Wendy K. Silk

Wendy Silk

Position Title
Professor Emerita and Distinguished ArtScientist

Department of Land Air and Water Resources, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

1255 Plant and Environmental Sciences Building

Profile Introduction

Interests center on plant-environment interactions, particularly quantitative analyses of growth and development and plant response to environmental variation. Teaching program emphasizes the engagement of learning in environmental science via the arts.

Research Interests

Quantitative Plant Biologist


Interests center on plant-environment interactions, including quantitative analyses of growth and development, how plants modify the environment via nutrient cycling, growth kinematics, biomechanics, best management practices


Grad Group Affiliations

  • Hydrology, Soil Science

Specialties / Focus

  • Environmental and Integrative Biology


  • SAS 042 Earth Water Science Song, Winter


  • Plant-environment interactions
    • collaborating with Profs. Sanjai Parikh and Andrew McElrone to study nanoparticles in the environment

Field Sites

  • Russell Ranch ltras.ucdavis.edu/

Honors and Awards

  • NSF Visiting Professorship (U.C. Berkeley), Bullard Fellowship (Harvard University)
  • Professeur invité (Université Blaise Pascal)

    Professional Societies

    • Botanical Society of America
    • American Society of Plant Biology


    • 1968 BA Applied mathematics in biology Harvard University
    • 1975 PhD Botany (Plant Physiology) University of California at Berkeley


    Walter, A., Silk, W.K., Schurr, U., 2009. Environmental Effects on Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Leaf and Root Growth. Annual Review of Plant Biology 60, 279-304.