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AG e-news May 16, 2018

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences

May 17, 2018 — 

News and events from the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences


Thursday, May 17 – Science on Tap – As part of Science Odyssey Week, scientists and beer enthusiasts will meet at the Canadian Malting Barley Technical Centre – Malt Academy for this adults-only night of experiments and merriment. Guest speakers include Michel Aliani, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences. Tickets $75 +GST. Limited spots available. For details, visit h

Friday, May 25 – It’s time once again for Campus Beautification Day beginning at 9 am and continuing throughout the day (rain date is May 28). If you can, please volunteer some time to help make our campus beautiful, meet and have fun with co-workers and maybe win some prizes. Lunch time BBQ will be at the Active Living Centre’s Agora for all volunteers. Coordination Station will be Curry Place Circle and Physical Plant each will be stocked with donuts, coffee and project ideas.  For more information visit

Friday, May 25 – The Presidential Advisory Committee to Appoint a Dean of Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences is pleased to announce a Public Presentation by Dr. Angela Bedard-Haughn, Ph.D. (California), M.Sc./B.Sc. (Saskatchewan), Head, Department of Soil Science, Professor, Soil Science, University of Saskatchewan at 10:30 am to 12:00 pm in the Senate Chamber, Room E3-262, EITC Building, 75 Chancellor’s Circle.

Thursday, May 31 – There will be a Public Seminar by Dr. Francis Zvomuya, Professor in Soil Science, at 9 am in the Carolyn Sifton Lecture Theatre, Room 130 Agriculture Building.  Dr. Zvomuya is a candidate for the Soil Science headship position and will be presenting a seminar as part of the interview process. His topic is “Soil Science at the University of Manitoba: Where do we go from here?”

Thursday, June 7 – The afternoon session of the 139th Annual Spring Convocation begins at 3 pm and features the graduands of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences including M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs. The Faculty is once again planning a convocation celebration that will take place in the Atrium just before the afternoon convocation session – stay tuned for more details!

June 10-13 – The 17th Canadian Animal Health Laboratorians Network (CAHLN) Annual Meeting, Adapting to Emerging Animal Diseases will take place at the University of Manitoba. The CAHLN Annual Meeting is a forum for knowledge exchange and networking among animal health laboratorians from across Canada, providing valuable continuing education to those working in both research and diagnostic laboratories.  The meeting is an ideal setting for graduate students to present their research and discuss it with experts in their field of study. Call for Abstracts is open now until May 1, 2018

Wednesday, June 27 – The inaugural Food Systems Research Group Graduate Student Symposium takes place at the University of Manitoba.  Registration is open and all are welcome to attend! Want to learn more about research taking place at the UofM on our shared food system? Visit the F3S website at to register today! Student registration is only $15 (non-students $60). See abstract submission details in General News below.

August 12-17 – The International Biotechnology Symposium themed “Supporting a Healthy World” will be held in Montreal and is co-organized by the National Research Council of Canada, McGill University, the University of Waterloo, and BIOTECanada. From disease-resistant crops to vaccines that keep livestock healthy, biotechnology has a big role to play in the sustainable development of our natural resources. This event is held every two years in a different country. IBS2018 is a great opportunity for science faculty and grad students to attend, network, and present their latest research. The call for abstracts has been extended to May 11 and the early bird registration discount to July 3.  See details at

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

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 – Save the date for the 12th Congress 2018 International Society of Nutrigenetics-Nutrigenomics which 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 See call for abstracts in General News below.



The 111th Diploma in Agriculture Convocation took place on Friday, May 4 with 65 graduates receiving their parchments. Dylan Loewen received the Governor General’s Bronze Medal and Drew Luhowy received the President’s Medal.  Devin Pouteau was selected as Teacher of the Year by the graduates, and Certificates of Merit were presented to Bill Campbell and Chris Hamblin. Read more at and

In the last AG e-news, we reported that Brad Feltham, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences student, received the 2018 UMSU Award for Indigenous Community Leader. We are happy to report a second student was also awarded this honour – Taylen Van Den Driessche, recent Diploma in Agriculture graduate. Taylen was presented with his award at the School of Agriculture awards banquet on May 4.

It was announced recently that Dr. Digvir Jayas, Distinguished Professor in Biosystems Engineering, has been extended in his role as Vice-President (Research and International) until June 30, 2021. He has held this role since 2009, and previously served in the Faculty as Department Head and Associate Dean (Research).

