The Department of Botany and Plant Sciences encompasses all areas of scholarship involving plant science. This includes undergraduate and graduate instruction and mentorship, fundamental and applied research, and dissemination of research-based information and technologies beyond the academic community.
As one of the largest academic departments at UCR, the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences participates in two bachelor's degree programs and offers a master's degree program in Plant Biology with two tracks, Botany or Plant Science, and Ph.D. programs in Plant Biology and Plant Genetics. The department has strong programs in basic plant cell biology, responses of plants to environmental stresses, plant ecology, genetics, genomics, and evolution. The department houses the Center for Plant Cell Biology, which is the Nation's first Research Center devoted exclusively to Plant Cell Biology.
These strengths in basic research complement applied research programs that use the traditional tools of botany and the new technologies of genomics to meet the evolving needs of California's $27 billion agricultural industry. Development of new varieties and crop management strategies help address the challenges of climate change and new pest and disease. Cooperative Extension specialists serve as the bridges between discoveries made in the department's laboratories and greenhouses and growers who will put the new knowledge to work for such commodities as avocado, citrus, wheat, vegetable crops, turfgrass, and ornamental and urban landscape plants.