Jean VanderGheynst, PhD - Dean, College of Engineering

Jean VanderGheynst, PhD


College of Engineering

Interim Dean

SMAST / Administration

Curriculum Vitae




Dion 326




Dion 326


1997Cornell UniversityPh.D in Agricultural and Biological Engineering
1994Cornell UniversityM.S. in Agricultural and Biological Engineering
1991Syracuse University B.S. in Chemical Engineering, with Distinction




Research Activities

  • “The Impact of almond by-product composition and nitrogen amendment on black soldier fly cultivation and quality,” California Almond Board, $177,880, 2018-2019.
  • “Preparing Engineering Graduates for the 21st Century,” National Science Foundation, $1 million, 2016-2021.
  • "Managing soil organic matter amendment and microbial community structure to enhance soil heating during solarization," National Science Foundation, $300,009, 2014-2019.
  • "Managing mixotrophic algae cultivation for efficient water treatment and biofuel production," National Science Foundation, $318,766, 2014-2019.


Research Interests

  • Industrial biotechnology for the production of biofuels and bioproducts
  • Management of microbial communities in applications including water treatment, food, and energy production
  • Recruitment, retention, and success of students historically underrepresented in STEM

Select publications

Palma L, Fernández-Bayo JD, Putri F, VanderGheynst JS (2020).
Cultivation of black soldier fly larvae on almond by-products; impacts of aeration and moisture on larvae growth and composition.
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture

Fernández-Bayo JD, Hestmark KV, Claypool JT, Harrold DR, Randall TE, Achmon Y, Stapleton JJ, Simmons CW, VanderGheynst JS (2019).
The initial soil microbiota impacts the potential for lignocellulose degradation during soil solarization
Journal of Applied Microbiology, 126(6), 1729-1741.

Bronner, C. E., Wakefield, A., VanderGheynst, J. S., Moloney, K (2019).
Student-centered strategies for promoting inclusive, supportive, diverse environments in graduate STEM education
2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Tampa, Florida


J.S. VanderGheynst, HB Scher. Storage Stable Compositions of Biological Materials, U.S. Patent 7485451 B2 issued February 3, 2009.

N. Nitin, S. Young; J.S. VanderGheynst. Bioactive Delivery Vehicles. U.S. Patent 2018/0296490 A1 issued Oct. 18, 2018


2019 California Department of Pesticide Regulation, Integrated Pest Management Achievement Award. Awarded for developing and promoting methods for pest management that reduce the risks associated with using traditional chemical pesticides.

2018 Outstanding Senior Faculty Research Award. Awarded by the UC Davis College of Engineering for excellence in research.

2018 HERS Clare Booth Luce Scholarship Award to participate in the 2018 Higher Education Resource Services (HERS) Summer Institute for women’s leadership development.

2016 Woman of the Year Award from Congressman John Garamendi for leadership and dedication to public service.

2016 University of California, Davis Distinguished Postdoctoral Scholar Mentoring Award from the UC Davis Academic Senate in recognition of outstanding commitment to mentoring in the overall success of the university’s postdoctoral scholars.

2015 University of California, Davis MESA Citation awarded by the UC Davis/Sacramento State MESA K-12 school program for leadership, research, and support of mathematics, engineering, and science achievement (MESA) at the elementary level.

2003 Outstanding Mentor Award from the Consortium for Women and Research Advisory Board for mentoring women’s research at UC Davis.


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