The annual Students’ Teacher Recognition Reception gives outstanding graduating students an opportunity to honour teachers who have made important contributions to their education. Recognizing that academic growth and development occurs over many years, the selected students are asked to select two teachers: one from their Kindergarten to Grade 12 years, and one from their years at the University of Manitoba. The Faculty nominated degree student Hannah Chan who recognized Joyce Slater, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences. The School of Agriculture nominated diploma student Drew Luhowy and he recognized Tee Boon Goh, Soil Science.

Jason Gibbs, Entomology, has had the unusual honour of having a new species of bee named after him by a colleague, based on material Jason collected at Spruce Woods Provincial Park.  Meet Epeolus gibbsi

Zhou (Jerry) Jin has been hired as the new Technician in the Food and Human Nutritional Sciences Pilot Plant in the Ellis building. Jerry will be responsible for the daily up-keep of the Pilot Plant, assisting in Research projects and labs during the school year. Jerry brings with him his technical expertise and lab knowledge and he will be great asset to their technical team.

Shane Cochrane has joined our Student Services team for the summer through the University of Manitoba’s Indigenous Summer Student Internship Program. He will be working on issues related to Indigenous student recruitment through our Ambassador Program as well as cooperative and experiential education opportunities for Indigenous students in Agricultural and Food Sciences. Shane will be located in room 164D from now until late August. Please join us in welcoming him to the Faculty.

Miyoung Suh, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, spoke as part of National Nursing Week on May 9 at the University of Manitoba on the topic “Eating Well…Living Well.”

Carla Taylor, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, and Team Leader, CCARM,  gave an invited presentation on “The Latest Nutrition Science Suggests a New Role for Fats and Oils” in the Hot Topics Symposia “Healthy Oils:  The New Functional Ingredient?” at the AOCS Annual Meeting in Minneapolis.

Yvette Shang, Ph.D. student supervised by Karmin O, Animal Science/CCARM,  won the Gold Award at the St. Boniface Hospital Albrechtsen Research Centre R30 Poster Competition held April 21.

Jaime Clark, Ph.D. student co-supervised by Carla Taylor and Peter Zahradka, CCARM/Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, was awarded the Christine Gagnon Memorial Travel Award in addition to being one of eight finalists selected to give an oral presentation at the Canadian Nutrition Society meeting in Halifax on May 5.

Trust Beta, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, and her team held a Cereal Group Research Networking Mini-Workshop at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals on May 2. The workshop had representatives from Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences (China), Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon (Mexico), Henan University of Science & Technology (China), Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada (Canada) and University of Manitoba (Canada) who gave oral talks on potential collaborative opportunities following an overview of the RCFFN by Dr. Michael Janzen.

Polyanna Silveira Hornung, Ph.D. student in Food Science, will be defending her thesis on “Brazilian yam and turmeric native starches: Characterization, modification and application” at the Paraná Federal University on May 21. Polyanna is co-supervised by Drs. R. Ribani, M. Lazzarotto (Brazil) and T. Beta (Canada). She spent seven months in Manitoba in 2016 and 2017 completing some of her thesis work.

Carla D’Andreamatteo, Food and Human Nutritional Sciences, presented research titled “Investigating nutritional health and food security as factors to foster societal reintegration: Insights from Canadian research” at the International Correctional Research Symposium: What is Good Prison Research?, taking place in Prague, Czech Republic May 8-10 (

The Manitoba Schools Science Symposium (MSSS), the largest annual science event held for grade 4 to 12 students throughout Manitoba was held April 27 to 29 at the University of Manitoba. In partnership with the Canadian Institute of Food Science and Technology, Helen Tieu, a student in Human Nutritional Sciences and Faculty Student Ambassador, had the pleasure to critique projects in the food and agriculture related science category as students vied for medals, specials awards, scholarships, program enrollments and trips worth over $30,000. RCFFN and HNS are among the event sponsors present inspiring the students who were presenting food related projects to pursue careers in the industry. MSSS is a venue that continues to attract support from Manitoba’s food processing sector, the inquisitive minds of our next generation of scientists, and the enthusiastic judges that keep coming back each year to take part in this inspiring event.



