Professor Dick was invited to broaden the MVPB conference relative to the research he has led over the last 15 years in Senegal on rhizosphere microbiology and hydrology. At the GRC, Dick presented research of his team, who discovered that certain native shrub species perform hydraulic lift of water, while co-existing with crops. The phenomena of hydraulic lift, it turns out, is important in promoting microbial diversity/benefits, driving biogeochemical processes, improving crop water relations (a critical finding for the semi-arid Sahel), and ultimately increasing crop productivity.
The GRC is internationally known for its focused forum at the frontiers of basic science; notably James Watson and Francis Crick, who solved the structure of DNA in the 1950s, were GRC participants. The GRC brings together diverse disciplines that enable discussions among scientists who do not normally interact and to stimulate new directions for research. At the conference, Dick had the opportunity to interact with plant physiologists, and associated with hydrology and atmospheric scientists.
Source: Richard Dick