Please join our department in welcoming our new Chair, Christopher Simmons. Chris is a Professor who joined Food Science and Technology in 2013. He earned his Ph.D. (as well as his B.S. and M.S.) in Biological Systems Engineering, UC Davis. After earning his Ph.D. in 2011, he was a postdoc at the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville for two years.
His research focuses on improving energy and water use efficiency in food processing by reclaiming energy from waste biomass streams and developing strategies for waste water treatment and recycling. Specifically, high-throughput, massively parallel sequencing and bioinformatics approaches are used to characterize microbial communities that are able to deconstruct waste biomass into fermentable sugars under industrial conditions. These data are used to discover enzymes and molecular pathways that can improve industrial bioconversion of waste biomass into biofuels. Additionally, the microbial ecology of plant-soil systems exposed to food processing effluents is studied to develop strategies for recycling of food processing waste water to agriculture.
"I'm grateful to follow the fantastic example set by Chair Harris and serve the department in this role. I look forward to supporting the continued excellence of our faculty, students, and staff while working together to create new opportunities for impactful research and education." -Chris Simmons
In addition to this welcome, please offer a big round of applause to exiting Chair Linda J. Harris, who had the helm from 2016-2021.