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AG e-news August 30, 2018

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

August 30, 2018 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Tuesday, September 4 – Welcome new students as they discover the Fort Garry campus, their classroom locations and each other during Fall Orientation. Classes begin for degree students on Wednesday, September 5. For Diploma students, Orientation will be Wednesday, September 19 with classes starting on September 20.

September 7 to October 4 – The University of Manitoba wants your help in shaping our story.  Join us as we hold focus group sessions taking place around Manitoba to share your insights and opinions into the future direction of the University of Manitoba brand. Register for one of the sessions today at

Wednesday, September 12 – The first seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences 2018-2019 Seminar Series will be held at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building. Dilantha Fernando (Plant Science), Teresa De Kievet (Microbiology) and Mark Belmonte (Biological Sciences) will present “Dissecting designer genes for managing diseases of canola through phenotyping, genotyping and transcriptomics approaches”.  Refreshments will be served at 3:00 pm in the Atrium. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Thursday, September 13 – There will be an NSERC Scholarships and Fellowships Information Session in the Senate Chamber Room – E3-262 Engineering from 9 am to 12 noon. NSERC staff will give a presentation on how to prepare a scholarship or fellowship application. Please register for a spot at

Sunday, September 16 – Get your family and friends together and head out for an Open Farm Day experience at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre. Come see where your food comes from! Our research farm offers a look through windows at pigs and piglets in a working hog barn. Jump on the farm tractor and trolley to tour the new dairy barn. Try your hand at making ice cream and check out all the new exhibits in the Discovery Centre. Manitoba Pork will offer a free pork-on-a-bun lunch at midday until supply is gone. For more information, call 204-883-2524 or email ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

Tuesday, September 18 – A Department of Animal Science Seminar will be held in Room 219 Animal Science Building at 10:00 am. Zhigang Tan, an MSc student, will be giving a poster presentation on “Effects of different iron sources and chelators on growth in wild-type and iron-uptake defective mutants of non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica serovars”. All are welcome to attend.

September 24-30 – University of Manitoba Homecoming 2018 activities include a new event for young alumni, students and friends, Indigenous Homecoming events, Bisons football game versus the Regina Rams, and the Brown and Gold Brunch. A complete listing of Homecoming 2018 events can be found at

Saturday, September 29 – There is a pre-ISNN-conference course add-on entitled “Precision Nutrition in Practice” which is hosted by Dr Martin Kohlmeier and Olivia Dong. Cost: $125 (plus 5% GST). Details and registration at

September 30-October 3 – The 12th Congress 2018 International Society of Nutrigenetics-Nutrigenomics will take place in Winnipeg, MB. The Scientific Program will include presentations from internationally renowned speakers on cutting edge areas of research and new discoveries in genetics/genomics, and nutrition. Check out the website at

October 3-4 – Protein Industries Canada is hosting a Thought Leaders Summit at The Fairmont Winnipeg where stakeholders will be able to engage with the supercluster board and learn more about the vision, mission and guiding principles. The second day of the summit will focus on convening industry and academia to promote linkages, work-integrated learning opportunities and multi-partner projects with a focus on skills and talent, training and job opportunities. Register before September 14 to get the early bird rate of $200. See agenda and registration information at

Wednesday, October 24 – Save the date for the 10th Annual Kraft Lecture, which will feature Daniel Sumner, Frank H. Buck, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis. More details to come.

October 26 and 30, November 13 – The Department of Statistics is offering the following workshops: “Survey Data Analysis Using SPSS” Day 1: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm, October 26, 311 Machray Hall and Day 2: 1:00 am – 4:00 pm, October 30, 108 Machray Hall. Registration deadline: October 24. To register for this workshop, please email consulting [at] stats [dot] umanitoba [dot] ca.  $30 course fee. Space is limited to 25 seats.  They are also offering “Data Visualization using R: Statistical Graphs and Animation” 9:30 am – 1:00 pm, November 13, 311 Machray Hall.  $25 course fee for each day. Space is limited to 25 seats. Registration deadline: November 9. To register for this workshop, please email consulting [at] stats [dot] umanitoba [dot] ca.

