Developing and Testing New Technologies

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What new technologies should be developed, prototyped, and tested to achieve sustainable food systems?  The development of transformative innovations is a vital part of creating more sustainable food systems. CSFS researches, tests and prototypes technologies that help discover solutions to global challenges. By developing appropriate and sustainable technologies, we can improve crop yields, improve use of water and nutrient management, expand sustainable aquatic production, promote intensive protein production, identify synergies in land use and food production, and create modular systems that can work in both rural and urban environments.

Jim Atwater, Associate Professor, Faculty of Applied Science, Department of Civil Engineering

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Pollution Control
  • Wastewater Management

 

Andrew Black, Professor, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, Departments of Applied Biology and Soil Science

 

Leonard Foster, Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Director, Centre for High-Throughput Biology

  • host-pathogen combinations
  • quantitative proteomics
  • stable isotope labeling and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS)
  • high content screening and massively parallel sequencing
  • mapping the protein interaction network within cells

 

Rachhpal (Paul) Jassal, Research Associate, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, Department of Soil Science

 

Mark Johnson, Associate Professor, Faculty of Science & Institute for Resource, Environment, and Sustainability

  • Water and Sustainability
  • Ecohydrology
  • Watershed Biogeochemistry

 

Zia Mehrabi, Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability. 

  • Technological tools for farmer evidence based decision making.
  • The impact of climate disasters on global agricultural productivity.
  • Novel solutions for monitoring the environmental and social impacts of farming activities.

 

Andrew Riseman, Professor, Faculty of Land and Food Systems

  • Plant breeding
  • Intercrop interactions
  • Nutrient use efficiency
  • Root physiology
  • Biotic and abiotic stressor resistance
  • Edaphic selection

 

Sean Smukler, Associate Professor,Faculty of Land and Food Systems, Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Lab

  • Monitoring, protecting and enhancing biodiversity and the availability of ecosystem services including food, fiber, fuel and timber production, greenhouse gas mitigation, and water quality and quantity regulation.

Prototyping an innovative assessment tool for monitoring socio-ecological outcomes of farming practices

Project lead: Zia Mehrabi, Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems, Institute for Resources, Environment, and Sustainability; Hannah Wittman, Associate Professor, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, Food, Nutrition and Health.

Description: The Long Term Socio-Ecological Research Station at UBC Farm is spearheading an initiative to generate the decision-support technology that is needed for an environmentally sustainable and food secure future. We are developing a functional prototype of a software management tool that allows for the monitoring of socio-ecological factors that matter to farming system choices – inputs (e.g. labour, fertilizers, water, energy, fertility), biodiversity (e.g. birds, pollinators, plant life, soil invertebrates), climate impacts (e.g. carbon stocks and fluxes), water pollution (e.g. leaching, run-off), profitability, nutrient supply (calories, micronutrients), and system resilience from both ecological (e.g. yield, pollinator populations) and social (e.g, consumers – producers transactions) networks.

Impact: To develop intelligent technology that concurrently tracks the production and environmental outcomes of farm management in a scalable way – and generates the information needed by farmers, governments and consumers to undertake informed decision-making.

 

Honey bees pathogen response

Project lead: Leonard Foster, Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Director, Centre for High-Throughput Biology.

Impact: Understand some of the means by which bees can defend themselves against pathogens and enrich a particular kind of social behaviour in bees, known as hygienic behaviour that enables bees to better fend-off mites and bacteria.

Project Partners: Genome BC, Genome Canada

Additional Information: http://www.chibi.ubc.ca/faculty/leonard-foster/

 

Crop-protection research and innovation for adaptation to climate change in BC

Project lead: Hughie Jones (PhD student), T. Andrew Black (Professor), Rachhpal Jassal (Research Associate), Sean Smukler (Assistant Professor), Faculty of Land & Food Systems, UBC

Impact: To study the effect of state-of-the-art plastic film mulches and low tunnels on soil and atmospheric microclimate with the aim to help the farming community adapt to predicted climate change in BC.

 

Organic Production Systems Nutrient Dynamics

Project lead: Sean Smukler, Associate Professor, Faculty of Land and Food Systems, Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Lab.

Impact: Maximize crop quality and quantity while enhancing land and environmental stewardship.

 

Exploring the Role of Plant Functional Traits and Anatomy in Leaf Litter Decomposition (2012-2015)

Project leads: Cindy Prescott, Professor, Faculty of Forestry and Jenna Zukswert, MSc Candidate, Faculty of Forestry

Impact: Build forest leaf litter decomposition rate models to increase the preciseness of carbon cycling predictions in the face of climate change.

 

AQUA(RE)3:Sustainable Agri-Aquaculture

Project leads:  Andrew Riseman, Professor, Faculty of Land and Food Systems; Tony Farrell, Faculty of Science, Department of Zoology, CRC Tier 1 in Fish Physiology, culture and conservation.

Impact: Address the multifaceted global threats of fish stock collapse, food insecurity, and environmental degradation.