Graduate Programs

The College of Agriculture and Bioresources' five departments accept students for research-based post-graduate study at the masters and doctoral levels across a broad array of both basic and applied research.

Prospective graduate students wishing to attend the University of Saskatchewan must apply to the College of Graduate Studies, but the decision of acceptance is made by the department.

Before applying, prospective graduate students should find and contact a supervisor in the appropriate department (see below) with a similar research area of interest to their own.

To the right you will find links to important departmental and university policy and procedure information:

    • Departmental graduate student handbooks
    • College of Graduate Studies and research webpage (top of their page there is a link to the University-wide policies) 

If you have any questions, please contact one of the Graduate Program Assistants. We look forward to hearing from you.

Animal and Poultry Science (MSc, PhD)

The Department of Animal and Poultry Science is well-recognized nationally and internationally as a research-intensive department that offers advanced training in MSc and PhD degree programs. The department’s highly-trained and enthusiastic faculty members and adjunct professors have extensive, high-quality applied and basic research programs that cover a wide range of topics in animal science and related areas, including: sustainable management systems; genetics, molecular genetics and genetic resources; nutrition and metabolism, functional foods, feed ingredient development and evaluation; grazing and forage systems; feed processing; digestive, growth, and lactation physiology; gastrointestinal microbiology, pre- and probiotics, and animal health; aboriginal wildlife, land and resource management, human-wildlife conflict; animal behaviour and welfare; and aquatic toxicology in northern ecosystems.

The department’s faculty members attract approximately $7 million per year in research funding from a wide variety of sources, including NSERC, provincial governments, private industry, and crop and livestock commodity groups. The department’s research programs in the areas outlined above encompass both fundamental and applied aspects, so it has impacts on both the advancement of scientific knowledge and practical livestock production. The Department of Animal and Poultry Science has particularly strong linkages with various sectors involved in livestock production, including the feed industry, livestock producer groups, and crop commodity groups. These strong linkages are an important component of our technology transfer efforts, as we strongly believe that the research that we conduct has to benefit livestock producers and society in general.

The Department of Animal and Poultry Science has excellent animal and feed research facilities that support its teaching, research and outreach programs. These facilities include dairy, beef, poultry, sheep, fish, and animal metabolism units that are located on-campus, thus allowing easy access by faculty members and graduate students. Also, the Department is undergoing a major infrastructural renewal cycle that includes a new dairy facility on-campus (the Rayner Dairy Teaching and Research Facility), the new Canadian Feed Research Centre, and a planned new beef teaching and research station.

Faculty Members

Brook, Ryan: aboriginal wildlife, land and resource management; community-based ecosystem monitoring; human-wildlife conflict; and climate change impacts on landscape change and the carbon footprint of research

Buchanan, Fiona: beef cattle molecular genetics and nutrigenetics.

Buhr, Mary: sperm physiology and its relationship to fertility and artificial insemination.

Christensen, David A.: ruminant nutrition; use of by-product feeds in feeding dairy cows; feed processing

Classen, Henry: poultry nutrition and welfare (impact of light, beak trimming, toe trimming, and transportation); and evaluation of feed ingredients.

Crowe, Trever: welfare of farm animals (cattle, swine, and poultry) during transportation; energy demand in livestock production; poultry production and welfare; weed detection in densely seeded crops.

Drew, Murray: aquaculture nutrition; and companion animal nutrition.

Hogan, Natacha: molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying pathological and toxicological effects of contaminant exposure; effects of contaminants long-term health; contaminant-induced changes in endocrine and immune function.

Laarveld, Bernard:  ruminant physiology, metabolism, and endocrinology; and feed ingredient evaluation; and by-product feeds utilization.

McKinnon, John: beef cattle nutrition; and sustainable beef systems research.

Mutsvangwa, Timothy: ruminant nutrition and metabolism; regulation of nitrogen metabolism and urea recycling in productive ruminants; transition cow metabolism; and manipulation of milk composition through feeding strategies in dairy cows.

Penner, Gregory: ruminant nutritional physiology; development of nutritional strategies to enhance the health and productivity of cattle; gut function; and evaluation of efficacy of nutritional management strategies to enhance productivity and health.

Schwean-Lardner, Karenthe impact that management and nutrition have on the welfare and productivity of commercial poultry species, including broilers, turkeys and laying hens.

Schmutz, Sheila: molecular genetics of cattle and dogs.

Scott, Tom: feed processing and technology; and broiler bioassay for determination of feed value of ingredients and efficacy of bioactives.

Thacker, Philip: evaluating new feed sources for use in swine production; and developing methods to increase the reproductive efficiency of the breeding herd.

Van Kessel, Andrew: nutritional physiology and intestinal microbial ecology; functional foods and feeds; pre- and probiotics; molecular microbial ecology; gnotobiology; animal health; and digestive physiology.

