To apply systems thinking to the sugarcane production value chain to identify opportunities for improved efficiencies, to drive more profitable sugarcane production by sugarcane growers and other industry stakeholders; by developing and applying models of sugarcane crop growth, pest risk and other aspects to explore strategic research questions across a range of themes, including crop physiology, pest impacts, yield dynamics and climate change, at scales ranging from individual fields to the whole industry.
• Sugarcane model development
• Sugarcane model application
• Decision Support Program development
• Data analytics and visualisation with R
• Software development/prototyping using Fortran and R
• Data management
• Understanding and predicting genotypic, environmental and genotype-by-environment interaction effects on simple and complex phenotypes using crop growth simulation models.
• Modelling of pest damage risk.
• Assessment of climate change impacts and exploration of adaptation strategies.
• Improving data infrastructure for more accurate point-to-region upscaling studies supporting “big data” analytics for improving sugarcane production efficiencies in the South African sugar industry.
• Sugarcane production and yield dynamics in the South African sugar industry.
• Production of bio-ethanol and cogeneration of electricity from sugarcane.
Jones, M. R., Singels, A., Chinorumba, S., Poser, C., Christina, M., Shine, J., Annandale, J., & Hammer, G. L. (2021). Evaluating process-based sugarcane models for simulating genotypic and environmental effects observed in an international dataset. Field Crops Research, 260(April 2020), 107983. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2020.107983
Jones, M. R., Singels, A., Chinorumba, S., Patton, A., Poser, C., Singh, M., Martiné, J. F., Christina, M., Shine, J., Annandale, J., & Hammer, G. (2019). Exploring process-level genotypic and environmental effects on sugarcane yield using an international experimental dataset. Field Crops Research, 244. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2019.107622
Jones, M. R., & Singels, A. (2018). Refining the Canegro model for improved simulation of climate change impacts on sugarcane. European Journal of Agronomy. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eja.2017.12.009
Jones, M. R., & Singels, A. (2015). Analysing yield trends in the South African sugar industry. Agricultural Systems, 141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2015.09.004
Jones, M. R., Singels, A., & Ruane, A. C. (2015). Simulated impacts of climate change on water use and yield of irrigated sugarcane in South Africa. Agricultural Systems, 139, 260–270. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agsy.2015.07.007
Jones, M. R., & Singels, A. (2014). A preliminary assessment of mid-century climate change impacts on sugarcane production in South Africa. Proceedings of the Annual Congress – South African Sugar Technologists’ Association, No.87, 290–297.
Jones, M. R. (2013). Incorporating the Canegro sugarcane model into the DSSAT v4 Cropping System Model framework. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.
Jones, M., Porter, C., Jones, J. W., Hoogenboom, G., Singels, A., Shine, J., Nayamuth, R., Kingston, G., Chinorumba, S., & Berg, M. van den. (2007). Incorporating the Canegro sugarcane model into the DSSAT V4 crop modelling system. In XXVI Congress, International Society of Sugar Cane Technologists, ICC, Durban, South Africa, 29 July – 2 August, 2007 (pp. 438–443). International Society Sugar Cane Technologists (ISSCT).
Singels, A., van den Berg, M., Smit, M. A., Jones, M. R., & van Antwerpen, R. (2010). Modelling water uptake, growth and sucrose accumulation of sugarcane subjected to water stress. Field Crops Research, 117(1), 59–69. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2010.02.003
- MSc Agrometeorology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermartizburg.
- BSc (Hons) Computer Science, University of Natal, Durban.
- B.Sc Computer Science & Economics, University of Natal, Durban.
Currently registered for a Ph.D in Agronomy, University of Pretoria, supervised by Abraham Singels (UP), John Annandale (UP) and Graeme Hammer (UQ).