Dr. Edward Bork
Dr. Edward Bork is the Mattheis Chair in Rangeland Ecology and Management and also serves as the Director of the Rangeland Research Institute at the University of Alberta. He has been teaching and conducting rangeland research since 1991 on a wide range of basic and applied topics such as integrated weed control in pasture, grazing systems, fire ecology, forage and legume production dynamics, landscape and disturbance ecology, and more recently, on the importance of grasslands in providing environmental goods and services such as carbon storage. Dr. Bork’s work has had a strong focus on addressing practical problems of high relevance to practitioners managing either private or public rangelands, and has involved extensive collaboration with other researchers and agencies. Both he and his graduate students have given numerous research and extension talks on these topics. Dr. Bork and his family continue to reside on and operate a mixed farm in the Aspen Parkland region of central Alberta, Canada.
Dr. Tanner Broadbent
Dr. Tanner Broadbent works in the Land Policy Branch of Alberta Environment and Parks. His research addresses policy gaps associated with rangelands and grazing management. Where possible, he works collaboratively, particularly with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the University of Alberta, and the Rangeland Research Institute. Tanner's research interests include plant community recovery following fire, the influence of temperature and precipitation on plant community productivity, the rooting characteristics of prairie plants, and strategies to cope with drought. Tanner had the fortuitous opportunity of being one of the pioneering graduate students at the Rangeland Research Institute.
Darren Bruhjell is a Senior Forage and Range Specialist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Edmonton, Alberta. His research interests lie in the areas of forage and range ecology and management. Darren teaches Forage Crops (Plant Science 354) at the University of Alberta.
Dr. Scott Chang
Dr. Chang has been involved in research related to rangeland ecosystems over ten years. He was a member of an NSERC Strategic grant team (2006-2009) evaluating the impact of global climate change (warming and reduced precipitation) on rangeland ecosystems (plant ecology, litter decomposition, greenhouse gas emissions, and belowground ecology). In a recent project supported by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), he and his collaborators studied greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration in grazed rangelands in comparison with adjacent forested areas. He has been involved in research on the Mattheis Ranch assessing, 1) the spatial variation/distribution of soil carbon on the ranch and factors affecting soil carbon distribution, 2) the effect of watering and simulated grazing on methane emissions, and 3) the effect of watering and simulated grazing on microbial populations and nitrous oxide emissions.
Dr. Carolyn Fitzsimmons
Dr. Carolyn Fitzsimmons is an Assistant Professor at the University of Alberta and a Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Her research interests, with respect to rangelands and grazing, lie in the genetic and physiological differences between cattle. In particular, she studies variation in feed-efficiency, and looks for the underlying genes and physiological pathways that affect the expression of this trait. Differences in feed-efficiency in cattle can have implications for plant material removal from rangelands, and methane/carbon sequestration of rangelands, and overall rangeland heath and productivity.
Dr. Xiying Hao
Dr. Xiying Hao is a Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, specializing in soil and nutrient management at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre. Her research interests focus on: managing cattle manure/compost for soil health, food and animal feed production; reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing C sequestration in native and tame pasture; and creating bio-energy from cattle manure and other organic waste/biomass. Dr. Hao and her team develop integrated nutrient and organic residue management practices for sustainable agricultural production. Some of her current research projects include: novel manure/compost for soil health; rangeland soil health responses to stocking rate, litter removal and compaction; diversity and ecosystem function of insects in cattle dung on pastures; influence of management practices on nutrient use efficiency and microbial diversity to support productivity and profitability of Canadian agricultural systems; and limiting losses and improving N efficiency through stabilized N applications.
Dr. Guillermo Hernandez Ramirez
Dr. Guillermo Hernadez Ramirez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta. His research interests include: Carbon and nitrogen transformations and fluxes in grassland ecosystems; Integrated assessments of soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gases exchange in natural reference and managed grasslands; Management options towards greenhouse gas mitigation, climate change adaptation, and enhanced resilience in grassland ecosystems; and Evaluations of soil functions, soil quality and ecosystem services.
Dr. Hernandez Ramirez contact information
Dr. Hernandez Ramirez website
Dr. Daniel Hewins
Dr. Daniel B. Hewins is an Assistant Professor of Biology specializing in Ecosystem Ecology at Rhode Island College in Providence, RI, USA. Between the years of 2013 – 2016, Dr. Hewins was a postdoctoral fellow at the Rangeland Research Institute in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, AB, Canada. In this role he worked alongside researchers and government personnel to measure and report the effect of livestock grazing on carbon and nutrient cycling in the grasslands of central and southern Alberta. In 2013, he received his PhD in Ecology from the Biology Department at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, NM, USA. His dissertation research focused carbon and nutrient cycling in desert grasslands, and in particular the effect of shrub encroachment and associated soil redistribution on leaf litter decomposition.
Dr. Majid Iravani
Dr. Majid Iravani has an MSc in Rangeland Ecology and Management (IUT, Isfahan, Iran) and a PhD in Applied Ecology (ETH Zurich, Switzerland). He joined the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (ABMI) in Jan 2015 and is currently involved in some applied projects including Ecosystem Service Assessment Project, establishing a set of soil carbon and forage models for Alberta’s rangelands. Majid brings more than 10 years research and teaching experience in rangeland ecology and biodiversity conservation and management. He also has many years of experience with processing, analyzing, interpreting and publishing complex ecological data using R programming language and spatially explicit process-based models. Majid’s main research areas include rangeland ecology, biodiversity and ecosystem services, landscape ecology and ecological modelling.
