These are the hard-working researchers, agronomists, economists that continually keep the UC Davis Olive Center as the gold standard for olive research.

Dan Flynn
Executive Director, UC Davis Olive Center

Email: jdflynn@ucdavis.edu
Phone: (530) 752-5170

Dan Flynn is the director of the UC Davis Olive Center, overseeing education, outreach, products and strategy.  He 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.

Dr. Selina Wang, PhD
Research Director, UC Davis Olive Center; Specialist in Cooperative Extension, Department of Food Science and Technology

Email:
Phone: (530) 752-0612

Dr. Selina Wang is the research director of the UC Davis Olive Center and a faculty member in the Department of Food Science and Technology. She received a PhD in Organic Chemistry from UC Davis and her post-doctoral project on evaluating the quality of extra virgin olive oil in supermarkets received worldwide attention in 2010 and 2011. Dr. Wang works closely with researchers and industry stakeholders and has developed more than 100 research projects in table olives and olive oil - including domestic/international standards, chemical method developments for rapid testing of quality and purity, best practices for harvesting/processing/storage, to byproduct management and health benefits.

Shirley Li
Assistant Director, UC Davis Olive Center

Email:

Phone: (530) 752-3176

Shirley Li is the assistant director of the UC Davis Olive Center, performing research and administrative duties including leading and assisting undergraduate and graduate students on research projects, establishing lab protocols, coordinating center events and short courses, and managing the sales of center products. Currently, Shirley is a member of the olive oil tasting panel at Applied Sensory, which is both AOCS and IOC certified. Shirley received a B.E. in food science and technology at the Jiangnan University in China, and a M.S. in Food Science from the University of California, Davis.

Faculty and Research Specialists

Diseases


  • Dr. James Adaskaveg Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, UC Riverside

    Research:  Epidemiology and management of olive knot

  • Dr. Maher al Rwahnih Project Scientist, Foundation Plant Services

    Research: Olive viruses

  • Dr. Elizabeth Fichtner UC Cooperative Extension Specialist, Tulare County

    Research: Epidemiology and management of olive knot, alternate-bearing cycle of olive.

  • Dr. Mohamed Nouri UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor, San Joaquin County

    Research: Neofabraea

  • Dr. Florent Trouillas UC Cooperative Extension Specialist, Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Parlier

    Research: Neofabraea

Fermentation/Microbiology


  • Dr. Kyria Boundy-Mills Curator, Phaff Yeast Culture Collection

    Research: Starter cultures for fermented olives

  • Dr. Linda Harris Extension Specialist and Chair, Department of Food Science and Technology

    Research: Microbiological food safety of olive oil processing

  • Dr. Maria Marco Professor and Microbiologist, Department of Food Science and Technology

    Research: Causes and solutions for defects in Sicilian-Style olives

Pests


  • Dr. Kent Daane UCCE Extension Specialist, Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley

    Research: Olive fruit fly parasitoids, black scale management

  • Dr. Emily Symmes UC Cooperative Extension Statewide IPM Advisor

    Research: Olive fly management

  • Dr. Kris Tollerup UC Cooperative Extension IPM Advisor

    Research: Olive fly management

  • Dr. Houston Wilson UC Cooperative Extension Specialist, Kearney Agricultural and Extension Center

    Research: Tree crops IPM

  • Dr. Frank Zalom Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Entomology

    Research: Olive fruit fly management

Orchard Management


  • Dr. Khaled Bali UC Cooperative Extension Specialist, Kearney Agricultural and Extension Center

    Research: Irrigation in olives

  • Dr. Patrick Brown Professor, Department of Plant Sciences

    Research: Plant nutrition

  • Dr. Louise Ferguson UC Cooperative Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences and Co-Chair, UC Davis Olive Center

    Research: Mechanical harvesting of table olives

  • Dr. Brad Hanson UC Cooperative Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences

    Research: Weed Management

  • Dr. Peter Larbi UC Cooperative Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences

    Research: Spray principles and techniques

  • Dr. Giulia Marino UC Cooperative Extension Specialist, Kearney Agricultural and Extension Center

    Research: Irrigation in olives

Byproducts


  • Dr. Ed DePeters Distinguished Professor, Department of Animal Science

    Research: Nutritional value of olive mill byproducts in animal feed

  • Dr. Peter Green Professional Research Engineer, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Research: Olive mill waste management

  • Dr. Amanda Hodson Professional Research Engineer, Assistant Researcher, Department of Entomology/Nematology

    Research: Soil nutrition of olive mill pomace

  • Dr. Annie King Professor, Department of Animal Science

    Research: Examining impacts on shelf life of processed meat through feeding olive mill byproducts to hens

  • Dr. Juliana Maria Leite Nobrega de Moura Bell Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology

    Research: Olive Pomace

  • Dr. Nitin Nitin Professor and Engineer, Department of Food Science and Technology

    Research: Olive oil byproducts and extracts

  • Dr. Zhongli Pan Adjunct Professor, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering

    Research: Infrared heating for drying olive mill byproducts

  • Dr. Christopher Simmons Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology

    Research: Treatment of olive wastewater via microbial fuel cells

Health


  • Dr. Roberta Holt Assistant Project Scientist, Department of Nutrition

    Research: Health impacts of olive oil consumption

  • Dr. Bruce German Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology and Director, Foods for Health Institute

    Research: Health impacts of olive oil in the diet

  • Dr. John Newman Research Chemist, USDA Western Human Nutrition Research Center

    Associate Adjunct Professor, UC Davis Department of Nutrition

    Research: Health impacts of olive oil consumption

  • Dr. Francene Steinberg Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition

    Research: Health impacts of olive oil consumption

Sensory and Consumer Testing


  • Dr. Jean-Xavier Guinard Professor, Department of Food Science and Technology, Interim Director, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science

    Research: Sensory analysis and consumer testing of table olives and olive oil

Economics


  • Dr. Travis Lybbert Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

    Research: Economic analysis of new California olive oil standards and production systems in developing nations

  • Dr. William Matthews Assistant Project Scientist, Agricultural Issues Center

    Research: Economic analysis of the olive market in the United States

  • Dr. Daniel Sumner Executive Director, Agricultural Issues Center and Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

    Research: Economic analysis of the olive market in the United States

Processing


  • Dr. William Ristenpart Associate Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering

    Research:  Electromagnetic response of oil droplets in table olive processing

  • Dr. Justin Siegel Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine

    Research: Developing novel enzymes for biosensor for olive oil rancidity and olive debittering

In this section

The UC Davis Olive Center is a self-supporting university/industry partnership that seeks to do for olives what UC Davis did for wine.