Dr. Diane Ullman received her B.S. in horticulture from the University of Arizona in 1976 and her Ph.D. in entomology from the University of California in 1985. She began her academic career in the Department of Entomology at the University of Hawaii-Manoa in Honolulu, Hawaii. After eight years, she relocated to the University of California, Davis, where she is a faculty member in the Department of Entomology and serves on the graduate faculty in entomology as well as plant pathology.
Dr. Ullman was chair of the Department of Entomology at UC Davis (October 2005 - September 2006), after which she was named associate dean for undergraduate academic programs in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (October 2006 to present). Ullman's research revolves around insects that transmit plant pathogens, in particular plant viruses. She is best known for advancing international knowledge of interactions between thrips and tospoviruses and aphids and citrus tristeza virus.
She also made important discoveries regarding host plant resistance to aphids and thrips and regarding the biology and vector competence of mealybugs, leafhoppers and whiteflies. Her contributions played a fundamental role in developing novel strategies for management of insects and plant viruses, ranging from use of induced resistance to RNA interference.
She is author of nearly 100 refereed publications that have been cited 1,724 times in the scientific literature, and has also written for several trade journals and contributed chapters to books. She is known for innovative teaching strategies and has played a fundamental role in developing a Career Discovery Group Program for freshmen at UC Davis, and is pioneering the use of an art-science fusion paradigm in undergraduate education.
She received the University of Hawaii Presidential Citation for Meritorious Teaching (1990), the Hawaiian Entomology Society Entomologist of the Year Award (1992), the University of Hawaii Regent’s Medal for Excellence in Research (1993), the USDA Higher Education Western Regional Award for Excellence in College and University Teaching (1993), the UC Davis Chancellor’s Achievement Award for Diversity and Community (2008), and she has been an NSF ADVANCE Distinguished Lecturer.
(updated July, 2011)