Latest News

Hanson named fellow of Western Society of Weed Science

Folks in Davis know Brad Hanson as the Weed Doctor, always available during the annual UC Davis Picnic Day festivities to answer questions about what’s that growing in the yard. He's equally knowledgeable about solving farmers’ issues, and that commitment was recognized recently when he was named a fellow of the Western Society of Weed Science. The distinction is the society’s highest honor and recognizes people who have made significant contributions to the society and to the discipline of weed science.

Feldmann named assistant professor

Mitchell Feldmann has been hired as an assistant professor in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences and continues with the internationally prestigious UC Davis Strawberry Breeding Program. His assistant professor position began this month.

China can both reduce nitrogen pollution and feed its people

China’s small-scale rice farmers hold the key to both feeding their nation and reducing nitrogen pollution by 2030, benefiting soil, water and air quality and slowing climate change. A research team, including Cameron Pittelkow of the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, has published a strategy for how to do that, in the March 2 edition of Nature.

Scientists Unlock Key to Drought-Resistant Wheat Plants with Longer Roots

Growing wheat in drought conditions may be easier in the future, thanks to new genetic research out of the University of California, Davis.

An international team of scientists found that the right number of copies of a specific group of genes can stimulate longer root growth, enabling wheat plants to pull water from deeper supplies. The resulting plants have more biomass and produce higher grain yield, according to a paper published in the journal Nature Communications.

Students present research, network at vegetable conference

Ten UC Davis students and postdoctoral researchers recently attended the annual Vegetable and Flower Conference of the American Seed Trade Association. They enjoyed the opportunity to showcase their research during poster sessions, hear speakers and network with people in the industry. More than 800 seed professionals from 33 countries attended.

Among those attending from the Department of Plant Sciences were:

Maria Alejandra Ponce de Leon

Vergara presents findings on farmer-to-farmer education in Panama

Farmers from rural Panama are learning a more sustainable way to graze their cattle, and now are sharing that knowledge with other farmers who want to learn, too. But, they view the relationship as an informal exchange, rather than a teacher-student relationship  ̶  and agricultural extension programs can learn from that view, graduate student Marina Vergara found.

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.