Featured Symposium Speakers

Tuesday, July 17 pm - Technology Transfer Symposium

Guy Lafond

Guy Lafond is a research scientist with the Indian Head Research Farm of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. He has been at Indian Head since 1985. His area of research focuses on the agronomy of no-till, cropping systems, precision farming, cereal, oilseed and pulse production, soil, fertilizer and land management. Dr Lafond has always had a personal interest in developing new models of transferring technical information to the farm gate. He has developed an e-journal ( www.prairiesoilsandcrops.ca ) in conjunction with the Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association as a way to transfer technical information to the public and all interested stakeholders. He currently acts as one of the editors.

Marian L. Stypa

Marian Stypa was born in a small village in Czechoslovakia but, as a child, left the country with his family following the 1968 Soviet-led invasion. Growing up in rural Ontario, Canada, he hoped to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a veterinarian. After starting and operating his own landscaping business while in his teens, and attending high school/university full time, Marian was inspired toward outdoor activity and a career in Agriculture. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture and a master’s degree in Soil Science from the University of Guelph and a Ph.D. in Biology/Plant Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo.

Rather than pursue a career in academia, Marian joined Syngenta legacy company Ciba-Geigy as a Research Scientist in Regina, Saskatchewan. After three years, he was appointed Manager, R&D for Western Canada. Later, Marian returned to Ontario to become Director, Scientific and Regulatory Affairs. Following the Ciba/Sandoz merger, he was named Vice President, Research and Regulatory Affairs for Novartis Crop Protection Canada, Inc. in Mississauga, Ontario. With the creation of Syngenta, Marian became Head, Regulatory and Biological Development for Syngenta Crop Protection Canada, Inc.  In late 2007, he was named Head, NAFTA Development and Product Safety for Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc. in Greensboro, N.C. During his R&D leadership in Canada/US, the Syngenta R&D Teams registered more than 20 new active ingredients and their respective end use products. Marian moved into his current position as Head, Global Product Biology in early 2011. Currently he leads the Global Product Biology Team responsible for the development of active ingredients for the company’s Crop Protection, Seed Care and Lawn & Garden business.

Steven Fabijanski

Steven Fabijanski (PhD, President and CEO Agrisoma Biosciences Inc) brings more than 20 years of senior executive experience within the agriculture and biotechnology industry to his leadership of Agrisoma. He has been an active participant in the Canadian oilseeds industry since 1985, first as a researcher during the growth of the Canola industry, then focusing on management of technology in agriculture with specialization in agricultural biotechnology and now managing one of Canada’s leading oilseed companies focused on renewable energy from agriculture.  Steven holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in Molecular Biology, and a Bachelors Degree in Biology from the University of Miami, has published over 30 papers and has 19 issued US patents with more than 100 corresponding patents internationally.  He is Chair of the Industrial and Agriculture Committee of Biotech Canada, a member of the Board of Directors for AgWest Bio, and has sat on the NSERC Energy Committee and NRC Advisory Committee. Steven is an active participant in the Biotech Canada lobby efforts at the federal level.

Christina Eynck

Presentation Title "Camelina sativa – an old crop with new prospects in sustainable agriculture"

Christina Eynck is a plant breeder with Linnaeus Plant Sciences, Inc., a company with the mission to create value-added, renewable, biodegradable industrial oils in temperate oilseed crops, with focus on camelina. After receiving a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from the Georg-August-University in Göttingen, Germany, Christina joined Agriculture-and Agri-Food Canada in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, as an NSERC postdoctoral fellow. Here, she started to work on the crucifer oilseed camelina, notably on disease resistance and molecular marker development, and developed a passion for the crop. As Linnaeus’ camelina breeder she develops improved cultivars for use as an environmentally-friendly industrial oilseed crop with the aim to provide valuable feedstocks that can replace petroleum in a variety of applications.

Wednesday, July 18 - Canadian Society for Horticulture Science Featured Speakers
Morning Mini-Symposium: Biocontrol Methods

Karen Bailey

Presentation Title "Biopesticides in Agriculture: Can science meet societal demands for greener food production in the 21st Century?"

Dr. Karen Bailey works for Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Research Branch in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.  She received her B.Sc. (Agriculture) and M.Sc. in Plant Pathology at the University of Guelph and then a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and Plant Breeding from University of Saskatchewan. Her career has focused on the development of scientific innovations that improve plant health through the utilization of integrated pest management techniques most notably for control of plant pathogens and weeds. Dr. Bailey is internationally recognized for her expertise on biological control and the development of biopesticides, having been involved in scientific projects in the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, India, and Switzerland. During her career with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, she has published more than 200 publications and has several patents.

Margaret Gruber

Presentation Title "New Mechanisms and Applications for Plant Secondary Metabolites and non-glandular Trichomes"

Dr. Gruber is a Research Scientist with more than 20 years experience working in crop functional genomics and biotechnology at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Saskatoon. Since 2008, she has been the co-developer and co-leader of the Canadian Cellulosic Biofuel Research Network. Dr. Gruber conducts research in plant trichome development, plant stress, and plant secondary metabolism (flavonoids, proanthocyanidins, lignin, and carotenoids). Her genomics research in Arabidopsis is focused on understanding how pathways are regulated genetically and on finding novel genes with utility in crop development. Her applied research includes development of ’Hairy Canola’ with enhanced seedling trichome coverage and resistance to the crucifer flea beetle and development of ‘Tannin Alfalfa’ with enhanced forage (pro)anthocyanidins to reduce ruminant greenhouse gas production and improve protein utilization. She has also studied Brassica seed coats for their potential as phyto-remediation tools. Recently, she has been determining physiological, chemical and molecular mechanisms that contribute to enhanced tolerance to salt stress in lettuce, Medicago spp. and the Brassicaceae.

