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New UC Davis walnut variety builds upon tremendous legacy

February 18, 2021

A new walnut variety will provide growers a way to harvest earlier and boost the harvest efficiency of California's $1.6 billion walnut industry. It also builds upon the legacy of the UC Davis Walnut Improvement Program.

UC Davis releases 2 new strawberry varieties

February 16, 2021

Red, ripe strawberries are the hallmark of spring in California. Two new varieties from the Public Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis, will provide consumers with big, flavorful strawberries throughout fall and winter, too.

“These cultivars were developed to provide high-quality fruit from late summer through the holidays,” said Steve Knapp, director of the UC Davis Strawberry Breeding Program and professor in the Department of Plant Sciences.

Plant Sciences professors spearhead projects to advance graduate and postgraduate training

February 10, 2021

From encouraging increased diversity to an innovative leadership program that employs interdisciplinary training in soil and plant health, two professors are spearheading projects that advance graduate and postgraduate training in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis.

Charlie Brummer, professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, will lead a program that seeks to recruit two doctoral and two master’s students in plant breeding from underrepresented groups.

Valerie Eviner named fellow in Earth Leadership Program

February 08, 2021

Valerie Eviner, professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, has been named a 2021 fellow in the North American cohort of the Earth Leadership Program. The program will provide leadership training and will enable scientists, across many disciplines, to co-design solutions with stakeholders on pressing global sustainability issues.

The Barbara D. Webster Scholar Award

February 03, 2021

The Barbara D. Webster Scholar Award has been launched and will provide an annual grant of $20,000 to support the scholarship of an eligible faculty member within the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis.

To be considered, a faculty member must be tenured or on tenure-track and represent excellence in their field, exhibit the leadership ability to impact their discipline, present a unique and transformative perspective, and work to advance the representation of women in Plant Sciences.

Amélie Gaudin receives NIFA grant for cost-benefit analysis of winter cover crops

February 02, 2021

The National Institute for Food and Agriculture, or NIFA, has awarded Amélie Gaudin, associate professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis, an Agricultural Systems Research grant totalling $500,000. 

Gaudin was one of 12 researchers from across the country to receive the grant, which funds projects developing innovative and sustainable solutions to problems facing agriculture and is part of the larger Agriculture and Food Research Initiative . 

Obituary: Lynn W. Gallagher left an indelible mark on barley, barley industry

January 19, 2021

Lynn W. Gallagher, retired project scientist and barley breeder at the University of California, Davis, died on Dec. 15, 2020. He was 77.

Gallagher was born in San Francisco and raised in Marin County. He earned a B.A. in political science at UC Davis with his sights set on a law career. After his graduation, he joined the peace corps where he taught primary school for two years on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, before joining an agricultural project on the shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya.

The International Crop Science Award bestowed on Paul Gepts, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences

December 17, 2020

Paul Gepts, distinguished professor in the Department of Plant Sciences, received the International Crop Science Award from the Crop Science Society of America. The award recognizes positive changes realized for crops at the international level with an emphasis on creativity and innovation.

Gepts, a renowned plant geneticist, has led many international projects and collaborations that focus on the domestication of the common bean, Phaseolus vulgaris. In fact, more than 40 percent of his published research has involved an international co-authorship.

FFAR, Benson Hill grant $1,855,162 to UC Davis to study the Sierra Mixe corn variety’s remarkable ability to glean nitrogen from atmosphere

December 14, 2020

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, or FFAR, has awarded a Seeding Solutions grant to the University of California, Davis to study how the microbial community hosted by the Sierra Mixe corn variety provides atmospheric nitrogen to the plant. Seeding Solutions grants are awarded annually in six different challenge groups recognized by the FFAR, with this one falling under “Next Generation Crops.” The grant was matched by Benson Hill for a total investment of $1,855,162

University of California, Davis receives $959,997 investment to increase dietary fiber in commercial wheat products

December 14, 2020

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research, or FFAR, has awarded a $479,997 grant to the University of California, Davis to increase the dietary fiber content in wheat products. The grant is part of the annual Seeding Solutions program that funds pioneering research in six different challenge areas, with this one falling under “Health-Agriculture Nexus.”

Bay State Milling, California Wheat Commission and LimaGrain Cereal Seeds provided matching funds for a total investment of $959,997.

Two Professors in the Department of Plant Sciences Elected as AAAS Fellows

November 30, 2020

Two professors in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis have been elected in this year’s class of fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS, the world’s largest general scientific society. Part of their cohort were nine other UC Davis professors, bringing the campus-wide total of elected AAAS fellows to 11.

The association elevates members to the rank of fellow in recognition of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

Cameron Pittelkow receives ASA Early Career Award from the American Society of Agronomy

November 12, 2020

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) has presented Cameron Pittelkow, assistant professor in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, with the ASA Early Career Award for his outstanding contributions to the field of agronomy since earning his Ph.D in 2013. The ceremony was virtually broadcasted on November 12.

To be considered for the award, one must demonstrate that they have made an exceptional contribution to the field of agronomy within seven years of their most recent degree. From the award’s description, applicants are evaluated on the following contributions:

The Great Plant Sciences Pumpkin Carve Up of 2020

November 03, 2020

The Great Plant Sciences Pumpkin Carve Up of 2020 was a virtual gourd-to-gourd, so-to speak: students, faculty, and staff in the Department of Plant Sciences were asked to submit over email their best jack-o’-lanterns by October 30 for a chance to win a first-place prize. Taylorlab member Suzie Milner created a short video to commemorate the event. Please find that below.

Thank you to everyone who participated, and a big congratulations to Horticulture and Agronomy Ph.D candidate Paul Kasemsap for his winning entry, “How to Protect Our Community.”