Pamela Ronald is a distinguished professor in the department of plant pathology and the genome Center at the University of California, Davis. She serves as founding director of the Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy at UC Davis and director of grass genetics at the Joint Bioenergy Institute in Emeryville.
Ronald and collaborators were instrumental in identifying genes of rice that control the rice response to infection and tolerance to stress.
Ronald and colleagues received the 2008 USDA National Research Initiative Discovery Award for their research on rice submergence tolerance. In 2011, Ronald was selected as one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company Magazine, and in 2012 Ronald and colleagues received the Tech Award 2012 for innovative use of technology to benefit humanity. In 2014 she was named one of the world’s most influential scientific minds by Thomson Reuters. In 2015 she was selected by Scientific American as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in biotechnology. In 2016 she was named by Grist magazine as one of the 50 innovators and visionaries who will lead us toward a more sustainable future.
Ronald is co-author of Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food. Bill Gates calls the book “ a fantastic piece of work” and “important for anyone that wants to learn about the science of seeds and challenges faced by farmers.” Her 2015 TED talk has been viewed by more than 1.5 million people and translated into 24 languages.