Gena E. Hoffman (President): Twitter
I am a Plant Biology Graduate Student in the Ronald Lab. I earned my B.A. in Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley in 2010. My undergraduate research was conducted in the lab of Dr. Peggy Lemaux, where I worked towards increasing the digestibility of sorghum by overexpressing the key redox protein, Thioredoxin. My current project focuses on immune responses in rice as a model system for cereal crops. The ultimate goal of my graduate research is to aid in the development of new strategies for engineering pathogen resistance in cereal crops. Personally, I am motivated to break the cycle of malnutrition and disease in developing countries by increasing access to proper nutrition, through plant breeding. Additionally, I work to increase public understanding of new agricultural technologies. I value communicating science to the general public- especially on issues of crop genetic technologies and agriculture. Thus I am excited to take part in launching Science Says at UC Davis.
Destiny Davis (Social Media Chair- Twitter):
I am a PhD student in plant biology studying with Dr. Georgia Drakakaki. My project explores how plant cells build new cell walls as they divide. I use chemicals to dissect how cell wall sugars are deposited in the division zone and to discover proteins needed for proper cell wall construction. While I am driven to conduct research to further agricultural and alternative fuel technologies, my passion lies in teaching. I am committed to engaging the public in the scientific sphere by telling as many people as will listen why plant life is so fascinating and why they should care.
Jenna Gallegos (Social Media Chair- Facebook): Twitter Blog
I am a 4th year PhD student in plant biology with a designated emphasis in biotechnology. I study the means by which certain parts of a gene called introns can affect the degree to which a given gene is expressed (how much protein is made) in the model plant Arabidopsis. Having come from a rural farm and ranch community, it is my goal to use what I learn about gene expression to help farmers worldwide by developing crops with improved yield, nutritional content, and environmental sustainability.
Nicole Soltis (Webmaster): Twitter Instagram
I am a PhD student in the lab of Dr. Daniel Kliebenstein in Plant Sciences. My research addresses the genetics and evolution of crop plant defenses against a common fungal pathogen, Botrytis cinerea. Previously, I completed an MS at Tufts University in biology, where I focused on plant-herbivore interactions and conservation ecology. I hope to develop my skills in science communication through SPCG, and explore issues of sustainability in food systems.
Alice Martinic (Scribe): Twitter
I’m a PhD student in the Slupsky Lab in the Nutritional Biology graduate group. We focus on personalized nutrition by combining metabolomics and the microbiome to monitor systemic responses to functional foods. I’m fascinated by how drastically
metabolism differs between people. In the photo, I’m holding a plasticized human digestive tract, which was a highlight at a recent conference! I’m also passionate about education- I love teaching undergraduate labs as well as engaging with the public about nutrition topics.
Don Gibson (Membership Chair):
I am a PhD student in Integrative Genetics and Genomics researching fundamental genetic regulation of root development with Dr. Siobhan Brady. I have been a member of the UC Davis community for 10 years where I found my passion for studying the ways researchers can improve plants and how the response to their stresses. Outside of the lab I enjoy communicating science to the public and connecting researchers with policy makers in Sacramento so both sides can make better science and better science based policies.
Nichole Holm (Project Manager):
I am a PhD student in the Integrative Genetics and Genomics group. My work is in the Hagerman lab, where I am investigating clinically relevant epigenetic and cellular markers of Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) and Fragile X Tremor and Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS). I am fascinated by the dynamics of epigenetics to regulate gene-environment interactions as well as the potential precision medicine applications of this process. I am most passionate about making science digestible and implementing scientific discoveries in real world/clinical settings.
Brittany Anderton (Project: Communication Training):
Former cancer biologist. I left the bench to study how undergraduate students develop their understanding of science, particularly biotechnology, as a postdoctoral fellow in Pamela Ronald’s lab at UC Davis. I am interested in helping all students (STEM and non-STEM alike) develop science literacy. Working with others at UCD to change how science is taught at the institutional level.
I am also interested in science transparency and reform. I ultimately seek to improve the intersection of science and society by educating the next generation of responsible scientists and citizens.
Kellee Britt (Project: Farmers’ Market Tabling):
George Ugartemendia (Project: Science Really Says Blog Series):
I am a graduate student working towards a Master of Public Health degree here in Davis. I earned Bachelor degrees in History and Biology from the University of Florida. My current interests include pollution control, environmental protection, and improving health in our communities, all of which require us to reach out to our neighbors to discuss scientific policies and principles.
Isaiah Lee Mohr (Project: Book Club):
I have a BS in Botany, and a certificate in Biotechnology in Stem Cell Biology from CSULB. I love tardigrades, and DNA damage repair.
Taylor Reiter (Project: Science Really Says Blog Series):
Science Says and the Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy:
Science Says is a project of the UC Davis Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy (IFAL). IFAL was established in 2014 by IFAL governance group members Peggy Lemaux, Kent Bradford and Pam Ronald. In January 2015, IFAL welcomed Shannon Albers (MS, Horticulture & Agronomy) as the IFAL Program, Educational and Outreach Coordinator. Professor Pamela Ronald serves as the Faculty Director for IFAL.
The Governance Board is composed of UC faculty and will serve as a guiding committee to oversee IFAL program development and activities in accordance with all UC policies and the UC Davis Principles of Community. The Governance Board also consists of members from the public and private sector who have professional expertise in food and agriculture, in addition to an interest communicating science to the public.