How Researchers are Responding to Mitigate California's Wildfire Crisis

UC Davis researchers are responding to California’s increasingly deadly and destructive wildfires with a broad range of research studies and innovations. Driven by the growing impact, they are narrowing in on ways to reduce the severity of wildfires, evaluate the toxicity of the smoke, document the environmental factors, treat the affected wildlife, and understand the long-term impacts on health in order to mitigate the toll of wildfires on our lives and the planet.

Research Highlights
Nutrient Supplements Reduce Child Mortality by 27 Percent in Low- and Middle-Income Countries
More than half of child deaths worldwide stem from preventable causes, such as adverse effects from malnutrition. A new study led by researchers at the Institute for Global Nutrition at UC Davis finds that child mortality significantly drops when children receive nutritional supplements rich in vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids.

Zika Vaccine Protects Fetus in Pregnant Monkeys
An experimental vaccine against the Zika virus was found to reduce the amount of virus in pregnant rhesus macaques and prevent transmission to the fetus. The study mimicked a real-world scenario where women could be vaccinated months or years before becoming pregnant.

Researchers Explain the Tiger Stripes of Enceladus
Saturn’s tiny, frozen moon Enceladus is slashed by four straight, parallel fissures or “tiger stripes” from which water erupts. These features are unlike anything else in the solar system. Scientists at UC Davis, the Carnegie Institution and UC Berkeley now have an explanation for them based on numerical modeling.

Disease, Warming Waters and Ravenous Sea Urchins Linked to Crashing Kelp Forest and Close of Red Abalone Fishery
Scientists from UC Davis and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife use two decades of kelp ecosystem monitoring data to chronicle the catastrophic shift in 2014 from a robust bull kelp forest to a barren of purple sea urchins. Similar impacts are being observed in kelp forests from Baja California to Alaska.

Extreme Heat Impacts Firms’ Stock Value
A new study reports episodes of extremely hot weather lead to declines in market value. This is especially true in the South and Southeast, and for small firms — which lost an average of more than $17 million in the month following the hot weather.
Innovation News
UC Davis Releases 5 New Wine Grape Varieties Resistant to Deadly Pierce's Disease
Five new varieties of wine grapes, three red and two white, have been released by UC Davis researchers. The new varieties are highly resistant to Pierce's disease, which currently costs California grape growers more than $100 million per year, and is expected to increase with rising temperatures. To create the new varieties, Professor Andrew Walker crossed a grapevine species from the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico, Vitis arizonica , which carries a single dominant gene for resistance to Pierce’s disease and was used to cross back to Vitis vinifera over four to five generations.

Startup Uses Advanced Imaging Technology and Machine Learning to Sort Seeds and Insects
Spectral Analytix, a new UC Davis startup, is commercializing a technology that combines machine vision, robotics and machine learning to automatically classify and sort seeds and insects. In addition to checking viability, the system will also be able to recognize the chromosomal makeup of seeds, sorting for desirable genetic features.

Radiology Professor Awarded 'Trailblazer' Grant for Hybrid Imaging Research
Guobao Wang, associate professor in the Department of Radiology, received a "Trailblazer R21" grant from the National Institutes of Health and National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering to develop and test the feasibility of a new method combining positron emission tomography (PET) and X-ray computed tomography (CT) scanning. The proposed method provides new applications for human molecular imaging and adds spectral CT imaging as a dimension of information to clinical PET/CT.

Researcher Spotlight
Improving Healthcare With ‘Smart’ Tech
Electrical and computer engineering Professor Chen-Nee Chuah specializes in communications networks and distributed systems. She is developing technology to improve patient care using machine-learning models.

Featured Events
New Distinguished Speaker Series in Research and Innovation Announced by Vice Chancellor for Research, Prasant Mohapatra
The Distinguished Speaker Series in Research and Innovation will bring accomplished thought leaders from around the world to UC Davis to share their vision for the next generation of research and how it can transform our society. The inaugural event will be held January 29, 2020 with British economist and food policy researcher Lawrence Haddad discussing how we can move toward a healthier food system.
January 29, 2020

3 Revolutions Policy Conference
The fourth annual 3 Revolutions Policy Conference will take place March 24-25, 2020 with a cross-cutting theme of Climate and Equity. This event will leverage the success of the past 3 Revolutions Policy Conferences, aiming to dive deeper in identifying solutions for how the 3 Revolutions in transportation (sharing, electrification, and automation) can achieve equitable climate solutions.
March 24-25, 2020

International Smoke Symposium
The third annual International Smoke Symposium brings together researchers, government officials, land owners, weather forecasters, fire practitioners and public health officials to discuss topics such as modeling, measurement, health effects and outreach related to wildfires.
April 20-24, 2020
Honors and Awards
Sixteen UC Davis Researchers Named in 2019 Highly Cited Researchers list

Cristina Davis Named to National Academy of Inventors

Walter Leal Named to National Academy of Inventors

Fu-Tong Liu Named to National Academy of Inventors

Diana Farmer Becomes a Regent of the American College of Surgeons

 View more awards and rankings
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