In recent years, there has been a lot of research on soil, nutrient cycling, soil amendments and plant nutrition in the Maritime provinces.

Dr. David Burton

His research examines the role of the soil environment in influencing the nature and extent of microbial metabolism in soil. His current research programs involve an examination of the production and consumption of greenhouse gases in natural and agricultural landscapes, sustainable manure management practices, bioremediation of hydrocarbon contaminated soil and the assessment of the quality of the soil biological environment and its influence on overall soil quality. It is the aim of this work to better understand the factors that control microbial metabolism and to use this information to developing sustainable land management systems.View publications

Dr. Andrew Hammermeister

Dr. Andy Hammermeister is Director of the OACC and Assistant Professor at NSAC. He is interested in developing and promoting sustainable organic farming systems, as well as organic production research in the prairies as well as the Maritimes.Dr. Hammermeister is currently overseeing the national Organic Science Cluster involving over 80 scientists at 20 institutions across Canada.His current research interests at the NSAC/OACC over the last 5 years have included:

  • weed and fertility management in organic small fruit production
  • organic options for control of wireworm
  • the effect of forages in organic crop rotations
  • use of forages as a mulch in cereal crops: effects on weed suppression and fertility
  • wheat crop and weed response to variable seeding rates of wheat at different levels of soil fertility
  • the nutrient supplying capacity of selected organic amendments
  • use of pelletized poultry manure to optimize yield and protein content in spring wheat
  • evaluation of green manures as sources of fertility under organic management

Dr. Derek Lynch

Organic production systems, nutrient cycling in agro-ecosystems, soil organic matter dynamics, composting and management of manures and organic wastes, soil microbiology, and legume physiology.More information

Dr. David Percival

Research Interests:

  • Environmental regulation of carbon assimilation and metabolism (i.e., source-sink relationships)
  • Whole plant growth dynamics
  • Impact of environmental stresses on phytochemistry, growth and development
  • Plant growth regulation and the use of exogenous plant growth regulators
  • Soil fertility and plant nutrition dynamics and the subsequent impact on symbiotic relationships, plant growth, development, yield and fruit structure and composition
  • Wild Blueberry Research Program


  • Percival, D.C. and K.R. Sanderson. 2004. Main and interactive effects of vegetative year applications of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium fertilizer. Small Fruits Review. In Press.
  • Glass, V.M., D.C. Percival, and J.T.A. Proctor. 2003. Influence of decreasing soil moisture on stem water potential, transpiration rate, and carbon exchange rate of the lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) in a controlled environment. J. Hort. Sci. and Biotech. 78(3):359-364.
  • Janes, D.E. and D.C. Percival. 2003. Trends in Lowbush Blueberry Cultivar Development. J. Amer. Pomological Soc. 57(2):63-69. (Note: this paper received won the Ulysses P. Hendrik Award for Best Student Paper in 2002).
  • Jeliazkova, E.A., and D.C. Percival. 2003. N and P fertilizers, some growth variables, and mycorrhizae in wild blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.). ActaHort. 626:294-304.
  • Jeliazkova, E., and D.C. Percival. 2003. The seasonal tolerance of the mycorrhizal association of the lowbush blueberry (Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.) to drought stress. Can. J. Pl. Sci. 83:583-586.

View more publications

Dr. Gordon Price

Specialties: Waste Management and Disposal of Specified Risk Materials (SRM), Degradation of Resistant Proteins in Soils and Biological Systems, Environmental Impact of Contaminants from Organic AmendmentsCurrent Research

  • Using Composting Systems for the Control of Prion-Mediated Diseases
  • Development of Novel Techniques to Trace the Decay of Degradation Resistant Proteins in Soils and Compost Systems
  • Monitoring of Pharmaceutical and Persistent Organic Pollutants in Soils and Aquatic Systems from the Land – Application of Municipal Biosolids
  • Characterization and Inventory of Organic Waste Feedstocks in Atlantic Canada
  • Evaluation of Waste to Energy Technologies
  • Bio-Fertilizer and Nursery Media Development from Traditional and Non-Traditional Organic Waste Feedstocks
  • Degradation of Resistant Proteins in Composts

