MSc Students


Ifeoluwa (Deborah) Ayanwale (UofS). Supervised by Jeff Schoenau.

Deborah's research program focuses on determining the effects of cattle manure application strategy: precision vs. traditional, on forms and amounts of soluble phosphorus and nitrogen in the soil, and exported in surface run-off water, along with coliforms. This research will provide a comparison among precision manure management, traditional constant rate of application, and commercial fertilizer on soil and water quality.



Rachel Brockamp (UofS). Supervised by Steven Siciliano.

For my Master thesis in Soil Science I am studying the Fe-ammox and Mn-ammox reactions. I will explore the reaction and responsible bacteria under the context of a fertilizer-contaminated site in Lomond, Alberta.



Patricia Hanuszak (UBC). Supervised by Sean Smukler.

The focus of my research is to analyze the nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics following the incorporation of 4-year grassland set-aside (GLSAs) field. Farmers in Delta use GLSAs to remediate their soils, but the impact of GLSAs on nutrient cycling once incorporated is not well understood. Farmers are currently applying fertilizer at the same rate to fields that have recently had GLSAs incorporated as fields that have not. This practice could be leading to over or under fertilization. I will be sampling bi-monthly 8 paired fields for plant available nitrogen and phosphorus while the GLSA biomass undergoes decomposition in the presence of annual crops; such as potato, barley, corn, and peas.



Gleb Kravchinsky (UofA). Supervised by Miles Dyck.

Gleb is investigating the water balance of a phosphogypsum stack at Fort Saskatchewan Nutrien operations. Phosphogypsum is a by-product of phosphorus fertilizer production and is piled into large stacks that eventually require reclamation. In order to help quantify the residence time of waters percolating through the stacks, the water balance will be modeled using a distributed hydrological model based on Richards Equation. Various model inputs, like vegetation parameters, soil characteristics and climate data, are gathered by instrumentation of the study area. Lab experiments are also used in order to measure additional soil properties that would be critical in determining the water balance.



Whitney Shannon (UofS). Co-supervised by Eric Price and Steven Siciliano.

In an effort to combine the non-invasive diagnostic abilities of positron emission tomography (PET) nuclear imaging with the high resolution optical contrast of fluorescence imaging, this project seeks to radiolabel the fluorescent molecule CDy11 (compound of designation yellow 11) through [18F/19F] exchange methods; affording a structurally identical, PET-active imaging agent. In doing such, we hypothesize that the newly radiolabeled imaging agent will serve as a bimodal PET/optical probe for bacterial biofilms. Ultimately, this will grant the newly radiolabeled CDy11 molecule greater applicability over its unlabeled counterpart; positively influencing the domains of agricultural and diagnostic sciences as both a probe for phenotypically relevant bacterial colonies and infectious microbial aggregates.



Jocelyn Thresher (UofS). Co-supervised by Natacha Hogan and Markus Brinkmann.

My research aim is to assess, and compare, hormonal activity in soil and surface runoff water from (constant rate vs. precision rate) cattle manure applied fields.


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Tianqi Zhou (UofS). Supervised by Melissa Arcand.

Tianqi's research focuses on nitrogen use efficiency of canola. He will study the enzyme activities of different canola genotypes under contrasting nitrogen applications. The goal is to determine which canola genotype responds most efficiently to nitrogen addition.


PhD Students


Hamzat Fajana (UofS). Supervised by Steven Siciliano.

My research is to assess the influence of habitat quality on the biological fitness of organisms in chemically-stressed habitat via cellular energy dynamics tandem with changes in life history of the organism.



Amy Jimmo (UofS). Supervised by Steven Siciliano.

The goal of Amy's research is to further understand the role of carbonate mineralogy on the effectiveness of biostimulatory solutions delivered in situ. This goal will be achieved by evaluating the role of soil buffering capacity, which is regulated by soil carbonate content, on the adsorption of nutrients delivered via an amendment solution, the influence of an optimized biostimulatory solution on microbial activity under stimulated conditions and their interactions. The end goal is to create a tool that can be employed at different petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated sites enhancing biodegradation processes via biostimulation in cold region calcareous soils.


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Tony Tian (UofS). Supervised by Steven Siciliano.

Tony is using positron emission tomography (PET) to unlock where the biodegradation actually takes place, and what microenvironmental conditions maximize the degradation in fertilizer-contaminated soils.


Postdoctoral Research Fellows


Michael Schmidt (UofS). Co-supervised by Derek Peak and Steven Siciliano.

Explores the role of the iron anamox cycling in bulk fertilizer plants and characterization of iron minerals by synchrotron techniques. The goal of this project is to build flow-through column systems to characterize iron evolution as iron anamox bacteria reduce Fe(III) and oxidize NH3.