Dr. Michael Mullins served as Department Chair from 1987 until his death from cancer in 1990. A native of England, Dr. Mullins came to UC Davis in 1987 to accept the position as Chair of the Department of Viticulture and Enology from University of Sydney, Australia, where he served as the Foundation Professor of Horticulture and ad Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture. While at Davis, he held the Maynard A. Amerine endowed chair.
Dr. Mullins was an authority on world viticulture and on the application of biotechnology to fruit crops. He earned his bachelor's degree on agriculture from the University of Reading, England in 1959 and a postgraduate degree in Faculty of Science in 1964 from the University of London, England. He worked three years in the division of Horticultural Rsearch of the Commonwealth Scienfitic and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) in Adelaide, South Australia, then spent one year in the Department of Agriculture Science at the University of Oxford, England. He returned to CSIRO in 1969.
He received numerous awards during his short, yet distinguished career.
The family and friends of Dr. Mullins established this memorial fund to honor his memory. At the request of his wife, Ulla Mullins, the fund was applied to the development of the Oakville Experimental Vineyard and the completion of the Harry E. Jacob Research Facility. "It was a dream of Michael's to see this property developed into a first class research facility."