Diaa Elshikha

Assistant Professor, Biosystems Engineering

Assistant Specialist, Biosystems Engineering

Member of the Graduate Faculty

I am an Assistant professor and Irrigation Specialist in the Biosystems Engineering Department at University of Arizona. I am stationed at the University of Arizona Maricopa Agricultural Center. I have a Ph.D. degree in Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering from the University of Arizona. I worked as a research scientist for the University of Arizona and the USDA ARS Arid Land Agricultural Research Center from 2012 to August 2022. I conducted research in guayule irrigation methods and remote sensing of crop water status, as well as assisted in irrigation research projects in wheat and cotton.   My extension program prioritizes the implementation of high-efficiency irrigation systems, the optimization of all irrigation methods, the use of remote sensing and in-situ soil sensors to monitor crop water status, and the improvement of water application to maximize efficiency. Additionally, it involves the implementation of irrigation scheduling techniques and models, as well as the promotion of low water use crops, such as guayule. I am eager to collaborate with growers across all sections of the state of Arizona to optimize irrigation practices to suit the diverse range of crops in the state. The focus of my experiments is on reducing water use and enhancing water productivity in various crops through the adoption of more efficient irrigation systems and water-saving approaches. Degrees PhD (Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering – The University of Arizona) MSc (Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering – The University of Arizona) BSc (Agricultural Engineering – Mansoura University, Egypt) Work Experience University of Arizona (2015 – Ongoing) USDA-The Arid Land Agricultural Research Center (2013 – 2015) Mansoura University, Egypt (2008 – 2013) University of Arizona (2005 – 2008) Mansoura University (2003 – 2005) Peer-Reviewed publications Chen, Y., D. A, Dierig, G. Wang, M. Elshikha, D. T. Ray, A. Barberán, R. M. Maier, J. W. Neilson, 2023. Identifying critical microbes in guayule-microbe and microbe-microbe associations. Plant and soil https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-023-06269-z. Orr, E., R. Masson, D. Sanyal, and D. M. Elshikha, 2023. Surviving these drying times: The role of a desert agricultural extension agent in helping farmers face drought. Journal of the NACAA 16 (2), ISSN 2158-9459. Katterman, M. E., P. M. Waller, M. Elshikha, G. W. Wall, D. J. Hunsaker, R. S., Loeffler, K. L. Ogden, 2023. WINDS Model Simulation of Guayule Irrigation. Water 15 (19), 3500. Elshikha, D. M., P. M. Waller, D. J., Hunsaker, K. R. Thorp, G. Wang, D. Dierig, G. Wang, V. M. V. Cruz, S. Attalah, M. E. Katterman, C. Williams, D. T. Ray, R. Norton, E. Orr, G. W. Wall, K. Ogden. 2023. Water Use, Growth, and Yield of Ratooned Guayule under Subsurface Drip and Furrow Irrigation in the US Southwest Desert. Water 15 (19), 3412. Maqsood, H., D. J. Hunsaker, P. Waller, K. R. Thorp, A. French, M. Elshikha, R. S., Loeffler, 2023. WINDS Model Demonstration with Field Data from a Furrow-Irrigated Cotton Experiment. Water 15 (8), 1544. Elshikha, D. M., G. Wang, P. M. Waller, D. J., Hunsaker, D. Dierig, K. R. Thorp, A. L. Thompson, M. E. Katterman, M. T. Herritt, E. Bautista, D. T. Ray, G. W. Wall, 2022. Guayule growth and yield responses to deficit irrigation strategies in the U. S. desert. Agric. Water Manag. 277, 108093. Elshikha, D. M., D. J., Hunsaker, P. M. Waller, K. R. Thorp, D. Dierig, G. Wang, V. M. C Cruz, M. E. Katterman, K. F., Bronson, G. W. Wall, A. L. Thompson. 2022. Estimation of direct-seeded guayule cover, crop coefficient, and yield using UAS-based multispectral and RGB data. Agric. Water Manag. 265, 107540. Thorp, K. R., S. Calleja, D. Pauli, A. L. Thompson and M. Elshikha. 2022. Agronomic outcomes of precision irrigation management technologies with varying complexity. Journal of the ASABE 65(1), 135-150. Guangyao Wang, M. Elshikha, M. E. Katterman, T. Sullivan, S. Dittmar, V. M. V. Cruz, D. J. Hunsaker, P. M. Waller, D. T. Ray, D. A. Dierig. 