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Miller remembered for international development

G. David Miller, founder and director of the UC Davis Global Fellowships in Agricultural Development program and a collaborator in the Horticulture Innovation Lab, died Dec. 1, 2022, in Davis. A memorial service was held Dec. 4 at Congregation Bet Haverim in Davis.

Miller was a lecturer within the international agricultural development track in the Department of Plant Sciences, and faculty adviser in the IAD Graduate Group. “For many years, he was the heart of the IAD programs, teaching, hunting up fellowship and scholarship money, and more,” said Amanda Crump.

African scientists embark on pioneering CRISPR course

Top plant scientists from across Africa have just completed the first phase of a ground-breaking course in gene editing for crops: It aims to harness a cutting-edge breeding tool to adapt African agriculture to growing populations and the threat of climate change.

“The talent’s there. We just need to enable it,” said Allen Van Deynze, of the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences. “We’re enabling it with training, with tools and with support for their labs. That’s part of our program.”

Department celebrates diversity of students, faculty

Students, staff and faculty in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences come from a wide range of cultures, from all over the world. To celebrate the strength we find in our diversity, the department for several years has placed an evergreen tree in the lobby of the Plant and Environmental Sciences building amid the year-end holidays, and invites everyone to bring a symbol of their own heritage to hang on the tree.

New video features Oki’s research

The nonprofit organization Pacific Horticulture has released a new video describing research to develop irrigation recommendations for landscape plants, the science behind the process, and early ideas for mindful gardeners and landscapers. It features UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences horticulturalist Lorence Oki, the lead investigator on the project.

Khanday and team pioneer rice hybridization method

Imtiyaz Khanday, an assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, is co-leading an international team that has propagated a commercial hybrid rice strain as a clone through seeds with 95 percent efficiency. The method that led to this breakthrough could lower the cost of hybrid rice seed, making high-yielding, disease-resistant rice strains available to low-income farmers worldwide.

Yasay accident report released by Davis Police

The UC Davis community continues to mourn the death of Trisha “Tris” Nicole Sabay Yasay, a junior in the Department of Plant Sciences. We send our deep condolences to her family. She is remembered by her friends and colleagues in plant sciences and by the campus community for her vision, energy and enthusiasm for taking what she was learning at UC Davis and using it to better the world.

Figs explained in new book by Ferguson & editors

Louise Ferguson and fellow editors have published a new book in CABI’s speciality crop series about fig cultivation, management, harvesting and marketing. The Fig: Botany, Production and Uses also includes a fascinating review of the historical, cultural, nutritional and economic significance of this storied fruit, ranging from references in holy scriptures to the global market structure for exports and imports.

Dubcovsky recognized with Meyer medal for advancing wheat breeding

Jorge Dubcovsky and researchers in his lab have been recognized for providing basic genetic information about wheat and improved germplasm that is being used by scientists around the world to improve “the staff of life.” Those efforts are bringing new varieties of wheat to farmers adapting to new conditions. For his leadership in those efforts, Dubcovsky was awarded the Frank N. Meyer Medal for Plant Genetic Resources, and a $2,000 prize, at the recent annual meeting of the Crop Science Society of America.

Poudel wins AAUW International Fellowship

Isha Poudel has been awarded a fellowship by the American Association of University Women. Poudel is a second-year master’s student in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences majoring in international agricultural development, with a focus on gender equities and disaster resiliency in food systems. She is in Amanda Crump’s research lab group that focuses on agricultural equity and social inclusion.

The AAUW award will support Poudel in her graduate education and further advance her research project in Nepal.

Brummer honored by alfalfa conference

E. Charles Brummer has been honored for bettering alfalfa science and cultivation by the North American Alfalfa Improvement Conference. Brummer, a professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, is the director of the UC Davis Plant Breeding Center and involved in researching a wide range of crops for forage, grain and fiber.