Department of Plant Biology

Plant Biology Ph.D. Student Katie Murphy Wins Systemwide UC Grad Slam

May 10, 2019
Plant Biology Ph.D. student Katie Murphy of UC Davis won today’s UC Grad Slam, judged the best at summarizing her research in three minutes or less, for a general audience. She competed against other campus Grad Slam winners — and became the first UC Davis student to take the systemwide championship.

Faculty Member Philipp Zerbe Shares his Experience with the Language of Plants—and People

May 09, 2019
Growing up in Germany, Philipp Zerbe knew he wanted to be a biologist by the time he was 5 years old. In fact, he scribbled the decision to become a ‘Biologe’ down on paper, which his parents kept—and gifted to him upon becoming an assistant professor of plant biology in the College of Biological Sciences at UC Davis in 2014.

Plant Biochemistry to Feed the World via the “Corn Queen” Katherine Murphy

April 09, 2019
Plant biology Ph.D. student and UC Davis Grad Slam winner Katherine Murphy studies medicinal terpenes found in corn that could help bolster other crops' defenses. She’ll compete in the University of California Grad Slam Finals on May 10 in San Francisco.

The Language of Biology: How the Heck Do Scientists Assemble a Genome?

March 14, 2019
The genome—the complete suite of an organism’s DNA and genes—is likened to a blueprint for life. On the surface, this comparison provides some understanding of a biological concept. But according to some scientists, it misses the mark.