Dr. Gerardo Lopez, Sun’Agri, France

Gerardo Lopez is a research scientist with twenty years of experience in crop physiology of fruit trees and complementary experience in crop modelling and development of decision support tools. His scientific carrier has been developed in four locations: IRTA-Lleida (Spain), University of California, Davis (USA), University of Bologna (Italy), and INRAE-Montpellier (France). His major contribution to the field of horticulture was to understand the effects of environmental stresses (water stress, solar radiation and temperature) on fruit crop production and the quality of fruit. He also studied how to adapt horticultural practices under abiotic stress conditions, including irrigation, fruit thinning and net shading. During the last part of his carrier, he has been working in the private sector. At itk-Montpellier, France, to develop decision support tools for irrigation management in fruit trees and currently at the company Sun’Agri, with the challenge of protecting fruit trees from climate change using solar panels. Sun’Agri has developed a new technology consisting of mobile solar panels (dynamic agrivoltaic system) placed over the trees. The panels are monitored by artificial intelligence mixing algorithms, crops' growth models and in situ instrumentation. According to the crops' needs, mobile solar panels are oriented to provide protection against climate hazards (frost, hail, rainy storms, drought, and heat waves).