Awards and Honors: Agroecologist Amélie Gaudin named “new innovator”

Sep 28, 2016 John Stumbos
Foundation supports researchers to help expand food availability and sustainable agriculture practices.

UC Davis agroecologist Amélie Gaudin talks about cover crops and nitrogen management at the Russell Ranch Field Day in May 2015. Ann Filmer/UC Davis
Amélie Gaudin, assistant professor of agroecology, has been awarded the 2016 New Innovator in Food and Agriculture Award from the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research (FFAR).

The award helps fund the work of new faculty and their teams of students and scholars to conduct research with the potential to expand food availability and encourage sustainable agriculture practices. 

“This award will allow us to tackle critical gaps in understanding how to breed crops adapted to soil health-building management practices in rain-fed and irrigated cropping systems,” Gaudin said. “I trust we will open new frontiers to improve resource use efficiency and agroecosystem adaptation to a changing climate.”

Gaudin studied agronomy and crop physiology at several global research centers before joining the UC Davis faculty in 2015. Her research focuses on agroecology, adaptation and resilience to climate change, root systems and ecological intensification of annual and perennial cropping systems. 

“Agriculture faces many challenges to sustainably increase food production,” Gaudin said. “My research program uses agroecological principles to tackle these challenges with the goal of creating more resilient and efficient cropping systems. We conduct research on systems rather than specific crops and integrate methods from various disciplines to study multiple benefits and tradeoffs”

Some of her current projects include:

  • Climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies in California processing tomato production systems
  • Evaluation of soil-health building practices to enhance drought resilience
  • Impact of domestication and breeding on crop root ecology, growth, and architecture
  • Ecological intensification strategies for almond orchards

To learn more about Gaudin’s work, visit

FFAR was established by the Farm Bill passed in 2014 to complement and further the work of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Leveraging public and private resources, the foundation aims to increase scientific and technological research, innovation, and partnerships critical to enhancing sustainable production of nutritious food. To learn more about the award and FFAR, visit

Amélie Gaudin
Department of Plant Sciences
530-752- 1212
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