Michael O'Neill

Image of Michael ONeill
  • Title: Professor of Agronomy and former Jose Fernandez Memorial Chair in Crop Production Jose Fernandez Chair

  • Research Area: Agronomy, Agroforestry, Biofuels, Hybrid Poplar, Oilseeds

  • Office Location: Agricultural Science Center - Farmington (https://farmingtonsc.nmsu.edu)

  • Email Address: moneill@nmsu.edu

  • Office Phone: (505) 960-7757

  • Office Fax: (505) 960-5246

Career interests and profile:

  • Agroforestry, agronomy, crop physiology, crop introduction, agricultural research, microirrigation, natural resources management for the semi-arid high plateau of north-western New Mexico and surrounding areas. Collaborative links with international agricultural research institutes, universities, development organizations, agribusiness and/or consulting firms.

  • Superintendent with overall responsibility for management of a 250-acre agricultural research facility situated in the high desert of northwestern New Mexico;

  • Research encompass the judicious use of water through microirrigation in semi-arid environments; hybrid poplar introductions into the region; variety trials for state and national testing programs;

  • Over 20 years of international agricultural research and development experience, primarily in Africa (Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Kenya), and India;

  • Team leader for three projects in the coffee-based land use system of Embu, Kenya including the National Agroforestry Research Project (NAFRP), the African Highlands Initiative (AHI), and the Systemwide Livestock Project (SLP);

  • Senior Agronomist in Kenya and Niger leading research and dissemination efforts in mixed, small-holder farming systems;

  • Designed, implemented and analyzed irrigated and dryland agronomic trials in semi-arid Arizona and Sahelian West Africa;

  • Solid knowledge base of the interactions between crops, livestock, and trees and their productivity within prevailing climatic parameters;

  • Management of, and participation in, interdisciplinary, multi-cultural, multi-lingual teams operating within national agricultural research systems (NARS) in collaboration with international agricultural research centers (IARC), universities, national extension programs, and non-governmental organizations;

  • Management of on-station and on-farm nurseries for the production of a diverse range of tree species used in agroforestry research and dissemination;

  • Strong analytical skills necessary for on-station/on-farm research and dissemination;

  • Excellent association with donor community and solid knowledge of proposal development and project monitoring processes;

  • Firm grasp of computer software and literate in: Microsoft Office (i.e. MS Word, MS Excel, MS PowerPoint, MS Access), Genstat, SPSS, Corel DRAW, Corel PhotoPaint, ArcView, and Email communication;

  • Advisor for post-graduate students 20 at the MS level and 10 at the Ph.D. level.

Employment history:

  • Professor July 2010 - Present: New Mexico State University

  • Associate Professor and Superintendent July 2005 - June 2010: New Mexico State University

  • Assistant Professor and Superintendent 1999 - 2005: New Mexico State University

  • Senior Scientist Agronomist/Agroforester 1991 - 1999: International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF)

  • Assistant Professor Agronomist 1989 - 1991: University of Missouri

  • Senior Agronomist 1985 - 1989: Development Alternatives, Inc.

  • International Intern 1982 1984: International Crop Research Institute for the semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT)

  • Graduate Research Associate 1979 - 1982: University of Arizona

  • Graduate Research Assistant 1977 - 1979: University of Arizona

  • Research Assistant 1976 - 1977: University of Arizona, Agricultural Research Station, Yuma, AZ

  • Peace Corps Volunteer 1971 - 1974: Ghana and Burkina Faso, West Africa


  • Ph.D. Agronomy and Plant Genetics 1979 - 1982 University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

  • M.S. Soil and Water Science 1977 - 1979 University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

  • Diploma Social Ecology 6/75 - 8/75 Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont

  • B.S. Biology/Chemistry 1966 - 1971 Concordia University, Montreal, Canada


  • English Excellent written and spoken capabilities (Mother tongue)

  • French Written and spoken capabilities

Societies and clubs

  • Member: Western Regional Research Project - W1128, Reducing Barriers to Adoption of Microirrigation 2000 - Present

  • Member: Soil and Water Conservation Society 1995 - Present

  • Member: World Association of Soil and Water Conservation 1995 - Present

  • Adviser: International Foundation for Science 1994 - Present

  • Reviewer: East African Agricultural and Forestry Journal 1989 - Present

  • Reviewer: Journal of Arid Environments 1999 - Present

  • Member: American Society of Agronomy, Soil Science Society of America, and Crop Science Society of America 1977 -


  • Treasurer: American Employees Recreation Association, Niamey, Niger 1987 - 1988

  • Treasurer: American Embassy Commissary, Niamey, Niger 1986 - 1987