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Partnerships needed for rangeland sustainability, UC Davis researchers find

It has been proposed that ecosystem service markets – an economic model that encourages ecological conservation and regeneration by establishing a supply-and-demand market for things like water and biodiversity – are the solution for sustainable food systems on rangelands. Despite this conceptual argument, these market types have failed to emerge.

Jennifer Funk receives $481,272 USDA grant to better understand drought in rangelands

As Californian counties begin to issue water shortages for 2021 and lakes and rivers precipitously fall in their water levels, the threats posed to communities by drought are again becoming clear.

In the case of rangelands, or open country that is grazed by livestock and which accounts for over 6 million acres of the Golden State, droughts coupled with drier and more variable rainfalls are expected to present significant impacts and challenges, especially for ranchers.

New research demystifies evolution of defense mechanisms in plants

Immobile organisms, plants have needed to evolve ingenious and highly specific defenses to threats, such as predators. These defenses come in the form of chemicals known as specialized metabolites and are responsible for the plant kingdom’s rich source of drugs, poisons, and dyes.

Assistant Professor Brian Bailey recognized by NSF with CAREER award

Brian Bailey, an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis, has been recognized by the National Science Foundation, or NSF, with a CAREER award.

The prestigious award – part of NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development Program – is granted to assistant professors or those in equivalent faculty positions who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

Postdoctoral researcher Josh Hegarty leads NIFA-funded project to breed triticale cultivars for forage

Josh Hegarty, a postdoctoral researcher in the Dubcovsky Lab in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis, is leading a project to develop commercial varieties of triticale to be grown for forage and feed. The National Institute of Food and Agriculture, or NIFA, is granting a $300,000 investment as part of their Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

Patrick Brown receives prestigious Dennis R. Hoagland and Leo M. Walsh Soil Fertility Distinguished Lectureship awards

Patrick Brown, distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, has received the American Society of Plant Biologists’ Dennis R. Hoagland Award and the Leo M. Walsh Soil Fertility Distinguished Lectureship from the Soil Science Society of America, or SSSA.

The Dennis R. Hoagland Award is awarded once every three years to an individual making outstanding contributions to agriculture through plant research, with funds provided by the Monsanto Agricultural Products Company. 

Dan Putnam receives the James H. Meyer Distinguished Service Award

“Ice cream in the making” – this is the unusual designation given to alfalfa by Dan Putnam, a Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis.

Alfalfa is often overshadowed by California’s more famous vegetable and fruit crops, like nuts and wine, despite the key roles it plays for our food systems. It’s a highly productive crop that serves as the basis for milk, cheese, leather, honey and wool production. In other words, what lies behind the carton of ice cream on the refrigerator shelf is a field of alfalfa.

Troy Magney receives Early Career Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists

Troy Magney, assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, has received the Early Career Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists. The award recognizes outstanding research from scientists who are still within the first seven years after receiving their doctorate degree and who have made exceptionally creative, independent contributions in their field.

Allen Van Deynze receives $650,000 investment from NIFA to breed green chile peppers for mechanical harvesting

Allen Van Deynze, professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis, has received an investment of $650,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, or NIFA, for a project that will develop commercially competitive green chile peppers, like jalapeños, that are amenable to mechanical harvesting.

UC Davis researchers seek to quantify benefits of chickens for commercial agriculture

Historically, chickens were not a rare sight on farms, where they contributed to soil fertility as they freely pecked and scratched around vegetable gardens and crop land. Now, researchers from the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis and UC Cooperative Extension specialists have launched a research project to quantify the potential for chickens to be a part of safe and sustainable commercial organic vegetable production. 

11 genes for carotenoid traits in kernels provide a roadmap for more nutritious maize

Christine Diepenbrock, an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, and several researchers from Cornell, Michigan State, Purdue, and North Carolina State Universities have collaborated to identify and thoroughly dissect 11 genes underpinning natural variation in levels of carotenoids, including those with provitamin A activity, in maize kernels.