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AG e-news December 1, 2016

December 1, 2016 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Manitoba.


Tuesday, December 6 – Are you an alumnus in the Calgary/Edmonton area?  Dean Karin Wittenberg invites you to attend the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Alumni Reception at 5:00 pm at the Calgary Marriott Downtown (110 9ths Avenue SE). There will be a general University of Manitoba Alumni Reception immediately following at 6:30 pm. To RSVP please contact kim [dot] stefaniuk [at] umanitoba [dot] ca by November 30.

Wednesday, December 7 – The next seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences 2016-2017 Seminar Series will be held at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building. Christina Lengyel, Human Nutritional Sciences, will present “A Balancing Act: Nourishing a Diverse Older Adult Population Residing in Long-Term Care Facilities”.  Refreshments will be served at 3:00 pm in the Atrium. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Monday, December 12 – Everyone is welcome to attend the Faculty’s Annual Holiday Celebration from 2:00 – 4:30 pm. The event is tentatively booked for Room 252 Agriculture Building (Dean’s Office Conference Room). We will advise if that changes!

Wednesday, December 14 and Thursday, December 15 – The 2016 Manitoba Agronomists Conference themed “Advances in Crop Scouting: Balancing Technology with Technique will be held in Room 172 Agriculture Building and via webcast. The cost is $225.  Register by December 4 to take advantage of the early bird rate of $185.  Registration closes December 9. Register early for Winnipeg as space is limited. Graduate students are invited to attend as well as submit posters.  Poster requirements and deadlines as well as registration information are on the MAC website at Any inquiries can be directed to the MAC Coordinator, Rachel Sydor at mbagconf [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or 204-474-8473.

Wednesday, December 14 – There is a Biosystems Engineering Thesis Defence for Emil-Peter Sosonowski at 10 am in Room A205 Agricultural Engineering on the topic “The Characterization of 3D Printer Plastics Sterilized by Hydrogen Peroxide Vapour”. All are welcome.

Wednesday, December 14 – The Prairie Livestock Expo at the Victoria Inn Hotel and Convention Centre in Winnipeg features six Faculty speakers in the New and Emerging Research session. Tracy Gilson, Bogdan Slominski, Martin Nyachoti, Laurie Connor, Kim Ominski and Argenis Rodas-Gonzalez will all present on a range of topics.  See full details of the event at

Wednesday, December 14 – You are invited to attend the Holiday Concert at the Admin hosted by the Office of the President from 12 pm to 1 pm featuring Ecco Singers, under the direction of Philip Lapatha. The annual concert has become very popular with the university community, resulting in a standing room only audience inside the Admin Building.

April 24-26 – Just announced, the Agricultural Institute of Canada will be holding its 2017 conference in Winnipeg. The theme is “Agricultural Innovation in a Changing Environment”. More details coming soon – visit to stay up to date.



Michael Eskin, Department of Human Nutritional Sciences, received the Order of Canada at the Investiture Ceremony in Ottawa at Rideau Hall on Thursday, November 17th. In his citation (see below) there was a reference to to his lipid raps. As  result, the wife of the Governor General insisted he give a rap performance at the evening event. Dr. Eskin agreed and gave a rendition of LIPIDS GET A BAD RAP: IT ISN’T FAIR to a very enthusiastic audience. Citation: “Michael Eskin has made important contributions to Canada’s canola industry. A food chemistry professor at the University of Manitoba he has conducted pioneering research on edible oils. His identification of the chemical, physical and performance properties of canola oil helped lay the foundation for its development as a marketable product. In addition to serving on the boards of several academic organizations and journals in his field, he is an esteemed teacher who has creatively used rap music to teach his students about lipids in foods.”

