Who We Are
The UC Davis Olive Center is a self-funded university/industry coalition that seeks to do for olives what UC Davis did for wine. The center features dozens of UC faculty members, extension research specialists and farm advisors who address the research and education needs of California olive growers and processors. The center’s co-chairs are Professor Charles Shoemaker in the Department of Food Science and Technology and Professor Vito Polito in the Department of Plant Sciences.
UC Davis Olive Center
Dan Flynn is executive director of the UC Davis Olive Center, leading the center’s efforts to promote olive research and education. He also oversees olive oil production for UC Davis, including overseeing the harvest, operating milling equipment, and helping promote the product. Dan served as a consultant to the California State Legislature from 1985 to 2004 in a variety of policy areas and is the former owner and manager of an organic farm in the Sierra foothills. Dan received a B.A. in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a M.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University.
UC Davis Olive Center
Sue leads the UC Davis Olive Oil Taste Panel. She has an MS in Sensory Science from UC Davis and owns Applied Sensory, serving the wine, beer and food industries.
Charlie W. Bamforth
Charlie specializes in the science of malting and brewing.
Charles specializes in food emulsions, micelles, microemulsions, and food separations.
Maria specializes in the ecology and molecular genetics of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), required for the production of many artisanal and industrial fermented plant, dairy, and meat products.
Diane M. Barrett
specializes in the effects of raw material characteristics and processing on the quality of fruit and vegetable products.
is the author of several patents on novel yeast strains to convert biomass-to-ethanol and novel bacterial strains to produce new forms of cellulose.
Paul researches heat and mass transfer in foods during drying, thermal processing, immersion frying, air-impingement processing, freezing, and frozen storage.
is a nationally renowned expert on nutrition and fitness.
Linda J. Harris
is the author of the UC revised pamphlet on home-curing olives. She also specializes in microbial food safety and applied microbiology.
specializes in dietary and metabolic regulation of lipid composition, oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids, the physical properties of lipids, and metabolomics.
Clare M. Hasler
is an expert in functional foods and the role of phytochemicals in disease prevention.
Karen specializes in farm management and production, sustainable agriculture, and organic agriculture.
Tom is the founding director of the new Agricultural Sustainability Institute, inaugural holder of the WK Kellogg Chair in Sustainable Food Systems, and a professor of community development in environmental science and policy.
Peter specializes in pollutant sources, air quality, and water quality, including toxics, tracers, particles, dissolved organic matter, ecological impacts, and elemental speciation.
Ruihong researches bioenvironmental engineering, focusing on organic waste management and air quality control. Organic wastes include food scraps, agricultural and food processing by-products, animal manure, and municipal organic residuals.
Rachael is currently conducting research on the economic impact of the olive fruit fly on California.
Frank specializes in olive fruit fly research and integrated pest management.
Marshall researches pest management of grapes, stone fruit, almonds and walnuts, as well as biological control of arthropods and pesticide resistance in pests and natural enemies.
Joe specializes in almonds, olives, citrus, subtropicals, and ornamentals.
Paul conducts an educational and research program in olive oil, tree fruit, berry, and vegetable production in order to preserve the biodiversity of Sonoma County.
Louise has done research into developing an ecologically based management system for the olive fruit fly. She is currently leading the effort to develop mechanical harvesting of California Black Ripe Table olives and is the Statewide Olive Extension Specialist.
Vito researches the reproductive biology of olives, emphasizing development, morphology, and cell biology of pollination and fruit set.
Christine M. Bruhn
Christine focuses her research on consumer issues with food safety and quality, including consumer attitudes toward new food production methods or processing technologies.
Shermain specializes in specialty food marketing, finance, and the structure and roles of cooperatives.
Dan specializes in agricultural policy, including commodity programs, trade policy, and human resources and regulations, with an emphasis on agricultural trade in the Pacific Rim (especially Korea), dairy industry issues, and rice policy.
Jeffrey specializes in commodity markets, financial markets, finance, public finance, mathematical programming, econometrics, and economic history.
Travis specializes in economic development and rural livelihoods in North Africa and the Middle East, where olives have become a central element in agricultural development and agribusiness.
Edwin specializes in lipid oxidation & antioxidation in foods & biological systems. He is currently researching the oxidative stability and effect of natural antioxidants on oils, emulsions & foods containing docosahexaenoic acid and long-chain omega-3 fatty acids.
The UC Davis Analytical Laboratory performs analyses on selected chemical constituents of soil, plant, water and waste water, and feed in support of statewide research activities. The lab also aids in the client services that the Olive Center provides for both sensory and chemical oil analysis.
Alyson specializes in the influence of phytochemicals and whole foods on human metabolism and health.
Elizabeth is a plant pathologist and farm advisor.
Jim's research focuses on the epidemiology and management of foliar diseases caused by fungal and bacterial tree pathogens.
Brad specializes in field-based research to reduce the impact of weeds on cropping system productivity.