Agricultural Plant Biology focuses on plants used for cover-crops, food, fiber, fuel and turf. The program has a strong research emphasis on plant responses to both abiotic and biotic stresses, reproductive biology at the level of the gene to the crop production system, and breeding for enhanced yield in a resource-limited environment. Our broad range of research and extension faculty and students are actively engaged in research with emphases in subtropical horticulture, plant breeding and plants important to California and world-wide agriculture. Species include citrus, avocado, cowpea, barley, wheat, rye, rice, maize, asparagus, tomato, alfalfa, bean, olive, pea, grape, fescues and Festuca-Lolium hybrids, kikuyu grass, pistachio, pomegranates, radish, carrots, cotton, Sorghum hybrids, Saccharum hybrids, agricultural weeds and community gardens. Some laboratories translate research from model systems to crops. Research spans field studies through breeding and molecular biology providing graduate students training for careers in industry, academia, and extension.



CE Subtropical Horticulturist

Cooperative Extension Specialist - Evaluation of preharvest and postharvest factors on subtropical crop productivity and fruit quality, including rootstocks, cultivar, irrigation, pesticide, and nutrition management strategies

BAIRD, James

CE Assistant Turfgrass Specialist

Turfgrass variety improvement and selection, plant stress physiology related to temperature and water, and natural resource concerns, including water allocation and management, energy conservation, atmospheric quality or other issues at the intersection of Turfgrass landscapes with native and production agricultural areas.

CLOSE, Timothy J.

Professor of Genetics & Geneticist

Crop Plant Genomics and Bioinformatics; High Density Genetic Linkage Maps and Marker Assisted Selection; Barley, Citrus, Cowpea, Rice, Wheat; Abiotic and Biotic Stress Regulated Genes and Proteins; Application of Transcriptome Analyses to Biomarker Development for Citrus


Professor of Genetics

Applied population genetics emphasizing gene flow and its role in evolution of invasiveness, extinction, and transgene dispersal.

EZCURRA, Exequiel

Professor of Ecology/Director of UC Mexus

Conservation science, ecology and biogeography of coastal deserts, land-ocean interactions and their impact on marine and terrestrial environments

GIRALDO, Juan Pablo

Assistant Professor of Plant Physiology

Plant physiology with a nanobiotechnology approach: Photosynthesis, nanosensors, plant nanobionics, vascular transport, tropical plant physiology.


Associate Professor of Landscape Ecology

Ecological scaling, coupled biogeochemical cycles, terrestrial aquatic linkages, ecosystem responses to altered precipitation regimes, societal-biophysical interactions

LI, Bai-Lian (Larry)

Professor of Plant Ecology

Quantitative Plant Ecology; Ecological Complexity and Modeling; Theoretical and Mathematical Ecology; Systems Ecology; Landscape Ecology; Computational Biology; Ecological Informatics


Professor of Genetics

Cytogenetics of crop plants, Meiotic chromosome pairing

MAUK, Peggy

CE Specialist for Subtropical Crops/Ag Ops Director

Evaluation of avocado rootstocks for salinity tolerance. Research on abiotic or biotic stresses of subtropical fruit crops, such as avocado, citrus, dates and mangos. Director of Agricultural Operations (, which oversees field research in support of the mission of the College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.

McGIFFEN, Milton E.

CE Specialist - Vegetable Crops and Plant Physiology

Vegetable crops, organic agriculture, weed science, biochar, greenhouse gases, carbon sequestration and recycling, water and nutrients, environmental impact of agriculture.


CE Plant Biotechnologist

Cooperative Extension Specialist - Biotechnology for sustainable agriculture. Policy development and public education.


CE Associate Specialist/Associate Horticulturist

Cooperative Extension Specialist-Nursery Floriculturist/Horticulturist


CE Assistant Specialist & Assistant Horticulturist

Rolshaunsen's research interests lie in identifying biotic and abiotic factors that limit fruit and nut crops productivity and to develop and implement sustainable strategies to improve the productivity in these crops.

ROOSE, Mikeal L. 

Department Chair & Professor of Genetics

Genetics, genomics and breeding of citrus and asparagus; linkage mapping; marker assisted breeding; evolutionary relationships of cultivated citrus.


Professor of Genetics

Mechanisms of resistance to whiteflies in alfalfa, cassava, and Arabidopsis. Role of plastid-localized leucine aminopeptidase in regulation nuclear gene expression after injury and herbivory.

XU, Shizhong

Professor of Genetics & Geneticist

Quantitative Genetics; Plant Breeding; Bioinformatics; Statistical Genomics

Let us help you with your search