Annemieke Farenhorst, Soil Science, was named a Women’s Executive Network (WXN) 2016 Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award Winner in the ‘trailblazers and trendsetters’ category. More at

Rob Gulden, Plant Science, received the Excellence in Weed Science Award (sponsored by Dow AgroSciences) at the annual CWSS meeting held in Moncton, New Brunswick, November 22-24. More at

The Department of Entomology is pleased to welcome Dr. Jason Gibbs who will be joining our Department effective December 1, 2016.   Jason received a Ph.D. from York University in 2009.  His doctoral work was supervised by Laurence Packer on bee taxonomy and Jason also gained experience there as a sessional lecturer.   His postdoctoral position was at Cornell University, with Bryan Danforth, where he examined the molecular phylogenetics of bees and contributed to applied research on apple pollination.  He is currently employed as a Research Associate at Michigan State University in the laboratory of Rufas Isaacs investigating integrative pollination management of specialty crops.  He is on the leadership team of a national scale pollination project focused on improving pollination management practices in large-scale cropping systems and a co-principal investigator on a US Forest Service-funded project to study the effects of forest management practices on pollinators in long-leaf pine savannahs.  His expertise in insect taxonomy, his skills in morphological and molecular systematics, and ability to work in applied systems, will make him a valuable asset in the Department of Entomology and the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences.

Joyce Slater, Human Nutritional Sciences, gave the keynote address at the Child Nutrition Council of Manitoba annual conference in Winnipeg November 25 on the topic “Food Literacy: More than Alphabet Soup”.

Joyce also gave the keynote address at the Food Skills Assessment Workshop, University of Minnesota & Minnesota Food Charter, Minneapolis MN, on November 7 entitled “Is cooking dead? MIA? Food literacy tales from the Great White North”.

Monica Cyr, Masters student in Human Nutritional Sciences, presented at the 4th Annual Indigenous Health Research Symposium, November 23 on the topic “Honoring the Grandmothers Through (Re)membering, (Re)learning & (Re)vitalizing Traditional Métis Foods and Protocols”.

Trust Beta, Food Science, attended the 2016 AACCI annual meeting held in Savannah, GA, October 23-26 where she presented two oral papers entitled “Dietary carotenoids of corn fractions do not seem to affect the development of atherosclerotic lesions in LDL-r-KO mice” and “Relationship between mycotoxin contamination of colored corn types and phenolic acid evolution during kernel development”, and co-authored by Ph.D. students Kabo Masisi and Deborah Giordano respectively. The latter manuscript has also been accepted in the Cereal Chemistry journal published by AACCI.

Two student members of the Department of Food Science attended the 2nd International Conference on Food Chemistry and Technology held in Las Vegas, NV, November 14-16.  Ph.D. candidate Nazanin Vafaei was an invited speaker at international conference on Food Chemistry and Technology in Las Vegas, NV, November 14 – 16 and talked about, “ Green Sustainable Supercritical Carbon Dioxide for Enzymatic Synthesis of Diacylglycerols and Monoacylglycerols” on behalf of co-authors Martin Scanlon, Peter Jones & Michael Eskin (University of Manitoba) and Curtis Rempel (Canola Council of Canada). Kun Wang, former student  of Susan Arntfield presented data from his Ph.D. thesis “Unveiling the nature of binding between selected flavours to Canola and Pea proteins and effect of chemical modification of proteins on flavour delivery”.

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science was an invited speaker at the German-Canadian Fusarium Workshop held at the Ottawa Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada on November 20. Dilantha’s talk was entitled, “A quarter century since the worst fusarium head blight epidemic in the prairies; what have we learned and made progress in?”

Dilantha was also an invited speaker at the Blackleg and Sclerotinia workshop held in conjunction with the Western Canadian Canola and Rapeseed Recommending Committee meetings on November 28 in Saskatoon, SK. Dilantha gave two invited talks. The first presentation was on, “Stewardship of blackleg resistance in canola” with Dr. Gary Peng (AAFC/Saskatoon) and Ralph Lange (InnoTech Alberta). The second talk was entitled “Investigating R-gene durability of canola cultivars and emergence of virulent blackleg races” with Dr. Hossein Borhan of AAFC/Saskatoon.

James Tucker, Plant Science Ph.D. student supervised by Dilantha Fernando, presented a poster on his research at the 8th Canadian Workshop on Fusarium Head Blight, November 20-22 in Ottawa, ON.  The title of the poster presented was “Genomic Selection as a Breeding Method for Developing FHB Resistance and Reducing DON Accumulation in Two-row Barley”.  James is co-supervised by Ana Badea of AAFC/Brandon.

Robert Duncan, Plant Science, presented an invited talk entitled “Building on the success of Brassica breeding at the University of Manitoba” at the Canola Industry Meeting in Saskatoon, SK, on November 1.

Martin Entz, Plant Science, presented a workshop on “Management Intensive Organic Agriculture” at Agribition in Regina, SK, on November 25.

