Welcome to the Vannette lab

vannette_7398Rachel L. Vannette

Assistant Professor

Department of Entomology and Nematology

University of California, Davis


I am a community ecologist interested in understanding and predicting how microbial communities influence interactions between plants and insects.  In the Vannette lab, we use tools and concepts from microbial ecology, chemical ecology, and community ecology to better understand the ecology and evolution of interactions among plants, microbes and insects.

Google Scholar Site

Lab news

6/20/17 Ants decrease pollinator visitation and change floral microbial communities in coffee agroecosystems. Paper just out LINK

6/9/17 Early view of paper in Ecology Letters, showing that contrary to the majority of published work, increased dispersal can increase beta diversity in floral microbial communities. See Publications page for links.

6/7/17  Aidee Guzman from the Kremen lab at Berkeley visits the Vannette lab to analyze nectar sugars.

3/28/17 Wendy Melendez presents her poster on how carpenter bee robbing affects nectar microbial communities in Epilobium at the UCD Undergraduate Research Conference. Congrats, Wendy!

3/26/17 Allie receives an NRS grant to fund part of her dissertation work on rhizosphere microorganisms in serpentine soils.

3/4/17 Paper documenting positive effects of dispersal on beta diversity in nectar microbe communities, with Tad Fukami, accepted to Ecology Letters!

3/4/17 Tess Grainger visits the lab and shares her research at the Insect Ecology meeting

2/24/17 Rachel gives a seminar at Rice University; thanks for Tom Miller and lab for being great hosts!

2/12/17 Paper on ant effects on coffee flower microbiome with collaborator Stacy Philpott accepted to Basic and Applied Ecology!

2/12/17 Almond bloom is nearly upon us: we are looking forward to getting in the orchards to sample microbes.

2/10/17 Mark your calendar: The ESA session on the “extended phenotype of microbes”, organized by Rachel Vannette and Stephanie Porter, is scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday, Aug 9. We are looking forward to this organized oral session.

Winter quarter 2017: Rachel teaches Chemical Ecology CRN # 23499

12/13/16 The Vannette Lab and friends discuss our picks for ‘Best paper of the year’. Partial list here

12/5/16 Students in ABI50A present their research on interactions between hummingbirds, bees and Epilobium flowers. Great job, students!

11/5/16 Perspective paper on microbial volatiles in plant-insect interactions with collaborator and coauthor John Beck is published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (and chosen as an Editor’s choice!)

10/27/16 Rachel presents on community and chemical ecology of nectar microbes at the HMI Host-microbe interaction meeting at Granlibakken.

9/1/16 Collaborator Robert Schaeffer has been funded by the USDA for his postdoctoral work on nectar-inhabiting yeasts in almond agroecosystems! He will spend part of his time in the Vannette lab. We are excited to continue working with him.

8/8/16-8/12/16 Rachel attends a workshop on teaching metagenomics by Liz Dinsdale, with help by talented grad students, including Megan Morris. We had fun sequencing bee-associated microbial communities, among many others!

5/19/16 Amin, a high school student from Davis Senior High, presents his work on among-plant variation in the abundance of nectar-inhabiting microorganisms at the Biotechnology Poster session. Congrats!

5/16/16 Allie receives a NRS research grant to support her work on plant-microbe interactions in serpentine systems! Congrats!

5/7/16 Rachel presents at the 2016 Bee Symposium, put on by the UC Davis Honey and Pollination center.

3/25/16 Paper on biogeography of plant-associated fungi in Hawaiian kipuka, accepted to Ecology!

3/25/16 Rachel visits University of Louisville to give a talk; thanks to Chris and the Frost lab/family for hosting!

3/15/16 Paper on nectar microbes and secondary compounds in nectar published as a preprint in Ecology!

2/22/16 Rachel visits UC Riverside to talk about how microbes mediate plant-pollinator interactions. Thanks to Quinn and the Melittology lab for hosting!

2/3/16 Rachel presents at the Gordon Research Conference on Plant Volatiles:  Effects of nectar microbes on floral rewards and attraction.

1/25/16 Paper on nectar microbes and secondary compounds in nectar accepted to Ecology! Watch for a summary when the preprint is released.

12/4/15 Allie presents VOC data from her rotation in the Vannette lab to the Microbiology Group.

11/9/15 New paper out today! We found that forager bees highly express genes related to antimicrobial activity, immune signaling, and detoxification in nectar-processing tissues. Check out the article here and news coverage here.

11/5/15 Co-authored paper out today, led by Rob Schaeffer! Spatial and temporal variation in nectar-inhabiting yeast abundance in  Delphinium nuttallianum and effects on nectar chemistry. Check out the article here.

If you are interested in joining the lab, please see more details here.


Department of Entomology and Nematology

43 Briggs Hall (Basement)

Davis, CA 95616

rlvannette at ucdavis dot edu

Office phone: 530-752-3379

Lab phone: 530-752-4317