Ken Fry

Presentation Title "Biological Control of Arthropods in Controlled Environments"

Dr. Ken Fry, Coordinator for the Environmental Horticulture Programme and Entomology Instructor in the School of Environment at Olds College, has been involved in insect pest management research, teaching, and extension for over 20 years, including 9 years as a research scientist at the Alberta Research Council. His research is focused on biological control of insect pests and integrated pest management. Ken is co-author, with Doug Macaulay and Don Williamson of “Garden Bugs of Alberta”.

Afternoon Mini-Symposium: Northern Greenhouses
sponsored by the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development

Raju Soolanayakanahally

Presentation Title "Innovations in agroforestry willow systems for environmental sustainability and bioenergy purposes"

Dr. Raju Soolanayakanahally is a senior researcher at Agroforestry Development Centre in Indian Head, Saskatchewan. Upon receiving his PhD in Forest Sciences from University of British Columbia he joined Agriculture Agri-Food Canada in 2010. His research focuses on the development and evaluation of new poplar and willow feedstocks for bioenergy opportunities, carbon sequestration and for environmental services such as riparian buffers. At ADC, he and his colleagues look at innovative land management within agricultural systems to provide land owners the economic benefits while achieving agricultural sustainability.

Nick Savidov

Presentation Title "Aquaponics – a New Approach to Sustainable Food Production"

Dr. Nick Savidov is a Plant Physiologist by training and Senior Research Scientist with Bio-Industrial Opportunities Branch in Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development. Dr. Savidov has been working on a variety of projects related to greenhouse production including aquaponics and biochar and his work has gained international recognition. Some of his technologies changed agricultural practices in Alberta.

He was invited to speak at many conferences around the world. International collaborative research on aquaponics he led resulted in a highly productive close-loop facility, the only zero-waste food production system known in the world. Dr. Savidov was also a part of design team for the new state-of-the-art research facility in Alberta.

Weizheng (John) Zhang

Presentation Title "Commercial Greenhouse production of vegetable crops from Ontario to Mexico and now Alberta"

Zhang received his Ph.D degree at Ohio State University, currently working as a greenhouse manager at the Greenhouse Research and Production Complex (GRPC) for Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development at Brooks, Alberta. In 2007 – 2011, he worked as a chief production officer in one of the world largest greenhouse operations, Bionatur Invernaderos Biológicos with 200 acres in Mexico. He was a head grower at Veg Gro Inc. and Sun Gro Farms (now called Mor Gro) in Leamington, Ontario. Before that he worked as a post-doc at Greenhouse and Processing Crop Research Center, Harrow, Ontario. He has been active in both academic research and greenhouse production. He was involved in a USDA-sponsored greenhouse tomato research project leaded by Drs. Sally Miller (Ohio State University) and Kai-Shu Ling (USDA, ARS, SC).

He worked for Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) as a consultant worldwide, and for Canada Revenue Agency as a board member of Canadian Greenhouse R&D Committee.

Canadian Society of Agronomy, Borlaug Symposium

Curtis Pozniak

Presentation Title "Transfer of technology to the field: Tools to Enhance Development of Field Ready Wheat Cultivars"

Dr. Curtis Pozniak is the durum and high yielding spring wheat breeder at the University of Saskatchewan's Crop Development Centre.  Dr. Pozniak's research focuses on applicationof genomic technologies to wheat improvement and he leads a 8.5 Million dollar Genome Canada funded project "Canadian Wheat Applied Genomics (CTAG)". He has developed several DNA markers that are routinely used By durum wheat breeders globally.  In 2010, Dr. Pozniak was granted the award of "Young Agronomist" by the Canadian Society of Agronomy, and "Young Researcher Award" by the University of Saskatchewan in the same year. He is the Canadian representative to the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Wheat Research Initiative and is a member of the Co-ordinating Committee of the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium.  Dr. Pozniak has developed four wheat varieties for Western Canadian producer since 2003.

Thursday, July 19 - CSHS-NAFEX Speakers

Artem Sorokin

Director for Fruit Genetic Resources, Vavilov Institute

"History of the Pavlovski Battle"

In recent years, one of the world's largest repositories of fruit varieties (Pavlovski Station in Russia) was threatened to be destroyed and turned into apartment buildings.  Dr. Sorokin will discuss the years of internal struggles and international outcries that helped to keep the station going....for now.


"History and Future of Lonicera Breeding in Russia"

Dr. Sorokin has a long personal interest in Lonicera caerulea.  His did his PhD on documenting differences between Lonicera and Fragaria varieties under Dr. Maria Plenkhanova.  He became the head of the 'Underutilized fruits' Department at the Vavilov institute before being promoted to be the director of all fruit genetic resources.  Dr.Sorokin will give us a history of gathering and breeding this crop and an overview of what breeders are doing now in Russia.

More NAFEX Speakers