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All living things depend on the sustainability of the earth’s resources, and understanding how to protect and better manage those limited resources is crucial to our survival. Critical environmental issues like water pollution, food shortages and rising temperatures could have a catastrophic effect on our ability to meet basic human needs in the near future. Experts in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems are working on solutions to many of these challenges.

Our researchers are studying everything from climate change and storm water management to the relationship between food, nutrition, diet and health. The research discoveries being made here have the potential to reach across borders for world-wide applications.

We are also sharing what we’ve learned with the next generation of scientists - our students. They come to us with a strong sense of global responsibility, passionate about creating positive and lasting change on issues of importance. We believe that by providing them with the opportunity to learn outside the traditional classroom - taking part in a community-based experiential learning project or studying overseas - we can enhance their education and help them develop to their full potential.

 

 

Research Facilities

The Faculty of Land and Food Systems offers unique hands-on learning sites for graduate students, in addition to traditional labs where food science, food processing, and nutrition and health research take place.

UBC Farm is 24-hectare site on UBC Vancouver campus, which is a living laboratory that contains agricultural, forest, and transitional landscape areas for interdisciplinary field research. The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS) located at UBC Farm is a unique research centre that aims to understand and fundamentally transform local and global food systems towards a more sustainable, food secure future.

The Dairy Education and Research Centre, located a 2-hour drive from UBC Vancouver campus, is an internationally recognized dairy cattle research centre supporting the development and adaptation of new technologies for the dairy industry in British Columbia and beyond. The Centre has a large research herd that can provide sufficient numbers of experimental animals at a given physiological stage to meet most research requirements. These features support a vibrant critical mass of students, postdoctoral fellows, staff, visiting scientists, and faculty. A 10,800 square-foot student residence building opened in September 2015, which allows students and researchers to live on-site at the Agassiz, B.C. research station, and more closely monitor their research projects in dairy cattle welfare, animal reproduction, and resource recovery.

The Wine Research Centre has sites at both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan campuses, with modern and fully equipped laboratories. Researchers in the Wine Research Centre also have access to the outstanding research facilities in the Michael Smith Laboratories (MSL) which is conveniently located adjacent to the Centre. The MSL has established itself as a force in the global biotechnology research community. Research areas include grapes, vineyards, and soils; wine and fermentation; winery performance and sustainability; and wine territory competitiveness.
 

 

Research Highlights

In the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, our researchers are focused on finding viable solutions to pressing global crises and are known worldwide for their innovation and leadership in areas such as food science, dairy reproduction and animal welfare, sustainable agriculture, and community health and nutrition.

Our researchers have attracted millions of dollars in research funding from sources including Genome Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Michael Smith Scholar, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Our experts are conducting ground-breaking research in many areas including:

  • animal biology, health, and welfare;
  • ecofriendly alternatives in pest management;
  • food technology, genomics, and safety;
  • food processing and food waste management;
  • plant and soil health;
  • watershed management;
  • food security and sovereignty;
  • community health and nutrition;
  • agricultural land use and impact.

Recent Publications

This is an incomplete sample of recent publications in chronological order by UBC faculty members with a primary appointment in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

 

Recent Thesis Submissions

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation Program
2022 Dr. Mandal used computational simulation and experimental validation to develop an understanding of parameters related to pulsed UV light treatment of liquid foods. He developed a reactor for processing of liquid foods that can inactivate the microorganisms present in these foods, while retaining their sensory quality and nutritional value. Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD)
2022 Dr. Mu's research looked at how different dietary phenolic acids, present in fruits and vegetables, work to mitigate the pro-inflammatory reactions that contribute to intestinal injury. Her findings will assist us to make optimal food choices that will lead to health and welfare benefits. Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD)
2022 Dr. Caballero measured how much lysine children use when they eat different plant-based foods, such as rice, oats and corn. Her work will help develop dietary guidelines for children that consume a predominantly plant-based diet. These guidelines will ensure they meet their lysine requirement, which is important for adequate growth and development. Doctor of Philosophy in Human Nutrition (PhD)
2022 Dr. Koralesky used institutional ethnography to investigate how animal sheltering policies and animal protection laws organize what happens to animals. Her research illuminates frontline work practices involved with responding to concerns about animals in distress, helping animals with behavioural problems and keeping people and animals together. Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Animal Biology (PhD)
2022 Dr. Turki used novel stable-isotope-based techniques to evaluate new dietary therapies for people with inborn errors of metabolism such as modified cornstarch in glycogen storage disease type I, and glycomacropeptide in phenylketonuria. The results of the series of studies will contribute to improving nutritional management in this population. Doctor of Philosophy in Human Nutrition (PhD)
2022 Dr. Falardeau studied how the cheese microbiome affects the growth of foodborne pathogens. He discovered that differences between traditional and industrial cheese production practices affect the final cheese microbiome, and likely the risk of foodborne illness. This finding can help cheesemakers produce safer cheeses. Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD)
2021 Dr. Feng developed several novel chemosensors to rapidly and selectively detect different chemical hazards in various food matrices. The chemosensors developed in his study not only simplify food hazards detection process but also present excellent detection sensitivity. His work will contribute to public health as well as agri-food industry. Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD)
2021 Using wearable technologies, Dr. Schirmann investigated how the behaviour of dairy cows changes in response to illness. Her work has shown that cows change behaviours in response to illness and her findings are a key step to identifying automated ways of identifying unwell animals when housed in large groups. Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Animal Biology (PhD)
2021 Dr. Ma developed rapid and sensitive methods to detect antibiotic-resistant pathogens. Her work offers novel perspectives to understand how bacteria gain antibiotic resistance in food supply chains. Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD)
2021 Dr. Zhang coined the Integrated Respiratory Assessment Paradigm for accurate, precise, repeatable and comprehensive respiratory phenotype characterization for individual fish. This high throughput method allows biologists to develop and integrate a metabolic model with a genomic-physiology-ecology axis, leading to a better understanding of evolution. Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Animal Biology (PhD)

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