Research

Research

The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS) is an interdisciplinary and inclusive hub for solutions to local and global food systems sustainability.

CSFS is a living lab, providing researchers with a research platform where social, economic, and environmental interventions can be designed, tested, and monitored within a living food system. Research opportunities span the whole seed to plate continuum while integrating many disciplines and sectors to provide global leadership for change leading to resilient and secure future food systems. We are committed to open-access research and data to support widespread knowledge dessimination; see our Dataverse for access to our published datasets. The CSFS provides diverse research space for farm trial and wider research. For new research or collaborations, submit a research proposal or contact us.

New Funding Opportunity

Now Open! UBC Farm Seed Funding for Research Competition. Find out more and apply by January 25, 2020

Find plain language summaries of our research by visiting:

Prof. Sean Smukler

Associate Professor

The UBC Farm has the potential to connect researchers on campus, especially those who are interested in food systems, food production and the environment. This project is really an opportunity to get a bunch of farmers and scientists together at the UBC Farm and start building connections.

Adrien Kroese

International Research Student

We define the sustainability of a system by its contribution to environmental preservation, economic welfare and social justice, and by its ability to continue to function in time. Given that definition, is what we picture as a sustainable farm actually sustainable?

Prof. Leonard Foster

Professor

Bee health is currently a big concern and everybody agrees that we need to do more to improve the health of bees and the viability of the industry.

Associate Prof. Jennifer Black

Associate Professor

I care about health equity and I care about ensuring that all Canadians can live a healthy, productive life that allows them to meet their full potential. Making sure that people have access to food (and dignity).

Hughie Jones

PhD Candidate

People should know the UBC Farm is a research intensive place. It’s a multifunctional space; they’re not only getting food and products out of the Farm but they’re also contributing to community knowledge about what is happening there from a research standpoint.

Alexandra Lyon

Postdoctoral Researcher

I see agriculture and the food system as one of the ways that people have a large influence on the environment. I hope that my work has an impact on the environment in a positive way and it helps build towards a more sustainable farming system, contributing to human health.

Prof. Navin Ramankutty

CSFS Associate Member

I study food security and sustainability on a global scale… More specifically, my research works with global data sets… [I analyze] data to examine how agriculture is changing in different parts of the world and how different farming characteristics or management systems influence environmental outcomes.

Dr. Gabriel Maltais-Landry

Former CSFS Postdoctoral Researcher

Agriculture is one of the most important activities on earth in terms of its impact on natural ecosystems, and nutrient management is a huge leverage point to improve the sustainability of our society.

Dr. Craig Borowiak

Visiting Researcher

One of my primary motivations for visiting the CSFS was that I wanted to be around people who understand these community-based food systems better than I did and who could help me understand how to assess the impact of community gardens

Dr. Lisa Powell

Postdoctoral Researcher

The UBC Farm isn’t only a physical space. It also represents a larger network of researchers and outreach activities going on – both activities happening on the ground at the Farm but also those related to sustainable food systems happening beyond the Farm itself.

 

CSFS Research Projects

Search to view projects by topic or researcher, and toggle between current and archived projects.

AgWIT

current

Mark Johnson NSERC tropics water hydrology climate change Lathuillière Coe Castanho Graesser water footprint

BC Seed Trials

current

Alexandra Lyon Bauta Family FarmFolk CityFolk Community Mel Sylvestre Chris Thoreau seed sovereignty community biodiversity agriculture bauta family initiative whole foods market

Beneficial Plant Root-Associated Microbes

current

NSERC cara haney microbes plant root associated mustard Identification characterization microbiology Arabidopsis Michael Smith Laboratories

Can enhancing diversity help scale up agriculture’s benefits to people and the environment?

current

Zia Mehrabi Claire Kremen agricultural diversification diversity nutrition benefits SESYNC workshop Diversified Agroecosystems Cluster

CANOVI: Canadian Organic Vegetable Improvement

current

Canadian Organic Vegetable Improvement Alexandra Lyon Alex Hannah Wittman Loren Rieseberg Andrew Riseman Marney Isaac Michael Mazourek Helen Jensen Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security FarmFolk CityFolk peppers carrots

Click Beetle Pest Surveys

current

Juli Carrillo pest management NSERC click beetle wireworm traps IPM biodiversity monitoring plant insect ecology evolution lab

Cultural Diversity in Food Policy

current

Hannah Wittman Colin Dring Tori Ostenso Richmond Food Security Society multicultural Vancouver coastal health Vancouver Foundation food security food availability

Ecological Pest Management

current

Juli Carrillo ecological pest management IPM blueberry bc blueberry council SWD insect herbivory Chelsea Gowton mint essential oil

Foodlands Access and New Agrarianism

current

Hannah Wittman land access farmland Farmfolk Cityfolk Vancity Real Estate Foundation of BC Jessica Dennis Heather Pritchard agrarianism Foodlands Trust Project

Food Security & Biodiversity Conservation Links

current

loren rieseberg hannah wittman Matthew Mitchell food security biodiversity conservation citizen science peter wall institute Systematizing global food security conserve biodiversity

Geographic Variation, Speciation in Birds

current

darren irwin NSERC zoology birds speciation geographic variation

GHG Mitigation in Organic Blueberries

current

sean smukler Namratha Reddy Kate Hengel Maja Krzic Paul Jassal Zoran Nesic Patrick Pow Paula Porto Andy Black blueberries ghg nutrient use organic Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada aafc

Honey Bees Pathogen Response

current

leonard foster bees honey colony collapse selective breeding biology genome bc aafc dying hygienic behaviour

