Research Centres, Networks, Units and Clusters

McGill University Centres and Networks are known around the world for conducting pioneering research that advances knowledge and provides real-world solutions to real-world problems.

The following research centres, networks and units are headquartered on the Macdonald Campus or led by researchers in the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Consortium RITA

Consortium RITA logoThe Consortium for Research, Innovation and Transformation of Agrifood at McGill University was created thanks to the financial support of the Québec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ) and the strategic partnership from the Québec Counsel of Food Processing (CTAQ).


A network for monitoring, modeling, and managing Canada’s ecosystem services for sustainability and resilience unites a broad community of scholars and resource managers from across academic, government, NGO, and industry sectors to identify paths for sustainable landscape management that ensure biologically diverse, resilient, and adaptive social-ecological systems amid the complexity of competing values, stakeholders, and political jurisdictions. Our mission is to transform Canada’s capacity to monitor, model, and manage its working landscapes and all the ecosystem services they provide for long-term well-being and shared prosperity of all Canadians in a way that reflects their fundamental inter-relationships, and thus fundamentally improve integrated decision-making for working landscapes across the country.

AES contact: elena.bennett [at] (Dr. Elena Bennett)

Margaret A. Gilliam Institute for Global Food Security

The Margaret A. Gilliam Institute for Global Food Security, led by the Margaret Gilliam Scholar in Food Security, Dr. Hugo Melgar-Quinonez, was established in 2010.

The Institute leverages the Faculty’s established strengths in food, nutrition, health and environment and draws upon interdisciplinary expertise from across the University to provide long-term solutions to food insecurity through research, teaching and outreach activities.

Centre for Indigenous People’s Nutrition and Environment

The Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment (CINE) is an independent, multi-disciplinary research and education center created by Canada's Aboriginal leaders for participatory research and education to address concerns about the integrity of traditional food systems.

McGill Research Centre for Cannabis

The McGill Rersearch Centre for Cannabis will […] harmonize efforts in understanding cannabis use in Canada and its effect on health and society. By uniting scientists with diverse expertise, this Centre will provide evidence-based information to members of the scientific community, government regulatory bodies, physicians, patients and the Canadian population, and aims to become the reference centre for the Quebec and Canadian governments for cannabis. This Centre brings together scientists with diverse, multi-disciplinary expertise on issues surrounding cannabis research incorporating plant science, production and processing; disease models/preclinical research, drug development and clinical trials; and social implications as well as health and economic impact studies for guidelines on policies and laws.

AES contact: rony.chamoun [at] (Dr. Rony Chamoun)

Quality Assurance and Quality Control for Cannabis

The legalization of cannabis in Canada has set the stage for academia, industry and government to work together toward providing the tools for standardization of the cannabis industry, based on product quality and safety for consumers and communities.

The QAQCC Program allows Canada to lead the charge in QA/QC for cannabis production and products, allowing our graduate student trainees to be one of the first cohorts of its kind in the world.

NSERC CREATE led by Genome Editing for Food Security and Environmental Sustainability

Genome Editing for Food Security and Environmental Sustainability is designed to train teams of highly qualified personnel with Genome Editing skills for Food Security & Environmental Sustainability by integrating research, policy & professional development. 

The CREATE program is designed to improve the mentoring and training environment for the Canadian researchers of tomorrow by improving training in areas such as professional skills, communication and collaboration, as well as providing experience relevant to both academic and non-academic research environments.

BiofuelNet Canada (2012-2017)

BioFuelNet Canada is a Network of Centres of Excellence that unites the Canadian biofuels community, academia, industry, and government, to address the challenges impeding the growth of an advanced biofuels industry.   BioFuelNet funds, coordinates and optimizes a large number of collaborative research projects - with an aim to addressing the gaps that prevent the commercialization of advanced biofuels.

BioMass Canada (BMC)

BioMass Canada is a cluster is focused on de-risking and commoditizing agricultural biomass through the use of complete value chains for rural and remote applications, using emerging technologies that improve the profitability of production, pre-processing, handling and storage. These technologies have the potential to revolutionize the agricultural production of biomass crops and residues across Canada, in order to sustainably meet Canada’s growing need for biomass, to produce fibre and fuel. The cluster vision is that by 2030, the Canadian agricultural sector will be a world leader in the production of competitive biomass for bioenergy and bioproducts. The agricultural sector will also adapt to climate change by extending into more northern regions and developing more resilient agricultural products and practices.

AES contact: donald.smith [at] (Dr. Don Smith)

Brace Centre for Water Resources Management

The Brace Centre for Water Resources Management brings together staff from several McGill faculties to undertake research, teaching, specialized training, and policy and strategic studies in water resources management, both in Canada and internationally. Brace is a global leader devoted to the development and promotion of sound and economical water management conservation practices that protect the environment and improve the quality of life.

Macdonald Environmental Toxicology Research Cluster (METRC)

METRC brings together a community of multidisciplinary scholars at McGill University’s Macdonald Campus who have a shared interest in the research, development, and application of innovative and sustainable solutions to address pressing societal concerns over toxic chemicals in our environment.

AES contact: niladri.basu [at] (Dr. Niladri Basu)

Clinical Nutrition Research Unit

CNRU buildingThanks to the generosity of G. Stewart Brown, longtime friend and benefactor of McGill University, the Clinical Nutrition Research Unit was established in 1995.

Researchers here study the long-term effects of diet or specific foods, on health status. The Unit undertakes a range of Clinical Studies and is equipped to perform biological, anthropometric, body composition and bone density assessments and to recommend dietary interventions to promote health and well-being.

Water Innovation Lab

The mission of the Water Innovation Lab is to develop technologies, best practices, and to disseminate knowledge on sustainable water, food and environmental systems. Framed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), our research projects and programs focus on the design, development and testing of technologies and field practices which can conserve water and increase food security under water-limiting conditions.

A complete list of McGill’s interdisciplinary research centers and networks is listed here.

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