University of Manitoba - Faculty of Agricultural & Food Sciences - AG e-news
AG e-news

the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences newsletter

March 9, 2016


An Advanced Plant Science Seminar will be held on Thursday, March 10 in Room 130 Agriculture Building at 3:30 pm. Vijaya Chitnis, Ph.D. student, Department of Plant Science will be presenting "Investigating the Role of Abscisic Acid Catabolism in Regulating Preharvest Sprouting in Wheat".  All are welcome to attend.  Refreshments at 3:00 pm in the Atrium.

The Manitoba Direct Farm Marketing Conference will be March 11-12 at Canad Inns in Portage la Prairie. This year’s line-up of presenters has something for everyone, from production to marketing and everything in between. The team from the Manitoba Consumer Monitor Food Panel will be presenting on local and organic food consumption trends and perceptions.For more info or to register online visit:

The Degree Grads Farewell will be Saturday, March 12 at the Four Points by Sheraton Winnipeg South.

The Nutrition Education and Community Outreach invite you to celebrate Nutrition Month in March. Visit their booths to learn about the different steps involved in taking a 100 Meal Journey, get a free snack and play games to win prizes - Monday, March 14 in the Agriculture Building Atrium or March 16-17 in University Centre. Learn how to make healthy bannock with Monica Cyr on Friday, March 18 at 1 pm in Migizii Agamik Lodge. On March 30 at 2:30 pm, explore sports nutrition with Jorie Janzen, Registered Dietitian in Room 206 Human Ecology. All details, including their Instagram contest, at

A Department of Animal Science Seminar will be held on Tuesday, March 15 in Room 219 Animal Science Building at 11:30 am. Brittainy Hewitt, MSc student with Emma McGeough, will be presenting "Evaluation of annual forages for stockpiled grazing in beef cows" to be followed by Maral Rahmani, M.Sc. student with Bogdan Slominski, giving an extension talk on "Salmonella Infection in Poultry". All are welcome to attend.

A Human Nutritional Sciences Graduate Seminar entitled "Let medicine be your food and food be your medicine: Empowering Métis-Indigenous Identity and Increasing Food Security through (Re)membering, (Re)learning, and (Re)vitalizing Traditional Foods and Protocols" will be presented by Monica Cyr on Tuesday, March 15 at 3:00 pm in 206 Human Ecology Building.

It's time once again for Discover Agriculture in the City, a free, two-day event featuring interactive displays and live presentations from key organizations in the agriculture industry that will take place March 18-19 downtown at the Forks Market. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, along with partner organizations, have developed this event for urban Canadians to explore and discover the important role agriculture plays in their lives. Come see the Food Fight at the Forks featuring our very own food product development students, enjoy cooking demos and many other activities. For more information, visit

You are invited to attend the Animal Health and Welfare students' Poster Presentations on Tuesday, March 22 and Thursday, March 24 from 10:00 am to 11:15 am in Room 219 Animal Science. Come see the posters the students have made. Question them on the issues they have chosen. Learn where the industry stands on issues of animal welfare and what we are doing to improve.

A Department of Entomology Seminar will be held on Tuesday, March 22 in Room 220 Animal Science/Entomology Building at 10:10 am.  Udari Wanigasekara, Ph.D. candidate, Entomology, will present “Assessing the Efficacy of Hymenopteran  Parasitoids as Biological Control Agents of Cutworms (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Field Crops in Canada.”. Refreshments served at 10:00 am.

A Human Nutritional Sciences Graduate Seminar entitled "Effect of a high protein diet on renal oxylipins" will be presented by Ariful Islam on Tuesday, March 22 at 3:00 pm in 206 Human Ecology Building.

The TMPLR Research Study will hold a public launch event on Wednesday, March 23 at 11 am at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals. The study will explore how diet, physical activity, sleep, genetics and gut microbiome interact to promote the health of Manitobans. Additionally, two other launch events are taking place, a TMPLR Café event at McNally Robinson at 7 pm, on Wednesday, March 23, and a Winnipeg Free Pree News Café event from 2 to 4 pm on Thursday, March 24; these events will be informal panel discussions about TMPLR program, where different TMPLR team members will be talking about their research and roles in TMPLR.  Learn more about the project at

A Soil Science Seminar will be held Wednesday, March 23, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Room 346 Ellis Building. Mitchell Timmerman, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development will, present, topic TBA.

The Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management seminar series Body Talks will feature "What to Eat & When for Physical Activity" with Semone Myrie, Department of Human Nutritional Sciences and Jorie Janzen, Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba, on Thursday, March 24 at 5:00 pm on the steps of the Applied Research Centre located beside the Active Living Centre Agora. Free of charge, all are welcome.

The University is closed on Friday, March 25 for Good Friday.


The Faculty welcomes Dr. Chengbo Yang to the Department of Animal Science. Dr. Yang joined the Faculty as an Assistant Professor in Livestock Nutrition and Nutritional Biochemistry on March 1. He holds a Ph.D. in Monogastric Animal Nutrition from the University of Guelph, and was most recently a technical swine and poultry specialist with the feed additives firm Jefo Nutrition Inc.  He will be conducting research in the area of gut health and nutrient utilization relevant to non-ruminants and involved with teaching related to livestock feeds and feeding, initially.

Rob Currie, Entomology, is one of the organizers behind BEE / HOUSE / LAB, an international design competition hosted by the University of Manitoba and open to students and designers in the field of environmental design, architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design, and other related fields. The competition calls for a design of a bee house prototype that can be fabricated and deployed for field testing. A Design Jury will determine winning designs and a pool of top submissions will be fabricated. More than 100 houses will be field-tested to study their space-form-habitat performance. Full details about the competition are available at online. Contest submissions are welcomed from March 31 to April 20, with winners announced on April 25.

