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AG e-news February 27, 2018

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

February 27, 2018 — 

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News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Tuesday, February 27 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Shelley Hoover, Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, on “Bang for your buzz: managing pollination in canola”. Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building. All are welcome.

Tuesday, February 27 – A Department of Animal Science Seminar will be held on in Room 219 Animal Science Building at 11:30 am. Faith Omonijo, M.Sc. student, will make the extension presentation “Use of probiotics to improve swine production” and Dipana Maharjan, M.Sc. student, will make the poster presentation “Impact of maternal nutrition on the growth efficiency and the carcass outcome of their offspring”.  All are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, February 27 –  A Human Nutritional Sciences Program Seminar will take place at 3:00 pm in Room 207 Human Ecology Building, with Yidi Wang presenting “Prenatal Ethanol-Induced Changes in Ceramides and Apoptosis in the Developing Brain”.

Wednesday, February 28 – There will be a Soil Science Seminar with John Heard, Crop Nutrition Specialist, Manitoba Agriculture, who will present “John’s Top Picks: The Soil Safari’s Greatest Trophies” at 12:30 pm, Room 346 Ellis Building. Everyone welcome.

Wednesday, February 28 – Students from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences are in the final heats of the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition.  In Heat 3 – Feb. 28, 4:30 – 6:30 pm in EITC – E3 – 270, catch Michael Wilton (Agribusiness).  See complete information at

Wednesday, February 28 – The second talk of the Food Systems Research Group monthly seminar series will feature “Dried fish matters: mapping the social economy of dried fish in South and Southeast Asia” with Derek Johnson, Professor, Anthropology, Faculty of Arts, at 3:00 pm with discussion to follow in 409 Tier Building. Derek will discuss the importance of dried fish on both livelihoods and food and nutrition security in South and Southeast Asia. Read more at

Wednesday, February 28 – As part of the Seniors’ Alumni Learning for Life Program, a session will be presented  by Jason Gibbs, Entomology, on the topic “The Diversity of Wild Bees and How To Conserve  Them”. To register, visit

Thursday, March 1 – The Technology Transfer Office presents a Lunch N’ Learn on “Invention in the Life Sciences: How, When and Whether to seek patent protection?” at 12 noon in A207 A&B Chown Building, 753 McDermot Avenue. Come and learn about how the University of Manitoba is actively working on your behalf to enhance valuable industry partnerships and collaborations. The workshop will also feature an interactive Intellectual Property Seminar with Dr. Kathleen Marsman, a patent agent with Borden Ladner Gervais, one of Canada’s leading law firms. Dr. Marsman will share her knowledge of Intellectual Property and provide insight on how you can protect your ideas! R.S.V.P to Janice Smith at tto [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or 204-474-6200.

Monday, March 5 –  A M.Sc. Thesis Defence by Michelle Leaf, M.Sc. Candidate in Human Nutritional Sciences, is scheduled for 2:30 pm in 104 Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, on “Dairy Milk as an Ergogenic Aid: Assessing Athletic Performance and Perceptions”. Faculty, students, staff and general public are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, March 6 – A Department of Entomology Seminar will be presented by Dr. Katja Poveda, Department of Entomology, Cornell University, on “Landscape effects on insect diversity and functional traits and their consequences for yield”. Refreshments at 10:00 am, seminar begins at 10:10 am sharp in 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building. All are welcome.

Tuesday, March 6 – A Final Ph.D. Oral Defence by Maryam Shamloo, Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, is scheduled for 11:00 am in 104 Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, on “Effects of genotype and environment variation on wheat secondary metabolites and human health properties”. Faculty, students, staff and general public are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, March 6 – A Department of Animal Science Seminar will be held on in Room 219 Animal Science Building at 11:30 am. Yvette Shuang, Ph.D. student, will make the scientific presentation “Investigation of renal ischemia-reperfusion induced liver injury”.  All are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, March 6 –  A Human Nutritional Sciences Program Seminar will take place at 3:00 pm in Room 207 Human Ecology Building, with Hibah Khawar presenting “Energy and Nutrient Intake pattern among Students enrolled in Nutrition for Health and Changing Lifestyle (HNSC 1210) course”.

