University of California, Berkeley   |  College of Natural Resources 

A Newsletter for Faculty, Students, Staff and Friends of the Department

PMB Blue Logo
Issue No. 35
April 18, 2015
Research. Academics. Discoveries.
In This Issue ...

Quick Links


Science and Critical Thinking Fair

Peggy Lemaux
Peggy Lemaux is a speaker for SkeptiCal 2015
California science fans are invited to attend the sixth annual SkeptiCal on June 6, 2015, at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, in downtown Oakland. 

This project of the Bay Area Skeptics and the Sacramento Area Skeptics is a one-day, affordable science and critical thinking conference you won't want to miss. 

Peggy Lemaux of Plant & Microbial Biology is a featured speaker on the topic of "Angst in the Grocery Aisle: The Debate over Genetically Modified Foods".

Other speakers include:
  • "Towards Other Earths, Other Life: NASA's Kepler mission" by Natalie Batalha, NASA Ames
  • "OMG Virus! Flu, Ebola, Measles, and When You Really Should Be Afraid" by Ann Reid, National Center for Science Education
  • "Reproducible Research: True or False?" by John P.A. Ioannidis, Stanford University
For more information please visit:

Register here:
Full speaker descriptions and abstracts:


Outstanding Graduate Student Instructors Recognized
Susan Hepp, Allison Schwartz, Riva Bruenn, Kate Scheibel, Carine Marshall, Monika Fischer, Rocio Sanchez, Pat Zambryski (Photo by Queena Xu)

Outstanding Graduate Student Instructors were celebrated on Wednesday, April 15, in recognition of their hard work. This year's departmental outstanding GSIs are Susan Hepp, Allison Schwartz, Riva Bruenn, Kate Scheibel, Carine Marshall and Monika Fischer.

The honorees were recognized at a standing-room-only ceremony initiated by Graduate Student Advisor Rocio Sanchez and Faculty Graduate Advisor Pat Zambryski.

Schwartz and Marshall will also be recognized at the campus level in a ceremony to be held on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.


Wine, Beer and Cheese Seminar, and Much more

Plant & Microbial Biology Seminars Offer Wide Variety of Topics
  • 4/22 - David Mills, 
    Viticulture and Enology | Food Science and Technology, 
    UC Davis
    • Tales of Microbial Terroir: The Microbial Biogeography of Wine, Beer and Cheese Production | Noon at 101 Barker Hall
  • 4/27 - Kate Scheibel, Shauna Somerville Lab | Becky Mackelprang, Wildermuth Lab
    • Student/Postdoc Seminar Series| Noon at 338 Koshland Hall
  • 4/29 - Barbara Valent, Plant Pathology | Kansas State University
    • Effector Dynamics During Biotrophic Invasion by the Rice Blast Fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae | Noon at 101 Barker Hall
  • 4/30 - Mike Lewis, Hake Lab | Peter DiGennaro, Fletcher Lab
    • Plant Gene Expression Center Seminar Series | 11 am at PGEC  Conference Room
    • From Plant Engineering to Synthetic Biology and Back | Noon at 101 Barker Hall
  • 5/7Jim Holland, USDA-ARS/North Carolina State University
    • Genetic Analysis and Prediction of Complex Traits in Maize | 11 am at PGEC  Conference Room
  • 5/14 Mael Baudin, Lewis Lab
    • Plant Gene Expression Center Seminar Series | 11 am at PGEC  Conference Room
  • 5/21China Lunde, Hake Lab
    • Plant Gene Expression Center Seminar Series | 11 am at PGEC  Conference Room
  • 6/4 - Richard Amasino | Department of Biochemistry University of Wisconsin, Madison 
    • Regulation of Flowering by Environmental Cues in Arabidopsis and Brachypodium |     11 am at PGEC  Conference Room
For more information, visit


Symposiums Roundup - Something for Everyone

Genetics, Development. and Evolution Symposium

UC Berkeley biology colleagues are invited to attend the seventh annual Genetics, Development and Evolution Symposium on Monday,
May 18 from 9 am to 5 pm. Graduate students and post-docs will present their research, either as a talk or during the poster session. 

For registration information, visit Abstract submissions are due by Friday, April 27.  

Microbiology Student Symposium

Recent Microbiology Student Symposium

The Microbiology Student Group invites you to the 16th Annual UC Berkeley Microbiology Student Symposium at UC Berkeley on Saturday, April 25th, 2015. The symposium is a daylong event in which graduate students, undergraduates and postdocs present original research to peers and professors of the Northern California microbiology community.

Virus Symposium

The Annual Bay Area Symposium on Viruses aims to strengthen the network of scientists in the San FranciscoBay Area working on virology, host-pathogen interactions and control of human and animal viral infections. The symposium also serves as the annual meeting for BayViro, the Bay Area Virus Network.  

WHEN: Friday, May 29, 2015, 9 am - 6 pm 

WHERE: Li Ka Shing Center Auditorium, University of California, Berkeley 


For more information and registration, visit:


Science for Parks Summit Speeches Now Viewable Online         

The 20 minute plenary speeches and keynote by E.O. Wilson, "Putting Aside Half the Earth for the Rest of Life", are now available for viewing online.  This was the most watched educational livestream in the history of UC Berkeley.


Important Dates  |  Upcoming Events  
Event Calendar Image


Spring 2015

4/22/15 - PMB Seminar: David Mills, UC Davis

4/29/2015 - PMB Seminar: Barbara Valent, Kansas State University 

5/6/15 - PMB Seminar: Dominique Loque, Joint BioEnergy Institute

5/15/15 - PMB Spring Party - Alumni House


5/16/15 - College of Natural Resources Commencement 

9/11/15 - PMB Retreat - Clark Kerr Campus, UC Berkeley

111 Koshland Hall    I    Berkeley, California 94720    I    510.642.9999      I


The PMB newsletter is produced by the Department of Plant & Microbial Biology, UC Berkeley.

Professor N. Louise Glass, Department Chair

Professor Kris Niyogi, Associate Chair


Dana Jantz, Chief Operating Officer 

Karyn Houston, Communications / Webmaster / Newsletter Editor 

Rocio Sanchez, Graduate Program

Jennifer Halpert and Ricky Vides, Undergraduate Majors Advisors