Anita Brûlé-Babel, Plant Science, and five students, Yang Lin, Gabrielle Nowakowski, Anjan Neupane, Duoduo Wang and Younyoung Lee attended a satellite meeting with German collaborators on November 20, followed by the 8th Canadian Workshop on Fusarium Head Blight November 20-22 and the 3rd Canadian Wheat Symposium November 22-25.  All meetings were held in Ottawa. Anita was co-author on two presentations and four posters. The following posters were presented by her students: Yang Lin, Anita Brûlé-Babel, Curt McCartney, Michele Loewen, Kerry Boyle,  Gavin Humphreys. “QTL Mapping of fusarium head blight resistance in an elite winter wheat doubled haploid population.” Younyoung Lee, Anita Brûlé-Babel, Santosh Kumar and Maria Antonia Henriquez. “Pathogenicity of Fusarium graminearum isolates collected from wheat fields in Manitoba.” Gabrielle Nowakowski, Anita Brûlé-Babel, Al Hamill. “Evaluation of fusarium head blight mitigation through the use of the biological control agent, Clonostachys rosea.” A. Neupane, L. Tamburic-llincic, A. L. Brûlé-Babel, C. A. McCartney. “Identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with fusarium head blight resistance in a D8006W/ Superior winter wheat population.” Yang Lin won first place for his poster in the student competition for the 8th Canadian Workshop on Fusarium Head Blight.

Amanda Taylor, Ph.D. student Soil Science in the TGAS-MAN lab, won a photo contest put on by Campbell Scientific. See Amanda’s winning photo and details at

Michele Rogalsky, School of Agriculture, and second year Diploma student Jake Ayre participated on November 25 in the “Growing Leaders in Agriculture” panel at CIGI.  The audience included 30 students in the Leadership Winnipeg course offered by the  Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce.   The course provides experiences to inspire and help individuals develop an understanding of themselves, their community and their role in it.

Jake also made a presentation on November 15 to SeCan members.  He joined RealAg’s Lyndsey Smith presenting on “Building Public Trust (What’s the Big Deal?  And Why does my future depend on it?”  Jake is registered in an agriculture diploma Special Project course where he is developing his skills in communications and industry relations.

Alumna Chelsea Boonstra (DipAg/16) joined a panel of Ag Advocates who presented at the Manitoba Farm Women’s Conference in Portage la Prairie on November 22.

Our students keep on giving (as do many of you!) – at the Head Shave and Shine (and Wax) held yesterday in the Agriculture Atrium, the Faculty of Agriculture Students Organization raised $1500 in support of Movember. Might be a few chilly heads in the name of charity!



Recent Diploma graduate Chelsea Boonstra was featured in the article “Farm Women’s Conference sees upsurge” in the Manitoba Co-operator (December 1) – page 28 at

Diploma alumni brothers Jonathan and Stefan Bouw, along with their parents, were featured in the article “Putting the business out to pasture” in the Western Producer (December 1) – page 19 at

A recent working paper by Chad Lawley, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, on the effect of BCs carbon tax on household gasoline use was featured by the Smart Prosperity Institute in a blog entry authored by his coauthor, Vincent Thivierge –



Cárdenas-Hernández, A., Beta, T.,  Loarca-Piña, G., Castaño-Tostado, E., Nieto-Barrera, J. and Mendoza, S. (2016) Improved functional properties of pasta: enrichment with amaranth seed flour and dried amaranth leaves. Journal of Cereal Science 72:84-90.

Nikièma P, Akinremi O.O., Tenuta M. 2016. Nitrous Oxide Emissions as Affected by Liquid and Solid Pig Manures Applied to Annual and Perennial Forage Crops on a Sandy Loam Soil. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 96: 1–11.

Soloway, A.D., B.D. Amiro, A.L. Dunn, and S.C. Wofsy. 2017.  Carbon neutral or a sink? Uncertainty caused by gapfilling long-term flux measurements for an old-growth boreal black spruce forest. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 233: 110-121.

Mackay DS, Jew S, Jones PJ. Best practices for design and implementation of human clinical trials studying dietary oils. Progress in Lipid Research. 2016 Oct 26;65:1-11. doi: 10.1016/j.plipres.2016.10.003. [Epub ahead of print] Review.

