U of G Researcher Wins Banting Fellowship

September 24, 2012 - News Release

University of Guelph researcher David Snider has received a prestigious Banting Post-doctoral Fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

The two-year awards, worth $70,000 a year, are open to Canadian and international researchers who have recently completed a PhD or equivalent or a health professions degree. The federal agency provides 70 of these awards each year.

Snider studies nutrient cycling in soils, sediments, surface waters and groundwater. He uses stable isotopes of nitrogen and oxygen to examine production and consumption of nitrous oxide — a potent greenhouse gas.

“I am elated to have been awarded this fellowship, especially since only two dozen awards were allocated to NSERC this year,” Snider said. “Although my fieldwork is being carried out locally at the Elora Research Station, nitrous oxide emissions are a global concern. Agricultural systems around the world have great potential to lower their emissions. The real trick, however, is figuring out how to feed an exponentially growing population in the midst of a changing climate, while at the same time reducing our environmental impact.”

Working with Prof. Claudia Wagner-Riddle, School of Environmental Sciences, he hopes to learn how greenhouse gases, especially nitrous oxide, are produced in agricultural systems and to develop successful mitigation strategies.

“The Banting Fellowship is a very competitive program,” Wagner-Riddle said. “With only 24 NSERC recipients in Canada — and few awarded in environmental science — this is an incredible achievement for David. The award speaks to the novelty of the research he is proposing. He brings expertise in stable isotope biogeochemistry to my research group, and our research work together will have important applications in the future reduction of the carbon footprint of food production.”

Snider said: “We’re combining scientific tools from two disciplines that do not normally mix to gain a much better understanding of the physical and microbiological processes that lead to large greenhouse gas fluxes.”

He studied environmental biology at U of G and earned a PhD in earth and environmental sciences at the University of Waterloo.

The Banting Post-doctoral Fellowships Program is intended to attract and retain top researchers and to develop leaders who will contribute to Canada’s economic, social and research success.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or lhunt@uoguelph.ca, or Shiona Mackenzie, Ext. 56982, or shiona@uoguelph.ca.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1