Modeling, control and optimization of agricultural and environmental systems.

Sensing, and in particular mid-infrared spectroscopy and hyperspectral imaging.

Academic degrees

2000 – Ph.D.    Failure detection and isolation in greenhouses. Faculty of Agricultural Engineering. Technion-IIT, Haifa, Israel

1995 – M.Sc.   Simultaneous CO2 enrichment and ventilation of greenhouses. Faculty of Agricultural Engineering. Technion-IIT, Haifa, Israel

1990 – Diplôme d’Ingénieur Civil.   Faculty of Electro-Mechanical Engineering. Brussels Free University.

Completed Theses (Ph.D.)


  • Jamal, A. A framework for improving the predictions of crop growth models using real-time measurements.
  • Orlova, Y. Non-destructive optical measurements for in-situ investigation of “Golden Delicious” apple development from petal fall till the end of June drop. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Spektor, B.).


  • Rinot, O. Improved prediction of nitrogen mineralization processes in soils. (PA: Shaviv, A.; SA: Linker, R.).
  • Tardi-Ovadia, R. Development of a method for detection and identification of the phyto-pathogens Helminthosporium solani and Colletotrichum coccodes on Solanum tuberosum. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Tsror, L. (Agricultural Research Organization)).


  • Kira, O. Monitoring of aerosols by open-path FTIR. (PA: Linker, R; SA: Dubowski, Y.).


  • Bamberger, E. Combined use of ERT and vadoze zone flow modeling for improved estimation of soil water content. PA: Linker, R; SA: Furman, A.).


  • Segal-Rozenhaimer, M. Environmental fate of semivolatile pesticides in the atmosphere: Implementation of FTIR techniques in the investigation of heterogeneous reactions. (PA: Dubowski, Y.; SA: Linker, R.).


  • Segal, Y. Qualitative and quantitative analysis of organic fouling of ultrafiltration membranes for wastewater treatment. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Dosoretz, C.).


Thesis in Progress (Ph. D.)

  • Wienman, A. Remote sensing and data assimilation in crop models (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Rozenstein, O. (Agricultural Research Organization)). Expected graduation: July 2024.


Completed Theses (M.Sc.)


Dagan, A. Canopy nitrogen content prediction based on fusion of UAVs and satellites multi-spectral images in citrus orchards (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Paz-Kogan, T. (Agricultural Research Organization)).


Nacson, T. Calibration of the DSSAT-CROPGRO tomato model using data from unmanned aerial vehicle multispectral imagery (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Rozenstein, O. (Agricultural Research Organization)).


  • Shaked, B. Development of a model for estimating the effective transmission of wireless communication in a cotton field (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Alchanati, V. (Agricultural Research Organization)).


  • Gnoyanic, A. Apple detection and counting in a single image.
  • Termin, D. Site-specific nitrogen management in citrus orchard to minimize nitrogen pollution (PA: Linker, R.; SA: T. Paz-Kagan (Agriculture Research Organization)).


  • Edlerman, E. Autonomous multi-robot system for use in vineyards and orchards.
  • Gips, E. A quality wine making oriented dynamic model of the growth of Vitis Vinifera.
  • Stein, Y. Stability control of a two-wheeled vehicle.


  • Levavi, I. (Haifa Univ.).  Sensors-based irrigation of greenhouse tomatoes (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Greenbaum, N. (Haifa Univ.)).


  • Jamal, A. Utilizing probabilistic weather forecasting for optimal irrigation scheduling. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Housh, M. (Haifa Univ.)).
  • Herrmann, S. Leakage-induced pipeline stressing. (PA: Klar, A.; SA: Linker, R.).


  • Dekel-Ben Yaakov, V. Stress detection in plants by thermic hyperspectral sensor SPECIM LWIR. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Alchantis, V. (Agriculture Research Organization).


  • Dromi, I. Detection of underground spaces using BOTDR (PA: Klar, A.; SA: Linker, R.).
  • Nachum, M. Trajectory planning and guidance of a robotic arm for tree pruning. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Gutman, S.).
  • Nir, O. Modeling of tree structure using robotic arm for pruning.
  • Shaked, M. Combination of coarse and fine visual servoing control for a polar precision sprayer.
  • Tune, M. BOTDR based system for automated detection of sinkhole formation. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Klar, A.)


  • Alony, A. Imaging of spatial and temporal bio-chemical variations in the rhizosphere zone by laser induced auto-fluorescence.
  • Kira, O. New measuring method combining FTIR-ATR spectroscopy and stable isotopes to investigate the kinetics of nitrogen transformations in soils. (PA: Linker, R; SA: Shaviv, A.).
  • Lousky, M. Integration of a plant model in a greenhouse decision support system.


  • Hammami, H. Detection of defects and diseases in citrus and mango fruits based on hyperspectral imaging system.
  • Orlova, Y. Investigation of eggshell crack propagation and eggshell strength parameters. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Spektor, B.).


  • Agmail, W. MIMO control of temperature and humidity inside greenhouses cooled by fogging systems. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Arbel, A. (Agricultural Research Organization)).
  • Elkabetz, M. Fusion of non-destructive methods for quality assessment of apples. (PA: Shmulevich, I.; SA: Linker, R.).
  • Kushnir, V. Development of an artificial vision system for real-time estimation of cow breathing rate.
  • Nenner, U. Control of single track robotic vehicle. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Gutman, P.O.).


  • Blass, T. Navigation algorithm for autonomous vehicle operating in orchards. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Shmulevich, I.).
  • Scholnik, R. Shrouded turbine control in ‘Energy Tower’. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Guetta, R.).


