Will you be here next year fall?


Devon Maddex

I am a third-year undergraduate Animal Science major with a pre-veterinary focus. My areas of interest are pretty broad and revolve around animal science, but I am really fascinated by exotic animals and wildlife. 

Dr. Gross has introduced me to the environmental and conservation side of animal science which has influenced the topics I want to research. My current research with Dr. Gross involves fish progenitor germ cells with the goal of learning more about their functions and the potentials for bioengineering. This technology has countless applications, but we will be primarily working on implanting progenitor germ cells of one fish species into a surrogate in efforts to conserve fish populations, re-establish endangered species, or increase aquaculture production.

Alexes Juarez

My general interest is conservation ecology  within the scope of climate change.  I am just beginning my third year as an undergraduate in the Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity major and would like to go to graduate school and focus my research on invasive species. My current project with Dr. Gross is to develop detection methodology for pathogens (Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus) within a Giant Keyhole Limpet culture system. In particular, we are working with a private company who is developing culture techniques to grow and produce limpets and maximize KLH (keyhole limpet hemocyanin) levels within their animals. KLH is an area of interest because it is a carrier protein for cancer vaccines. Since KLH does not create an immune response in patients, it is being researched for its pharmaceutical potential in human health such as breast and bladder cancers, non-Hodgkins lymphoma, and cutaneous melanoma.



Kellen Parrish

My research is focused on determining sustainable methods for recycling water and recapturing aquaculture solid wastes to repurpose them as fertilizers. I currently work on a large aquaculture farm in California’s Central Valley where we are evaluating the feasibility of different waste and water recovery methods from aquaculture effluent.

I focus on the utilization of aquaculture effluents because they carry valuable nutrients that can be utilized elsewhere in food production streams. This research is applicable on a global scale with aquaculture and I’m interested in developing the concept of aquaculture as an agricultural system with two outputs, fertilizer and animal products.  From here, the models developed for different systems can be scaled up, down or modified depending on the resource constraints of a given area. As aquaculture continues to grow, so will its waste outputs than can be converted from liability to asset with a little bit of planning and design!

Geoffrey Mangalam

I am a fifth year undergraduate student majoring in Sustainable  Agriculture and Food Systems. My main interests lie in greenhouse production as well as other decentralized food systems such as community gardens, edible landscapes, and CSAs.

I currently work with Doctor Gross on conducting administrative tasks such as purchasing, meeting scheduling, and website maintenance. In addition, I am assisting in the design and construction of a research-focused decoupled aquaponics system at UC Davis West Campus.  I also conducted studies evaluating the utility of aquaculture effluent in the production of food-grade Lemna sp. (duckweed) as an alternative protein source. I also currently work at the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security (WIFSS), wherein my first year at UC Davis I helped conduct an assessment of Zoonotic risks (Salmonella enterica) in aquaponic lettuce production. This research will hopefully contribute to the establishment of Good Agricultural Practices for aquaponics.