ORG CHART: Viticulture and Enology, CNPRC

Two new areas on campus have new leaders, one interim and the other permanent. Find out more in this week’s Org Chart column.

Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of appointments of various kinds for faculty and staff, for publication in Org Chart (formerly titled Transitions). Send information to

Viticulture and Enology chair

Ben Montpetit
Ben Montpetit

Ben Montpetit, a yeast geneticist and biochemist, is the new chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology.

Montpetit joined UC Davis in 2016 and became department vice chair in 2021.

In his new role, he plans to enhance student offerings, continue to advance diversity efforts and foster investment in students, faculty, staff and department operations.

“We’re seen as the number one department in the world for viticulture and enology education and research,” Montpetit said. “The goal is to make sure we’re investing in our people and our research so that we can maintain that, ultimately creating the next generation of winemakers, viticulture researchers and future faculty members.”

Emily C. Dooley

California National Primate Research Center interim director

Karen Bales
Karen Bales

Karen Bales, professor of both psychology and neurobiology, physiology and behavior, has been named interim director of the California National Primate Research Center, or CNPRC. She is the first woman to lead the center.

Bales has been affiliated UC Davis since 2004, in which time she has held various leadership roles. As a core scientist at the CNPRC, Bales has previously served as the leader of the neuroscience and behavior unit. Additionally, she held the position of vice chair for the Department of Psychology and has been actively involved in leadership roles within the Academic Senate at both university and system levels.

— Logan Savidge

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Cody Kitaura is the editor of Dateline UC Davis and can be reached by email or at 530-752-1932.

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