Yu, Peiqiang: ruminant nutrition (dairy and beef); synchrotron applications; feed chemistry; feed processing and treatment; nutrient modeling; and feed molecular structure and molecular nutrition.

Adjunct Faculty Members

Beauchemin, Karen: ruminant nutrition; digestion and metabolism; feedlot and dairy cattle nutrition; acidosis and digestive disorders; and methane abatement through diet.

Beaulieu, Denise: energy metabolism in the pig; role of starch vs lipid as energy providing nutrients; lactation and milk production and composition; improving survivability of the young piglet.

Brown, Jennifer:  swine behaviour and welfare; stress physiology; animal personality; transportation of livestock;  pain management;  sow housing, euthanasia.

Campbell, Leigh

Gonyou, Harold:  applied ethology; social behavior; use of resources; sow housing.

Iwassa, Alan: grazing management; forage quality; and ruminant nutrition.

Jefferson, Paul:  forage yield and productivity; forage quality and nutritive value; beef production in pastures; forage crops in cropping systems.

Lardner, Herbert (Bart): beef cattle nutrition; forage and pasture management; management of alternative calving systems; nutrient cycling in winter feeding systems; and nutrient management in summer and winter grazing programs.

Maenz, Dave: canola processing; protein; canola protein concentrate; aquafeed ingredient.

McAllister, Tim: ruminant nutrition and metabolism; strategies for mitigation of fecal shedding of E. coli O157:H7 by cattle; characterization of the digestive properties of cereal grains in beef cattle diets and development of methods to control the rate of cereal grain fermentation by beef cattle.

Newkirk, Rex: grain sorting; ingredient processing, by-product utilization.

Patience, John F.: nutrition of the pig; energy metabolism; ingredient evaluation; and feeding and management in the nursery and finishing barns.

Plante, Yves: population genetics; phylogenetic analyses; and characterization and conservation of farm genetic resources.

Swift, Mary-Lou:  feed and forage quality; near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS).

Agricultural Economics (MSc, PhD, PGD)

The Department of Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics delivers the highly rated graduate degrees in Agricultural Economics. Agricultural Economics provides opportunities for students to learn and use advanced theoretical and empirical methods in applied economics. Research is applied to real world problems in the multifaceted agri‐food sector which encompasses issues in resource management, environmental sustainability, production economics, supply chains, regulation, transport, food quality and safety, rural development, innovation management, public policy and international trade.

The areas of specialization within Bioresource Policy, Business and Economics include: natural resource economics; environmental sustainability and evaluation; international trade policy; supply chain management; public policy and regulation; farm business management; economics of technological change; rural development; agri‐food marketing; food safety and quality; and agricultural production economics.

Faculty Members

Allen, Thomas: Associate Professor and CIBC Chair in Entrepreneurship. Agribusiness marketing, agribusiness management

Belcher, Ken: Professor (Graduate Chair). Natural resource and environmental policy, ecosystem goods and services, land conservation and wildlife and biodiversity conservation.

Brown, William J. (Bill): Professor (Department Head). Farm and agribusiness management and planning, case studies, risk analysis.

Furtan, W. Hartley: Professor. Agricultural trade and farm policy relative to Canada and US, link between foreign direct investment, trade policy and economics.

Gray, Richard S.: Professor. Agriculture innovation systems, agricultural policy, production economics

Hesslen, Hayley: Associate Professor. Environmental economics, forestry economics and resource economics

Hobbs, Jill E.: Professor. Economics of food safety, quality and traceability, supply chain relationships in the agri-food sector, and consumer behaviour..

Jackson, Clayton: Associate Professor. Farm business management and structures, taxation, farm legal arrangements, accounting, finance.

Kerr, William A. (Bill): Professor. Commercial policy, international trade

Kulshreshtha, Suren N.: Professor. Climate change, water resources, drought impacts, impact of climate change on communities, environmental valuation.

Micheels, Eric: Assistant Professor. Agricultural finance, marketing strategy and agribusiness management..

Natcher, David: Professor. Aboriginal land and resource management, economic anthropology, political ecology, Arctic and Sub-Arctic North America.

Nolan, James: Professor. Regulatory economics, computational economics, transportation policy, regional and urban economics.

Olfert, Rose: Professor. Rural development, Population migration, Rural-Urban interdependencies; Local Economic Development, Rural Policy

Rosaasen, Kenneth (Ken): Professor. Canadian agriculture policy, grain and livestock marketing

Roy, Rob: Associate Professor. Agriculture commodity marketing alternatives and associate risks, commodity market analysis.

Schoney, Richard (Dick): Professor. Agribusiness marketing management, aboriginal economics and community development.


