Department news

Ivan Buddenhagen, specialist in international ag development, dies

Ivan William Buddenhagen was born in Ventura, Calif., in 1930 to Harold J. Buddenhagen, a petroleum geologist, and Pearl M. Buddenhagen, a teacher and homemaker. He died at his Davis, Calif., home on July 9, 2022. He would have approved of his simple coffin, crafted of pine that had been felled by drought and beetles, and adorned with messages and drawings from his beloved family.  A sprawling bouquet of his favorite plants, including banana, served as a botanical mantle atop his coffin.

Gilbert honored for graduate advising

Matthew E. Gilbert has been honored with a Program Advising and Mentoring Award by UC Davis Graduate Studies for 2022. Gilbert is an associate professor and vice chair of crops and ecosystems in the Department of Plant Sciences.

“Student well-being, both academically and mentally, is so important, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Gilbert. “For that reason, I became chair of the Graduate Student and Post-doctoral Welfare Committee, which is a sub-committee of Graduate Council.

Ferguson honored for service to Horticultural Society

Louise Ferguson has been recognized by the American Society of Horticultural Science for her leadership and contributions. The professor of UC Cooperative Extension assumed the presidency during the COVID-19 pandemic, and she nurtured the organization through its first all-virtual annual conference, a subsequent hybrid conference and back to a fully in-person conference.

Parker’s proposal: More beans with less water

Boutique chefs will be pleased.

Organic legumes already developed by postdoctoral researcher Travis Parker are prized, especially in Southwest cuisine, for their colorful patterns, flavor and texture. Parker’s new work seeks even better, more beautiful beans for arid climes. The Department of Plant Sciences geneticist has received a boost for his work with a $20,000 grant, funded jointly by the Organic Farming Research Foundation and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research.

Monroe, Quiroz seek way to speed genome research

Scientists Grey Monroe and Daniela Quiroz are trying to develop a technique that could speed research on processes affecting countless facets of biology – from how plants respond to stressful conditions to the changes that trigger cells’ cancerous growth. They just won a $50,000 boost for their work, with a grant from the UC Davis Science Translation and Innovative Research (STAIR™) program.