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AG e-news December 23, 2020

December 23, 2020 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences



Please continue to exercise caution and follow guidelines. For updated health and safety protocols, visit



December 24 – January 4 (inclusive) – The University of Manitoba will be closed for the holiday break. For details about what is open on campus through the holiday break, visit

Wednesday, January 6 – There will be a Soil Science Seminar featuring Dr. Clay Robinson, Illinois State University, on the topic “Soils around the world” at 12:30 pm. Meeting Link  Meeting ID: 984 1821 6336 Passcode: 8ERCe0

Wednesday, January 20 – There will be a Soil Science Seminar featuring Dr. Helen Jarvie, University of Waterloo, on the topic “A clearer view through murky waters? Eutrophication risk, resilience and recovery” at 12:30 pm. Meeting Link  Meeting ID: 943 0878 9369 Passcode: eY1VLd

Thursday, January 21 – The Advanced Plant Science Seminar Series takes place at 3:00 pm with a presentation from Dr. Marie Jasieniuk, Professor and Plant Biologist, Department of Plant Sciences, University of California – Davis, on the topic “Inferring the Origins, Evolution, and Spread of Weed Populations using Molecular Tools”.  To watch, register at  This is a special speaker for the Plant Science Graduate Students Association.

Tuesday, January 26 – The Entomology Seminar Series features Dr. Jessica Forrest, University of Ottawa, on “Population ecology of subalpine bees in an era of global change”. Chatting and announcements start at 10:00 am, seminars start at 10:10 am. Zoom meeting instructions are emailed just prior to the event. To be added to the mailing list, contact Kateryn Rochon at kateryn [dot] rochon [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

Wednesday, January 27 – There will be a Soil Science Seminar featuring Dr. Jian Liu, University of Saskatchewan, on the topic “Agricultural water quality in cold climate regions: Drivers and potential solutions” at 12:30 pm. Meeting Link  Meeting ID: 910 1948 4808 Passcode: tGq3Y1

Wednesday, January 27 – Save the date for the next episode in the Faculty Conversation Series, featuring Natalie Riediger, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, Jeff LaPlante, National Indigenous Diabetes Association and Myra Tait, Athabasca University, on the topic “Sticky money: exploring the acceptability of sugar-sweetened beverage taxation among Indigenous populations”. Event starts at 3:30 pm – visit

Thursday, January 28 – The Advanced Plant Science Seminar Series takes place at 3:00 pm with a presentation from Dr. Ana Badea, Research Scientist, Barley Breeding and Genetics, Brandon Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, on the topic “Towards next generation barley breeding”.  To watch, register at

Thursday, February 4 – The Advanced Plant Science Seminar Series takes place at 3:00 pm with a presentation from Dr. Aleeza Gerstein, Assistant Professor, Departments of Microbiology and Statistics, University of Manitoba, on the topic “Genome evolution in fungal microbes”.  To watch, register at

Wednesday, February 10 – There will be a Soil Science Seminar featuring Dr. Martin Entz, University of Manitoba, on the topic “The world’s long-term agronomic field studies: What can they teach us?” at 12:30 pm. Meeting Link  Meeting ID: 992 6469 0061 Passcode: X80jwa

Thursday, February 11 – The Advanced Plant Science Seminar Series takes place at a special time of 10:00 am with a presentation from Dr. Harun Cicek, Department of International Cooperation, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL),  with topic TBA.  To watch, register at



 Nandika Bandara, who joined the Department of Human and Nutritional Sciences earlier this year, has been named Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Food Proteins and Bioproducts. He was awarded a Tier 2 CRC, which comes with $500,000 in funding over five years from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. Learn more at  and see Nandika’s profile at

Alumni Donald [BSA(Hon)/66] and Elaine [BHEc(Hon)/66] Triggs have generously donated $1 million for a new bursary program at the University of Manitoba for high potential students with financial need – from any faculty or field of study. Read more at

Mohammed Moghadasian, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, was highlighted in a recent St. Boniface Research Centre story which shared that a recent Stanford University study identified the top 2 percent of the world’s nearly 7 million working scientists. Mohammed was noted for his expertise in the category Nutrition & Dietetics. There are other Faculty researchers on this list – stay tuned for more details on this study –

Fahad Khan, Soil Science PhD student, was awarded the second prize in the American Society of Agronomy Biochar Community Poster Competition at the ASA-CSSA-SSSA 2020 Virtual Conference which was held November 9-13.

