention Center & Toyota Center Kennewick, WA