Thursday, March 8Be Part of the Agri-Food Conversation is a speaker series is coordinated by the Bruce D. Campbell Farm and Food Discovery Centre and facilitated by Centre manager Myrna Grahn. Special guest speakers will address an academic and industry audience on timely agriculture and food topics. The series will also allow for some networking in a casual environment. The next presentation in the speaker series Be Part of the Agri-Food Conversation will feature Mitch Rezansoff on the topic “How we can benefit from Big Data?”. Mitch was recently appointed executive director of the Canadian Association of Agri-Retailers, previously serving as the Integrated Solutions Manager at Enns Brothers. All presentations take place at 3:00 pm at Barley Brothers Craft Beer Restaurant and Bar, 2005 Pembina Highway.  There is no cost to attend but please register by emailing Myrna at ffdc [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or 204-883-2524.

Tuesday, March 13 – A Department of Animal Science Seminar will be held on in Room 219 Animal Science Building at 11:30 am. Paul Tamayao, M.Sc. student, will make the extension presentation “Effect of biochar supplementation on in vitro methane and rumen fermentation” and Angie Cerilli, M.Sc. student, will make the scientific presentation “Effects of lipid supplementation of sainfoin and sainfoin-grass mixtures on in vitro rumen fermentation and methane production”.  All are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, March 13 – A Human Nutritional Sciences Program Seminar will take place at 3:00 pm in Room 207 Human Ecology Building, with Lucien Cayer presenting “Association of oxylipins with pheno- and genotypic alterations in rats exposed to dietary 2-monocholoro-1,3-propanediol”.  As well,  Jessica Gutkin will present “Consumer Segment Profiles, Nutrition Practices, Health Attitudes and Key Drivers for Food Preferences among Rural and Urban Dwelling Baby boomers residing in Manitoba”.

Wednesday, March 14 – There will be a Soil Science Seminar with Wennong Kuang, Visiting Ph.D. Student, Department of Soil Science, who will present “Linkage between Soil Profile N2O Accumulation and Surface Emission: Effects of Soil Moisture and Fertilizer Nitrogen” at 12:30 pm, Room 346 Ellis Building. Everyone welcome.

Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17 – The Plant Science Graduate Student Association (PSGSA) is hosting the 34th Annual Plant Science Graduate Student Symposium at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB. The theme for this year’s symposium is “Cultivating the Field of Big Data”. The event will host student presentations, 3-4 keynote speakers, and a variety of networking events. Graduate students from the University of Manitoba, University of Saskatchewan, North Dakota State University as well as other neighbouring universities are participating in symposium. The details of symposium is posted in website and will be updated in regular basis. This symposium is open for graduate students, undergraduate students and research associates/post-docs in faculty of agricultural and food science who are studying or conducting research in plant science or related discipline. The deadline for event registration is  23rd Feb 2018. PSGSA highly encourage fellow students and researchers to attend the symposium. For further information please contact: Plant Science Graduate Student Association (Anjan Neupane-neupanea [at] myumanitoba [dot] ca).

Wednesday, March 21 – The next seminar in the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Seminar Series will be held at 3:30 pm in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, 130 Agriculture Building. Jason Morrison, Department of Biosystems Engineering, will present.  Refreshments will be served at 3:00 pm in the Atrium. Everyone is welcome to attend.

September 30-October 3 – Save the date for the 12th Congress 2018 International Society of Nutrigenetics-Nutrigenomics which will take place in Winnipeg, MB. Check out the website at



Dr. Michael Janzen has joined the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals effective February 20 as the Centre’s Research Development Manager. Michel obtained his Ph.D. from Western University of London Ontario, held a NSERC Post-Doc Fellowship at Yale University and a Research Associate position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has spent the past 10 years in positions of increasing responsibility at Medicure, Inc. and most recently served as the Vice-President, Product Development and Scientific Affairs.  As Vice-President, he was the company leader for pharmaceutical research and product development, manufacturing and regulatory activities. He can be reached at 204-474-6030 and Michael [dot] janzen [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

Last week it was announced Protein Industries Canada SuperCluster was selected as part of the Government of Canada’s $950-million Innovation Superclusters Initiative. The University of Manitoba will play a role in the supercluster, which plans to use plant and novel processing technology to increase the value of key Canadian crops, such as canola, wheat and pulses that are coveted in high-growth foreign markets, such as China and India, as well as to satisfy growing markets in North America and Europe for plant-based meat alternatives and new food products. The Faculty will have involvement in PIC’s four fundamental pillars and also looks forward to working with the EMILI team as well as other members in the PIC partnership to advance Canada’s agrifood sector. Read more online.

