2022 Council Members

Dr. Asim Biswas, President

Asim is an Associate Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph and an adjunct and visitor professor for three other universities. Before Guelph, Asim worked at McGill University (2013-2016), Canada and Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australia (2011-2013). Asim earned his PhD from University of Saskatchewan, Canada and MSc in Soil Science from University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India. Asim`s research program on sustainable soil management focuses on four major areas: a) developing sensors, mathematical algorithms and systems to characterize soil quickly and cheaply; b) calibrating and validating those sensors and optimizing sampling designs to validate sensors in highly spatially and temporally variable soil environments; c) characterizing soil in space and time based on sensor-collected data; and d) understanding soil processes for better and sustainable management through the development of decision support systems. I have been a member of CSSS since 2008 and was involved in organizing the 2015 CSSS annual meeting in Montreal. I also chaired the IUSS conference on Pedometrics in 2019. Currently, he serves as an Associate Editor for CJSS (since 2014) and six other journals and guest editing 5 different journal issues. I have authored or co-authored >139 journal papers, 14 book chapters, 16 proceeding papers, >175 conference abstracts, edited 2 books, and granted a patent. My research program is my graduate students. I have been involved in supervising/co-supervising >65 HQPs in last 6 years, and I currently have a well-funded research team of >20 members. I teach different soil courses at various levels.

Dr. Angela Bedard-Haughn, Past President

Angela is a Professor in the Department of Soil Science and Associate Dean Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at University of Saskatchewan. Born and raised in rural Saskatchewan, I completed my M.Sc. in Soil Science at USask and my Ph.D. at the University of California – Davis. My teaching and research are both field-focused, with emphasis on applied pedology: understanding how soils affect – and are affected by – climate and land use change. In recent years, my research and extension work has increasingly emphasized predictive soil mapping and soil information systems, recognizing that understanding the complex interactions between soils and their environment requires both refined spatially-referenced soil data (i.e., enhanced soil survey information in adaptable digital formats) and a mechanism for scientists collecting this data to share information regionally and nationally. I have been a member of CSSS since 2001, and served on the executive of the Pedology Committee since its inception in 2005 (secretary 2005-2018, co-chair 2018-present), as an Associate Editor of the CJSS 2012-2017, on the Elections Committee in 2012 (reviewing rules and by-laws), and as a member of the Education Committee since 2014. I look forward to facilitating cross-sector communication, data-sharing and collaboration and raising awareness of how soil scientists can contribute to addressing today’s greatest challenges: climate change, food security, and water security.
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Dr. Amanda Diochon, President Elect

Amanda is an associate professor in the Department of Geology at Lakehead University, where she is also the coordinator of the Water Resource Science program, the director of Lakehead University’s Environmental Laboratory, and lead on the soon to be established Centre for Healthy Ecosystems and Environmentally Conscious Economic Development. I completed my BSc in Biology and Aquatic Resources at St Francis Xavier University, MS in Geography at Northern Illinois University, PhD in Earth Science at Dalhousie University, and a post-doc at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa before heading to Thunder Bay. I am passionate about soil organic matter and understanding how environmental change impacts the cycling of this important resource in agricultural and forested systems. My group incorporates a variety of techniques to track changes in the soil organic matter pool that can be difficult to detect measuring stocks alone. Recently we’ve been investigating approaches for the conversion of forest to farmland that minimize soil organic matter losses, as well as the diversion of papermill residuals for land application in forests and agricultural fields. Another passion of mine is soil science education and outreach. This passion has been nurtured through my involvement with the CSSS and the Education Committee. As a group we have been examining trends in soil science education in Canada and best practises, and recently published the CSSS led Canadian e-textbook for learners. I am excited to work with members of the CSSS to expand our reach and inspire the next generation of soil scientists to meet the challenges of managing soils in a changing climate.
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Lee-Ann Nelson, M.Sc., P.Ag., Secretary

Lee-Ann is a soil scientist in the private sector at NorthWind Land Resources Inc. in Edmonton, Alberta where she works as a consultant to assist clients with the management of environmental liability through the completion of various site assessments and regulatory reports. I also complete post-reclamation soil audits in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, and contributes to soil reclamation research initiatives in the Region in an effort to better understand various soil cover designs and their level of success in the reclaimed landscape. I completed my Bachelor and Master of Science (M.Sc.) degrees at the University of Northern British Columbia in the Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Department. My M.Sc. thesis was completed through the Hakai Institute under the supervision of Dr. Paul Sanborn and Dr. Barbara Cade-Menun, and was focused on soil genesis, organic phosphorous pools, and forest productivity along an aeolian Holocene chronosequence located on Calvert Island, British Columbia. Prior to pursuing my M.Sc., I performed reclamation research at Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures in Edmonton where she assisted with a variety of projects including the long-term ecological recovery monitoring of reclaimed wellsites in Alberta, carbon monitoring in the Athabasca Oil Sands Region, validation of new technologies and soil amendments as well as a Quality Assurance and Quality Control project that assessed within and between laboratory reproducibility. I am excited to contribute to the Canadian Society of Soil Science and further their work on the dissemination of soil science.

