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Welcome to the web site for the Quantitative Biology and Epidemiology (QBE, “cube”) research group of the Plant Pathology Department at UC Davis.


QBE's values

QBE is an inclusive and collaborative place.  We reject all forms of discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, physical ability, and race. We strive to secure equitable pay for research group members, to prioritize work-life balance and flexibility, and to encourage skill building and cross-disciplinary exploration. We work together, recognizing our many differences, to create a mutually supportive, safe and happy working environment, grounded in the principle of inherent equality among all people.

As a research group, our work is often used to inform public policy and support decision making. We take seriously our responsibility to sift fact from fallacy when building tools for the public and for decision makers. We acknowledge that as humans we each have our own biases and strive to understand and reduce their impact on our work. We also acknowledge that our work can be contextualized or applied in politicized environments, and seriously consider how best to communicate information to all audiences. We will not hesitate to enter political discourse if our work is misused or misrepresented.

Our work in outline

In the cube group we are interested in understanding how plant disease epidemics, and many other phenomena, arise out of the interactions between people, agriculture, the environment, and wider ecosystems.  Wherever possible, we express relationships among these components quantitatively, but we utilize a wide range of quantitative and qualitative techniques in order to combine information from different domains into models.

Four basic components make up the systems we study: People, plants, pathogens and the environment.  Modern plant disease epidemiology is a hybrid discipline combining elements of natural sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences.


Prospective graduate students interested in studying in QBE should first complete the UC Davis online application process for admissions.  I cannot make offers of places to individual students applying speculatively via email.  In addition, if you are thinking about applying to work in QBE please consider the type of work that we do and note, in particular, that we do not offer wet lab experience - Eppendorf tubes and micropipettes get you going? Not our thing.
Graduate study at UC Davis is organized into Graduate Groups.  Plant Pathology is its own graduate group (see link to application above).  In addition to Plant Pathology, I am also in the
Students wishing to enter either GGE program should apply via the online systems for those programs.
Undergraduate research
QBE hosts several undergraduate researchers each year.  There are two main options.  Some students work with us as undergrad research interns (for research credits), or GDB students study with me to complete the research practicum requirement for the GDB Major.  Most of the research interns first take GDB101 and contact me in person to discuss possible research positions.
The Long Narrow Swale: Thoughts on interdisciplinary research
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