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Improving Food Security for the World’s Poorest Farmers: Plant Genetics and the Future of Food

Wednesday, September 30, 2020 4:00pm to 5:00pm

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Professor Pamela Ronald ’82 is known for her leading role in the development of climate-resilient rice varieties grown by more than six million subsistence farmers in India and Bangladesh. In this virtual presentation, Professor Ronald will share her research and will discuss the role of biotechnology in sustainable agriculture. The format will be a 40-min presentation followed by 20-min Q&A using Zoom.

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Speaker’s bio: 

Prof. Pamela Ronald ’82 is recognized for research in infectious disease biology and environmental stress tolerance. Her isolation of the rice Xa21 immune receptor in 1995 and of a novel microbial immunogen in 2015 revealed a new mechanism with which plants and animals detect and respond to infection. She is also known for her leading role in the isolation of the rice Submergence Tolerance 1 gene. Her research facilitated the development of high yielding Sub1 rice varieties grown by more than six million subsistence farmers in India and Bangladesh.

Ronald was named a National Geographic Innovator and one of Grist’s 50 innovators who will lead us toward a more sustainable future. She was named one of the world’s most influential scientific minds by Thomson Reuters and one of the world’s 100 most influential people in biotechnology by Scientific American. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Prof. Ronald is co-author with her husband, Raoul Adamchak, an organic farmer, of ”Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetic and the Future of Food“. Bill Gates calls the book a “fantastic piece of work“ and “important for anyone that wants to learn about the science of seeds and challenges faced by farmers“.

Ronald is a distinguished professor in the Dept of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at UC Davis. She also founded the UC Davis Institute for Food and Agriculture Literacy to provide the next generation of scientists with the training they need to become effective communicators. In 2019, Ronald was awarded the American Society of Plant Biologists Leadership in Science Public Service Award.

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