Agriculture + Food
Helping feed the world + creating new biotechnology
Our work in agriculture, food production and the bio-economy— bioproducts, biomaterials, and bioenergy— spans various disciplines including genetics, plant and animal science, nutrition, resource economics and biotechnology. We investigate how plants can be bred to be more resistant to disease, stress and insects. We also explore new plant-based pharmaceuticals, and new food and agri-food products. We are helping make livestock, farming and agriculture more sustainable, while our facilities, such as Agri-Food Discovery Place, links our research in food safety, AgTech, and functional foods with industry collaborators.
New technologies, mechanization, increased chemical use, and growing food demands have lead to profound changes in agriculture. To ensure environmental and human health for current and future generations, researchers are addressing issues such as water supply, use, and quality, as well as best practices to reduce soil erosion and increase its nutrient content for crop production. Our work in efficient and sustainable food production involves economics, policy, trade, marketing, and consumer behaviour.
Animal science and genetics
Livestock science focuses on optimizing production and quality of traditional and new species, and on novel traits through genomics, breeding, protection systems, and issues of importance to the beef, dairy, swine, and poultry industries such as food safety, food quality, production efficiency and sustainability, and environmental health.
This work is helping create valuable products from the agricultural, forest and plant waste and greener chemicals to new catalysts The research in this areas harnesses our expertise in fuels and petrochemicals, nanoscience, biochemistry, proteomics, and systems biology. Sciences such as genomics are foundational to developing probiotics, nutraceuticals and specialized seed oils to improve the health benefits of food production. Genetics and plant biology, and biotechnology allow researchers to identify plant mechanisms and traits that can lead to new crops that are more disease and stress (e.g., drought) resistant, and more efficient in extracting nutrients from soils.