Latest News

Great staff hear “thank you” from department leaders

Staff and faculty in the Department of Plant Sciences took time to socialize over coffee and celebrate several colleagues who have reached milestones in their employment with the University of California.

“It takes a team to be the No. 1 in the world for plant sciences, and here we honor the long service of our colleagues and staff,” said Gail Taylor, professor and department chair. “Last year, they helped us to submit 250 grant proposals, to win $35 million in external research funding and to run a world-beating stable isotope service.”

Resnicks pledge $50M for sustainability research

The University of California, Davis, recently announced that philanthropists Lynda and Stewart Resnick, co-owners of The Wonderful Company, have pledged the largest gift ever to the university by individual donors. The $50 million pledge will support the school’s longstanding commitment to address today’s most pressing challenges in agriculture and environmental sustainability.

Crump addresses UN Association gathering

Amanda Crump is an associate professor of teaching for international agricultural development in the Department of Plant Sciences. She recently spoke at a gathering of the United Nations Association in Sacramento.

Good afternoon. Thank you so much for inviting me to celebrate United Nations Day and talk about nourishing peace. I’d like to start with a story.

Knapp awarded grant to advance strawberry breeding

The Strawberry Breeding Center in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences has landed $6.2 million to study how to use breeding and genetic information to protect strawberry crops from future diseases and pests.

The four-year grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture will address expanding and emerging threats to strawberries, a popular fruit packed with vitamin C and key to the diets of many Americans.

Lima bean research awarded $3.3 million from SCRI

Succotash lovers, rejoice: UC Davis researchers will lead a national effort to enlarge the resources for breeding tender, buttery lima beans. The project includes looking at key traits that people and growers want, finding where on the lima bean genome those traits are located, breeding and field trials to grow plants with the most desirable qualities, and creating a public database that other breeders can use to create new and better varieties.

Drought and herbicides: Rice Field Day showcases research

New varieties of rice that offer more effective weed control with less herbicide were showcased by UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences researchers at the recent Rice Field Day north of Yuba City in California's Central Valley. Amid the West’s ongoing drought, green rice with heads full of grain stood tall and lush in some test plots, while dry, brown stubble poked up in others. Department researchers discussed the impact of letting ricelands go fallow, including potential for pest control and ways to conserve soil moisture.

Ivan Buddenhagen, specialist in international ag development, dies

Ivan William Buddenhagen was born in Ventura, Calif., in 1930 to Harold J. Buddenhagen, a petroleum geologist, and Pearl M. Buddenhagen, a teacher and homemaker. He died at his Davis, Calif., home on July 9, 2022. He would have approved of his simple coffin, crafted of pine that had been felled by drought and beetles, and adorned with messages and drawings from his beloved family.  A sprawling bouquet of his favorite plants, including banana, served as a botanical mantle atop his coffin.

Gilbert honored for graduate advising

Matthew E. Gilbert has been honored with a Program Advising and Mentoring Award by UC Davis Graduate Studies for 2022. Gilbert is an associate professor and vice chair of crops and ecosystems in the Department of Plant Sciences.

“Student well-being, both academically and mentally, is so important, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Gilbert. “For that reason, I became chair of the Graduate Student and Post-doctoral Welfare Committee, which is a sub-committee of Graduate Council.