Food Science and Applied Microbiology (MSc, PhD)

Faculty expertise in food for health, food chemistry and authenticity, bioprocessing, microbial biotechnology, nanotechnology, meat science.

The Department of Food and Bioproduct Sciences offers degrees in two disciplinary areas: Applied Microbiology and Food Science.

In Applied Microbiology, we explore the possibilities in microorganisms for the practical and fundamental applications for our health and welfare, such as in foods, bioproducts, and agriculture.

Food Science, aims to study fundamental properties of foods in order to apply the knowledge to production/processing of foods. Both areas are multidisciplinary in nature and cover a wide diversity of sciences, such as chemistry, microbiology, physics and biochemistry/molecular biology. Even social science aspects are in scope of our research.

Plant Sciences (MSc, PhD)

Plant Sciences Graduate StudentsDepartment of Plant Sciences along with the Crop Development Centre has the mission of teaching, research and outreach relating to the development, production and management of Field and Horticultural crops on the Canadian Prairies and the management of non-arable lands. The Crop Development Centre (CDC) is a “Centre of Excellence” field crop breeding organization that is fully integrated within the Department. The Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan provides a truly unique experience to students by offering studies in agronomy, crop science, horticultural science, plant ecology or rangeland studies in one department. We are the only plant sciences department in Canada offering such a diverse experience in plant studies.

Faculty Members

Bai, Yuguang: Department Head and Professor. Grassland and forest ecology, seed and seedbed ecology, oilsands reclamation.

Banniza, Sabine: Professor. Pulse crop pathology; fungal and bacterial pathogens and their interaction with host plants; breeding and disease management strategies.

Beattie, Aaron: Assistant Professor. Barley and oat breeding.

Bett, Kirstin: Associate Professor. Pulse crop genomics and dry bean breeding.

Biligetu, Bill: Professor. Breeding and genetics of forage crop plants in the prairie region of Western Canada.

Booker, Helen: Assistant Professor. Flax breeding and genetics.

Bors, R.H. (Bob): Assistant Professor. Breeding fruit crops for northern conditions and mechanical harvesting.

Bueckert, Rosalind:  Associate Professor. Field level crop physiology. Crop growth and yield response to environmental factors. Nitrogen fixation and partitioning in legume crops.

Chibbar, Ravindra (Ravi) N.: Professor and Canada Research Chair in Crop Quality. Biochemical and molecular characterization of the genetic determinants of grain quality in cereal and pulse crops. Application of structural and functional genomics strategies for grain quality improvement.

Coulman, Bruce E.: Professor and Department Head. Breeding, genetics and management of perennial forage crops.

Fowler, D. Brian: Professor. Conservation production systems and production, management, genetics and breeding of winter what and rye.

Gray, Gordon R.: Professor. Metabolic regulation/interaction of photosynthetic and respiratory processes in response to abiotic stresses (low temperature and high-light) - Note: on sabbatical July 1, 2104 - June 30, 2015

Hucl, Pierre: Professor. Genetics and breeding of bread wheat for the short-season areas of Western Canada. Evaluation of alternative wheats and annual canarygrass.

Kutcher, H. Randy: Associate Professor. Wheat and flax pathology. Stripe rust of wheat, leaf spot diseases of wheat, barley and oat, fusarium wilt of flax.

Lamb, Eric: Assistant Professor. Mechanisms structuring plant community diversity and composition; plant-soil interactions; plant competition; methods for summarizing and analyzing complex ecological data.

Pozniak, Curtis J.: Associate Professor. Genetics, breeding, production and management of durum and high yielding wheat. Wheat genomics.

Reaney, Martin: Ministry of Agriculture Strategic Research Chair. Industrial oil crops and oil profiles. - Note: on sabbatical July 1, 2104 - June 30, 2015

Scoles, Graham J.: Professor and Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies). Development of and screening for molecular markers.

Shirtliffe, Steve J.: Professor. Field crop agronomy, weed ecology.

Tanino, Karen K.: Professor. Plant abiotic stress physiology, eco-physiology and the interactions of plants with the environment.

Tar'an, Bunyamin: Assistant Professor  and AFIF Chair. Breeding, genetics and management of chickpea. Pulse crop genomics.

Vandenberg, Albert (Bert): Professor and NSERC Industrial Research Chair. Genetics, breeding, production and management of lentil and fababean.

Warkentin, Tom D.: Professor. Breeding and genetics of pea.

Waterer, Doug R.: Associate Professor. Agronomy of horticultural/medicinal crops; crop improvement through standard breeding and molecular techniques, micro-climate modification, integrated pest management and various other aspects of the agronomy of potatoes, vegetable crops, spice crops and medicinal plants.

Willenborg, Christian (Chris): Assistant Professor. Basic biological and ecological principles that govern weed population dynamics and to develop highly efficacious weed control technologies.

