A Message From the Dean: December 2022

At the end of the year, I like to reflect on all our college has accomplished and give thanks for the dedication and hard work of our faculty, students, staff, alumni and friends who keep the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences a place of excellence. Please scroll down to enjoy our year in review video and photographs of some of the college’s highlights from this past year. I wish you and yours a joyous holiday season and a wonderful year ahead.

Learn more about more of the college's achievements in this year’s holiday video.


Sod couch outside of Hunt Hall. (Tiffany Dobbyn)
A New Place to Relax on UC Davis Campus

Take a seat! A sod couch, designed by a landscape architecture student, is now part of an outdoor seating area near the main entrance of Hunt Hall."


Strawberry plants affected by Fusarium wilt taken at the Armstrong Pathology Farm. Photos by Fred Greaves for UC Davis
Researchers Identify Genes Making Strawberries Resistant to Fusarium Wilt

Strawberry losses from Fusarium wilt could become less of a threat after researchers discovered genes that are resistant to the deadly soilborne disease. The finding could prevent a Fusarium wilt pandemic.”


Moises Gomez, winner of the 2022 IronBrew competition, works with his team to stack cans of their beer at the Sudwerk Brewery.
UC Davis Students’ Recipe for a Scottish Export Ale Wins Top Score at Iron Brew Competition

This year’s Iron Brew competition winners created a Scottish export ale they named Mighty Gale Ale. The team of UC Davis students worked with Sudwerk Brewing Co. in Davis to package the limited-edition beer that was sold locally this summer."


Studying the genome of thale cress, a small flowering weed, led to a new understanding about DNA mutations. (Pádraic Flood)
Study Challenges Evolutionary Theory That DNA Mutations Are Random

A simple roadside weed may hold the key to understanding and predicting DNA mutation. This knowledge changes our understanding of evolution and could one day help researchers breed better crops or even help humans fight cancer.”


Celtuce is a stem lettuce grown for its crunchy stalk. Photo by: Kaylie Grundmeyer
UC Davis Student Plant Breeders Cultivating Improved Varieties of Asian Celtuce

Plant breeders are developing new varieties of celtuce, a leafy green vegetable that’s important to Asian cuisine. The collaborative project by SCOPE, Student Farm and the Department of Asian American Studies aims to improve seed availability for small scale farmers."


Shannon Tanguay
2022 Award of Distinction Recipients

Each year, we honor individuals for their achievements, support and leadership with the Award of Distinction. This year’s five recipients included CA&ES Budget Director Shannon Tanguay, a financial expert who is well-loved and appreciated by her colleagues.”


Farmed and captive-raised red abalone served as a proxy for endangered black abalone in UC Davis experiments to test if ultrasounds could be an effective, noninvasive means of assessing abalone’s reproductive health. (Jackson Gross/UC Davis)
Ultrasounds for Abalone

Abalone populations are challenged around the globe but a new, non-invasive technique using an ultrasound transducer will help breeding managers and farmers better understand when the mollusks are ready to spawn.”


Graphic representation of measurements that can be used in facial inference algorithms.
Ph.D. Student Develops AI Platform for Dairy Farmers

A Ph.D. candidate in animal biology developed a customizable artificial intelligence platform called DairyFit, which brings big data to the small farmer to help them get a better sense of what is happening in their herds.”


A darkened room filled with students holding up flashlights.
Fall Welcome

The University Credit Union Center was filled with smiling, happy faces as we welcomed a new class of freshman and transfer students during the CA&ES Fall Welcome event."


Wolf Prize recipient Pam Ronald outside Robbins Hall, leaning against pillar decorated with a ceramic mosaic mural. (Joel Mackendorf/UC Davis)
Pam Ronald Wins Wolf Prize in Agriculture

Plant geneticist Pam Ronald won the 2022 International Wolf Prize in Agriculture in recognition of her pioneering work that examines disease resistance and environmental stress tolerance in rice crops.”


A group of protesters assembles outside the California State Capitol Building in Sacramento. In the past decade, the city has begun to build a cohesive environmental justice movement, a UC Davis study found. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis)
Environmental Justice Movement Gains Momentum in Sacramento

A case study by Jonathan London, associate professor with human ecology, suggests the environmental justice movement in Sacramento is gaining momentum. His research shows an increasingly dense network of organizations and coalitions that explicitly identify with the environmental justice movement."


Three barn owls peek out of a nest box in Davis. A UC Davis study found the best time to clean nest boxes is in the fall, before the owls' winter breeding season. (Ryan Bourbour/UC Davis)
Fall Is Best Time to Clean Nest Boxes for Barn Owls

American barn owls are key to naturally managing pests in agricultural areas and new research that analyzed nearly a century of records found that the best time to clean nest boxes to avoid disrupting breeding is in the fall.”


A photo of Frances Moore with blue boxes on either side.
Frances Moore Serving as Senior Economist With Council of Economic Advisers

Frances C. Moore, associate professor with environmental science and policy, is serving as a senior economist with the Council of Economic Advisers in Washington, D.C. She’s focused on climate change for the agency, which makes economic policy recommendations for President Biden."


Rows of agave plants grow under a blue sky.
Agave: The New Drought-Tolerant California Crop?

Agave is emerging as a potential drought-tolerant crop in California and a new fund established at UC Davis will research the suitability and sustainability of the plants, which can be distilled into spirits, used as sweetener or turned into fibers.”


Danielle Fradet, junior specialist for MWFB, with a male platypus specimen.
Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology Celebrates 50th Anniversary

The Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. The facility, which is comprised of more than 60,000 specimens and over 11,500 tissues, supports education and conservation through hands-on learning, research and public outreach."


UC Davis researchers have discovered a way to grow cereal crops, like rice and wheat, with less nitrogen fertilizer, reducing pollution and saving farmers billions.
Growing Cereal Crops With Less Fertilizer

Researchers have found a way to reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizers needed to grow cereal crops and the discovery could save farmers in the United States billions of dollars annually in fertilizer costs while also benefiting the environment.”


Highway 50 traffic on a day when temperatures peaked at 105 degrees in Sacramento.
New UN Climate Change Report Urges Coordinated Global Action

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report this year outlining the effects of global warming. Eric Chu, assistant professor with human ecology, served as a lead author of a chapter of the report, highlighting the impacts and risks to cities and infrastructure."


Parthenocissus tricuspidata, known as Boston ivy, growing at the Hickey Gym on the UC Davis campus. Photo by: Emily C. Dooley
Could Vines Be the Answer to Speeding Urban Cooling, Water Reduction in the West?

Trees can help cool urban spaces but fast-growing vines may offer a faster alternative. New research is evaluating how vines like honeysuckle grown on trellises could provide shade and lower temperatures.”


Primary Category