Emilio A. Laca

Emilio Laca

Position Title

  • Faculty
2306 PES
UC Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis CA 95616


  • Ph.D., University of California, Davis; Ecology, 1992
  • M.S., University of California, Davis; Range and Wildlands Science, 1987
  • B.S., Universidad de la Rep˙blica (Uruguay); Agronomy, 1983

Research interests and expertise: 

My research focuses on the role of spatio-temporal heterogeneity in agroecological processes, particularly plant-plant and plant-animal interactions. We use statistical and dynamic modeling to address complex interactions over space and time that have led to insights into diverse theoretical and applied questions. Current projects address wide-ranging topics such as the control of rangeland noxious weeds through timing of grazing, development of carbon-credit practices for high-end carbon registries, and nutrient and phenological management of tree crops such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios and pears.

Current projects: 

  • Spatial rangeland ecology and ecosystem services
  • Native grassland restoration for resilient coastal ecosystems

Current teaching: 

  • Applied Statistics in Agricultural Science; PLS 120, 4 units, (fall quarter)
  • Applied Multivariate Modeling in Agricultural and Environmental Sciences; PLS 206, 4 units, (fall quarter)


  • Predictive modeling
  • Grazing
  • Spatial statistics
  • Spatial scale
  • Rangeland management
  • Native grasses
  • Grassland restoration
  • Plant phenology
  • Growth models