Executive Committee

President – Harpinder Singh Randhawa

Dr. Harpinder Singh Randhawa is a Research Scientist (spring wheat breeding) working with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, Alberta since 2007. He has more than 25 years of experience and knowledge working on the different aspects of wheat breeding, genetics, pathology, biotechnology, molecular genetics and genomics. His breeding program integrates conventional breeding approaches along with marker assisted breeding, genomics, doubled haploid and other novel technologies for cultivar development. His prime focus is to breed cultivars in order to improve profitability and reduce business risk for farmers and processors. His other research interests include the identification of new sources of disease resistance in wheat, genetic mapping, doubled haploid production, and new breeding tools. Dr. Randhawa has participated in the registration of 12 high yielding spring wheat cultivars (3 CWSWS, 5 CPSR, 3 CWSP, 1 CWHW) and three triticale cultivars for general production in western Canada. He has published over 80 research articles in international journals, supervises many undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. He has attended over 45 National and International conferences. He is recipient of the Gold Harvest Award for Innovation, Collaboration and Service Excellence from the Science and Technology Branch, AAFC. Dr. Randhawa is also a recipient of the Borlaug Global Rust Initiative (BGRI) 2021 Gene Stewardship Award as an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada wheat cultivar development team for long-standing innovations and strategies to combat wheat rust in Canada and around the world. He has been member of the Canadian Society of Agronomy since 2016 and served as Western Director from 2017-2019. Since 2016, he has worked as an associate editor for the Canadian Journal of Plant Science. Dr. Randhawa is currently a Science Team Lead for Plant Breeding and Pathology group at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre.

President- Elect – Kui Liu

Dr. Kui Liu is an agronomist at the Swift Current Research and Development Centre, AAFC. He conducted his Ph.D. study in organic cropping systems integrating perennial forages and soil amendments. He has experience in assessing how beneficial management practices affect soil and nutrient losses at the field and watershed scale by participating in WEBs projects. His future research will focus on developing crop management practices that improve yield and enhance ecosystem services and the resilience of cropping systems. He is currently involving in several crop rotation studies, where a systems approach is applied to understand the biologic processes and complicated biotic and abiotic interactions in intensively managed cropping systems.

Past President – Jamie Larsen

Dr. Jamie Larsen received his Ph.D. in Plant Agriculture with a focus on wheat breeding from the University of Guelph in 2012. From 2011 to 2018, his research at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Lethbridge Research and Development Centre focused on developing perennial wheat, perennial cereal rye, fall rye, winter durum and winter triticale for grain and livestock producers with the goal of maximizing the sustainability of cereal production systems through breeding, agronomy and molecular genetic approaches. In 2018, he transferred to the Harrow Research and Development Centre to revitalize the AAFC dry bean breeding program for Eastern Canada. The focus of his research program at Harrow is to breed for resistance to fungal, bacterial, viral and nematode pests. The program also places a large emphasis on method development in dry bean breeding, including speed breeding and incorporating near infrared reflectance spectroscopy and other high throughput methods to assess dry bean cooking and canning quality.

Secretary/Treasurer – Kathleen Glover

Dr. Glover completed a degree in agricultural science from the University of Guelph where she majored in Crop Science. She then did a M.Sc. at the University of Guelph specializing in forage agronomy and quantitative genetics. Dr. Glover went on to do a Ph.D. in the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry at Dalhousie University studying the genetic origins of tRNAs in plant mitochondria.  Following her Ph.D. she worked in private industry conducting applied research in both field and horticultural crops and was subsequently employed as a research chair/associate professor at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College where her research focused on using nutrigenomic approaches to understand the effects of fresh forage and lipid supplementation on ruminant animal metabolism and productivity.  She also worked with government and industry partners to help improve pasture management for grass-fed beef production. Dr. Glover joined Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s Kentville Research and Development Centre (co-located in Truro) in May 2017, as a forage agronomist. She has over 30 years experience in Plant Science Research including both basic and applied sciences.

Western Director – Hiroshi Kubota

Hiroshi Kubota is a research scientist in sustainable crop management at the Lacombe Research and Development Centre, AAFC. He received his PhD in Plant Science from the University of Alberta in 2018. Since 2019, he has focused on developing agronomy practices that improve economic and environmental sustainability in both conventional and organic cropping systems. He currently has three focal research areas: 1) cropping system diversity – to improve resilience to biotic and abiotic stress in fields; 2) cropping practice diversity – to provide tools for producers whose goals are improving/maintaining yield while reducing negative impacts on the environment; 3) integrated crop management – to optimize usage of natural resources for crop production in an environmentally and economically sound manner.

Western Director – Linda Gorim

Dr. Linda Gorim is a prominent researcher and academic leader based in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Currently serving as the Crop Unit Academic Lead and Assistant Professor at the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science, she holds the esteemed WGRF Chair in Cropping Systems. With a Ph.D. in Crop Water Stress Management from Universität Hohenheim and an MSc in Agricultural Sciences, Gorim’s research program focuses on Integrated Agronomy, Sustainability, and Cropping Systems. Her work integrates crop productivity, water and fertilizer use efficiency, soil management, and pest control. Linda addresses challenges in translating superior genetics and agronomic practices to on-farm levels, emphasizing diverse crop rotations, including pulses, to optimize agricultural yield, quality, and input efficiency. Her research also delves into abiotic stresses, root studies, soil amendments, and nutrient use efficiency. By considering factors like water balance, climate conditions, and environmental benefits such as carbon storage, she pioneers an integrated approach for sustainable agriculture.