November 27-28 – Presented by the Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association, the Regenerative Agriculture Conference themed “Adapting to Today’s Food and Farming World” will be held at the Victoria Inn in Brandon, highlighting opportunities to boost farm profits using farm systems and ground level-thinking that enhances available natural resources such as healthy soil and intact grasslands. The conference will feature speakers from across North America, including Martin Entz, Plant Science, who will discuss and demonstrate how livestock and grain farmers can apply the principles of regenerative agriculture. Learn more and register at



David Lobb, Soil Science, along with Irena Creed, University of Saskatchewan, and Tim Moore, University of Saskatchewan, have been awarded an NSERC SPG of $827,000. The group will study the loss of wetlands in prairie agricultural areas and the impact it has on the sequestration of the nutrients carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus that promote algal blooms in downstream lakes. Read more at

Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor in Biosystems Engineering, has been named Vice-President of NSERC Council, effective June 25, 2018 until May 14, 2021. Dr. Jayas has been a member of the NSERC Council for more than four years and has served on several of its committees, including the Committee on Research Partnerships and the Special Committee of Council on the NSERC 2020 Strategic Plan. Read more at

Two members of Biosystems Engineering were recognized at the 2018 Canadian Society for Bioengineering/La Société Canadienne de Génie Agroalimentaire et de Bioingénierie annual (CSBE/SCGAB) conference in late July. Kris Dick was presented with the John Turnbull Award, given for outstanding work in the structural field in industry, teaching, research or extension.  Nazim Cicek was presented with the Jim Beamish Award for outstanding work in industry, teaching, research and extension in the area of soil and water.  A number of students also received awards: Undergraduate Design Project Award – Bill Heard, Amy Martin, Karima Nadir and Dillon Thoms for a project entitled “Mitigation of trail erosion at Westview Park” (Course Instructors:  K. Dick, B. Porth & S. Ingram);  Undergraduate Thesis Award – Hunter Loewen for a thesis entitled “Effect of dancers’ footwear and landing conditions on force propagation and balance measures during jump-landing” (Advisors: J. Morrison & J. Singer); Graduate Thesis Award (M.Sc.) – Krishana Kaja for a thesis entitled “HYDRUS modelling to predict field trafficability under different drainage design and weather conditions in southern Manitoba” (Advisor: R. Sri Ranjan); Graduate Thesis Award (Ph.D.) – Afua Mante for a thesis entitled “Impact of soil and water management practices on soil strength for field operations in southern Manitoba” (Advisor: R. Sri Ranjan); and the CSBE/SCGAB Foundation Undergraduate Scholarship for the student member of the Society with the highest GPA in the preceding semester – Sarah Currie.

Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was chair of the Local Organising Committee for the 30th triennial International Conference of Agricultural Economists (, which was held in Vancouver from July 28 – August 2. Approximately 1,200 delegates from around the world participated in the conference, which featured more than 1,000 presented papers and one afternoon of touring food, agricultural, and resource sites in the Lower Mainland. Several members of the department attended and some presented papers.

Qiang Zhang and Stefan Cenkowski, Biosystems Engineering, attended the EurAgEng 2018 conference July 8-12 in Wageningen, the Netherlands. The conference was organized by the Dutch Society of Agricultural Engineers. The conference hosted engineers, scientists, industry people and practitioners to share and integrate knowledge and expertise from various disciplines of agricultural production. Innovative technologies to enhance sustainable development of food and biomass production/processing and novel systems concepts were discussed.

Trust Beta, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, participated in an International Product Development Based on Sensory Evaluation Workshop by giving presentations on “Current Research in Functional Foods” at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), Minhang District, China on July 1 and July 9. She was also invited to participate in course discussions on Feeding the World in July.

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, was an invited plenary speaker at the Canola Convention held in Hulunbier, Halair, Inner Mongolia, China in mid-July. Dilantha was invited to give a talk on the Canadian canola production. This is one of the largest conferences organized by the canola industry in China. Dilantha’s presentation was titled, “Canadian canola production and pest management: innovative tools used to get to 52 Bushels/acre by 2025”. Dilantha was able to visit canola fields and understand the innovation and progress made in China’s approach to agriculture and rapeseed production.