Annemieke Farenhorst, Soil Science, was appointed Associate Editor of the Journal of Agricultural Science and Technology of the American Chemical Society.

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, was an invited speaker at the Western Canada Canola and Rapeseed Recommending Committee, Plant Pathology sub-committee meeting. Dilantha’s presentation was titled “Genetics of Resistance to Blackleg Understood: So, what’s next?”

James Tucker, PhD student, Arshani Alukumbura, MSc student, Sachithrani Kannangara, MSc student, Abbot Oghenekaro, Post-Doctoral Fellow, all from Dilantha Fernando’s (Plant Science) lab gave Flash and Dash & poster presentations at the National Fusarium Head Blight Forum in the USA. In addition, Anuradha Jayathissa (from Dept. of Microbiology) co-supervised by Dilantha Fernando, also gave a poster on her work. James Tucker’s  (co-supervised by Ana Badea) Flash and Dash presentation was titled “Transcriptomic Analysis of a Low-DON, In vitro selected, Two-row Malting Barley Variety in Response to Infection by Multiple Chemotypes of Fusarium graminearum”. Arshani Alukumbura’s presentation was titled ” Analysis of effectiveness of Trichoderma gamsii as a biocontrol agent to control the growth of Fusarium graminearum and development of fusarium head blight disease in wheat”. Sachithrani Kannangara’s presentation was titled, “Evaluating the Fusarium Species Diversity and Chemotype Distribution of Wheat in Western Canada”, Abbot Oghenekaro’s Falsh and Dash was titled, “Genetic structure and mycotoxin profile of Fusarium graminearum populations from Canada and North Eastern United States” and Anurdha Jayathissa’s presentation was titled, “Identification of Fusarium graminearum Traits that Relate to Malt Quality Defects and Fusarium Success within the Malt Microbiome”.

December signals a time of change and so we have a few announcements. Research study leaves begin for Jason Gibbs (Jan 1 to June 30, 2021), Carla Taylor (Jan 1 to June 30, 2021), Michel Aliani (Jan 1 to December 31, 2021), continuing for Danny Mann (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021), Jason Morrison (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021) and those returning are George Gozho, Mashiur Rahman and Trust Beta. Joyce Slater has been appointed Acting Head of the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, effective January 1 to June 30, 2021. Claudio Stasolla has been appointed Acting Head of the Department of Plant Science, effective January 1 to December 31, 2021. And finally, we wish the following faculty and staff members a most happy retirement – Alvin Iverson (December 11) and Don Flaten and Wole Akinremi (December 31).



Jason Gibbs, Entomology, was quoted in the article “Less mowing, more flowers, more yield” in the Manitoba Co-operator (December 23) –

Jared Carlberg, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was quoted in the article “” in the Manitoba Co-operator (December 17) –

Jared was also interviewed by RealAg LIVE! Q&A on the topic “Food security, protein processing, and boutique markets” on November 23 – watch it at

Kristen MacMillan, Plant Science, authored the article “Our understanding of soys on the prairies” in Better Farming Prairie (Nov-Dec) –

Martin Entz, Plant Science, was featured in the article “The benefits of perennial forages” in Better Farming Prairie (Nov-Dec) –

David Lobb, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “Soil erosion concerns overblown?” in the Manitoba Co-operator (December 14) –

Ryan Cardwell and Chad Lawley, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, were featured in the National Post column “David Clement: Will no MP stand up to supply management?” (December 9) for their paper ( –

Ryan was also quoted in the article “Manitoba farm leaders watching U.S. closely” in the Manitoba Cooperator (November 20) –

Don Flaten, Soil Science, was quoted in the article “The life of the Red River” in Country Guide (December 8) –

