Community Message From UC Davis Interim Provost

Sharon Gray
UC Davis postdoctoral researcher Sharon Gray died while visiting Ethiopia to discuss a project on plants' response to climate change. (Department of Plant Biology/UC Davis)

To the UC Davis Community:

It is with great sadness that we write to tell you of the tragic death of one of our colleagues in Ethiopia. Sharon Gray, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Plant Biology, was killed while traveling in a car in the country. Sharon was there for a meeting to discuss the next steps on a project she was involved in with the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and other charitable organizations.

Many of the details of how this tragedy happened are still becoming clear. In the meantime, the U.S. State Department has stepped in to assist in returning Sharon home to her family. Another member of the plant biology department who was traveling with her is, thankfully, not physically injured and on her way home as well.

On behalf of the entire UC Davis campus, our hearts and condolences go out to Sharon’s husband and extended family. Even in tragedy, we hope that we all can find some comfort in the wonderful work Sharon was engaged in that will better the lives of so many around the world.

Ken Burtis
Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Mark Winey
Dean, College of Biological Sciences

For media: Please contact UC Davis News and Media Relations (below) to arrange any desired interviews.

Media Resources

Kimberly Hale, News and Media Relations, 530-752-9838,

Andy Fell, UC Davis News and Media Relations, 530-752-4533,

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