Soil microbiologist named sustainable ag deputy director

Kate Scow, an investigator of soil microbial communities in agroecosystems, has been named deputy director of the University of California Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI). Scow will serve with Tom Tomich, director of UC Davis' ASI. She succeeds nematologist Howard Ferris who is on sabbatical in Costa Rica.

"I am delighted that Kate has agreed to work with us in our collaborative efforts in agricultural sustainability," said Tomich, who is also director of the statewide UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP).

"This is an important time for sustainability research and outreach, and Kate is outstanding in both areas," Tomich said. "In addition to working on projects aimed at sharing integrated farming systems developments with growers, she has been the director of the Kearney Foundation of Soil Science, and is affiliated with the UC Davis John Muir Institute for the Environment."

Scow, a soil microbiologist and professor in the UC Davis land, air and water resources department, will work with Tomich and collaborators in several campus and statewide programs to extend the work of the ASI. Collaborating groups include SAREP, and UC Davis campus programs including the Student Farm, Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems project and Long Term Research on Agricultural Systems project.

Scow has for 18 years conducted research focused on the role of soil microorganisms in carbon and nitrogen cycling, decomposition of organic matter, and biodegradation of pesticides and organic pollutants.

"I am excited by this opportunity to contribute to the evolution of the ASI and to be involved in defining and promoting sustainable agricultural practices for California and beyond," Scow said. "I look forward to working with Tom and colleagues across campus."

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