Five of our students will be honoured at the Emerging Leaders Dinner on March 11. These are students who support the university communty and educational mission by contributing to social, cultural or economic well-being here or off campus, encourage cross-cultural understanding, and demonstrate sustained leadership.  Congratulations to Elyssa Chan, Darren Fife, Julia Minarik, Bithiah Rebekah Selvarajan and Gagan Sidhu on your accomplishment!

A poster by Food Science Ph.D. student Nasibeh Y. Sinaki and Martin G. Scanlon, Associate Dean (Research) entitled " Flow behavior of corn starch suspensions as a function of concentration and temperature" was selected as this year's winner of a student research poster competition by the Carbohydrate Division of the American Association of Cereal Chemists International at the Fall annual meeting. This competition is sponsored by the Corn Refiners Association in Washington DC, and they receive a cash prize followed by recognition at the Carbohydrate Division dinner held during next year's meeting.

Xinyang Sun, Food Science Ph.D. student, and Filiz Koksel, Food Science post-doc, presented posters at the CIFST 2016 conference in Burnaby. "Effects of Wheat Cultivar, Water and NaCl on the Mechanical Properties of Bread Dough using a Mixograph" - Xinyang Sun, Filiz Koksel, Martin G. Scanlon, Michael T. Nickerson and "Salt Reduction in Non-yeasted Bread Doughs Investigated by FT-IR Spectroscopy and Ultrasonics" - Filiz Koksel, Kathleen M. Gough, Martin G. Scanlon, Michael T. Nickerson.

Terry Galloway and Kateryn Rochon, Entomology, presented to the Biology Undergraduate Students (BUGs) recently.  Kateryn presented a talk on "Six-legged Sex" and Terry's talk was "For the Love of Lice", both on their requested Valentine's theme for February.

Entomology's Rob Currie and Ph.D. student Megan Colwell presented research on the many ways that viruses affect honey bees at the Manitoba Beekeepers Association meeting on February 27.

Peter Jones, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, participated in the inaugural strategic discussion of Natural Products Canada, a newly funded Centre of Excellence in Commercialization of Research, at its meeting in Toronto March 7-8.  The purpose of the meeting was to establish goals and directions for the CECR as it commences operational platform.  Funded with $20M of federal funds for the next 5 years, the overall objective of Natural Products Canada is to enhance the pathway to commercialization of natural products within this country.


A review by Rick Holley, Food Science, made the top 10 Most Read list for January 2016 for Journal of Environmental Quality. "Pathogen Survival in Swine Manure Environments and Transmission of Human Enteric Illness—A Review" by Tat Yee Guan and Richard A. Holley.

Slater, J, Mudryj, A. (2016) Nurturing future generations: Household food practices of Canadian children and family meal participation.  Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research. DOI 10.3148/cjpr-2015-050

Hanis, K.L., B.D. Amiro, M. Tenuta, T. Papakyriakou and K.A. Swystun. 2015. Carbon exchange over four growing seasons for a subarctic sedge fen in northern Manitoba, Canada. Arctic Science 1:27-44.

Brewin, Derek G. 2016. "Presidential Address: Competition in Canada's Agricultural Value Chains; The Case of Grain." Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie 64(1): 5-19.

Lovemore Nkhata Malunga, Peter Eck and Trust Beta (2016) Inhibition of intestinal alpha-glucosidase and glucose absorption by feruloylated arabinoxylan mono- and oligosaccharides from corn bran and wheat aleurone. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, in press.


Karin Wittenberg, Dean, and Brian Amiro, Soil Science were interviewed for the article “Prairies to play pivotal role in future food production” in the Manitoba Co-operator (March 3) -

Harry Sapirstein, Food Science, and Paul Bullock, Soil Science, are quoted in the article “Prairie wheat growers wanted to assist in gluten strength study” in the Manitoba Co-operator (February 25) -

Martin Entz, Plant Science, was quoted in the article “Organic conference draws a crowd” in the Manitoba Co-operator (March 25) and OrganicBIZ (a new FBC publication) -

Don Flaten, Soil Science, Martin Entz, Plant Science and Christine Rawluk, National Centre for Livestock and the Environment, were quoted in the article "Long-term studies are ‘goldmines’" in Top Crop Manager (March 2016) -

The Kent Street School Food Club program run by Laura Pelser, Darren Fife and Christina Fillion, 4th year Human Nutritional Sciences Practicum students, along with Joyce Slater, was featured in the Winnipeg School Division February 2016 newsletter - See page 21 at

Ehsan Khafipour, Animal Science, was interviewed in the article "Disinfectants Capable of Killing PEDv in Stored Manure Needed" on Farmscape (February 26) -

The newcomer nutrition program developed by Amy Goulet, Human Nutritional Sciences student is referenced in the Winnipeg Free Press article "Struggling to stay healthy" -

Clement Adomah, Agribusiness and Agricultural Economics graduate student, was featured on UMToday in their Candid series -

Rob Currie, Entomology, was interviewed by Marcy Markusa on CBC Information  Radio (March 4) about the international competition to build bee houses -

Rob was also interviewed by Danielle Doiron, broadcast journalism student, about urban beekeeping bylaw changes for broadcast on Shaw (March 3).


Fiscal Year End - Our fiscal year end of March 31, 2016 is fast approaching. Staff are reminded to make all purchases, travel and business claims soon. For year-end guidelines and schedule, please see Financial Services website at

AG e-news > March 9, 2016