The work done by Anita Brûlé-Babel and Zesong Ye, Plant Science, was highlighted in the article “A fusarium head blight lesson” in Top Crop Manager (June 2018) – see page 22 at

Brian Amiro, Soil Science, was interviewed in the story “‘We live on a fire planet’: Why spring is the most dangerous time for wildfires” on CBC (May 12) –

Brian was also interviewed in the article “Second winter breaks as farmers start looking to the fields” in the Manitoba Co-operator (May 3) –

Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, was quoted in the article “Tick season now underway” in the Manitoba Co-operator (May 11) –

Dilantha Fernando, Plant Science, was interviewed in the article “Another item to put in rotation” in Country Guide (May 7) –

The Diploma Convocation and Certificate of Merit presentations garnered a lot of media coverage including:

Two of the Diploma graduates were featured in stories – Lindsay Verwey was interviewed by the Manitoba Farm Journal – click on May 4 and start listening at the 00:40 mark at and  Neelinder Singh Mann was featured on UM Today in the story “Farming afar” –

Nazim Cicek, Biosystems Engineering, wrote the op-ed “Opposing ideas can and should co-exist in our energy policy” for the Winnipeg Free Press (April 27) –

Michele Rogalsky and Craig Fisher, School of Agriculture and a number of students discussed the Faculty’s experiential learning opportunities in the articles “Getting schooled in agriculture” in the Manitoba Co-operator (April 24) and “A hands-on approach to education” (April 24)  – and



Beef peptides block bitter tastes – From burgers to steaks, beef has a long history of being a delicious part of dinner. But what if that pleasant experience of eating beef could extend beyond the dinner plate? Now, one group reports in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that beef protein, when broken down into peptides, can block bitter taste receptors on the tongue. Such peptides could someday be used to make other foods and even medicines taste better.  Chunlei Zhang, Adeola M. Alashi, Nisha Singh, Kun Liu, Prashen Chelikani, and Rotimi E. Aluko. 2018. Beef Protein-Derived Peptides as Bitter Taste Receptor T2R4 Blockers. J. Agric. Food Chem., 2018, 66 (19), pp 4902–4912 DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.8b00830

Giordano, D., Beta, T., Vanara, F. and Blandino, M. (2018) Influence of agricultural management on phytochemicals of colored corn genotypes (Zea mays L.). Part I: Nitrogen Fertilization. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry 66 (17): 4300–4308.

Giordano, D., Beta, T., Gagliardi, F. and Blandino, M. (2018) Influence of agricultural management on phytochemicals of colored corn genotypes (Zea mays L.). Part II: Sowing Time. Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry 66 (17): 4309–4318.

Ross, CA; Ali, G; Lobb, DA. 2017. Inferring soil water movement and streamflow response in Canadian Prairie riparian areas using hydrologic state variables.  Hydrological processes 31(22):3765-3782.

Lasisi, A.A., Akinremi, O.O., Tenuta, M., & Cattani, D. 2017. Short-Term Persistence of Ammonium-N Following Pig Manure Application Is Greater with Perennial Forage Grasses than Annual Crops. Can. J. Soil Sci. 97: 769 -782



Call for Abstracts – On June 27, graduate students across departments and faculties (arts, agriculture, biological sciences, environment, engineering) – in conjunction with the Food Systems Research Group – are putting on the inaugural Food Systems and Sustainability Symposium. Graduate and undergraduate students from ANY department at the University of Manitoba wanting to share their research towards understanding and improving our shared food system  are invited to submit an abstract. Student Presentation Abstracts  and Poster Abstracts extended to Wednesday, May 16. More information at

Call for Abstracts for ISNN2018 – Present your latest discoveries! The 12th Congress of the International Society of Nutrigenetics-Nutrigenomics is September 30-October 2. All abstracts will be published in Lifestyle Genomics. Abstract deadline is June 15, 2018. Check out the preliminary program online and submit your abstract today for one of the 10 sessions –

If you have high cholesterol you may want to check out the Gene-Predict study. The University of Manitoba is conducting a study at the RCFFN to investigate the effect of natural plant compounds on blood cholesterol concentration. Please contact by emailing GenePredict-PS [at] umanitoba [dot] ca or calling 204-474-7091 for more information.

All staff, faculty and summer students are invited to attend Fire Extinguisher training sessions scheduled for May, June, July and August. The sessions are available for sign-up on the Go Sign Me Up page of Learning and Organizational Development: (search for Fire Extinguisher Presentation). Please enroll for one session only.  In-class sessions only take 30 minutes and there is an opportunity to extinguish a real fire at a separate hands-on session. Fire Wardens are strongly recommended to attend these sessions annually.

Agriculture in the Classroom invites you to volunteer at their upcoming Amazing Agriculture Adventure in Brandon, June 5-6. The Brandon event is held at the Keystone Centre and they are expecting over 400 Grade 4 and 5 students to register for this event. They will need class hosts each day to tour the students and teachers through the interactive stations. In addition, they need volunteers to help manage the various stations. To volunteer, please register online at


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