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Our research projects cover a broad range of interactions between microorganisms and their environments and span the continuum from the organism to large scale field studies. We focus on improving our understanding and management of microbial processes and interactions in soil to increase agricultural sustainability and environmental quality. Areas of research include broad-scale ecological questions such as the role of denitrifier and nitrifier diversity in nitrous oxide formation, influence of agricultural practices on soil communities and processes, and how to enhance the contribution of soil biological processes to growing food.  We study the microbial processes of biodegradation and bioremediation and investigate impacts of organic pollutants on soil and groundwater environments.  We also work with smallholder farmers in Uganda on strategies to enhance production and marketing of vegetables using participatory extension approaches such as Farmer Field Schools and market chain assessments. 


Kate Scow is also Director of the Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility. Explore the links for more specific information on our research projects and people in our lab.





The Department of Land, Air and Water Resources is a unique environmental science department that includes physical and biological scientists working on agricultural, forest and rangeland, and natural ecosystems.

ASI and Russell Ranch

The Agricultural Sustainability Institute provides leadership for research, teaching and extension efforts in agriculture and food systems sustainability at the Davis Campus and throughout the UC systems. Russell Ranch is a long term agricultural research facility investigating the relationships between sustainability and management in an irrigated mediterranean agricultural ecosystem. Scow is Deputy Director of ASI ( and Director of Russell Ranch. 

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