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Title: Modelling and multivariate data analysis of agricultural systems
Author: Lawal, Najib
ISNI:       0000 0004 5369 9484
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2015
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The broader research area investigated during this programme was conceived from a goal to contribute towards solving the challenge of food security in the 21st century through the reduction of crop loss and minimisation of fungicide use. This is aimed to be achieved through the introduction of an empirical approach to agricultural disease monitoring. In line with this, the SYIELD project, initiated by a consortium involving University of Manchester and Syngenta, among others, proposed a novel biosensor design that can electrochemically detect viable airborne pathogens by exploiting the biology of plant-pathogen interaction. This approach offers improvement on the inefficient and largely experimental methods currently used. Within this context, this PhD focused on the adoption of multidisciplinary methods to address three key objectives that are central to the success of the SYIELD project: local spore ingress near canopies, the evaluation of a suitable model that can describe spore transport, and multivariate analysis of the potential monitoring network built from these biosensors. The local transport of spores was first investigated by carrying out a field trial experiment at Rothamsted Research UK in order to investigate spore ingress in OSR canopies, generate reliable data for testing the prototype biosensor, and evaluate a trajectory model. During the experiment, spores were air-sampled and quantified using established manual detection methods. Results showed that the manual methods, such as colourimetric detection are more sensitive than the proposed biosensor, suggesting the proxy measurement mechanism used by the biosensor may not be reliable in live deployments where spores are likely to be contaminated by impurities and other inhibitors of oxalic acid production. Spores quantified using the more reliable quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction proved informative and provided novel of data of high experimental value. The dispersal of this data was found to fit a power decay law, a finding that is consistent with experiments in other crops. In the second area investigated, a 3D backward Lagrangian Stochastic model was parameterised and evaluated with the field trial data. The bLS model, parameterised with Monin-Obukhov Similarity Theory (MOST) variables showed good agreement with experimental data and compared favourably in terms of performance statistics with a recent application of an LS model in a maize canopy. Results obtained from the model were found to be more accurate above the canopy than below it. This was attributed to a higher error during initialisation of release velocities below the canopy. Overall, the bLS model performed well and demonstrated suitability for adoption in estimating above-canopy spore concentration profiles which can further be used for designing efficient deployment strategies. The final area of focus was the monitoring of a potential biosensor network. A novel framework based on Multivariate Statistical Process Control concepts was proposed and applied to data from a pollution-monitoring network. The main limitation of traditional MSPC in spatial data applications was identified as a lack of spatial awareness by the PCA model when considering correlation breakdowns caused by an incoming erroneous observation. This resulted in misclassification of healthy measurements as erroneous. The proposed Kriging-augmented MSPC approach was able to incorporate this capability and significantly reduce the number of false alarms.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Syngenta
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Kriging, backward Stochastic Lagrangian Models, Multivariate Statistical Process Control, Fault Detection, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Biosensors