Impact of GVFB on Food Security

current

dietary intake food security jennifer black gvfb food bank SSHRC scott lear hannah wittman healthy diet

Indigenous Land Based Pedagogies

current

eduardo jovel indigenous food sovereignty land based pedagogies urban contexts SSHRC food security

LiteFarm

current

Hannah Wittman Zia Mehrabi Canadian Institute for Health Research (CIHR) Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) USI Sustainability Scholars Program VPRI Research Excellence Cluster (Diversified Agroecosystems) and Weston Seeding Innovation Fund open-source web app sustainability science and help farmers improve their financial and environmental management OpenTEAM Data Driven Agronomy Diversified Agroecosystems Cluster democratization technology

Living Laboratory for Biodiversity Monitoring at UBC Farm

current

Juli Carrillo Matt Matthew Mitchell Hannah Wittman Cluster BRITE Biodiversity biodiversity monitoring UBC Farm ecosystem services CBIRD long term A Living Laboratory for Biodiversity Monitoring in Diversified Agroecosystems

Living Laboratory for Water Sustainability

current

water sustainability hydrology Mark Johnson water monitoring Living Laboratory Water Action Plan Diversified Agroecosystems Cluster

Mapping the Food Literacy Landscape

current

food literacy farm to school education will valley ashley bangsund hannah wittman kerry renwick SSHRS network FarmWonders program education

Measuring Progress Towards Food Sovereignty

current

food sovereignty farm to school programs hannah wittman lenore newman sshrc Farm to School BC/PHABC FTI Brazil’s Public Food Acquisition Program Ecuador’s Food Provision Program Farm to School BC National School Lunch Program

Organic Vegetable Nutrient Management

current

sean smukler aafc nutrient management nitrogen hybrid systems organic vegetables phosphorus organic amendments

Producing Carrot Seed in Isolation Structures

current

chris thoreau carrot seed sovereignty bauta initiative seed security high-tunnel isolation structures cross pollination BC Eco Seed Co-op UBC Farm Seed Hub

Project Bee Smart

current

Juli Carrillo Tara Moreau NSERC West Coast Seeds LFS Internal Research Grants Program bee diversity

Role of Small Farms in Global Food Security

current

navin ramankutty small farms global food security sustainability vincent ricciardi dana james SSHRC Brazil India

Seed Sovereignty

current

Alex Alexandra Lyon Hannah Whittman Farmfolk Cityfolk seed sovereignty community seed systems food sovereignty

Stewardship Science Technology

current

monitoring farming activities zia mehrabi weston USI longterm socio-ecological research station technology open data decision making

Sunflower Pest Management

current

juli carrillo plant insect ecology sunflower crop domestication NSERC wild Tri-Trophic Interactions wild crop domestication

Sustainable Food Systems Pedagogies

current

usi tlf will valley food system pedagogies pedagogy experiential learning sustainable food systems

Think&EatGreen@School

current

lisa powell farm to school will valley city of vancouver food literacy TEGS vancouver school board LFS

Think, Eat and Grow Green Globally (TEG3)

current

hannah wittman jerry spiegel Annalee Yassi Susanna Klassen Chris Hergesheimer Anelyse Weiler globalization health equity cihr canada equador quality of life

Truffle Establishment in British Columbia

current

shannon berch truffles bc truffle association iaf truffiere

Using Microbes to Mitigate Climate Change

current

juli carrillo cara haney climate change microbes plant nutrition insects drought

Agroforestry at UBC Farm

past

Kate Menzies trees crops livestock multiple benefits Agroforestry agriculture silviculture conservation practices land use system.

AQUA(RE)3

past

aqua biology sustainable aquaculture conservation fishing applied biology andrew riseman tony farrell fish stock food insecurity environmental degradation

Climate Smart Agriculture

past

climate change andrew black hughie jones paul jassal plastic mulch low tunnels extend growing season

Plant Functional Traits, Anatomy in Leaf Litter

past

cindy prescott leaf litter decomposition functional traits anatomy Jenna Zukswert

Farm to Institution

past

farm to institution lisa powell public health food security fti hannah wittman Jill Guerra Chris Hergesheimer Susanna Klassen food systems

Organic Soil Amendments

past

organic soil amendments sean smukler gabriel maltais landry cover crops optimization NSERC Gabriel Maltais-Landry organic amendments cover crops

Guidelines for Livestock & Small-scale Farmers

past

livestock poultry bob blair organic nutrition guidelines
Research News

UBC Farm Seed Funding for Research Competition 2020

UBC Farm Seed Funding for Research Competition 2020 1. Rationale & Eligibility The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS) UBC Farm Seed Funding for Research (UBC Farm SFR) provides short-term support (up to $6,000/one year) for the development of innovative research at the UBC Farm that will eventually form the basis of a larger research […]


Participatory Guarantee Systems: Grassroots Organizing for Agroecological Certification

Participatory Guarantee Systems: A Primer on Grassroots Organizing for Agroecological Certification Dana James, PhD Candidate in the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability, recently published a blog review on Participatory Guarantee Systems (PGS). The article discusses the nuances of agroecological certification, and presents grassroots alternatives to traditional Organic certification. Read the full article here.


Developing a Long Term Agroecological Research Station

Long Term Agroecological Research Station Infrastructure Development In the first two years of our research cluster, we have laid crucial groundwork for developing the UBC Farm as a Long Term Agroecological Research Station; this strong foundation has enabled its use as a living laboratory for developing long-term experimental protocols to examine trade-offs and synergies in […]

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