Eastern Director – Laura Van Eerd

Dr. Laura Van Eerd is a Professor of Sustainable Soil Management at the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. The goal of her internationally-recognized research program is to advance understanding of how agricultural practices influence crop productivity, nitrogen availability, and soil health. Dr. Van Eerd was conducting 4R nutrient stewardship research in 2007, well before the term was promoted. This research earned recognition by the Canadian Society of Agronomy with the Best Paper Award 2018 in Canadian Journal of Plant Science. She has similarly applied those approaches to optimize fertilizer nitrogen management in sugarbeets, which was selected as Editor’s Pick in CJPS issue in 2021. Her innovation and foresight led to the establishment of a state-of-the-art long-term cover crop experiment that has advanced global knowledge on cover cropping in temperate climates. She has co/authored 75 peer-reviewed publications (>85% led from her research program; H index =26 Google Scholar), mostly in top-tier agronomy or soil science journals. She serves as Research Program Director for the Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance since 2018. Here, she provides a vital leadership role in the province and the UoGuelph by ensuring that funded projects are agronomically sound and will have impact on Canadian agriculture. Dr. Van Eerd prioritizes communicating research findings as evidenced by over 135 scientific and 90 invited industry presentations. In addition to awards acknowledging her significant contributions to teaching, research and extension, Dr. Van Eerd was recognized as an Influential Women of Canadian Agriculture in 2020.

Eastern Director – Joshua Nasielski

Joshua Nasielski is an assistant professor of agronomy at the University of Guelph. Since 2019 he holds the “MacSon Professorship in Agronomy for eastern and northern Ontario.” Joshua’s work is centered on the agronomic research needs of Ontario farmers, addressing key issues in the cultivation of field crops prevalent in Eastern Canada, while making scientific contributions of wider geographic scope. For further insight into his work, visit the website: neoag.uoguelph.ca/.

Student Representative – Alexa Peterson

Alexa Peterson is an MSc student of Dr. Douglas Cattani in the Department of Plant Science at the University of Manitoba. Their research aims to identify the genetic contributions associated with yield and FHB resistance traits in the perennial grain crop, intermediate wheatgrass. She recently completed an intensive summer course on imaging technologies and software programs for plant breeding at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria and completed her Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (Plant Biotechnology) at the University of Manitoba. She became interested in sustainable agricultural systems during an undergraduate research project with Dr. Martin Entz, which focused on intercropping alfalfa in an organic field study. Throughout her graduate and undergraduate degree, she has worked at Bayer Crop Science in the canola trait ingression pipeline conducting both field and laboratory research. She is a member of various committees and societies, including the Canadian Society of Agronomy and is the acting President of the Plant Science Graduate Student’s Association (PSGSA) at the University of Manitoba, where she emphasizes engagement, education, and building community. She is excited to continue to work with farmers, researchers, and industry to develop systems that are productive, sustainable, and economical. Originally from Saskatchewan, she still enjoys helping her family on their grain farm in Kelvington, where she first developed her passion for agriculture.


Industry Representative – Dr. Jagroop Gill Kahlon


Dr. Jagroop Gill Kahlon, after finishing her PhD in plant science with specialization in Environmental biosafety of transgenic crops from the University of Alberta, joined Alberta Pulse Growers Commission as research officer. She has won several CSA awards as a student and was also winner of the prestigious WGRF scholarship. At her current job, she thoroughly enjoys being the vessel between the farmers, industry and researchers, and part of the larger industry that is working strenuously to bring issues of western Canadian agricultural research to forefront. She’s also lead for ‘plot to field’ research program by Alberta Pulse, where she and the team, researches and develops best management practices for pulse growers in field scale experiments across Alberta.

CJPS Representative – Ben Thomas

Ben is a Research Scientist in Agassiz, British Columbia with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, where he started as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist in Lethbridge, Alberta in 2016. Ben has authored or co-authored more than 40 peer-reviewed scientific publications. His research has mostly involved carbon, nitrogen and/or phosphorus cycling in response to organic amendments, cover crop management, land use changes and cattle grazing, as well as soil health and edaphic microbial responses to long-term intensive management practices. Ben received his Ph.D. from McGill University in 2016, where he studied labile soil organic matter and nitrogen mineralization in manure-amended soils of the Saint Lawrence Lowlands in Quebec, while also studying nitrogen dynamics in poultry manure-amended soils as a Visiting Scholar at Trent University in Ontario. Ben completed his Master of Resource and Environmental Management at Dalhousie University. There, he studied how compost and fertigation rates interacted to effect fruit yield and quality in strawberry plasticulture in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. Ben earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Prince Edward Island where he focused on plant science, food production and philosophy. Ben is now in his second term as the Agronomy Section Editor of the Canadian Journal of Plant Science. Ben is also an Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Soil Science. Ben would like to hear your questions, concerns, or suggestions for improving the Canadian Journal of Plant Science, so please feel free to contact him.