  • Borenstein A. Direct determination of nitrate in agricultural soils using FTIR/ATR spectroscopy. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Shaviv, A.).
  • Wiener, M. Reduction of soil interference in the direct-determination of nitrate by ATR-FTIR spectroscopy. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Shaviv, A.).


  • David-Horowitz V. Assessment of fruit mealiness. (PA: Shmulevich, I.; SA: Linker, R.).


Theses in Progress (M. Sc.)

Ochieng, E. Development of an ARIMA model for drought prediction using SPEI index at multiple timescales. Expected graduation: Nov. 2024

Ouzana, N. Model-based optimization of irrigation water allocation at the watershed scale. (PA: Linker, R.; SA: Kisekka, I. (UC Davis, USA). Expected graduation: Nov. 2024

Selected research projects

  1. 2022. Novel approach for precise irrigation and fertilization recommendations via data assimilation of proximal and remote sensing data in mechanistic models of field crops. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 705,000 NIS. Rozenstein, O. and Linker, R.
  2. 2019. Advanced framework for optimizing irrigation management and improving resource use efficiency. Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD). $304,000. Linker, R. and Kisekka, I.
  3. 2019. Deep learning of complementary ensemble of sporadic input maps. Israel Ministry of Science and Technology. 1,500,000 NIS. Shir, O., Linker, R., Chen, A.
  4. 2018. Development of a DSS for apple trees thinning based on precision agriculture principles. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 450,000 NIS. Alchanati, V., Linker, R., Crain, O., Stern, R., Bar Hillel, A. and Naor, A.
  5. 2017. Development of a computer vision system for detecting signs of fire blight caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora in pear trees. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 464,000 NIS. Linker, R. and Dafny, M.
  6. 2016. Precision agriculture: Development of systems for improving use of resources in the field. Israel Ministry of Economy and Industry (Kandel Programme). 11,000,000 NIS. Consortium with 19 partners.
  7. 2014. Development of a DSS for apple trees thinning based on precision agriculture principles. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 430,000 NIS. V. Alchanati, Y. Cohen, R. Linker, M. Feishman, A. Samach, O. Crain, R. Stern, M. Goldwyn and A. Naor.
  8. 2012. Atmospheric degradation and transport of pesticides and their by-products at the agro-urban interface. Israel Science Foundation. 680,000 NIS. Dubowski Y. and Linker R.
  9. 2012. Improving nitrogen availability indicators by emphasizing correlations between gross nitrogen mineralization and the quality and quantity of labile soil organic matter fraction. Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD). $310,000. Castellano M. J., Shaviv A., Linker R., Liebman, M.
  10. 2012. Flexible and precIse irriGation plAtform to improve faRm scale water prOductivity (FIGARO). European Union (FP7 Programme). 8,000,000 Euros. Consortium with 17 partners.
  11. 2011. Using open-path FTIR for real-time detection of toxic gases and aerosols in the outdoor environment. Technion Fund for Security Research. 130,000 NIS. Linker R. and Dubowski Y.
  12. 2010. Development of a multi-manipulator robotic system for automation and reducing of manpower in agriculture. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 1,100,000 NIS. Shmulevich I., Zion, B., Bechar, A., Linker, R., Rubinstein, D., Franco, Y., Berenstein, R., Hoffman, R., Regev, R., Grinshpon, Y., Rozenfeld, L., Roni, A., Shimshon, O. and Schmilovitch, Z.
  13. 2010. Source partitioning of N pathways in soil to quantify N2O/NO emissions by integrated isotope, FTIR spectroscopy and molecular biology methods. Binational Science Foundation (BSF). $152,000. Shaviv, A., Myrold, D., Dubowski, Y., Linker, R. and Bottomley, P. J.
  14. 2010. Human-robot integrated system for tree pruning and shaping. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 930,000 NIS. Linker, R., Bechar, A., Schmilovitch, Z., Shmulevich I. and Greenblat, Y.
  15. 2010. Advanced Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy for identification of phytopatogens. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 410,000 NIS. Linker, R. and Tsror, L.
  16. 2010. Real-time monitoring of N-species isotopologues by FTIR spectroscopy: A novel tool to investigate short-term isotopic dynamics and N2O formation in soil. Niedersachsen Cooperation Programme. 108,000 Euros. Linker, R., Wrage, N., Avrahami, S., Well, R., Flessa, H. and Shaviv, A.
  17. 2009. Use of the internet to improve control and management of greenhouses. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 300,000 NIS. Teitel M., Hezroni A., Tanay Y., Linker R., Barak M., Antler A. and Yehezkel H.
  18. 2008. Robotic system for automated spraying and pollination of tree canopies. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Chief Scientist). 360,000 NIS. Shmulevich, I., Gan-Mor, S., Linker, R.
  19. 2008. Development of sinkholes detection system using BOTDR. Israeli Ministry of Infrastructure. 50,000 NIS. Klar A., Linker R.
  20. 2008. Enhanced climate control of semi-arid and arid greenhouses equipped with fogging systems. Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund (BARD). $305,000. Linker R., Kacira M., Arbel A., Kubota C., Giacomelli G.
  21. 2006. Development of an imaging system for early estimation of apple orchard yield. Israel Ministry of Science and Technology. 240,000 NIS. Naor A., Linker R., Alchanatis, V
  22. 2005. Measurement of milk quality in milking line using FTIR spectroscopy in the mid-infrared range. Israel Ministry of Agriculture (Cattle Division). 100,000 NIS. Linker R., Shmulevich I.