Dilantha also participated in the International Congress of Plant Pathology held in Boston, USA July 29-August 3. As President of the Canadian Phytopathological Society, Dilantha signed a MOU with the American Phytopathological Society’s President Dr. Mary Palm at a ceremony held in Boston to strengthen cooperation between the two societies, especially to help graduate students and young professionals benefit from initiatives of the two socieities. As president of CPS, Dilantha introduced the first keynote speaker of the conference, Dr. Sanjaya Rajaram, World Food Prize winner (2014) invited to give the Glenn Anderson Lecture, sponsored by CPS. The late Dr. Glenn Anderson was the right hand man of Nobel Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug the father of the Green Revolution. Glenn, a Winnipegger, is affectionately remembered for his tireless work in India and Pakistan to stave off starvation and feed millions. Dr. Rajaram carried on the work started by Dr. Anderson and was mentored by both Dr. Anderson and Dr. Borlaug. Dilantha also organized an Idea Cafe on Blackleg in Canola to discuss methods on improving nomenclature of resistance genes in canola cultivars against blackleg. As an editor in both the Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology and Plant Pathology (UK), Dilantha participated in editors’ meetings held in Boston to improve the respective journals and their impact factor.

Dilantha attended the Brassica 2018 and Crucifer Genetics Conference held in St. Malo, France in July. Dilantha gave a presentation titled, “New tools introduced to seed industry and growers in Canada in the Blackleg management in Canola”. Dilantha also co-chaired a session on Blackleg R-genes.

Zhongwei Zou, research associate, and Rasanie Padmathileke, Harunur Rashid and James Tucker, Ph.D. students in Plant Science, gave oral presentations at the annual Canadian Phytopathological Society Conference held in Quebec City, Quebec. Titles of their presentations were; “Identification and characterization of Verticillium isolates from Brassica crops in Manitoba Canada” (Z. Zou); “Transcriptomic analysis of Brassica napus-Leptosphaeria maculans by dual RNA-Seq using a single R-gene cultivar and a single Avr-gene isolate (R. Pamathileke); Impact of Brassica napus-Leptosphaeria maculans interactions in the emergence of virulent isolates L. maculans the causal agent of blackleg in canola” (H. Rashid); and “Deoxyvilananol 3-glucoside content of two-row barley infected with Fusarium graminearum measured by ultra-performance liquid chromatography and tandem mass-spectroscopy” (J. Tucker). All are students of Dilantha Fernando in Plant Science.  James Tucker is co-supervised by Ana Badea (AAFC/Brandon).

Fuyou Fu, research associate in Plant Science, presented a poster at the American Society of Plant Biologists Conference held in Montreal, Quebec in mid-July. Fuyou’s presentation was titled, “Identification of new loci related to resistance against Leptosphaeria maculans in Canadian and Chinese canola germplasm through genome-wide association study with genotype by sequencing”. Fuyou is co-supervised by Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science and Fengqun Yu (AAFC/Saskatoon).

James Tucker, PhD student in Plant Science, received the 3rd prize for his presentation at the First Annual Food Systems and Sustainability Symposium organized by the Food Systems Research Group held at the University of Manitoba. James works on fusarium head blight disease in barley attempting to identify novel genes through genomics and transcriptomics approaches. James is co-supervised by Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science and Ana Badea (AAFC/Brandon).

Michael Eskin, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, recently served as the Presiding Judge at a citizenship ceremony held in Winnipeg.  As a member of the Order of Canada , he is permitted to  preside over such ceremonies.

Peter Jones, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, presented at Institute of Women’s Health and Integrative Medicine in Portland on the topic “Are We Ready for Genetic Testing in Prescribing Natural Products” on July 29.

Michael Janzen, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, attended Crops-A-Palooza in Portage La Prairie on July 25.



