Familiar and New
a late return to campus isn't slowing us down

Somehow it feels like February is the start of the new year. Maybe it’s because, after an initial delay in returning to the UC Davis campus after the winter break, the college and its students are finally back on campus. In October, I wrote that it was nice to see students biking past Green Hall again, and in the Science Lab Building. In that way, not much has changed. It is nice to see them back – again!

Campus is active too, and we’re once again handing out masks and distributing them across the classrooms and labs for our nearly 6,000 returning students. I suppose we’ve had some practice with this by now, and our outstanding students certainly know how to observe campus guidelines on how to remain safe in group settings – all this the positive, can-do Aggie attitude. Our students really are remarkable.

A lot has happened in the last month to prepare for our return to campus, and also on the faculty laurels front. In January, two of the college’s faculty members received significant recognition from the American Association for the Advancement of Science and were elected as fellows to the association. They were among nine faculty from across campus to join this prestigious organization and the honor is in recognition of their significant accomplishments.

I have no doubt that as winter quarter goes on, we will see many more such achievements, and that our students will safely engage in the types of hands-on research that is the cornerstone of their education here at UC Davis.

From the masked-but-friendly student faces we saw in the Biology Academic Success Center early this week, to the welcome return of our campus community, the quarter promises to be both familiar and new. It’s a good feeling.

Go Ags!


Mark Winey, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Biological Sciences
Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology 

Featured image: From a study on the impact of the Zika virus in the brain, the micrograph above shows part of the hippocampus and lateral geniculate nucleus of a developing rhesus monkey.


9 Elected as AAAS Fellows, 2 from CBS
American Association for the Advancement of Science fellows are scientists, engineers and innovators who have been recognized for their achievements across disciplines ranging from research, teaching and technology, to administration in academia, industry and government.

Research & Discovery

Earth BioGenome Project Begins Genome Sequencing in Earnest
A global effort to map the genomes of all plants, animals, fungi and other eukaryotic life on Earth is entering a new phase as it moves from pilot projects to full-scale production sequencing. 


Gut Bacteria Differences Between Black and White Women Linked to Insulin Sensitivity
Researchers in the Department of Evolution and Ecology and Genome Center contributed to a study indicating that race and ethnic differences in the gut microbiome likely result from environmental influences rather than genetics.

In the Media

Essential Work - an Original Collage
Rebecca Calisi, an associate professor in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, uses art as a way of understanding the world. An original collage by Calisi was recently featured in the Los Angeles Times.

An Inside Look

UC Davis Botanical Conservatory

The conservatory is an interactive museum that contains over 4,000 species of plants from more than 150 families from most of the world’s climatic regions. The collection represents nearly 2% of all the known plant species on Earth.

Best of Social

How Cats Communicate with Bacteria
Genome Center researchers used DNA sequencing to determine that the odiferous compounds male cats use to mark their territory are not actually produced by the cats themselves, but by a community of beneficial bacteria.


Upcoming Events
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