Professor Pamela C. Ronald is Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis. She also serves as Director of Grass Genetics and the Joint Bioenergy Institute in Emeryville and faculty director of the UC Davis Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy. Prof. Ronald speaks eloquently about the science behind organic farming, plant genetics and food production – issues central to the challenge of feeding the growing population without further destroying the environment. Her laboratory has genetically engineered rice for resistance to diseases and tolerance to flooding.
Ronald is widely recognized for these research discoveries and for her innovative and effective public engagement. In 2015, Prof. Ronald was selected by Scientific American as one of the Worldview 100—a list of the world’s 100 most influential people in biotechnology. In 2011, she was selected by Fast Company as one of the 100 most creative people in business. Bill Gates called her book Tomorrow’s Table “a fantastic piece of work.” Her 2015 TED talk on plant genetics and food security has been viewed more than 1.2 million times.
Her book Tomorrow’s Table (co-authored with organic farmer and her husband Raoul Adamchak) describes farming practices and genetic methods that enhance local food security, reduces application of harmful inputs, enhances soil fertility and provides safe, abundant and nutritious food to consumers. Tomorrow’s Table was selected as one of the best books of 2008 by Seed Magazine and the Library Journal. In 2012, the book was selected by The New Earth Archive as one of the 25 most powerful and influential books with the power to inspire college readers to change the world.
Prof. Ronald has written for The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Forbes Magazine, Scientific American, The Harvard International Review, The Economist, the Boston review and MIT technology review. Her research has been published in Science, Science Advances, Nature and other leading peer-reviewed scientific journals, and has also been featured in The New York Times, Organic Gardening Magazine, Forbes Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The Progressive Farmer, CNN, Discover Magazine, The Scientist, Popular Mechanics, Bill Gates blog, National Public Radio the BBC and National Geographic.
Prof. Ronald is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She was awarded Fulbright (1984, 2012), Guggenheim (2000), and Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)(2008) Fellowships. She and her colleagues were recipients of the USDA 2008 National Research Initiative Discovery Award for their work on submergence tolerant rice. In 2009, Prof. Ronald received the National Association of Science Writers in Society Journalism Award. In 2011, Prof. Ronald was selected to be the Charles Valentine Riley lecturer, an annual event cosponsored by the AAAS and the World Food Prize Foundation. In 2011, Prof. Ronald was selected as one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company Magazine. In 2012, Prof. Ronald was awarded the Louis Malassis International Scientific Prize for Agriculture and Food. In 2012, Prof. Ronald and colleagues received the Tech Award 2012 for innovative use of technology to benefit humanity. In 2015 Prof. Ronald was selected by Scientific American as one of the Worldview 100—a list of the world’s 100 most influential people in biotechnology.
Prof. Ronald received a B.A. from Reed College, an M.A. from Stanford University, an M.S. from Uppsala University, Sweden and her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1990. She was a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University from 1990–1992. In 1992, Prof. Ronald joined UC Davis as a faculty member where she served as Faculty Assistant to the Provost from 2004–2007. From 2003–2007 Prof. Ronald chaired the UC Davis Distinguished Women in Science seminar series, an event designed to support women’s professional advancement in the sciences. In 1996, Prof. Ronald founded the Genetic Resources Recongtion Fund, a UC Davis program to share benefits of biotechnology with less developed countries. In 2014, she established the UC Davis Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy, and currently serves as Faculty Director.