Kent J. Bradford

Kent Bradford

Position Title
Distinguished Professor Emeritus and Former Director of the Seed Biotechnology Center

1107 PRB
UC Davis, One Shields Ave, Davis CA 95616


  • Ph.D., University of California, Davis; Plant Physiology, 1981
  • M.S., Michigan State University; Horticulture, 1977
  • B.S., Michigan State University; Biochemistry, 1975

Research interests and expertise: 

Dr. Bradford's research interests span diverse areas of seed science from seed germination and conservation to mathematical modeling and molecular biology. He has published more than 170 peer-reviewed research and extension articles and book chapters, co-edited three books and co-authored a textbook on seed development, germination, dormancy and storage.

His current interests are in the genetic and molecular mechanisms regulating seed dormancy and germination, in mathematical models to describe seed germination and dormancy behavior, and in seed and food drying and preservation methods, particularly for humid climates.

As Director of the Seed Biotechnology Center, he supports the creation and commercialization of new technologies to improve crop performance, quality and sustainability and the continuing education of plant breeders and seed industry professionals. As Interim Director of the UC Davis World Food Center, he seeks to promote innovation for productivity, sustainability, and equity of food systems locally and globally. He teaches university and extension courses on plant physiology, seed biology, biotechnology, ethics and philosophy of science.

Current projects: 

Current teaching: 

  • Growth and Yield of Cultivated Plants Laboratory; PLS 100BL (winter quarter)
  • Professionalism and Ethics in Genomics and Biotechnology; BIT 171 (quarter varies)
  • Science: Revelation, Discovery or Invention; PBI 223 (quarter varies)

Outreach and Extension:

External activities that contribute to scholarship:

  • Reviewer for multiple journals
  • Committee service for the California Seed Association and the American Seed Trade Association
  • Member, NIFA Regional Research Project W3168, Environmental and Genetic Determinants of Seed Quality and Performance

Prizes, Awards, Honors

  • J. Derek Bewley Plenary Lecture, International Society for Seed Science, September 2017
  • Fellow, Rockefeller Center, Bellagio, Italy, April 2016
  • Award of Distinction, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis, October 2007
  • Invited Visiting Professor, University of Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, June 2005; June 2007; October 2010
  • Adjunct Professor, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Yunnan, Peopleís Republic of China, 2004ñ2006
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2003
  • Seed Science Career Award, Crop Science Society of America, 2002
  • Fulbright Scholar, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina, MarchñJune, 1999
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1976ñ1979
  • National Science Foundation Undergraduate Fellowship, 1973
  • National Merit Scholar, 1971

Google Scholar


Social media links: 


  • Seeds
  • Germination
  • Dormancy
  • Storage
  • Drying technology
  • Dry chain
  • Genetics
  • Plant physiology
  • Plant development
  • Plant hormones
  • Molecular biology
  • Hydrothermal time model
  • Population-based threshold model
  • Plant Breeding Academy