The formation of insoluble amyloid structures from proteins is associated with a number of diseases including type II diabetes and Alzheimer’s.  Amyloid formation is also observed in networks of egg-white proteins during cake-baking.  Therefore, understanding mechanisms of amyloid formation is important in both food and health sciences.  Koen Jansens was a visiting postdoctoral fellow from KU Leuven (Belgium) in the Department of Food Science in 2015.  His work on understanding the compressibility of proteins during the transition from native to amyloid structures has been published in December’s issue of Food Hydrocolloids. – Jansens, KJA, Brijs, K, Delcour, JA & Scanlon, MG. 2016. Amyloid-like aggregation of ovalbumin: Effect of disulfide reduction and other egg white proteins. Food Hydrocolloids 61: 914-922.



The Manitoba Personalized Lifestyle Research (TMPLR) study has reached a milestone and has passed 200 participants! For those interested in the study or in participating please visit

And if you are interested in participating in other studies underway at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, please check out the Ongoing Clinical Trials page at Current trials are studying probiotics, faba beans, and plant sterols, to name a few.

The 2017 Soil and Crops Workshop which will take place March 6-7, 2017, in Saskatoon, SK, has issued a Call for Papers. The annual Soils and Crops Workshop is a two-day event offering updates on current research being conducted in the areas of soils, crops and economics by researchers, faculty and graduate students from across western Canada.  The second day offers a workshop based on invited presentations designed to provide in-depth training on a variety of topics emphasizing agronomy. Details on submitting oral presentation and poster titles can be found at

The Canadian Society for Bioengineering has issued a Call for Abstracts for its 2017 AGM and Technical Conference in Winnipeg, MB, August 6-10, 2017 which is themed “Food, Fuel and Fiebre for a Sustainable Future”. Abstracts on a wide range of topics are due February 1 and complete submission details can be found at

Certificate of Merit Call for Nominations – The Certificate of Merit is presented by the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences and the School of Agriculture in recognition of leadership with agricultural organizations and outstanding service to the community at large. Each year two Certificates of Merit are presented, normally, one to a graduate of the Agriculture Diploma program, and one to a graduate of the Agriculture Degree program. Nominations are considered by the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Executive Committee and must be received no later than January 15, 2017. Nominations should include a letter from the nominator describing the nominee’s leadership contributions and service to the community.  Letters of support may also be included. More information including a list of previous recipients can be found at

Due to popular demand, the Manitoba Arborist Training & Licensing Program is offering a second in-class course beginning Thursday, January 12, 2017 and continuing weekly until Thursday, April 20, 2017.  The in-class course consists of 28 hours of classroom instruction. The face-to-face instruction gives students the opportunity to ask questions, have discussions and meet other people interested in arboriculture. The course material is broken down into 14 sections with review quizzes administered on a weekly basis. The instructor for the Thursday night course offering, Craig Fisher (B.A., B. Sc. Agroecology), is a graduate of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. Craig has held several “A” titles during his career in agriculture: arborist assistant, canola agronomist for Cargill Ltd., and agroforestry researcher for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Currently he is working as an upland agronomist for Ducks Unlimited’s Native Plant Solutions, where he develops naturalized, ecologically-sound stormwater retention ponds in and around Winnipeg.  He has an abiding passion for small-scale, perennial-focused, ecologically-based agriculture, and is ever working toward a more sustainable world. Craig completed the Manitoba Arborists Training Course in 2015. To learn more or to register, visit

Beekeeping for the Hobbyist is a non-credit course offered by the Department of Entomology in collaboration with Manitoba Agriculture. It runs nine Wednesday evenings – January 25 to March 22, 2017 – and includes an apiary demonstration in mid-April. The course fee is $195. An optional textbook is available for purchase at an additional cost. The course is currently full at 60 students but spaces may open – please sign up to the wait list if you have interest in this course. Learn more and sign up at

Beginning January 9, 2017, and continuing for 11 Mondays, the non-credit Horse Production and Management course will be offered by the Department of Animal Science. Learn techniques of horse mastership that will allow you to provide quality care for your equine partner. This series of lectures deals with the principles of horse production and management, including anatomy and physiology, genetics, selection and breeding, reproductive management, nutrition, stable and pasture management, health and welfare, and equine behaviour. The class is capped at 20 students. For more information and to register go to


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