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Research Chairs and Scholars

The Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is proud of the achievements of its faculty, staff, students and alumni. They exemplify the Faculty's commitment to excellence.

Canada Research Chairs

Abdolhamid Akbarzadeh Shafaroudi
Abdulhamid Akbarzadeh ShafaroudiCanada Research Chair (Tier II) in Bio-inspired Hierarchical Multifunctional Metamaterials

Dr. Akbarzadeh Shafaroudi is an Assistant Professor in Machine Design in the Bioresource Engineering Department and an Associate Member in the Mechanical Engineering Department of McGill University. Design and multiscale multiphysics simulation of advanced, smart, biological, and porous composite materials and structures for energy harvesting, renewable energy, and structural health monitoring applications.

Niladri Basu
Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Environmental Health Sciences

Dr. Basu is an Professor affiliated with both the School of Human Nutrition and the Department of Natural Resource Sciences. The objective of Dr. Basu's program is to research, develop and apply ecosystem-based approaches to address key problems in the environmental health sciences. The focus is on applying ecotoxicology and environmental epidemiology to increase understanding of risks associated with contaminants arising from the extraction of natural resources. Key to this approach is the ability to scrutinize and integrate data across species in a comparative manner (i.e. humans along with fish, birds, marine and terrestrial mammals) and to scale responses across multiple tiers of biological organization in an integrative fashion (e.g. cell --> individual --> ecosystem).

Elena Bennett
Elena BennettCanada Research Chair (Tier I) in Sustainability Science

Dr Bennett is a Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences and in the Bieler School of Environment. Her research centres around questions about ecosystem services and the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. She studies sustainable use and management of ecosystem services; multi-functional landscapes; human impacts on biogeochemical cycles; management of tradeoffs among ecosystem services, especially agricultural production and water quality; global food security, agriculture and the SDGs, land use change and water quality; urban ecology; communicating science.

Treena Wasonti:io Delormier
Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition and Food Sovereignty

Dr. Delorimier is an Associate Professor in the School of Human Nutrition and Associate Director, Centre for Indigenous Peoples’ Nutrition & Environment (CINE). Her reserach forcuses on public health nutrition of Indigenous populations and looks at health inequities by addressing the social determinants of health using participatory research approach.

Kyle Elliott
Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Arctic Ecology

Dr. Elliott studies the ecology of top avian predators (seabirds and raptors) as an indicator of the health of the Arctic. The focus is on the links between physiology, behaviour and fitness, especially in the context of senescence. Avian predators integrate information across space and time, and the research programme uses that information to understand how climatic, toxicological and other changes impact Northern environments. This approach uses energy transfer to connects the individual organism with the ecosystem. Dr. Elliott is broadly interested in the evolutionary ecology of senescence, ecotoxicology, ecological energetics, behavioural ecology, evolutionary physiology and population ecology.

Saji George
Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Sustainable Nanotechnology for Food and Agriculture

Dr George is an Associate Professor in the Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry. His research centres around the development of sustainable nanotechnology applications for food and agriculture, as well as guidelines for safe use, tools for regulatory oversight, and safety assured nanotechnology for food safety and security.

Anja Geitmann
Canada Research Chair (Tier I) in Biomechanics of Plant Development

Dr. Geitmann is a Professor in the Department of Plant Science, Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Associate Vice-Principal Macdonald Campus. Her research aims to understand how the genetic composition of an organism translates into its characteristic shape, form and functionality, by studying cell division and cell growth processes at the subcellular level.

Sarah Kimmins
Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Epigenetics, Reproduction and Development

Dr Kimmins is an Associate Professor in the Department of Animal Science. Her research focuses on the epigenome, a heritable layer of biochemical information that includes the methylation of DNA, small RNAs, and the post-translational modification of chromatin associated proteins, the histones. The epigenome has been implicated in complex diseases such as cancer, diabetes, schizophrenia and autism.  There is enormous potential in disease treatment and prevention via increased understanding of the establishment of the epigenome in development as unlike the genome it is dynamic and responds to environmental influences. She is interested in how environmental exposures to the Father such as poor diet and toxicants can interact with the developing sperm, and how this is transmitted to the embryo. Also under investigation are the role of the epigenome in the pluripotency and biology of stem cells. Kimmins explores these research questions using transgenic mouse models to establish critical molecular underpinnings which are then translated and studied in humans.  Her long-term goals are to develop pharmacological and lifestyle intervention strategies to improve child and adult health.