LinkedIn: Dr. Majid Iravani
Dr. John W. (Jack) Ives
Dr. Jack Ives is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Alberta and the Director of the Institute of Prairie Archaeology. The Institute of Prairie Archaeology is pleased to work with the Rangeland Research Institute by conducting baseline archaeological research on the Mattheis Ranch in conjunction with its archaeological field school training for undergraduates. This work is intended to provide a comprehensive inventory of archaeological sites on the Ranch, where a variety of sites including intact tipi rings are present. Students also take part in a "simulation curriculum," learning how to find, map, test and report sites to current regulatory standards in Alberta. Excavation experience involves work at a site complex on the southern edge of the Ranch, the camp and processing area for an 1100-1200 year old bison kill on the opposite side of Matzhiwin Creek. Our work involves interaction with Treaty 7 ceremonialists and staging of a "Stones & Bones" event (with the Archaeological Society of Alberta) in which members of the general public are invited to bring in collections for identification and discussion, and to take part in activities like stone tool making and atlatl throwing.
Dr. Ives contact information
Institute of Prairie Archaeology website
U of A Department of Anthropology website
Dr. Tim McAllister
Dr. Tim McAllister is a Principal Research Scientist within Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Lethbridge, Alberta. His research program focuses on various aspects of beef cattle production. His interests in rangelands lie in the role that these ecosystems play in carbon capture and storage as well as their contribution to biodiversity. Dr. McAllister has worked extensively as an advisor to the FAO and other nations on the characterization and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions in beef cattle production systems.
Dr. Ellen Macdonald
Dr. Macdonald is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta. She obtained her BSc in Environmental Biology and PhD in Plant Ecology from the University of Calgary. She is interested in factors driving plant community composition and diversity, including the impacts of natural and anthropogenic disturbance. While for the past 25+ years most of her research has focused on the ecology of northern forests, she has also worked in grasslands and in alpine and arctic tundra. She strives to conduct research through which she can apply basic principles of forest ecology to approaches for wise management and conservation of ecosystems.
Dr. Macdonald and Lori Schroeder are conducting research to test whether Wet Areas Mapping (a LiDar based, digital elevation model that produces a metric of relative wetness) can predict invasive species occurrence, and whether it can be used to identify rare, and particularly vulnerable, communities in the dry mixed grass prairie (DMG). Invasive species have been identified as one of the most serious threats to ecosystem health and to the conservation of biodiversity and endangered species, particularly in light of a warming climate. The rate of invasion of non-native species into ecosystems, however, often exceeds our ability to document their presence and, thus, protect vulnerable ecosystems. Wet Areas Mapping has been proposed as a landscape-level tool for predicting patterns of invasion of non-native vascular plant species in grassland ecosystems of Alberta. Simultaneously, they are examining impacts of disturbance on invasive species occurrence - including grazing and disturbance associated with pipelines, roads, wellsites and transmission corridors.
Dr. Macdonald webpage
Dr. M. Anne Naeth
Dr. Anne Naeth is a Professor of Land Reclamation and Restoration Ecology in the Department of Renewable Resources and Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies at the University of Alberta. She is also Director of the Land Reclamation International Graduate School (LRIGS). Dr. Naeth’s expertise is in land reclamation and restoration ecology. In Canada, approximately 70 % of native grasslands and 83 % of foothills fescue grasslands have been lost due to agriculture, human disturbances, woody species encroachment, fire suppression, plains bison extirpation and invasion by non-native species. Disturbed grasslands require enhancement and restoration to maintain landscape diversity and protect remaining grasslands. Dr. Naeth has 30 years of research experience in grassland ecosystems where her research has investigated impacts of grazing and oil and gas activities on soil properties and plant community development, management of non native plant species, and development of effective revegetation methods. She has worked on grasslands in Alberta and Saskatchewan including foothills and plains rough fescue prairie, mixed grass prairie, montane and aspen parkland meadows. Her research program is both applied and theoretical and focuses on plant-soil-water relationships, understanding and defining processes inherent in these relationships, their effects on ecosystem structure and function, their response to disturbance and their role in reclamation after disturbance. Recent rangeland research focuses on methods to enhance and restore silver sagebrush (Artemisia cana) steppe in Grasslands National Park as habitat for the endangered greater sage grouse and methods to overcome low seed germination and seedling establishment.
Dr. Naeth website
Dr. Graham Plastow
Dr. Graham Plastow is a Professor in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Alberta and Chief Executive Officer of the Livestock Gentec Centre (funded by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions). The Centre focuses on the development, implementation and adoption of genomics-based solutions for the livestock industry to help Canada’s food industry satisfy consumer demand for safe, healthy, quality meat produced in a sustainable manner. Dr. Plastow's research focuses on the application of genetics and genomics to livestock and in particular the reduction of the environmental footprint of production.
Dr. Sylvie Quideau
Dr. Sylvie Quideau is a soil biogeochemist at the University of Alberta with a special interest in carbon fluxes and organic matter processes. The focus of her research is in three areas: 1) quantifying the impact of environmental factors on organic matter accumulation and distribution in soils; 2) relating measurable organic matter quality indices to soil functioning; and 3) predicting the response of soil organic matter to natural and anthropogenic disturbance.
Dr. Quideau website
Dr. Donald J. Thompson
Dr. Don Thompson is a Range Plant Ecologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada at the Lethbridge Research Centre. His research interests include range soil health; rangeland plant community responses to cattle grazing management; range productivity and forage quality; and climate change effects on rangeland plant community resilience.
Dr. Don Thompson AAFC webpage
Dr. Walter Willms
Dr. Walter Willms retired from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in 2012 as a range ecologist where he conducted research for understanding the relationship between cattle and the native rangelands. He continues to collaborate with scientists at AAFC Lethbridge, the University of Alberta and the Inner Mongolia Agricultural University with data analyses and writing or reviewing manuscripts.