Wood, Grant: Assistant Professor. Urban agriculture and food production. Extension.

Adjunct Faculty Members

Bandara, Manjula: Special Crops Agronomy

Fu, Yong-Bi: Molecular genetics - Crop Genetic Diversity

Gan, Yantai: Special Crops Agronomy

Henderson, Darcy: Plant Ecology

Parkin, Isobel: Molecular genetics -Brassica genomics

Robinson, Stephen: Molecular genetics -Epigenetics - Bioinformatics

Schellenberg, Michael: Range and Forage Plant Ecology

Selvaraj, Gopalan: Molecular genetics

Uemara, Matsuo: Plant Physiology

Soil Science (MSc, PhD)

The SLSC department is an international leader in field-based, landscape-scale research and faculty are actively involved in research that focuses on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystem health—linking basic micro-scale science (involving synchrotron-based, molecular-scale studies to elucidate fundamental processes at work) to real world issues at the landscape (studying the interaction of soil, topographic, and environmental factors to better understand ecosystem functioning) and global (investigating climate change impacts on prairie and arctic ecosystems) scales. The Soil Science graduate program provides core expertise in soil and environmental sciences and offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees.

Areas of research strength include applied pedology, nutrient cycling and management, environmental soil science, soil remediation and reclamation, soil biology, soil chemistry, soil fertility, soil physics and hydrology, soil-plant interactions.

Faculty Members

Adl, Sina: Professor. Soil microbial ecology, soil protists and micro-invertebrates, soil food webs

Bedard-Haughn, Angela: Associate Professor (Graduate Chair). Applied pedology, soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics, wetland soils

Farrell, Rich: Associate Professor & University of Saskatchewan Agriculture Research Chair. Environmental agronomy, soil analytical chemistry, greenhouse gas production/mitigation, biodegradation/bioremediation, phytoremediation - Note: on Sabbatical leave July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Germida, Jim: Professor & Vice Provost-Faculty Relations. Soil microbiology; microbial biodiversity and community dynamics of microorganisms in agro-ecosystems

Knight, Diane: Professor & University of Saskatchewan Agriculture Research Chair. Nitrogen movement, turnover, availability and efficiency of use by crops in rotation, stable isotopes (13C and 15N); nitrogen fixation, selection of rhizobial strains for legume species new to Saskatchewan agriculture, carrier development for rhizobia - Note: on Sabbatical leave July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Laroque, Colin: Professor. Dendrochronology; tree ring/soil relationships, alpine and northern treed ecosystems, environmental education

Peak, Derek: Associate Professor. Soil chemistry, chemical speciation, fate and toxicity of metals and metalloids

Pennock, Dan: Professor. Applied pedology, soil genesis and classification, soil organic carbon change, soil erosion and deposition

Schoenau, Jeff: Professor & University of Saskatchewan Agriculture Research Chair. Nutrient cycling and management, soil fertility and fertilizers, soil conservation and land use, cropping systems, herbicide fate and interaction in soil

Si, Bing: Professor. Soil physics, hydrology, soil water dynamics and thermal regimes in natural, reconstructed and hydrophobic soils, land reclamation

Siciliano, Steve: Professor. Soil environmental toxicology, soil microbiology, risk assessment, polar soils

Van Rees, Ken: Professor (Acting Department Head) & Director of Centre for Northern Agroforestry and Afforestation. Forest soils and agroforestry; below ground competition and nutrient uptake modeling

Walley, Fran: Professor. Soil nitrogen dynamics, pulse crop agronomy, soil organic matter and soil quality

Yates, Tom: Assistant Professor. Renewable resource management, experiential learning, industry-academic teaching collaborations

Adjunct Faculty Members

Belanger, Nicolas (University of Quebec in Montreal): forest soils, agroforestry, and biogeochemistry

Bentham, Murray (Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, SRC): computer modeling

Boehm, Marie (Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, SRC): science policy related to greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture

Cade-Menun, Barbara (Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, SPARC): phosphorus cycling in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; 31P nmr spectroscopy

Elliott, Jane (Environment Canada, National Hydrology Research Centre): impacts of management practices on water transport of nutrients and contaminants

Hamel, Chantal (Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, SPARC): soil microbial ecology; P, N and C cycling processes in soils

Helgason, Bobbi (Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, SRC): soil microbiology

Johnston, Mark (Saskatchewan Research Council):  ecosystem studies; climate change impacts on forests

Leggett, Mary (Novozymes BioAg Group): development and use of biofertility products

Lemke, Reynald (Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, SRC): influence of agricultural practices on greenhouse gas emissions and soil quality

Richardson, G.M. (Senior Risk Assessment Specialist, Stantec, Ottawa): contaminated site assessment, ecotoxicology

Stewart, Katherine. (Research Associate, Yukon College): restoration ecology