Melissa McKinney
Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Ecological Change and Environmental Stressors

Dr McKinney is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Sciences. Using advanced chemical tracers to study Arctic marine species as indicators of global environmental change, her research program addresses the questions of how ecological changes may alter wildlife exposures to other key environmental stressors, including pollutants, pathogens, and parasites, and how these changes may together impact the health of individuals and populations.

Lyle Whyte
Canada Research Chair (Tier I) in Polar Microbiology

Dr Whyte is a Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences. His research projects focus on examining microbial biodiversity and ecology in the Canadian high Arctic where very unique habitats exist, using both classical microbiology and novel genomics-based molecular techniques for studying microbial communities. These investigations explore the biodiversity, ecology, adaptations, and activity of microbial communities at subzero temperatures in cryoenvironments (subzero habitats) in an emerging field perhaps best described as cryomicrobiology. The utility of these unique cryoenvironments as extraterrestrial analogs for astrobiology studies is also being examined and biotechnological applications of these microorganisms will be investigated in the longer term.

Jianguo (Jeff) Xia
Canada Research Chair (Tier II) Bioinformatics and Big Data Analytics

Dr Xia is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Parasitology, cross-appointed to the Department of Animal Science. He carries out research focused on leveraging bioinformatics, statistics and large data to understand the effects of biological (i.e. gut and helminths), environmental and nutritional factors on health and disease, and to develop computational solutions for use in high-throughput experiments.

James McGill Professors

Distinguished James McGill Professors

Shiv O. Prasher

Professor Prasher is a member of the Department of Bioresource Engineering. His research involves the application of remote sensing technologies for estimation of crop growth conditions and weed infestations. He also investigates best management practices for on-farm pollution control, bioremediation, and soil washing systems for in-situ remediation of industrial contaminated sites.

Donald L. Smith

Professor Smith is a member of the Plant Science Department. His research interests lie in crop physiology, crop ecology, crop production and crop quality, legume nitrogen fixation and plant nitrogen metabolism. He leads the NSERC-funded Green Crop Network, whose members research crops and climate change, including biofuels, and he also heads the McGill Network for Innovation in Biofuels and Bioproducts (McNIBB). He has had international collaborations with India, China and Africa. Professor Smith was the recently honoured by the Association francophone pour le savoir (ACFAS) with the prix Michel-Jurdant - 2007.

Xin Zhao

Professor Zhao is a member of the Department of Animal Science. His research interests lie in dairy cattle biochemistry and physiology, mastitis and vaccine development. Professor Zhao has many international research collaborations, particularly in China.


James McGill Professors

Chandra A. Madramootoo

Professor Madramootoo is a member of the Department of Bioresource Engineering and the Brace Centre for Water Resources Management. His research expertise lies in the ares of irrigation, hydrology, drainage, water quality and soil conservation in Canada and overseas. He also conducts research on the environmental impacts of irrigation and drainage, water table management, and water quality.

Michael Ngadi

Professor Ngadi is a member of the Department of Bioresource Engineering. His research expertise is in food process engineering (food quality and safety); food properties; heat and mass transfer processes; deep-fat frying; hyperspectral imaging; and non-thermal technologies (pulsed electric fields, ultraviolet, ozone, etc.) conversion of food processing waste.

Roger Prichard

Professor Prichard is a member of the Institute of Parasitology. He is conducting cutting-edge research in parasite control, the mechanisms of action of anthelmintics and the genetics of drug resistance in parasitic nematodes of humans and animals. roger.prichard [at] mcgill.ca (Email)

G.S.V. Raghavan

Professor Raghavan is a member of the Department of Bioresource Engineering. He specializes in the use of electrotechnology in drying, processing and waste handling, including enhancement of heat/mass transfer in particulate systems and microwave/RF drying. He also develops industrial methods to enhance storability of fresh produce, and is a lead researchers in international projects on post harvest engineering and microwave technology. Professor Raghavan is the recent recipient of a Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) in India in recognition of his needbased initiatives for research, capacity-building and enabling the processing of agricultural produce in small communities. vijaya.raghavan [at] mcgill.ca (Email)

