Latest News

Tri society meeting

What a great experience was our Tri society meeting this year, although I missed reconnecting and chatting with colleagues in the hallways. I enjoyed watching talks at my own pace and participating to panels and roundtables. I am looking forward to leading the Sustainable Intensification Community in 2021. 


Congratulations to Dr Leah Renwick and Dr Caitlin Peterson, two former PhD students, on publishing their thesis work in Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems this month. Also congratulations to Joshua Garcia, undergrad McNair Scholar in the lab 2016-2018: we finally published his research in Journal of Plant Nutrition! Great examples of independent research and collaborative work! So (so) proud.


Now I am really excited! Our proposal “Enhancing ecosystem services from cover crops in Almond systems” to the USDA-AFRI Foundational Program: Foundational Knowledge of Agricultural Production Systems and recommended for funding. Third time is the charm. Thrilled to be able to retain Vivian for 4 more years. 

New project

We got awarded a 5 year project to study plant microbes interactions in the grass rhizosphere and potential to improve NUE with a great team of scientists at LBNL, USDA and UCSD! Looking for a project Scientist to lead this project. Apply here !

First day

First day of class and thrilled to be back teaching HRT200A to a new cohort of graduate students. Despite the circumstances, it remains my favorite time of the year. We have also resumed lab meetings and group reflections to enhance equity and inclusiveness of practicing, researching and teaching Agroecology. Let’s keep going and continue supporting each others.


Kelsey published his first manuscript in SBG conceptualizing his research: “Potential of crop-livestock integration to enhance carbon sequestration and agroecosystem functioning in semi-arid croplands”. Very well done! 


Congratulations to Leah Renwick on graduating! Well deserved PhD in Hort and Ag and MSc in International Ag Development. It has been such a joy to work with Leah over these last 5 years, lot’s to be proud of, stay tuned for the papers! She will be moving to Chile, pursuing new original research in Agroecology. We will also both be participating to the development and teaching of a new Master program in Agroecologia at the Universidad de Chile.


We are thrilled to welcome Dr Vivian Wauters to our team. Vivian will be working on participatory development of a set of best management practices for cover crops in Almond systems (and much more in the future!). This work, funded by the Almond Board of California, will integrate past efforts to understand barriers to adoption and potential benefits of winter cover crop on soil and bee and environmental health to propose best management guidelines relevant to growers. From research to practices! 


Go silvopastures! Liz Carlisle and Niki Mazaroli, in collaboration with many others, will be leveraging existing efforts to “identify, document, and distribute information about silvopasture systems and producers in California”. Looking forward to build on Kelsey and Krista‘s research and advance agroforestry in CA!

Lab activities

We are now able to ramp up activities in the lab at reduced capacity (one person/day/room) and following general guidelines for PPE  and distancing established by UCD.  This is a good news but longing to go back to the office and coffee with the team!

Online teaching and other updates

Out of the vacuum of online teaching! Thank you students and TA for your patience and hard work. 

Other updates and good news:

First day of online teaching

Here we go, first day of online teaching…..thanks to KristaKelsey and Alex for being amazing TAs and helping with converting this hands-on active learning course to an online platform. Finger crossed. 


Congrats to Emad, Meng, Caity and Jen who got papers accepted/published this week! Some good news in these stressful times.