top of page

Get to Know Us

Welcome to LabtoFarm.org, where academic researchers and community stakeholders unite to propel climate-smart agriculture and sustainable farming systems. Rooted in public agricultural R&D, we're committed to enhancing food production, fostering resilience to climate impacts, and reducing net GHG emissions. Our work is underpinned by the principles of a circular economy, aiming to create a closed-loop farming system where resources are optimally utilized. By merging cutting-edge research with practical solutions, we address the multi-dimensional challenges facing farmers and the agriculture industry. Join us in pioneering a more sustainable and resilient future for farming.

Team

Dedication. Expertise. Passion.

At labtofarm.org, our team is the heart and soul behind our mission to reshape the future of sustainable agriculture. Composed of dedicated faculty, innovative post-docs, passionate students, and engaged community stakeholders, our team embodies a unique blend of expertise and enthusiasm. We foster a culture that values interdisciplinary collaboration, cutting-edge research, and real-world application.

We thrive on the challenges of climate-smart agriculture and are deeply committed to creating a circular economy within farming systems. Our work philosophy is centered around holistic solutions—whether it's advancing drought-resistant crops or optimizing resource use in farming, or creating advanced plant disease detection tools, we believe that every challenge offers an opportunity for innovation.

Our team doesn’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk, and we invite you to join us on this exciting journey towards a more sustainable and resilient agricultural future.

UCR Scientists and Lab Members

image.png

Deborah Pagliaccia

Associate Research Scientist - Microbiology & Plant Pathology Dept.

image.png

Michelle Ortiz

Research Graduate Student - Microbiology & Plant Pathology Dept.

image.png

Sohrab Bodaghi

Associate Research Scientist - Microbiology & Plant Pathology Dept.

image.png

Agustina De Francesco

Associate Research Scientist - Microbiology & Plant Pathology Dept.

Past UCR Scientists and Lab Members

image_edited.jpg

Marco Gebiola

Assistant Project Scientist - Entomology Dept.

Current UCR Students (Undergraduates and Graduates) 

Ben Maki

PhD Candidate in Environmental Toxicology with a designated emphasis in Public Policy

Interests: Groundwater Sustainability, Sustainable Agriculture, Soil Redox Chemistry, Geogenic Containment Release into Groundwater

Michelle Ortiz

Masters Student Researcher in the Plant Pathology & Microbiology Graduate Program

Interests: Writing Poetry, Walks Along The Ocean, Endangered Frogs, And Oil Spill Awareness

Madison Amador

Undergraduate Student Researcher obtaining a B.S. in Environmental Science with a Concentration in Natural Sciences and Minoring in Geology

Interests: Wildlife Habitat Conservation, Economical and Environmental Sustainability, Outdoors, and Geological Phenomenons

Helen Huyen Tran

Undergraduate student researcher obtaining a B.S. in Cellular, Molecular & Developmental Biology 

Interests: Hiking, Working out, National Park Conservation, and Veteran Mental Health

Previous UCR Students (Undergraduates and Graduates) 

Spring 2023

Ali Shaikh

B.S. in Computer Science with Business Applications

-

Gianni Camila Barrientos Calderón

Undergraduate Student Researcher

B.S. in Biology at University of California, Riverside

Interests: Music, Longboarding, Environmental Action Through Thrifting and Veganism

Christian Abdelshahed

B.S. in Cellular, Molecular & Developmental Biology

-

Andrew Lehrack

B.S. in Cellular, Molecular & Developmental Biology

-

Anastasia Garcia

Undergraduate Student Researcher

B.S. in Environmental Sciences

Interests: Drawing, Reading, Music, Environmental Sustainability & Planning

Fall 2021

Michael Rodriguez

PhD Student Researcher for the Climate Change & Sustainability Lab - Environmental Sciences Dept., UCR

-

Kristen Bailey

B.S. degree in Microbiolog

-

Andrea Garnica

Undergraduate student studying at University of California, Riverside

-

Brianna Lopez

Undergraduate Sustainability major at University of California, Riverside

-

Zoe Clark

"Testimonials are a great way to showcase positive feedback you've received. Click to edit and add yours."

-

Alex Quezada

B.S. in Environmental Sciences 

-

Alex Robles

"Testimonials are a great way to showcase positive feedback you've received. Click to edit and add yours."

-

Danielle Stevenson

PhD Student Researcher for Environmental Toxicology at University of California, Riverside with over 10 years of experience as an Environmental Science Researcher

-

Fall 2021

Cathy Tang

B.S. degree in Sustainability

-

Winter 2021

Mariela Rivera

B.S. in Sustainability Studies

Interests: Reading, Listening to Podcasts, Being Outdoors, Trying New Foods

"Throughout my time with UCR CAFE, I was able to be part of a hard working team that wanted to help the Black and Brown community at UCR. I helped identify the factors that affect nutritional food access within the Latinx and Black communities at UCR, assisted with research on food waste,  and researched alternative agri-food systems associated with agriculture, climate change, and sustainability."

Jessica Del Pilar

Previous University of California, Riverside Undergraduate who obtained a B.S. in Sustainability Studies

-

Summer 2020

Adriann Okamba

B.S. in Engineering Administration & Management

Interests: Technological Innovation and Design, Sustainability, Collaboration and Diversity, Self-improvement and Discipline

"My internship was an enriching experience where I got to work with several actors in the fight for the environment. I collaborated with engineers to ensure that the citrus disease does not compromise agriculture, in order to promote an eco-friendlier planet."