Joann Whalen

Professor Whalen is a member of the Department of Natural Resource Sciences. Her research focuses on soil ecology and fertility, particularly in agro-ecosystems. Her research interests include soil organic matter and nutrient dynamics, the ecology and spatial distribution of lumbrid earthworms and nutrient management practices for optimal crop production and environmental protection. joann.whalen [at] mcgill.ca (Email )

William Dawson Scholars

Jan Adamowski

Professor Adamowski is a member of the Department of Bioresource Engineering, the Liliane and David M. Stewart Scholar in Water Resources, Director of the Integrated Water Resources Management Program, and Associate Director of the Brace Centre for Water Resources Management. His research interests lie in adaptive, collaborative and integrated water resources management; modeling and forecasting of non-linear and non-stationary hydro-meteorological time series. jan.adamowski [at] mcgill.ca (Email)

Marie-Josée Dumont

Professor Dumont is a member of the Department of Bioresource Engineering, and Co-Director of the Integrated Food and Bioprocessing Masters (non-thesis) Program (IFB). Her research forcusses on the characterization and potential use of bio-based polymers from proteins, starch, vegetable oils, and cellulosic feedstock. marie-josee.dumont [at] mcgill.ca (Email)

Gordon Hickey

Professor Hickey is a member of the Department of Natural Resource Sciences. His research interests focus on the sustainability of the natural environment. In particular, natural resource policy, regulation and assessment, associated international development programs and forest management. His research draws upon numerous disciplines to integrate science-based knowledge with socio-economic considerations. This is done to inform strategic decision-making at a range of scales and support innovative resource-based policies. gordon.hickey [at] mcgill.ca (Email)

Mark Lefsrud

Professor Lefsrud is a member of the Department of Bioresource Engineering. His research focus is on the development of bioprocesses and improvements in plant growth environmental energy usage. His research concentrates on the development and improvement of new sources of biomass (food, fibre and/or fuel); the improvement of energy efficiency of greenhouses and plant growth environments (light (LEDs) and heating systems); and the development of a proteomic system for monitoring of microorganisms and plants. mark.lefsrud [at] mcgill.ca (Email)

Xiaonan Lu

Xiaonan Lu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry and the Chairholder of the Ian & Jayne Munro Chair in Food Safety. His research program at McGill aims to improve food safety and enhance food sustainability. xiaonan.lu [at] mcgill.ca (Email)

Elsa VasseurElsa Vasseur

Professor Vasseur is a member of the Department of Animal Science and the Chairholder of the NSERC/Novalait/Dairy Farmers of Canada/Valacta Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Life of Dairy Cattle. Her research focuses on cow comfort and management, cow longevity and environment and society. elsa.vasseur [at] mcgill.ca (Email )

Named Chairholders

Brace Associate Professorship in Irrigation

Zhiming Qi, Bioresource EngineeringZhiming Qi

Zhiming Qi is an Associate Professor in the Department of Bioresource Engineering. His research interest is to understand the response of hydrology, environment, and crop growth to engineering measures, management practices, and climate change. His research spans from field experimentation to computer modeling,  developing and modifying computer models or modules to address emerging concerns such as carbon sequestration and climate change impacts on environment and water resources. zhiming.qi [at] mcgill.ca (Email)

Ian and Jayne Munro Chair in Food Safety; William Dawson Scholar

Xiaonan Lu

Xiaonan Lu is an Associate Professor and William Dawson Scholar in the Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry and the Chairholder of the Ian & Jayne Munro Chair in Food Safety. His research program at McGill aims to improve food safety and enhance food sustainability. xiaonan.lu [at] mcgill.ca (Email)

McGill Northern Research Chair

Murray Humphries

Murray Humphries is an Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences and the Director of the Centre for Indigenous Peoples' Nutrition and Environment. He holds the McGill Northern Research Chair. His research focuses on mammal energetics, behaviour, and ecology, especially in relation to hibernation, food and fat storage, and life histories. murray.humphries [at] mcgill.ca (Email)

NSERC/Novalait/Dairy Farmers of Canada/Valacta Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Life of Dairy Cattle

Elsa VasseurElsa Vasseur

Professor Vasseur is a member of the Department of Animal Science and the Chairholder of the NSERC/Novalait/Dairy Farmers of Canada/Valacta Industrial Research Chair in Sustainable Life of Dairy Cattle. Her research focuses on cow comfort and management, cow longevity and environment and society. elsa.vasseur [at] mcgill.ca (Email )

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