Robert F Grant, PhD


Agricultural Life and Environmental Sciences

Renewable Resources

About Me

Job/Research Area: Ecosystem Modelling. The Ecosys Modeling Project - An Interview with Robert Grant


  • Alberta Emerald Awards Order of Excellence - Finalist (2009)
  • Ed and Peggy Tyrchniewicz Award for Innovation in Teaching (2008)
  • McCalla Professor (2005)


Major Responsibilities/Research Interests: Simulation modeling of physical, chemical and biological processes in soil-plant-atmosphere systems as a means of studying resource management and conservation in agricultural ecosystems under current or future climates.

Dr Grant is a participant in the Land Reclamation International Graduate School (LRIGS) program sponsored by NSERC CREATE.

Process-based ecosystem simulation models are needed to predict changes in terrestrial C and water cycles and in greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange under changing climate and land management. The development of such models is a stated objective of interdisciplinary research projects in which I participate, such as the Canada Carbon Project (CCP), the North America Carbon Project (NACP), the Climate Impacts on Canadian Arctic Tundra (CICAT - IPY), Arctic Development and Adaptation to Permafrost in Transition (ADAPT - NSERC) and NitroEurope. My research program is intended to meet these objectives by constructing and testing a comprehensive mathematical model (ecosys) of natural and managed ecosystems. 

The long-term objectives of my program are to provide a means to anticipate ecosystem response to hypothesized changes in environmental conditions (soils, climates and land management practices). These objectives require well-constrained testing of model response functions to changes in air temperature (Ta) and atmospheric CO2 concentration (Ca) under diverse site conditions (soil types, plant species, disturbances and climates). I therefore propose during the next five years to test model hypotheses for responses of ecosystem-atmosphere GHG exchange and ecosystem productivity to changes in climate against measurements recorded during controlled changes in Ta and Ca as part of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) managed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory of the US Dept. of Energy. These experiments include NGEE Arctic on arctic tundra in Alaska, Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change (SPRUCE) on a spruce bog in northern Minnesota, and NGEE Tropics.