2021. Irrigation effects on seasonal growth and rubber production of direct-seeded guayule. Ind. Crops Prod. 177, 114442. Elshikha, D. M., D. J., Hunsaker, P. M. Waller, K. R. Thorp, D. Dierig, G. Wang, V. M. C Cruz, M. E. Katterman, K. F., Bronson, G. W. Wall. 2021. Growth, water use, and crop coefficients of direct-seeded guayule with furrow and subsurface drip irrigation in Arizona. Ind. Crops Prod. 170, 113819. Pugh, N. C., K. R. Thorp, E. M. Gonzalez, M. Elshikha. 2021. Comparison of image georeferencing strategies for agricultural applications of small unoccupied aircraft systems. The Plant Phenome J. 4(1), e20026. Bronson, K. F., D. J. Hunsaker, M., Elshikha, S. M. Rockholt, C., F., Williams, D. Rasutis, K. Soratana, R. T., Venterea. 2021. Nitrous oxide emissions, N uptake, biomass, and rubber yield in N-fertilized, surface-irrigated guayule. Ind. Crops Prod. 167, 113561. Alison L. Thompson, K. R. Thorp, Matthew M. Conley, M. Elshikha, Andrew French, Pedro Andrade-Sanchez and Duke Pauli. 2019. Comparing nadir and multi-angle view sensor technologies for measuring in-field plant height of upland cotton. Remote sensing 11(6), 700 (doi:10.3390/rs11060700). Hunsaker, D. J., M. Elshikha and K. F. Bronson. 2019. High guayule rubber production with subsurface drip irrigation in the US desert Southwest. Agric. Water Manag. 220, 1-12. Nelson, A. D., G. Ponciano, C. McMahan, D. C. Ilut, N. A. Pugh, M. Elshikha, D. J. Hunsaker and D. Pauli. 2019. Transcriptomic and evolutionary analysis of the mechanisms by which P. argentatum, a rubber producing perennial, responds to drought. BMC Plant Biology 19, 494. Hunsaker, D. J. and M. Elshikha. 2017. Surface irrigation management for guayule rubber production in the US desert South. Agric. Water Manag. 185, 43-57. Eranki, P. L., M. El-Shikha, D. J. Hunsaker, K. F. Bronson and A. E. Landis. 2017. A comparative life cycle assessment of flood and drip irrigation for guayule rubber production using experimental field data. Industrial Crops and Products 99, 97-108. El Sheikha, A. M., R. A. Hegazy, M. Elshikha. 2012. Design and Impact of Using Trickle Irrigation System for Greenhouses in Delta Region in Egypt. Misr J. Ag. Eng. 29(3), 1031-1046. Elshikha, D. M., A. M. El-Ghamry and A. M. Elshikha. 2012. Determining surface soil moisture status using digital image analysis. 2012. Misr Journal of Agricultural Engineer. Misr J. Ag. Eng. 29(3), 1047-1061. Hunsaker, D. J., N. French, T. R. Clarke, D. M. Elshikha. 2011. Water use, crop coefficients, and irrigation management criteria for camelina production in arid regions. Irrigation Science 29 (1), 27-43. Hunsaker, D. J., M. Elshikha, T. R. Clarke, A. N. French, K. Thorp. 2009. Using ESAP software for predicting the spatial distributions of NDVI and transpiration of cotton 96 (9), 1293-1304. Elshikha, D. M. E., E. M. Barnes, T. R. Clarke, D. J. Hunsaker, J. A. Haberland, P. J. Pinter Jr., P. M. Waller, T. L. Thompson. 2008. Remote sensing of cotton nitrogen Status Using the Canopy Chlorophyll Content Index (CCCI). Transactions of the ASABE 51(1), 73-82. Elshikha, D. M., P. Waller, T. Clarke, D. Hunsaker and E. Barnes. 2007. Ground-based remote sensing for assessing water and nitrogen status of broccoli. Agricultural water management 92, 183-193. El-Hindi, K. M., M. Elshikha and A. M. El-Ghamry. 2006. Response of Cineraria plant to water stress and compost sources under drip irrigation system. J. Agric. Sci. Mansoura Univ. 31 (5), 3129-3146. El-Ghamry, A. M., and M. Elshikha. 2004. Effects of different irrigation systems and nitrogen fertilizer sources on potato growth and yield. J. Agric. Sci. Mansoura Univ. 29 (11), 6393-6410.

Offering Research Opportunities?


Prerequisite Courses


Majors Considered

Biosystems Engineering department

Types of Opportunities

Description of Opportunity

No description given

Start Date

August 2023

End Date

May 2024

Primary Department

Affiliated Departments

Research Location