Isaya Kisekka

Isaya Kisekka

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Land, Air and Water Resources
Biological and Agricultural Engineering


Kisekka is an assistant professor who holds a joint appointment in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources and in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. He specializes in water management and irrigation engineering. Kisekka completed his Ph.D. in agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Florida and served on the faculty at Kansas State University before joining the UC Davis faculty in 2017.

Research interests:

Agricultural water management, irrigation engineering, agricultural hydrology, crop modeling and decision support, modeling of evapotranspiration and soil water measurement

Brief overview:

Without irrigation, highly productive agriculture and food production would not be possible in many parts of the world, including California. However, population growth, environmental needs, along with a changing climate are putting pressure on agriculture to optimize water use.

My research focuses on developing management strategies and technologies to help farmers optimize water productivity and profitability while exerting minimum impact on the environment. I am interested in developing precision irrigation management technologies. These include variable rate irrigation application systems (microirrigation and sprinkler irrigation), soil and plant water status sensing systems, simulation models and decision support systems for various crops. I also study the effect of irrigation management on nutrient use efficiency.

I conduct field measurements and modeling of key hydrologic processes that include  evapotranspiration, soil water storage and movement. These are important for understanding and managing the impact of irrigation on water quantity and quality in groundwater aquifers and surface water bodies. Lastly, I am interested in wastewater reuse as an alternative water supply for irrigation.

Current projects:

  • Optimizing site specific irrigation scheduling in almonds
  • Developing alfalfa and corn silage production functions
  • Optimizing irrigation and fertilization of processing tomatoes under subsurface drip irrigation
  • Developing a decision support tool for predicting alfalfa yield and quality
  • Ogallala Water Coordinated Agriculture Project