February 2019
A Message from the Dean: Community through biology
The roots of biology have a long legacy at UC Davis, going back to the 1905 founding of the campus. These traditions extend beyond the classroom and help build community and strengthen our ties as Aggies.

For example, did you know that five members of the Women’s Basketball team are College of Biological Sciences students? Join us this Saturday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. as we'll be the featured college hosting game day, and be sure to read more about these scholars on and off the court. UC Davis students always get in free, and alumni can reserve their free game tickets by using code “AGGIEBIOALUM”.

Our students also gain real-world lab and team skills through the BioInnovation Group, which fosters collaboration and support for independent projects like “Real Vegan Cheese”. This student-run group connects scientific innovation with community entrepreneurship. I invite you to learn more about their experiences.

Finally, we continue to grow our international community with our student exchange program with Japan’s Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST). After four weeks of lab training, NAIST students have returned with new skills and friendships, and next week, we’ll welcome NAIST faculty for a mini-symposium here in our college.

Go Ags!

Mark Winey, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Biological Sciences
Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology 
P.S. Make a gift to support students in the College of Biological Sciences.
From synthesizing “Real Vegan Cheese” to developing microfluidic devices and advancing 3D printers, the group allows students to be the drivers of innovation. David Slipher/UC Davis

BioInnovation Group: Bringing Hands-On Lab Experiences to STEM Students

Launched in 2014, the BioInnovation Group (BIG) connects undergraduates to life sciences research through student-run, independent projects. Through lab skills training and independent investigation the group encourages students to be the drivers of innovation.

“Students are learning how to build new programs, manage projects, ‘sell’ and communicate ideas and projects, and in general, build some of the non-book/technical skills and mindsets that are important in the development of a professional,” said Marc Facciotti, the club’s faculty mentor.
Undergraduates Angelly Tovar and Victoria Susman hold fish skulls with Peter Wainwright in the Wainwright Lab. David Slipher/UC Davis

For the past three summers, Professor Peter Wainwright and students have journeyed to the National Museum of Natural History’s Museum Support Center to collect data from preserved specimens in the National Fish Collection. In total, they've generated a dataset on 6,000 species and 16,000 individual specimens.
News Highlights
Seeing Between the Numbers with Population Biology Graduate Group Student Vince Buffalo
Vince Buffalo graduated from UC Davis with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science. Today, he studies evolutionary and population genetics in the lab of Professor Graham Coop. Find out how he traded macroeconomic models for genome sequencing.
From Yeast to Zebrafish, New Insight on Birth Defects and Miscarriage
In a study appearing in PLOS Genetics, Professor Sean Burgess and her colleagues highlight how mutations in a gene called spo11 can lead to zebrafish males that are infertile and females that produce offspring with developmental problems.
Koala Poo, Chlamydia and the Microbiome: Biophysics Graduate Student Katherine Dahlhausen
Katherine Dahlhausen's microbial curiosity was inspired by a rare bacterial disease she contracted while traveling in South America. Today, she's a graduate student in Professor Jonathan Eisen's lab exploring things like koala poo, chlamydia and the microbiome.
Ian Haydon’s entrance into science writing occurred in whirlwind fashion. As a graduate student, he knew he was more interested in careers outside of academic research. He then found science writing.
New Faculty Recognized with Prestigious Sloan Fellowships
Rachael Bay will research thermal tolerance in corals, which is becoming increasingly important as ocean temperatures shift.

The fellowship will help fund Patrick Shih's research to reconstruct the evolution of photosynthesis, a process that originated billions of years ago.
Upcoming Events
DAVIS: Saturday, Feb. 23
College of Biological Sciences Women's Basketball Game Day

Did you know that five members of the women's basketball team are undergraduate students in our college?

Join alumni and friends to cheer on the Aggies at home as they take on University of Hawaii
Rainbow Wahine Basketball. Enter code AGGIEBIOALUM at the link below to reserve your free ticket for game day (while supplies last). Additional tickets may be purchased too. Please note, students already receive free admission to all games.

You may also contact the UC Davis Athletics Box Office at (530) 752-2471 to order tickets over the phone, Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., or stop by the Aggie Football Stadium in person.
DAVIS: Saturday, Mar. 9
Neurofest 2019:
Mind in the Making

Join researchers from the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience to learn how our brains can handle executive functions like focus, memory and decision making as well as how these can go awry, and why studying both matters.

This free event is interactive and a hands-on experiences for all ages. RSVP by February 25, 2019.

  • See and touch real brain specimens at the Brain Zoo
  • Marvel at the intricate morphology of nerve cells
  • Purify real DNA
  • Learn about a day in the life of a neuroscience graduate student
  • Judge a poster contest, and more
Follow Us on Instagram
Love science? Connect with the College of Biological Sciences ( @UCDavisBiology) and explore the photogenic world of life sciences at UC Davis, including:

  • Faculty and student research
  • Campus views
  • Alumni profiles
  • Larger-than-life, under-the-microscope views
  • And lots more great science stuff

Be sure to tag us in your biology-related posts, and we'll share the best content.