Best paper of the year award by the Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology

We are excited to announce that our 2022 paper ” Assessing the Short-Term Effects of No-Till on Crop Yield, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, and Soil C and N Pools in a Cover-Cropped, Biodynamic Mediterranean Vineyard was selected as the winner of the 2023 ASVO Viticulture Paper of the Year Award. Our paper was chosen by a panel of industry experts from research papers in the Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research. This award honours outstanding researchers where the potential application of their research to industry is deemed the most significant.

We are grateful to the ASVO for this recognition. This award gives a true purpose to the many hours spent in the field, analyzing samples, and data.

We would like to thank our industry collaborator in this work, Tablas Creek, and many other producers throughout the world, for pushing the envelope leading the charge on regenerative practices and redefining the meaning of success in the wine industry.

Thank you to the Healthy Soils Program of the California Department of Food and Agriculture for supporting our work. By supporting these unique partnerships between growers and researchers, this funding has helped advance our understanding of the potential of soils to mitigate the climate crisis under real life, commercial-scale conditions. This funding has also supported several early career scientists many of us from underrepresented groups.



Summer conference season was a success

This summer the Lazcano Lab participated in two of the most important conferences in viticulture and enology, the 74th ASEV National Conference in Napa, California on June 26 – 29, 2023, and the 22nd GiESCO (Group of International Experts for Cooperation on Vitivinicultural Systems) meeting at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., July 17-20, 2023.

At the ASEV Conference, Dr. Axel Herrera presented a poster with an overview of our current project on regenerative viticulture, titled ‘Assessing the efficacy of regenerative agriculture to sequester C and support soil health in vineyards ‘. The PhD candidate Noelymar Gonzalez presented part of her dissertation work in the poster ‘Assessing the variability of Soil Health indicators across California Vineyards‘. Noely received the best student poster presentation award for this work!

At the 22nd GiESCO meeting Dr. Lazcano presented a summary of the lab’s research over the last 6 years in the talk ‘Managing soil health in vineyards: knowns and unknowns’ and the PhD student Amanda Rodriguez presented the first results of her dissertation in the poster ‘Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi on Grapevine roots Across and Edaphoclimatic Gradient‘.

After many conversations with colleagues and lots of interesting talks, we feel more inspired and full of energy than ever!

Luisa Robles is going to graduate school at Penn State!

Luisa Robles will be starting a MSc at Penn State this August to study temporal variability in soil health. She will be working under the supervision of Dr. Many Ann Bruns and Dr. Estelle Coradeau. Luisa started working with the lab back in January 2021 as an undergraduate student assistant and then continued to be our Junior Specialist for one more year after graduating in 2022. Upon graduation, she received a Citation for Outstanding Performance in Environmental Science and Management and a Department Citation in Land, Air, and Water Resources. During her time at the lab she also presented at two conferences and was awarded with the best poster at the 2021 SSSA diversity student poster competition. We are looking forward to seeing her achievements in her new role as a graduate student! Go Luisa!! 

Congratulations to Courtney Emerson for completing her Master’s research!

Huge Congratulations to Courtney Emerson for finishing her Master’s.
Courtney investigated changes in soil biochemical properties in processing tomatoes grown under deficit irrigation. Deficit irrigation is a water conservation practice that has increased in use due to the threat of drought, but its long-term impact on soil health remains unclear. The project found no evidence that deficit irrigation could harm the agricultural production of processing tomatoes in California or negatively impact soil physical properties, but more research should be done to determine how spatial variability of biological properties affects the soil within the context of soil health and carbon sequestration.

From left to right, Cristina Lazcano, Courtney Emerson and Mallika Nocco


Joshua Garcia received two Postdoctoral Fellowships

Congratulations to Josh for receiving two postdoctoral fellowships to support his work! Josh received the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship (, a UC-wide award meant to support postdoctoral scholars whose work addresses issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. For his PPF project, Josh will be collaborating with urban farmers in Oakland and San Francisco to examine how a variety of organic amendments can support soil health and crop productivity in urban farming. Josh will also work with these growers on a variety of urban grower outreach and extension activities surrounding soil health and sustainable management practices.

Josh also received the National Science Foundation’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology ( For his PRFB project, Josh will be examining how diversified crop rotations can support biological soil phosphorus cycling in the Midwest and Canada using soil physicochemical and metatranscriptomic techniques. As a part of his fellowship activities, Josh will also be leading efforts to support fellow postdoctoral scholars from marginalized backgrounds at UC Davis.

🍅 Tomato season is here!

Summer in Davis means tomato season. This week the team was out early in the field to collect soil and rhizosphere samples. In this trial, we are evaluating the response  of the soil microbiome to a biostimulant.

Zeke and Laibin (Rodrigues Lab) collect rhizosphere samples

Zeke (Rodrigues Lab) holding a tomato root sample

Nono, Anna and Erika (Lazcano Lab) taking soil samples