2024 CSSS Fellow Award Recipients

2024 Honorees

Diane Knight

University of Saskatchewan

Judith Nyiraneza

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada – Charlottetown


2024 CSSS Fellow Award to Dr. Diane Knight (UofS)

Dr. Diane Knight worked at the University of Saskatchewan for 26 years before retiring as a Professor of Soil Science in June of 2023. Both her PhD (1995) and MSc (1990) were earned from the Department of Plant Sciences at the Uof S, and she earned her BSc (1986) from the University of Calgary. Through her work as a Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Strategic Research Chair, Diane’s research focused on optimizing the role of N-fixing crops (shrubs, forage crops, pulse crops and herbs) in agroecosystems (traditional, organic and agroforestry), including rhizobial strain selection, inoculant development and delivery, and optimizing the role/placement of N-fixing crops in Prairie agricultural systems. Much of her research employed the use of stable isotopes (15N & 13C) to quantify and track nitrogen and carbon through agroecosystems and she served as the Director of the Department of Soil Science Stable Isotope Lab for 15 years. A mandate of the Research Chair position is to conduct research relevant for Saskatchewan producers, and over her career, Diane and her students presented at more than 400 extension events. Graduate supervision was always a priority for Diane, contributing to the supervision of 127 graduate students, 34 of those as primary supervisor. In 2023, Diane received the Women in Science Mentoring Award jointly awarded by the Agronomy, Crop, and Soil Science Societies of America—becoming the first Canadian to receive this award.

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2024 CSSS Fellow Award to Dr. Judith Nyiraneza

Dr. Nyiraneza holds a BSc in Agricultural Sciences, a MSc in Soil and Crop Sciences, and a PhD in Soil and Environment. Her research activities contribute to increasing the resiliency of agroecosystems. She developed a suite of soil regenerative management practices (nurse crops, summer and winter cover crops, conventional and alternative soil amendments), which enhance soil health and crop performance and reduce nitrate leaching to groundwater. She also identified novel strategies to enhance phosphorus  and nitrogen use efficiencies in potato cropping systems. Dr. Nyiraneza is leading a pan Canadian living laboratory project where scientists collaborate with growers to accelerate the adoption of environmentally friendly management practices. She is an adjunct professor at three institutions (Laval University, Dalhousie University, and University of Manitoba) and participates in training of highly qualified professionals by supervising graduate students. She was recently recognized as one of the six 2023 Influential Women in Canadian Agriculture. Judith disseminated research results to the scientific community and growers with more than 150 communications including 58 peer-reviewed scientific articles. Judith has served the CSSS in multiple ways such as Eastern Council, Associate Editor for the Canadian Journal of Soil Science, judge for graduate student presentations, session convener, active reviewer for the Canadian Journal of Soil Science and Canadian Journal of Plant Science (recognized as an outstanding reviewer by the Canadian Journal of Soil Science in 2015) and the Organizing Committee Chair for the 2021 CSSS virtual meeting.

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