Price, G.W., Voroney, R.P., and Chong, C. (2009) Crop performance on soils receiving annual papermill biosolid amendments with and without supplementary nitrogen. Can. J. Soil Sci. (in press)

Price, G.W., Voroney, R.P., and Gordon, A.M., (2009) Impacts of tree-based land use systems on earthworm populations in southern Ontario, Canada. Applied and Environmental Soil Science (in review).

Price, G.W. and Voroney, R.P. (2008) Response to annual applications of de-inked papermill biosolids by field earthworms on three agricultural soils. Applied Soil Ecology 38: 230-238.

Price, G.W. and Voroney, R.P. (2007) Papermill biosolid effects on soil physical and chemical properties. Journal of Environmental Quality 36: 1704-1714.

View more

Dr. Mehdi Sharifi

Dr. Sharifi has moved on from Nova Scotia, but during his short stay here, he worked on several projects, including: Bio-waste utilization in high-value organic vegetable cropping systems

  • Evaluation of shell fish sediments as soil amendment and/or weed suppressant
  • Evaluation of bio-waste compost and cover crops nutrient values for wine grape production
  • Wood-ash assessment for use in grape production
  • Evaluation of sustainable nutrient management practices to improve yield and quality in wine grape production
  • Bio-solids phosphorus forms, transformation and bio-availability in soil
  • Municipal solid food waste compost application and fertigation program modification in strawberry plasti-culture
  • Improving nitrogen management in field lettuce production by quantifying nitrate leaching
  • Soil nitrogen supply test for soils with a history of organic amendment application
  • Refining nitrogen management by quantifying nitrate leaching in lettuce production
  • Effect of bio-waste application and fertigation adjustment on strawberry plasti-culture yield and quality
  • Use of mussel sediments as soil amendment and/or weed suppressant; Career Focus Fund
  • Evaluation of bio-waste application effect on wine grape yield, soil quality and nitrate leaching
  • Assessment of mussel fish sediments as soil amendment in broccoli, potato and wine grape production

View Publications

Dr. Phil Warman

In 1981, Dr. Warman joined the Chemistry Dept. (now Environmental Science Dept.) at NSAC where he was Professor of Soil Science until his retirement on Feb. 29 2004.Dr. Warman is author or co-author of more than 90 scientific and technical papers and 15 technical reports including over 30 papers on compost and composting. His research interests include soil biochemistry, soil-plant relations, heavy metal bioavailability, composting of agricultural and industrial wastes (with emphasis on compost quality parameters) and the analysis and application of alternative fertilizers to soils and crops. He is the President and CEO of Coastal BioAgresearch Ltd. (CBA), a federally incorporated research and development company.View Publications

Organic Agricultural Centre of Canada

The Organic Agriculture Centre of Canada (OACC) conducts organic farming research and provides knowledge transfer and extension services for organic farmers.The OACC is committed to education by way of web courses in organic agriculture, organic farming methods, organic field crops, organic pest and weed management, organic livestock production, composting and transition to organic farming.On their website you will find information about Canada’s Organic Science Cluster, virtual farm tours of organic farms, organic news articles, organic standards, organic regulations and organic policy, to name a few. View website

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Scientific Staff and Expertise

Grimmett, Mark: soil, water and plant chemical analysis
Mills, Aaron: Soil biology and cropping systems
Rodd, A. Vernon: manure application on forage, lime, wood ash and municipal solid waste
Erin Smith: Senior Climate Adaptation Specialist; 902-896-2810
Peter Murphy: Soil and Water Technologist; 709-772-4604
Scott Anderson: Agricultural Water Engineer, 902-370-4767
Yefang Jiang: Senior Hydrogeologist, 902-370-4827


Print Friendly, PDF & Email