Bold, fresh thinking

Ken Tate and Leslie Roche

Ken Tate and Leslie Roche

Leslie Roche, a postdoctoral student researcher, studied under Ken Tate, professor of plant sciences and rangeland watershed specialist in Cooperative Extension. He served as Roche’s major professor during her doctoral program, and continues to serve as a mentor for her USDA National Institute for Food and Agricultural Postdoctoral Fellowship.

“His leadership, work ethic and scientific integrity are truly inspiring,” said Leslie Roche.

Why is UC Davis the one for you? “Professor Kenneth Tate has provided an immense amount of support and guidance throughout my graduate work and postdoctoral fellowship training. Our mentoring connection has been based on honest, positive and hard work — and from this connection we have grown into collaborators and true professional colleagues.”

What is the best experience you have had here that you could share with us — something that happened to you uniquely because of your ties to UC Davis? “My best memory at UC Davis so far has been when I was a part of a team that brought over 400 ranchers, farmers, conservationists and scientists to Freeborn Hall for the first-ever Rangeland Science Symposium. There was so much excitement throughout the whole event as these diverse groups came together to discuss rangeland conservation. Presenting my own research to this amazing audience was truly an unforgettable experience.”

What do you hope to be your legacy here at UC Davis — what marks have you made or changes that you hope will continue? “I hope my work adds to science-based decision-making to address key issues in sustaining our working landscapes. I hope my legacy includes applied research that has value to people — individuals, families and communities — across California.”

Tell us about one person at UC Davis who has enhanced your life or your work? “I have been so fortunate to work with many amazing people at UC Davis — including cooperative extension specialists, county advisors, and campus faculty who have all demonstrated true dedication to serving California’s communities as sources of timely, objective, and research-driven information. I particularly admire my mentor, Kenneth Tate — his leadership, work ethic and scientific integrity are truly inspiring.”