March 2021
Dean's Message: Birds and Laurels

Though much of the recent coverage of our college has been focused on efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the college is home to newsmakers in many arenas of the life sciences. For instance, Rachael Bay, an assistant professor in the Department of Evolution and Ecology recently published research on the migratory patterns of yellow warblers. The study found that individual birds are adapted to particular climate regions, and may therefore better able to adapt to a changing climate. More on that story below.

I am also pleased to announce the significant achievements of two faculty in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior. Assistant Professor Rishidev Chaudhuri was named a 2021 Sloan Research Fellow by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation—among the most prestigious fellowships given to young faculty—and Associate Professor Mark Huising was named one of this year’s Chancellor’s Fellows on campus. Both were recognized as early-career leaders, and continue to advance their respective fields of study. Join me in congratulating them!

There was also a significant laurel in the Department of Plant Biology for Assistant Professor Nitzan Shabek, who received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. The five-year award will support his research and the creation of a unique teaching platform and outreach program to encourage young students to pursue knowledge in STEM.

You'll find links to all of these stories below, and links to register for the first two Storer Lectureship events of 2021. I hope you'll join us!


Mark Winey, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Biological Sciences
Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology 
P.S. Support experiential learning in real-time through our course on COVID-19 mass testing!
News Highlights
Yellow Warblers Track Climate Across the Year
“What’s amazing is that the birds track similar climates despite the fact that they have migrated thousands of miles,” said Rachael Bay, an assistant professor in the Department of Evolution and Ecology.
Sloane Fellowship for Neuroscientist
Rishidev Chaudhuri, an assistant professor in the Department of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior is one of this year’s Sloan Research Fellows. He will receive $75,000 over two years to support research into how the brain processes information.
NSF CAREER Award for Plant Biologist
Nitzan Shabek, an assistant professor in the Department of Plant Biology, has received a $837,000 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation to support research into the sensing mechanism of an emerging and unique class of plant hormones.
Chancellor's Fellow in Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior
Assistant Professor Mark Huising was recognized for research revealing a previously unknown class of cells within pancreatic islets which provides insights into how diseases like diabetes develop.
Video: How COVID-19 Saliva Testing Works at UC Davis
Follow the tube with your saliva sample from the testing kiosk over to the lab at the UC Davis Genome Center to find out how the PCR process works including some Aggie twists that make it possible to test more people, more quickly.
Coming Up: Storer Lectureship in the Life Sciences
Life-threatening Infectious Diseases
Mon., March 8 @ 1:00pm
From Mendelian Susceptibility to Mycobacterial Disease to Tuberculosis
Tues., March 9 @ 1:00pm
Feat. Jean-Laurent Casanova
Professor and Head of the St. Giles Laboratory of Human Genetics and Infectious Diseases, The Rockefeller University