 Ryan Cardwell, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was interviewed by CTV television news about the potential effects of NAFTA renegotiations on Canadian food markets – jump to the 10:15 mark at  Or read the article at

Trust Beta, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, was featured in the story “Cereal Healer” in ResearchLife (Summer 2018) – read it on UM Today at

Yvonne Lawley, Plant Science, was quoted in the story “Building soil resilience with cover crops” in Top Crop Manager (September 2018) – see page 8 at

David Lobb, Soil Science, was quoted in the story “Protecting topsoil to minimize P runoff” in in Top Crop Manager (September 2018) – see page 32 at

Patrick Walther, former Plant Science grad student, was quoted in the article “Strip till in soybean” in Top Crop Manager Soy Beans (August 2018) – see page 3 at

Rob Gulden, Plant Science, and former graduate students Charles Geddes and Paul Gregoire were featured in the article “Economic and biological implications of volunteer canola in soybean” in Top Crop Manager Soy Beans (August 2018) – see page 10 at

Jason Gibbs, Entomology, was interviewed by the Winnipeg Free Press and CBC Radio on the coming ban of neonicotinoids –

Jason was also interviewed by CTV and SteinbachOnline about wasps – and

Kristen MacMillan, Plant Science, was quoted in the Manitoba Co-operator article “How deep is too deep when chasing moisture for soybeans?” –

Kristen was also featured in the Manitoba Co-operator article “Putting class theory into soybean field practice” –

Don Flaten, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “Poor nitrogen uptake has soybean growers pondering rescue application” –

Digvir Jayas, Vice-President (Research and International) and Distinguished Professor in Biosystems Engineering was quoted in the Western Producer article “The knowledge worker quandary” –

Undergraduate student Maria Arzamendi and Filiz Koksel, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, were quoted by Global News in “From the lab to your lunch: Manitoba students cooking up scientific culinary treats” –

James House and others in the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences analyzed the new A&W Beyond Beef burger for City News –

Adjunct professors Nancy Ames and Sijo Joseph, researchers with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada working in the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutracueticals, were featured for their work with the artificial stomach in the Winnipeg Free Press –

Terry Betker and Garrett Sawatzky, School of Agriculture, were quoted in the article “Focusing on finance – not just the farm” on the Family Farm Succession website –

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, was interviewed by CTV about blacklegged ticks –

The new experiential learning course instructed by Cora Dupuis was featured in a number of articles in the Agri-Post (July 27) – see pages 4, 25 and 27 –

Chengbo Yang, Animal Science, was quoted in the article ” Maintaining herd health with fewer antibiotics” in the Better Pork (June 2018). Chengbo talks about strategies for optimizing nutrition to reduce antibiotic use. Read it on page 6-17 at

A number of University of Manitoba researchers provided submissions to the Canadian Hog Journal (Summer 2018) – See P 12-14. Christine Rawluk, NCLE “Ten-year-old field study yields wealth of information on manure management”. P 24-30. Laurie Connor, Qiang Zhang. “Optimizing concrete slat and gap widths for group-housed gestating sows”. P 38-40.  Faith Adeyinka Omonijo (MSc) and Chengbo Yang. “Development of novel microparticles for effective delivery of an antimicrobial essential oil to pig intestinal tract”. P 45-47. Bonjin Koo (PhD) and Martin Nyachoti. “Low cost feeding strategies in nursery production – Feeding simplified diets with feed enzymes” – –



Salomons, M., Braul, A., Jazi, L. and Entz, M.H., 2018. Intercropping in Zimbabwe conservation agriculture systems using a farmer-participatory research approach. African Journal of Agricultural Research, 13(31), pp.1531-1539.

Hornung, P.S., Ávila, S., Masisi, K., Malunga, L.N., Lazzarotto, M., Schnitzler, E., Ribani, R.H. and Beta, T. (2018). Green development of biodegradable films based on native yam (Dioscoreaceae) starch mixtures. Starch-Stärke 70(5-6): 1-12.

Rashid, Z. Zou and W.G. Dilantha Fernando, 2018. Development of molecular markers linked to Leptosphaeria maculans resistance gene Rlm6 and inheritance of SCAR and CAPS markers in Brassica napus x Brassica juncea inter-specific hybrids. Plant Breeding.

