College of Agriculture and Bioresources


Plant Sciences

Other Affiliations/positions

Adjunct Professor, Department of Agriculture, Food, Nutritional Sciences, University of Alberta

Research Interests

My lab focuses on the biology, ecology, and management of weeds in the agroecosystem. Research themes include: weed ecology and population biology, conservation biological control, functional and operational diversity impacts on weed populations and communities.

Current research is focused on:

  • Seedbank ecology and management
  • Seed predation in weed communities
  • Plant interactions with seed predators
  • Intraguild interactions among seed predators
  • Contribution of weeds to ecosystem services, including food webs

Areas of specialization

  • Weed Ecology, Population Biology, Conservation Biological Control, Seedbank ecology, Seed predation


  • B.Sc., University of Saskatchewan, 2002, Department of Plant Sciences, Agronomy
  • M.Sc., University of Saskatchewan, 2005, Department of Plant Sciences, Weed Science
  • Ph.D., University of Manitoba, 2009, Department of Plant Science, Weed Science

Selected Publications

De Heij, S.E., D. Benaragama, and C.J. Willenborg. 2022. Carabid activity-density and community composition and their impact on seed predation in pulse crops. Agriculture, Ecosystems, Environment 326:107807.

Ali, K.A. and C.J. Willenborg. 2021. The biology of seed discrimination and its role in shaping the foraging ecology of carabids. Ecology and Evolution 11:13702-13722.

De Heij, S.E. and C.J. Willenborg. 2020. Connected carabids: Network interactions and their impact on biocontrol by carabid beetles. BioScience 70:490-500.

Kulkarni, S.S., L.M. Dosdall, J.R. Spence, and C.J. Willenborg. 2017. Field density and distribution of weeds are associated with spatial dynamics of seed predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae). Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 236:134-141.

Kulkarni, S.S., L.M. Dosdall, J.R. Spence, and C.J. Willenborg. 2017. Seed detection and discrimination by ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) are associated with olfactory cues. PLOS ONE 12(1):e0170593.

Burton, N.R., H.J. Beckie, C.J. Willenborg, S.J. Shirtliffe, J.J. Schoenau, and E.N. Johnson. 2016. Evaluating seed shed of economically important weed species. Weed Science 64:673-682.

Selected Awards

2013. Early Career Agronomist Award, for outstanding contributions to the profession of agronomy. Canadian Society of Agronomy.
2014. Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award, for outstanding teaching in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan.
2015. Dean’s New Researcher Award of Excellence, College of Agriculture and Bioresources, University of Saskatchewan.

Funding Sources

  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)
  • Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund
  • Western Grains Research Foundation
  • Saskatchewan Canola Development Commission
  • Alberta Pulse Growers
  • Saskatchewan Pulse Growers
  • Canadian Agriculture Adaptation Program
  • Government of Canada Growing Forward Science Cluster Funding
  • Saskatchewan Oat Development Commission
  • Saskatchewan Flax Growers Commission



  • PLSC 260 Principles of Plant Protection
  • PLSC 340 Weed Biology and Ecology
  • PLSC 345 Pesticides and Crop Protection


  • PLSC 898 Advanced Weed Ecology