Spring 2020

Leslie Rendon

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

Interests: Sustainable Urban Development, Sustainable Agriculture, Community Design, Waste Reduction, and Resource Allocation

"What I learned that I hadn’t known before was how quickly the increase in human population would have an effect on our food systems, considering it will probably jump to 9-10 billion people in the next 30 years alone it’s difficult to adapt our systems to both climate change and a growing population in such a short time."

Beatriz Ortega

B.S. in Biotechnology

Interests: Medicinal Plants, Ocean Research and Sustainability

"It was an exciting experience to learn more about the circular economy and zero waste. Working in a sustainable project that focuses on the plant microbiome allowed me to learn new exciting insight on how plants work."

Melissa Marquez

B.S. in Sociology 

Interests: 

Race, Gender, and Class Inequality, Intersectionality, Globalization, Food Security

"The many different ways insects are used for food, such as protein. I was not aware of how common this practice was. Today there are over 200 companies globally that farm insects for food, 25 of those being in the U.S."

Jorge Pérez

B.S. in Biotechnology

Interests: Genomics, Genetic Human Diseases, and Biomedical Engineering

"Working in a greenhouse project made me discover the importance of agricultural biotechnology."

Nafissa Benhamadi

B.S. in Biotechnology

Interests: Cosmetics biotechnology (green biotechnology) and  cancer inmunotherapy

"I was amazed to learn that we can all help the planet by exploring and deploying sustainable solutions to improve the agri-food system."

Victor Chan Kam Shu

B.S. in Engineering Managment

Interests: Sustainable Development, Circular Economy, Renewable Energy,FAO

"Learning about the residue (80% of the biomass grown) from California's almond production suprised me. Nevertheless, seeing dedicated scientists working to find sustainable solutions inspire me."

Winter 2020

Lyka Zamoranos

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

Interests: Sustainable Living, Zero Waste, Food Security, Reuse & Recycling

"I learned that by 2050 the world's population will reach ten million and in order to feed the growing population, the United Nations suggested that we can eat insects instead of meat. Insects are more healthier since they have more protein than meat and more environmentally friendly because they don't really require a lot of land or water."

Yuen Yan Chung (Eureka)

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

Interests: Water management, Urban Agriculture, Human-Animal Relationship

"I learned that there were laws that allowed gardeners and farmers to sell what they grow to the community. Policies were loosen as the population of people grew at the same time. For example, the Cottage Food Act offered people a chance to legally prepare food in their kitchens and sold to the public. It provides an opportunity for people to have close interaction with nature by cultivating and growing plants."

Levina Parada

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

Interests: Queer Theory, Gender Theory, The Devastation and Destructive Practices of Animal Agriculture, Prison Industrial Complex

"I was surprised to learn that for every 100 grams of plant protein, only about 3 grams end up on one’s plate (Rebekah Moses, Impossible Foods). This demonstrates how unsustainable certain foods are, and gives us the basis to develop better, sustainable food alternatives."

Moises Martinez

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

Interests: Food Security, Urban Planning, Conservation

Fall 2019

Winter 2019

Corey Wong

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

-

Ana Rodriguez Lomeli

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

Interests: Sustainability Management, Public Health. Ecological Sustainability, Environmental and Community

Alexandra Serna

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

Interests: Sustainable Urban Development, Sustainable Agriculture, and Renewable Resources

Spring 2018

John Russ

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

Interests: Sustainable Buisness

Marcia Castro

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

-

Kimberly Do

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

Interests: Water Pollution, Agricultural Irrigation Systems

Angeline Jiang

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

Interests: Reducing Food Waste, Sustainable Living in Terms of Consumption

Alexis Martinez

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

Interests: Clothing Design, Screen-printing, "Slow" Fashion, Climate Change, and Sustainability

Victoria Quan

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

Interests: Sustainable Food, Food Industry Exploiting Animals and Resources, Waste in Genera (Ways To Go Zero Waste)

Thomas Wei

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

-

Connor Magee

B.S. in Sustainability Studies 

Cormorant Garamond is a classic font with a modern twist. It's easy to read on

UCR Dining

gustavo_plascencia.jpeg

Gustavo Plascencia

General Manager, Special Projects

Julie Ann Zeno.jpeg

Julie Ann Zeno

Sr. Manager Glasgow

About
Deborah Pagliaccia

Bio

Deborah Pagliaccia is a dedicated and enthusiastic scientist at UC Riverside. With a passion for advancing the field of agriculture, she has dedicated her career to work with other like-minded scientists, researching and developing new and sustainable farming practices and technologies that can help farmers produce crops more efficiently while also reducing their impact on the environment. Through her work, she is committed to promoting a circular economy for farming systems and creating a more sustainable and equitable food system.

deb profile.jpg

Education

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It’s easy. Just click “Edit Text” or double click me to add your own content and make changes to the font. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

Employment

I'm a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It’s easy. Just click “Edit Text” or double click me to add your own content and make changes to the font. I’m a great place for you to tell a story and let your users know a little more about you.

bottom of page