Karin Wittenberg, Dean, travelled to Ottawa February 12 to participate in a meeting with AAFC’s Director General Michael Whittaker regarding the roll out of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. AAFC has demonstrated a real effort to roll out the various components of the CAP in a timely manner and has been transparent in its messaging with respect to progress made. Discussions are continuing through the Association of Canadian Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine.

While Karin was in Ottawa, she participated in Canada’s Agriculture Day conference in Ottawa on February 13, which featured Murad Al-Katib, AGT Food and Ingredients & Chair Agri-Food Economic Strategy Table as well as Richardson International Ltd’s Curt Vossen as keynote presenters speaking to the future of agriculture in Canada.  As a participant in the conference, Karin was invited and attended the all-party Agriculture Caucus breakfast in the Parliamentary Dining Room on February 13.

Karin travelled to Brandon February 7-8 for a variety of events. On February 7, she met with Deanna Rexe, VP (Academic) for Assiniboine Community College to learn more about their current priorities and to initiate a conversation with respect to opportunities we may have to work collaboratively. She also gave a presentation on February 7 about the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences to scientists at the AAFC, Brandon Research Station.  On February 8, she participated in the Manitoba Beef Producers AGM. A keynote address given by Marty Seymour, Director, Industry and Stakeholder Relations, FCC illustrated the many ways in which new technologies will influence and even disrupt the future of beef production and agriculture in Canada.

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, was invited to give two talks, one at the Blackleg Workshop and the other to grower organizations in Saskatoon. Dilantha spoke on future directions his research program will be taking in understanding how the R-gene labeling and R-gene rotations will work as a new blackleg disease management tool by working with growers of all three provinces. Dilantha touched on the successes through the GF2 program which saw two blackleg genes cloned, a new KASP marker system developed for rapid identification of the blackleg races in the field, and identification of R-genes in canola cultivars, which has now helped each seed company to strategically breed for resistance to blackleg knowing the R-genes in their material. These successes have led to the implementation of R-gene labels in canola seed packs, including establishing R-gene rotations.

Jordan Bannerman, Entomology, presented a talk entitled “The integration of natural enemies into pest management strategies and technologies” on February 14 at the CropConect Conference in Winnipeg.

Carla D’Andreamatteo, MSc, RD will be presenting with fellow researcher Dr. Karen Davison, PhD, RD, at the Correctional Research Symposium in Prague, May 8-10, 2018. Their presentation is entitled “Investigating nutritional health and food security as factors to foster societal reintegration: Insights from Canadian research” –

On February 13, YES! Winnipeg/Economic Development Winnipeg hosted a Familiarization Tour (FAM Tour) for Global Affairs Canada with eight new investment officers, one trade commissioner and the Deputy Director of Investor Services.   The tour included a stop at Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals for a tour lead by RCFFN Director Dr. Peter Jones.  RCFFN was excited to host this group as it is a rare opportunity to have the Federal officers here at once touring Winnipeg and seeing all we have to offer in our key sectors. The tour included presentations by MAHRN/CCARM/FDC.

Christina Lengyel, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, led the Faculty through the Accreditation Committee’s two-day site visit for the Dietetics Program on February 8 and 9. The survey team representing the accrediting body visited the department and shared their thoughts with respect to courses and the overall learning experience.  Christine is recognized for her efforts in organizing the extensive documentation required for the review, as well as leading the organization of the survey visit.

At the Manitoba Soil Science Society meeting on February 2, a number of Department of Soil Science students received awards for their presentations. Poster presentations – 1st place: Geethani Amarawansha;  2nd place: Mauli Gamhewage;  3rd place: Fahad Khan. Oral presentations – 2nd place: Marufa Fatema; 3rd place: Kristy Anderson.