Yvonne Lawley and Callum Morrison, Plant Science, were featured in the article “Probing the Potential of Cover Crops” in SpudSmart (December 7) –

Derek Brewin, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics, was quoted in the article “Fewer, bigger farms bad for farmers, Canada: policy paper” in the Manitoba Co-operator (December 3) –

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, and Mario Tenuta, Soil Science, were noted in the article “Add another one to your canola scouting list” in Country Guide (November 27) –

Joyce Slater, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, was interviewed for the article “City of food (in)security: Amid COVID-19, more Winnipeggers struggle to afford their next meal” in the Uniter newspaper (University of Winnipeg)-

Kim Ominski, Animal Science, was featured in the article ” Will needle-free injection technology be adopted?” in Western Livestock Journal (Oct 16, updated Dec 11) –



Michael Eskin has co-edited the following book, which is now available for POD (print on demand): Enzymes: Novel Biotechnological Approaches for the Food Industry, Kermasha, S., Eskin, M.N.A., eds, Academic Press, London, 2021, 328 p.

Gardner J. and J. Gibbs (2020) The ‘red-tailed’ Lasioglossum (Dialictus) (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) of the western Nearctic. European Journal of Taxonomy 725: 1–242.

Adesanya, T., Zvomuya, F., Sultana, T., Metcalfe, C., & Farenhorst, A. (2020). Dissipation of sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim during temporary storage of biosolids: A microcosm study. Chemosphere, 128729.

Adesanya, T., Zvomuya, F., & Farenhorst, A. (2020). Sulfamethoxazole sorption by cattail and switchgrass roots. Journal of Environmental Science and Health, Part B, 1-11.

Dengate J., Peter T., Farenhorst A. (2020). Department Culture in Canadian Sciences & Engineering: An Empirical Test of the Culture Conducive to Women’s Academic Success Model. J. Women Gender Higher Educ. 13, 2, 175-192.

Buamard N, Aluko RE, Benjakul S. 2020. Tuna trypsin-loaded alginate-chitosan beads are stable in acidic stomach fluid but release active enzyme molecules within the simulated intestinal tract environment. J. Food Biochem. 44, e13455.

Famuwagun AA, Alashi AM, Gbadamosi SO, Taiwo KA, Oyedele DJ, Adebooye OC, Aluko RE. 2020. In vitro characterization of fluted pumpkin leaf protein hydrolysates and ultrafiltration peptide fractions: antioxidant and enzyme-inhibitory properties. Polish J. Food Nutr. Sci. In press

Aluko, R.E. (2020). In vivo efficacy of antioxidant hemp seed and calmodulin-binding flaxseed peptides. Invited keynote paper delivered (virtually) at the “International Symposium of Modern Science and Technology in Food Processing”. Organized by the School of Food Science and Technology, National Engineering Research Center of Seafood, Dalian Polytechnic University, Dalian China, Nov. 20.



Bees and Trees!  Beekeeping for the Hobbyist runs 9 Wednesdays from January 27 to March 31, 2021  – learn more or register via The School of Agriculture Arboriculture Course has its next online course intake beginning January 25, 2021 – visit

The Glenlea Research Station is hiring an Agricultural Attendant 2 – deadline to apply is January 4, 2021. See details at

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 25, 2021. More information about the nomination process including a list of previous recipients can be found at

PhD student Callum Morrison and Yvonne Lawley, Plant Science, have launched the 2020 Prairie Cover Crop Survey. Participants do not need to have grown a cover crop in 2020 to take part. They welcome participants who are thinking of using cover crops as well as those who grew a cover crop. The 2020 survey will be live from October 1st, 2020 – February 1st, 2021. To find out more and / or to take the survey go to

The 8th Native Prairie Restoration/Reclamation Workshop will be a virtual workshop, taking place February 1-5, 2021. The week-long event will include oral presentations, trade show, panel discussion, topic-focused networking sessions and a poster session. Their call for Poster Presentation Abstracts is now open. Deadline for abstracts is December 4. See more details at


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