Kent Bradford

Distinguished Professor, Department of Plant Sciences

Interim Director, World Food Center

Director, Seed Biotechnology Center One Shields Avenue

University of California Davis, CA 95616-8780

+1-530-752-6087 fax: +1-530-752-2278 mobile +1-530-219-9370




Degree Institution Field Year
PhD University of California, Davis Plant Physiology 1981
MS Michigan State University, East Lansing Horticulture 1977
BS Michigan State University, East Lansing Biochemistry 1975


Title Location Duration
Distinguished Professor Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis 2013-present
Interim Director World Food Center, University of California, Davis 2017-present
Director Seed Biotechnology Center, University of California, Davis 1999-present
Professor Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis 2005-2013
Vice Chair for Teaching and Curriculum Development Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis 2006-2010
Chair Department of Vegetable Crops, University of California, Davis 1993-1998
Professor Department of Vegetable Crops, University of California, Davis 1991- 2005
Overseas Fellow Horticulture Research International, Wellesbourne, England February-March 1991
Visiting Scientist Faculty of Horticulture, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury, Richmond, New South Wales, Australia September 1990-February 1991
Visiting Scientist CSIRO, Division of Plant Industry, Canberra, ACT, Australia April-August 1990
Associate Professor Department of Vegetable Crops, University of California, Davis 1987-1991
Associate Professor Department of Vegetable Crops, University of California, Davis 1982-1987
Postdoctoral Fellow Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, Ph.D. advisors, U.C. Davis – T.C. Hsiao and S.F. Yang 1981-1982
M.S. advisor Michigan State University – D.R. Dilley


  • Fellow, Rockefeller Center, Bellagio, Italy, April 2016
  • Award of Distinction, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, UC Davis, October 2007
  • Invited Visiting Professor, University of Pierre and Marie Curie, Paris, June 2005; June 2007; October 2010 Adjunct Professor, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Yunnan, People’s Republic of China, 2004-6 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2003
  • Seed Science Career Award, Crop Science Society of America, 2002
  • Fulbright Scholar, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina, March-June, 1999 Visiting Lectureship, Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands, September 1995
  • Overseas Fellowship, Vegetable Research Trust, Horticulture Research International, Wellesbourne, England, 1991. Postdoctoral Fellow, Australian National University, Canberra, 1981-82
  • Harry A. Jastro Scholarship, University of California, Davis, 1980-81 Regents Fellowship, University of California, Davis, 1979-80
  • Jastro-Shields Graduate Research Scholarship, 1979, 1980 Graduate Research Fellowship, University of California, Davis, 1978 National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship, 1976-79
  • BS with High Honor, Honors College, Michigan State University, 1975 National Science Foundation Undergraduate Fellowship, 1973 National Merit Scholar, 1971
  • Valedictorian, Dimmitt High School, Dimmitt, Texas, 1971


  • American Society for Horticultural Science American Society of Plant Biologists
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science International Seed Testing Association
  • International Society for Horticultural Science
  • International Society for Seed Science (Founding Trustee and Secretary, 1999-2004)


  • Editorial Board, Journal of Experimental Botany, 1994-present Associate Editor, California Agriculture, 2006-present
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Plant Research, 2006-2010 Editorial Board, Seed Science Research, 1994-2007 Associate Editor, Seed Science Research, 2003-2007 Monitoring Editor, Plant Physiology, 1995-2000 Associate Editor, Crop Science, 1992-1995

In addition, ad hoc reviewer for an average of 15+ manuscripts per year from over 20 journals, including Science, Nature Biotechnology, PNAS, Plant Cell, Plant Physiology, Journal of Experimental Biology, Crop Science, Seed Science Research.


Physiology, genetics, ecology, biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics of seed development, dormancy, germination, and longevity; hormonal regulation of seed and plant development; mathematical modeling of germination responses to environmental factors; agricultural biotechnology.


  • Principal Investigator on extramural grants from the NSF, USDA, USAID and seed industry groups and companies.
  • Interim Director of the UC Davis World Food Center (www.wfc.ucdavis.edu), which seeks to mobilize the research, educational and outreach resources of UC Davis, in partnership with consumers, public and philanthropic entities, and the agricultural, marine and food industries, to promote innovative, sustainable and equitable food systems. Based in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, the World Food Center works on local, national and global scales to support scientific research and policy development leading to implementation of food production and distribution systems that support the health of people and the environment while addressing the challenges of population growth and climate change.
  • Founding Director of the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center (http://sbc.ucdavis.edu), a research, education and outreach unit of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences dedicated to the development and commercialization of new plant and seed technologies for agricultural and consumer benefit. The SBC develops and operates research and education programs including the Plant Breeding AcademySM (http://pba.ucdavis.edu), which offers breeder education programs in the US, Europe, Asia (Thailand) and Africa.
  • Co-founder with Francois Korn (owner of SeedQuest www.seedquest.com) of Seed Central (www.seedcentral.org), an organization focusing on energizing the seed industry cluster in California and enhancing technology transfer from UC Davis to applications in plant breeding, seed production, agriculture and food technology.
  • Organized the Western Regional Seed Physiology Research Group, a unique voluntary cooperative effort of horticultural   seed companies to fund a University-based fundamental research program targeted to the long-term needs of the seed industry. This Group has been in continuous operation since 1989 with an average of 12 member companies.
  • Primary investigator on USAID Horticulture Innovation Lab project (2010-2015) on desiccant-based seed drying systems for humid climates (www.dryingbeads.org). Conceived and promoted the “Dry Chain” concept for drying and storage of dried commodities (www.drychain.org).


  • Undergraduate courses: Professionalism and Ethics in Genomics and Biotechnology (BIT 171, required course for students in Biotechnology major) and Growth and Yield of Cultivated Plants (100BL). Previously taught Seed Production and Quality (all aspects of seed production, seed technology, seed storage, seed enhancement and seed utilization for crop establishment); Plants and People (general education course for non-majors and an overview of plant science;
  • Graduate courses: Science: Revelation, Discovery or Invention (PBI 223, a unique course reviewing and discussing original writings in the history and development of scientific methodology, epistemology, and philosophy from Plato and Aristotle to contemporary philosophers and scientists); Plant Biology Core Course (PBI 200B, provide one week of instruction on seed biology); Group Study in Seed Physiology (PLS 298, offered approximately every third year).
  • Extension courses: Organized and co-teach Seed Production and Seed Biology and Quality, intensive extension courses for professionals offered in alternate years and other courses from the Seed Biotechnology Center (e.g., Plant Breeding Academy). Co-taught 1-week course on Advanced Topics in Seed Physiology, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina, April 1999; Univ. of Lavras, Brazil, November 1999; and Wageningen University, The Netherlands, 2010 and 2012.
  • Mentoring: Directed the completion of 15 M.S. and 13 Ph.D. students. Supervised 16 postdoctoral research associates.