Zhongwei Zou, Fei Liu and W. G. Dilantha Fernando. 2018. Rapid detection of Leptosphaeria maculans avirulent gene AvrLm4-7 conferring the avirulence/virulence specificity on Brassica napus using tetra-primer ARMS-PCR. European Journal of Plant Pathology.

Peter JH Jones, Maryam Shamloo, Dylan S MacKay, Todd C Rideout, Semone B Myrie, Jogchum Plat, Jean-Baptiste Roullet, David J Baer, Kara L Calkins, Harry R Davis, P Barton Duell, Henry Ginsberg, Helena Gylling, David Jenkins, Dieter Lutjohann, Mohammad Moghadasian, Robert A Moreau, David Mymin, Richard E Ostlund Jr, Rouyanne T Ras, Javier Ochoa Reparaz, Elke A Trautwein, Stephen Turley, Tim Vanmierlo, Oliver Weingartner. 2018. Progress and perspective in plant sterol and plant stanol research. Nutrition Reviews, nuy032,

Zhongwei Zou, Xuehua Zhang and W. G. Dilantha Fernando. 2018. Distribution of mating type alleles and genetic variability in field populations of Leptosphaeria maculans in western Canada. Journal of Phytopathology. DOI: 10.1111/jph.12706

Karp, D, R Chaplin-Kramer, …AC Costamagna1, et al. (In Press). Crop pests and predators exhibit inconsistent responses to surrounding landscape composition. Submitted 29/12/17 to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (1 author #40; 153 total co-authors)

Liu X, Garban J, Jones PJ, Vanden Heuvel J, Lamarche B, Jenkins DJ, Connelly PW, Couture P, Pu S, Fleming JA, West SG, Kris-Etherton PM. 2018. Diets Low in Saturated Fat with Different Unsaturated Fatty Acid Profiles Similarly Increase Serum-Mediated Cholesterol Efflux from THP-1 Macrophages in a Population with or at Risk for Metabolic Syndrome: The Canola Oil Multicenter Intervention Trial. J Nutr. 2018 May 1;148(5):721-728. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxy040.

Allaire J, Talbot D, Couture P, Tchernof A, Jones PJH, Kris-Etherton P, West SG, Connelly PW, Jenkins DJA, Lamarche B. 2018. Assessing the impact of the diet on cardiometabolic outcomes: are multiple measurements post-intervention necessary? Eur J Clin Nutr. 2018 Jul 31. doi: 10.1038/s41430-018-0257-0.

Jones PJH, Carlberg JG. 2018. Are disclosures in nutrition research really any different? Br J Nutr. 2018 Jul 31:1-3. doi: 10.1017/S0007114518001915.



Looking to get out into the ag community a bit more this year? The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Mentorship Program is recruiting ag women professionals to mentor female diploma, degree and grad students. Share your life experiences with a young woman about to enter the industry while networking with other professionals at 3 evening events held between October 2018 and April 2019. Details and application link can be found at or contact siobhan [dot] maas [at] umanitoba [dot] ca. Mentor applications close August 31. Students can apply until September 28.

Volunteers Needed! The Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre needs some extra hands for Open Farm Day on September 16. Volunteer duties would include meeter/greeters, activity station staff, and parking assistants. For more information or to secure your volunteer spot, contact Kristen Matwychuk at ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or call 204-883-2524.

PMUSER has received funding from the Ag Endowment Fund to put together a special volume featuring undergraduate research in Agricultural and Food Sciences as part of their 2018 publication year. All peer-reviewed submissions are eligible for consideration for the $250 Best Paper Award! Formats might include opinions/perspectives on current topics, essays on value of summer research, short communication research papers, mini-reviews, and extension style articles. Email Matthew Doering (Editor-in-Chief) at pmuser [at] umanitoba [dot] ca for more information.

The Amazing Agriculture Adventure (AAA) will be held at the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre and the Richardson International Kelburn Farm from September 18 to 20. Over 1,000 students are registered for this annual event, organized by Agriculture in the Classroom – Manitoba (AITC-M), and volunteers are needed as class hosts and station facilitators. If you can lend your time and energy to this educational hands-on experience for Grade 4 and 5 students, visit the AITC-M website before September 1 at


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