Latest News

Almonds and pistachios face international challenges

Tree nut experts from around the world are gathering at the UC Davis Convention Center this week to discuss the challenges faced by the people growing and processing almonds and pistachios. Researchers are outlining possible solutions and exchanging ideas for how to combat problems of water scarcity, increasingly saline water and soils, rising wintertime temperatures and new pests that come with the changing conditions.

Ferguson named ASHS Fellow

Louise Ferguson has been named a fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science and will be inducted into the organization’s 60th class of fellows at a ceremony Aug. 1. The award recognizes decades of leadership and, more recently, Ferguson’s efforts to build a leadership training program for younger members.

The recognition is “more than well-deserved and should have happened YEARS ago!” wrote ASHS Executive Director Michael Neff. ASHS fellows are elected “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the science, profession, or industry of horticulture,” he added.

Retiring faculty honored for 2023

Five retired faculty from the Department of Plant Sciences will be honored for their outstanding scholarship, the global impact of their contributions to their fields, their service, their expansive teaching and their generous mentoring. A dinner will be held at 6 p.m. Friday, April 28, in the UC Davis Conference Center.

Department Chair Gail Taylor will host the festivities. Current faculty will introduce the honorees.

John Yoder

Department faculty support UC ANR conference with expertise, commitment

Eight faculty from the Department of Plant Sciences are heading to a statewide convention next week, with the aim of helping to improve the statewide outreach that brings the latest university research and best practices to farmers, ranchers and others in the field of agriculture.

The University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources is hosting the 2023 Statewide Conference next week in Fresno. ANR’s vision is for a thriving California full of healthy people and communities, supported by healthy food systems and environments.

Strawberry Breeding Program releases five 'superior' varieties resistant to deadly fungus

The UC Davis Strawberry Breeding Program is releasing five new strawberry varieties that resist the soilborne disease Fusarium wilt, while also offering high yields and improved fruit quality.

UC Eclipse, UC Golden Gate, UC Keystone, UC Monarch and UC Surfline will be available for sale to California nurseries from Foundation Plant Services later this month.

Picnic Day 2023: How to pop popcorn

At Picnic Day, one of the most popular exhibits is the popcorn shelling machine, in front of the Plant and Environmental Sciences building. Visitors grab a few ears of special corn grown just for popping and toss them down a shaft. Two mighty wheels break the kernels off the cobs and spit the cobs out one chute. Down a second chute clatter the kernels, which are scooped into a bag for folks to take home.

Then what??? This next part is even more fun – be sure to include the kids!

Taylor Swift becomes a phenotype monitoring machine

Taylor Swift: A cultural icon, controversial TicketMaster name, and now a remote phenotype monitoring machine. 

And a phenotype, for most of us who wouldn't know, is the science-y word for the physical traits that any living thing would have, such as green leaves or a fabulous voice - the physical expressions of the thing's genes mixed with its environmental influences.

Berry's work inspires campus tree trial

Alison Berry helped coin the term “climate-ready trees” years ago. Now, the work of the professor emerita in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences has inspired a campus-wide experiment to test species that will continue to offer delicious shade as the climate grows hotter.