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Dr. J. Diane Knight, Treasurer

I am a professor in the Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan and Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture Strategic Research Chair in Soil Biological Processes. My research uses stable isotopes to investigate biological nitrogen fixation and nitrogen movement, turn-over and efficiency of use by crops in rotations. My M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees are both in Plant Physiology and I have maintained the linkage between plants and soils in my academic career focusing on how crops interact to affect soil fertility and soil quality in crop rotations. I began my University studies with the goal of becoming a veterinarian and soon found myself far more interested in plants and soil than animals. I received my B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Calgary and my M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan and completed a PDF at the University of Minnesota under the tutelage of Drs. Deborah Allan and Carroll Vance. I have been a member of the CSSS for the past 15 years and served on the local organizing committee in both 2010 and 2019 when the CSSS annual meetings were held in Saskatoon. I am excited to give back to the Soil Science community by serving as the Society treasurer.
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Dr. Henry Chau, Western Councillor

I am a Senior Lecturer in Soil and Environmental Physics in the Department of Soil and Physical Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science at Lincoln University, New Zealand. Born and raised in Alix, a small farming community in central Alberta, I became interested in soil science while studying at the University of Alberta for my B.Sc. in biological sciences (Microbiology). Courses in soil sciences and soil microbiology shifted my focus to utilize my microbiology experience in agricultural and environmental contexts to solve global problems. The importance of research and science to the public resonated with me while on a Field Day visit hosted at Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) Canada. I decided to pursue postgraduate studies at the Department of Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan, where I received my PhD in Soil Physics. My research was aimed at understanding how soil water repellency and fungal hydrophobicity could alter the soil water dynamics in Brunisolic soils. I continued my academic journey to the opposite end of the world when I moved to Lincoln University, in 2014. My current research focus is to advance the understanding of the impacts of land use and management on soil physical and hydraulic properties, processes and related ecosystem functions that are essential for addressing global societal challenges of water and food security, sustainable land management, economic development, weather uncertainty and climate adaptation. I have been a member of CSSS since 2008, and an Associate Editor of the CJSS since 2021. I have regularly attended the annual meeting every year, to keep involved in soil matters in Canada, and to connect the Australasian soil science community to their Canadian counterparts. I am elated to give back to the soil science society by serving as the Western Councillor and look forward to working with the society to meet the needs of the community.
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Dr. Louis-Pierre Comeau, Eastern Councillor

Dr. Louis-Pierre Comeau started his Research Scientist appointment with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada after his postdoctoral fellowship at the Chinese University of Hong Kong in May 2017. Dr. Comeau previously completed a B.Sc. in Biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico; a M.Sc. in Soil Science at the University of Saskatchewan; and a PhD. in soil Science at the University of Aberdeen UK. His research focus is on landscape and soil carbon. Specifically, he is investigating ways to replenish soil organic matter from agricultural fields. His long term scientific goal is to contribute to knowledge about why some carbon molecules can remain stable in the soil for thousands of years.

Dr. Comeau currently collaborates in the “4 per 1000″ Initiative” which has the aim to demonstrate that an annual growth rate of 0.4% in the soil carbon stocks would mitigate an important fraction of the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere related to human emissions.

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Dr. M Anne Naeth, CJSS Editor-in-Chief

Anne Naeth PAg, PBiol, FCSSS, FSTLHE is a Professor of Land Reclamation and Restoration Ecology in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Alberta. She is Director of the Energy Systems Signature Area, Director of Future Energy Systems Research Program, Director of the Land Reclamation International Graduate School (LRIGS), and a Vargo Distinguished Teaching Chair. She served as Associate Dean (Academic) and Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Studies). She worked in government and industry and served on the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board for 14 years. She served on executives of numerous professional organizations, editorial boards and expert advisory boards, including president and various other positions with CSSS. Anne holds a BSc in biology; a double MSc (soil science, plant science) and PhD in land reclamation. Her land reclamation research program focuses on soils and plants, addressing soil-plant community development; plant species selection and establishment; impacts of non native species on native plant communities; bioengineering; native plants, their mycorrhizae and microbial communities; soil remediation, bioremediation and phytoremediation; soil amendments, particularly waste products such as compost, manure, sewage sludge and biosolids; and development of anthroposols. Her extensively published research led to policy changes that benefit the environment and industry and development of a new soil order for human built soils. She has supervised over 75 graduate students and mentored dozens of post doctoral fellows and undergraduate research students. Anne has received numerous awards recognizing her outstanding scholarship, teaching and community service, including the CLRA Noranda Land Reclamation Award, Mentors of the Millenium, Alumni Award of Excellence, Killam Professorship and Distinguished Agrologist, Rutherford Award of Excellence for Undergraduate Teaching, 18 Faculty Teacher of the Year Awards, the prestigious 3M Fellowship (top 10 teachers in Canada), and the University Cup (highest award from University of Alberta). She received the first University of Alberta NSERC CREATE grant to establish LRIGS, the first school of its kind in the world for multi-disciplinary training and professional development of land reclamation students.
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Erika Young, Graduate Student Representative

Erika is a Ph.D. student at Memorial University of Newfoundland and student researcher for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada working under the supervision of Dr. Adrian Unc and Dr. Claudia Goyer where I study underground food-web dynamics in predominantly boreal regions and the Atlantic provinces of Canada. I am currently evaluating the use of free-living nematodes as biotic indicators of change in soil quality induced by land use change, management, and climate change in boreal systems. I completed my B.Sc. in Environmental Science in 2016, and in 2017 attended training for the Identification of terrestrial and freshwater nematodes at the Netherlands Institute of Ecology and Wageningen University and Research Centre in Wageningen, Netherlands. This training allowed me to complete a M.Sc. in 2019 that assessed the variability of physicochemical parameters and nematode and microarthropod communities across land uses in podzols of Western Newfoundland and Central Labrador. My research interests include cold-climate agriculture, sustainable agriculture, the impacts of land use change on soil systems, and all things nematology.
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