Joyce Slater, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, is featured in the UM Today article entitled “Deserts within our urban food system” which summarized the Food Systems Research Group inaugural Food For Thought seminar –

A press release from Rutgers University on “The more kinds of bees, the better for humans, Rutgers-led study finds” featuring a new Science article co-authored by Jason Gibbs, Entomology, (see below in Publications) was picked up by multiple outlets –

Nazim Cicek, Biosystems Engineering, continues with his series on energy and the environment with the opinion article “A bold new wave of electrification” in the Winnipeg Free Press (February 16) –

Rachel Verwey, Animal Systems student, was featured in the article “Manitobans participating in CYL” in the Manitoba Co-operator (February 22) as one of the mentees in the latest edition of the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders program – see page 28 at

Interdisciplinary research on bubbles in noodles from the University of Manitoba to be published in the March edition of Food Research International was highlighted by a number of media outlets following a press release from the Canadian Light Source – CBC “Creating the perfect noodle: U of M researchers discover microscopic bubbles in dough ” and Radio-Canada “Manger des pâtes, c’est manger des bulles, dit la science”



Ríos Martínez, AF, and AC Costamagna (2018) Effects of crowding and host plant quality on morph determination in the soybean aphid, Aphis glycines (Hemiptera:Aphididae). Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata 166: 53-62

Winfree, R., Reilly, J., Bartomeus, I., Cariveau, D., Williams, N.M. & Gibbs, J. (2018) Species turnover makes biodiversity important to pollination services despite dominance. Science 359(6377): 791–793.

Gibbs, J. (2018) Bees of the genus Lasioglossum (Hymenoptera: Halictidae) from Greater Puerto Rico, West Indies. European Journal of Taxonomy 400: 1–57.

Gibbs J. (2018) DNA barcoding a nightmare taxon: Assessing barcode index numbers and barcode gaps for sweat bees. Genome 61(1): 21–31.

Manns, H.R., Berg, A.A., Bullock, P.R., McNairn, H., Groenevelt, P. and Wang, Y. 2017. Importance of soil organic carbon in near-surface soil water content estimation: A simple model comparison in dry-end Canadian Prairie soils. Canadian Water Resources Journal 42(4): 364-377.

Li, R; Tun, HM; Jahan, M; Zhang, ZX; Kumar, A; Fernando, D; Farenhorst, A; Khafipour, E. 2017. Comparison of DNA-, PMA-, and RNA-based 16S rRNA Illumina sequencing for detection of live bacteria in water. Scientific reports 7, Article number: 5752, doi:10.1038/s41598-017-02516-3



The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences welcomes applications for Head, Department of Soil Science. Applications will be accepted until March 16, 2018 or until the position has been filled. For more information visit

The Endowment Fund Committee of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences is once again seeking proposals from students, alumni, and academic and support staff of the Faculty for special projects requiring funding. This year, approximately $249,000 is available to fund a variety of projects, from teaching equipment/projects to student competitions and field trips. The fund has also been allocated for visiting scientists and lecturers, conferences and workshops, and library acquisitions. Please submit an application via email to Heather Wiebe at Heather [dot] Wiebe [at] umanitoba [dot] ca by NOON Wednesday, February 28, 2018. Complete Endowment Fund details and application form are available online at:

Volunteers needed for Almond Study – The University of Manitoba is conducting a study to investigate the effect of almonds on gut health. The study is open to men and women who are aged 18-75 years, with an elevated waist circumference and are non-smokers.  Participants will be compensated for their contributions to this study. For more information email almondstudy [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

Our fiscal year end of March 31, 2018 is just around the corner. Visit our Year End at the University website ( to review the Year End Guidelines & Schedule for 2017-18 which includes frequently asked questions, key deadline dates, checklists and your Financial Services contacts to help you through the process.

Glenlea Research Station house for rent – Tenant must be an employee of the University of Manitoba, over the age of 18, with livestock experience. Apply by March 1, 2018. For more details visit


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