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
2013 Dr. Barton asked the complex question: "Should the U.S. and others open their economies to importation of Brazilian ethanol, and what would be the impact on the Brazilian economy, ecosystems and people?" His three studies discovered that increased production could be positive for Brazil if existing legislation is enforced and education improves. Doctor of Philosophy in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems (PhD)
2013 Dr. Elisia examined the effects of different types of vitamin E on the risk of intestinal inflammation in infants. She discovered that the type of vitamin E present in vegetable oil and infant formula is associated with more inflammation than the vitamin E dominant in human milk. These findings will contribute to research into infant health and feeding. Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD)
2013 Dr. Lewis explored the regeneration of agriculture and food systems in the Bella Coola Valley, British Columbia. She developed an approach to local food system studies that engaged the multiple histories of indigenous, local, and scientific knowledge. Her work contributes to the reframing of agriculture, food, and health for the 21st century. . Doctor of Philosophy in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems (PhD)
2012 Dr. Goldson studied enzyme activity in a micro-organism, specifically a form of yeast. She investigated the way in which the enzyme known as PAL reacts with two specific amino acids. Dr. Goldson's findings contribute to our understanding of the enzyme's ability to react with both, which has implications for how the enzyme is able to differentiate between them. Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD)
2012 Dr. Peplow studied the relationship between agricultural productivity and climate in Britain during the first part of the nineteenth century. He developed new approaches for the analysis of data from entirely different sources, and his work will be used in the forecasting of the impact of climate change on agriculture. Doctor of Philosophy in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems (PhD)
2011 Dr. Novak combined basic science and clinical studies to demonstrate that the type of fat a mother consumes during pregnancy and lactation plays a key role in regulating infant liver metabolism. Her research opened a new field to consider the impact of essential fatty acid nutrition for early infant liver development. Doctor of Philosophy in Human Nutrition (PhD)
2011 Dr. Zhang studied clostridial necrotic enteritis, which is an intestinal disease of broiler chickens. He developed a process using microwave vacuum dehydration technology to protect the natural antimicrobial lysozyme from heat damage. This development will contribute to the improvement of heat resistance of biomaterials and also to animal health. Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD)
2011 Dr. Chen separated and characterized Maillard reaction products with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities from a glucose-lysine model. This study showed that Maillard reaction products could be used to protect against intestinal inflammation. Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD)
2011 Dr. Anand showed that beneficial soil bacteria can enter, multiply and function inside the tissues of coniferous trees, promote their growth and provide fixed Nitrogen to these trees. She suggests the use of these bacteria as an environment friendly, sustainable growth promoting treatment for the propagation of coniferous trees. Doctor of Philosophy in Soil Science (PhD)
2011 Dr. Mróz explored dietary perceptions and practices of men with prostate cancer and their wives. He found that although masculine food ideals shaped men's diets, complex couple dynamics were also implicated. His research showed that illuminating gender relations can help us better understand men's food and self-health practices. Doctor of Philosophy in Human Nutrition (PhD)

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