Graduate Student News

Investigating the Molecular Defense Tactics of Plants

April 11, 2018
In a study appearing in Cell Host & Microbe, UC Davis graduate student Neeraj Lal, Professors Savithramma Dinesh-Kumar and Andrew J Fisher and their colleagues reveal the versatility of plants’ molecular defenses. The findings provide a strategic map revealing how plants allocate resources and have the potential to help bolster crop immune systems and improve their development and growth.

Investigating the Seagrass Microbiome

March 28, 2018
Seagrass carpets the seafloor creating a unique and vital ecosystem in shallow marine environments. Sea turtles graze on seagrass leaves while smaller organisms seek refuge in the green fields but, on the microscopic level, seagrass is also home to microbial communities. Such microbes compose the seagrass microbiome and potentially play a role in seagrass ecology.

New Machine Learning Algorithm Finds Patterns in RNA Structures

March 01, 2018
Software inspired by speech recognition technology could help scientists understand the secret language inside cells. A machine learning algorithm called patteRNA, designed by UC Davis researchers, rapidly mines ribonucleic acid, commonly called RNA, for specific structures, providing a new method to establish links between structure, function and disease.

Native Wildflowers Bank on Seeds Underground to Endure Drought

March 01, 2018
Native wildflowers were surprisingly resilient during California’s most recent drought, even more so than exotic grasses. But signs of their resilience were not evident with showy blooms aboveground. Rather, they were found mostly underground, hidden in the seed bank, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

Small Flowers, Big Implications for Species Extinction in the Face of Climate Change

February 21, 2018
A small, short-lived mountain wildflower is providing clues to understand the larger threats of species extinction as the climate warms. In a new study from Science Advances, UC Davis alumna Anne Marie Panetta, ’17 Ph.D. in Ecology, used historical surveys and experimental data to demonstrate that climate warming contributes to a reduction of biodiversity in ecosystems.

Advocating a Computational Shift in Neuroscience Training

December 04, 2017
How can universities best prepare students for a career in neuroscience? Ask Professor Mark Goldman, Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior and the Center for Neuroscience, and he’ll tell you it’s time to rethink the traditional biology curriculum. To unravel complex systems like the brain, students need advanced training in quantitative and computational techniques.