Amélie Gaudin

AmÈlie Gaudin

Position Title
Associate Professor


2136 PES
UC Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis CA 95616


  • Ph.D., University of Guelph (Canada); Plant Agriculture, 2011
  • B.Sc.H., ESA Angers (France)/Wageningen University (Netherlands); Crop Sciences, 2004
  • Diploma, LEGTA Olivier de Serres (France); Crop Sciences, 2002

Research interests and expertise: 

The aim of our research is to help develop sustainable and resilient agroecosystems which have biodiversity and ecosystem services as a basis for improvement. We integrate concepts and methodologies from various disciplines to study how diversification strategies (cover crops, rotation complexity and livestock integration), and greater soil health affect resilience and productivity and the bioprocesses involved in maintaining or recovering ecosystem services under/after stress. We also seek to better understand how root systems and the rhizosphere can help adapt crops to more sustainable soil management practices and impending changes in resource availability.

Current projects: 

  • Ecological and resilience outcomes of livestock integration. Decoupling of crop and livestock production has resulted in a high carbon footprint of food production, loss of nutrients within the environment, and underutilization of ecosystem services provided by grazing and amendments for crop production. California, with its extremely diverse cropping systems, provides promising opportunities for this reintegration. We investigate how land-based livestock integration and manure amendments impact sustainability and resilience of dairy forage and viticulture cropping systems. Funding sources: USDA-AFRI, Fibershed, NSF GRFP
  • Crop diversification and resilience to water stress. Agroecosystem diversification has been proposed as a strategy to increase ecosystem stability and adapt agriculture to changing climatic regimes. Using historical data from long-term trials located in California and the northern Corn Belt, we have shown that crop yields are higher and more stable in more diversified systems. We investigate the underlying mechanisms and how synergistic effects of rotation complexity, forage cover crop, and reduced tillage impact yields and soil processes under drought stress/lower irrigation inputs. Funding sources: OFRF, OMAFRA, NSF GRFP
  • Understanding how soil management impacts attractiveness to insect pests. There is growing interest in developing the next generation of IPM strategies that harness soil health and rhizosphere microbes to develop resilience to multiple insect pests and the viruses they vector. This research project investigates how and to what extent soil-health building management practices such as compost and cover crops impact tomato attractiveness to beet leafhoppers and incidence of the BCT virus they vector. Funding sources: CTRI
  • Building and harnessing soil health to improve productivity and resilience of almond production. Almond growers must adapt to new regulations and shifts in input availability, providing an unprecedented opportunity for adoption of more sustainable management practices which have ecosystem services as a basis for improvement. We take a systemís approach to assess benefits and tradeoffs of agroecological approaches to management to develop practical and effective recommendations. We also aim at better understanding how organic carbon (C) inputs improve soil functions instrumental to reduce water inputs and retain nitrogen. Funding sources: Almond Board of California, CDFA
  • Transforming soil health into yield: toward an integrated root ideotype for irrigated agriculture. Roots and rhizosphere functions are instrumental to harness improvements in soil health. However, plant domestication and crop breeding under fertilization may have decoupled rhizosphere processes from plant selection and important interactions might have been lost. This long history of co-evolution provides a roadmap for measuring and managing beneficial plantñmicrobe interactions that are key components of healthy soils. We explore how breeding and selection has impacted maize plasticity and root and rhizosphere processes. We also study interactions between root traits and irrigation systems to guide development of root ideotypes for irrigated agriculture. Funding sources: FFAR, US-DOE-LDRD

Current teaching: 

  • Sustainable Agroecosystem Management; PLS 150 (spring quarter)
  • Ecology and Agriculture; ECL 216 (winter quarter)
  • Principles of horticulture and Agronomy; HRT200A (Fall quarter)

Outreach and Extension (a paragraph OR some bullet points can be included below):

  • Russell Ranch Field Days
  • Talks at grower meetings (ANR-UCCE, Almond Board, CTRI)
  • SAREP webinars
  • Policy briefs to California Senate  

External activities that contribute to scholarship:

  • Faculty Scientist appointment, Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • CalCAN Science Advisory Board

Prizes, Awards, Honors

  • New Innovator in Food and Agricultural Research Award, FFAR, 2016

Google Scholar


Social media links: 

  • Twitter: @amelie_gaudin


  • Agroecology
  • Root
  • Rhizosphere
  • Domestication
  • Soil health
  • Resilience
  • Diversification
  • Cropping system
  • Nutrient cycling
  • Microbial ecology