Campus & Community

From the Dean: A Notable Start

Winter quarter is rolling right along. In fact, we’re somehow already in the second month of what still feels like an hours-old year. That’s the sign of having been busy. On campus, students are all around us. Our faculty are teaching, publishing and mentoring, and in the Dean’s Office we’ve been hard at work on several notable things.

A Life in Service: Alumni Couple Give $1M to Name Lecture Hall

Sēvā (ਸੇਵਾ), a Punjabi word that means “service,” was the motivation behind alumni couple Kamaljeet “Kamal” Singh-Khaira and Dr. Ravinder “Ravi” Khaira’s recent $1 million gift to the College of Biological Sciences.

The Khairas’ gift will provide support for the college’s top priorities, and they feel confident in the leadership of Mark Winey, dean of the College of Biological Sciences, to best utilize the funding to further enhance student success initiatives, faculty excellence and advances in life sciences research.

Science Storytelling Through a Camera Lens

From Chilean tidepools to the High Sierra, 12 UC Davis graduate students traveled the world this summer in search of answers to ecology’s most pressing questions.

In the blazing 100-degree Texas sun, Jon Aguiñaga waded through polluted waters on the side of freeways to capture tiny fish, which he then ran experiments on in the garage of an Airbnb. Marissa Sandoval flew to Florida to extract sexual-selection perfumes from the green inflorescent legs of orchid bees. MJ Farruggia trekked more than 1,000 miles in the Sierra backcountry for 240 days and is “still not tired of it.”

Forty Years of Science in 40 Minutes

He quipped that he was "going to cover 40 years of science in 40 minutes."

And UC Davis distinguished professor emeritus Harris Lewin, renowned for his research in comparative mammalian genomics and immunogenetics, did just that when he delivered the inaugural UC Davis New Emeriti Distinguished Lecture on “From Chickens to Cows to Everything: Perspectives from 40 Years in Science."

Priya Shah Recognized for Exceptional Innovation

Chemical engineer and microbiologist Priya Shah is unraveling the essential aspects of arboviruses - viruses transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, or other arthropods - aiming to thwart this major source of emerging diseases by identifying novel therapeutic targets.

For her innovative research, she has been awarded $40,000 from a UC Davis endowment set up by anonymous donors. The awards, given annually since 2016, are designated for non-tenured ladder-track faculty.

From the Dean: Gratitude at Year's End

Winter doesn’t begin officially until later this month, but there was ice on the cars (and roofs!) this morning. Being from Philadelphia, ice in December isn’t something all that unusual to me, but here in our region of California it’s always a bit of a surprise. With finals behind us, and the end of the year just around the corner, things are slowing down on campus.

Rachael Bay Lab Wins Top Safety Award

When you’re experimenting with water, electricity and live animals, a lot can go wrong if you’re not careful. And no one knows more about that than Rachael Bay and her research team.

They study human-induced changes in the environment and evolutionary processes — things like climate change, coral bleaching and bird migration. And when you’re doing that kind of work — handling chloroform one day and blood samples the next — you want to make sure you’re not cutting corners.

From the Dean: A Vibrant Fall

November is here and winter is closer. The weather has gotten cooler, and the nights start earlier, but campus is active, and our students are halfway through the fall quarter. Especially after the pandemic years, there’s something revitalizing about having our students on campus. Whether they’re studying for an exam on the couches in the Green Hall lobby or having a discussion section in the courtyard, their presence is always welcome.

Uniting Horsemanship and Biology

When McKensey Middleton holds horse reins, every slight movement conveys something. Where she places the reins on the horse’s neck gives the horse direction, a path; a tug on them signals for the horse to stop or slow down.

“When you watch a rider, you’re really watching them communicate with the horse,” said Middleton, ’22 B.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. “Your legs, your voice, your hands, you’re using these things to communicate with the horse.” 

From the Dean: Another Year Begins

Summer never feels quite as long as it looks on the calendar. Those days and weeks pass quickly and, before we know it, we're back on campus. Even so, it's always a great pleasure to see our campus come to life again when students return. They bring such vibrancy to our community. For those in Davis over the summer, there were certainly some high temperatures to weather - 110F+ for several days! - but weather them we did.

CBS Welcomes New Faculty in the 2022-23 Year

The college is very pleased to welcome the newest members of its broad and diverse faculty. With appointments in the Departments of Evolution and Ecology, Plant Biology and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, the new faculty are poised to make an impact on their respective areas of expertise, and on the classroom and laboratory experience of our students across the college.

Anya Brown

Assistant Professor
Department of Evolution and Ecology

UC Davis Has Record Fundraising Year: $323 Million

Donors unlocked a new level of charitable giving to the University of California, Davis, in the last fiscal year, pushing the total past the $300 million mark for the first time in the university’s history — and beating it by a wide margin.

Financials announced in September show the university raised $323 million in 2021-22, in 58,556 gifts and pledges from 32,434 donors.