Succeeding Chris van Kessel and Joe DiTomaso, Gail Taylor has recently become the new department chair of plant sciences at University California, Davis. Gail comes to Davis from Southampton in Hampshire, UK where she has led a successful group since 1999. At the University of Southampton, Gail was awarded her professorship in 2004 and through her career she has guided more than 45 students through postgraduate degrees. While at Southampton, Gail has also held various positions on top of her research and teaching, most recently Director of Research in the Biological Sciences department where she managed the research strategy for the faculty.
“I’m excited about coming to UC Davis because green plants have never been more important in addressing the global challenges of delivering food and energy whilst preserving the natural capital of sustainable ecosystems.” Says Prof. Taylor
Gail has been at UC Davis since July 2017 but seven members of her group are in the process of moving over with her from Southampton. December saw the arrival of her equipment that had crossed over from the UK so the group are now ready to charge forward with their research. Based in the plants and environmental sciences at Davis, Gail’s group will conduct molecular, field and modelling based research. The research in Taylorlab has a common theme of plants in a changing world. This spans from plant response to a high CO2 world, to sustainably growing salad crops with an increased nutritional content or with less water availability, to the ecosystem services related to growing bioenergy crops. The group have already started setting up collaborations within Davis, with one lab member working with Mann lab on plant pathology.
“Very few places in the world are better equipped than the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis to address these challenges, and I look forward to working with the talented plant science teams and others across the UC Davis campus to provide training and research of wide significance to industry and policy development over the coming years.”