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Rachelle.Rehberg@colostate.edu

Room W002, Plant Science Building

Biography

Born and raised in Tri-Cities, WA, I grew up in the hot, dry desert lands of southeastern Washington. This however, did not stop my family from traveling to enjoy the many beautiful sights and activities Washington State has to offer. I am an avid skier and love going boating and camping. I also thoroughly enjoy collecting antiques, singing, and helping others.

Both my twin and I love math and science…a passion that led us to attend rival universities! I enjoyed developing my foundation of chemistry while at Washington State University in the quaint little town of Pullman. During my time at WSU I made many friendships, lasting memories, and become involved in organizations that have helped shape the woman I am today.

I thoroughly enjoy furthering my education and expanding on research opportunities in the Borch group here at Colorado State University! I am intrigued with combining my strength in analytical chemistry with my interests in agriculture, environmental science, and their applications. The Borch group provides me with opportunities to explore my interests and conduct research with an interdisciplinary team!

As a current fifth year PhD Candidate, I am excited to start applying my research skills and interests to a career in agriculture, water resource management, or environmental science.

Project Summary

Citrus Greening

Citrus greening, or Huanglongbing (HLB) disease, causes citrus trees to produce smaller, green-colored oranges that often fall off the tree. Infected trees also show symptoms in their leaves and weakened root systems. There is no cure for citrus greening, thus many infected groves are often abandoned. Infected psyllid insects spread HLB disease to the trees while sucking on their leaves.

Our interdisciplinary team here at CSU strives to determine the best management strategies to establish a sustainable citrus production. Our team is investigating soil and crop health, as well as pesticide applications and efficacy.  This includes studying nutrient leaching into ground water, microbial communities, management practices, irrigation water quality, development of agricultural and water quality sensors and their impacts on not only citrus greening disease and citrus production, but the greater impact for the agricultural community.

My research focuses on developing analytical methods to quantify the spatial distribution of pesticides as well as developing cheap sorbents for characterization of pesticide fate and transport within the citrus groves in Florida. I am currently investigating the effectiveness of various pesticide application methods to kill psyllids. This involves performing psyllid inspections before and after pesticide application. We are interested in analyzing sorbent, leaf, soil and water samples to assess pesticide concentrations and degradation over time in real field conditions. This will elucidate transformation kinetics and degradation pathways of pesticides applied by ground sprayers and airplanes to the citrus groves. Lastly, we will determine pesticide resistance and efficacy within groves impacted by citrus greening disease.

This information will not only be critical for orange groves to develop better management strategies for battling this disease, but critical to other growers in the agricultural community and agencies involved with water resource management and the environment.

 

For more details about the research conducted in the Borch group please click here.

Recent Publications

Rehberg, R., Trivedi, P., Bahureksa, W., Sharp, J., Stokes, S., Menger, R., Borch, T. “Quantification of insecticide application efficiency and Asian citrus psyllid death within a citrus greening disease infected grove.” submitted to Pest Management Science, under peer review. 2020

Rehberg, R., Trivedi, P., Stokes, S., Borch, T. “Quantification of insecticide degradation and  Asian citrus psyllid death in a citrus greening disease infected grove.” (In Progress)

Menger, R.F., Rehberg, R., Trivedi, P., Henry, C.S., Borch, T. “Spatial distribution of insecticides using a fluorescent surrogate and low-cost imaging methods for management of citrus greening disease” submitted to Pest Management Science, under peer review. 2020.

Shariq, L., McLaughlin M., Rehberg R., Miller, H., Blotevogel J., Borch T. “Irrigation of wheat with selected hydraulic fracturing chemicals: evaluating plant uptake and growth impacts.”  submitted to Environmental Pollution, under peer review. 2020.

For more publications in the Borch group please click here.

Collaborators

Cutrale Citrus Juices, USA Inc

Dr. Pankaj Trivedi, Colorado State University

Dr. Paul Ode, Colorado State University

Dr. Chuck Henry, Colorado State University

Dr. Kim Hageman, Utah State University

Previous Institutions

Graduate: PhD Candidate, Colorado State University

Undergraduate: B.S. Chemistry, Washington State University

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