Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) Scholarship Program Recipients and Projects Funded for 2021/22

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Fourteen individual headshot photos of students with text 2021/22 scholars.

The Ontario Agri-Food Innovation Alliance and Food from Thought fund the Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) Scholarship Program to support the development of highly skilled graduates who can meet the changing demands of the agri-food and rural sector. HQP scholarships are awarded to master's and PhD students to support them while undertaking research that meets research priorities from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

Funding for HQP scholarships is awarded through an annual, competitive program. Applications are reviewed based on the proposed research, student goals, experience, academic background and benefits of the scholarship to the student.

The University of Guelph administers the HQP Scholarship Program and makes recommendations on funding awards to OMAFRA.

This page includes projects that were approved in 2021 for the 2021/22 funding cycle.

Protection & Assurance

Survivability and Persistence of Salmonella Strains and Serovars in Low Moisture Foods and Their Control Mechanisms

Research Summary

Investigate the growth kinetics of Salmonella in low moisture foods including Walnuts, Sunflower, and Wheat, by developing microbial survival data of the Salmonella in the three foods, followed by analysis of the data using artificial intelligence approaches to describe the behaviour of the bacteria via predictive mathematical growth models.

Lead Applicant
  Dharamdeo Singh

Control of Salmonella and Campylobacter in Poultry Production and Processing through the Application of Novel Technologies

Research Summary

Developing and comparing the efficacy of three novel intervention technologies to inactivate salmonella and campylobacter while retaining the hatchability of eggs or the quality characteristics of raw meat.

Lead Applicant
  Brenda Zai

Evaluation of the Efficacy of Colostrum as a Treatment for Diarrhea in Neonatal Dairy Calves

Research Summary

Evaluate the efficacy of colostrum as a therapy for diarrhoea in pre-weaned calves.

Lead Applicant
  Havelah Carter

Understanding the Genes and Metabolic Pathways Associated with the Resistance of Sheep to Gastrointestinal Nematodes and its Climate Change effects

Research Summary

This project will use novel -OMICS technologies, such as transcriptomics, to understand the underlying biological mechanisms/systems that confer parasite resistance in sheep, to develop robust methods for genetic selection of resistant animals.

Lead Applicant
  Olivia Willoughby

A Spatio-Temporal Model for the Spread of Fire Blight in Ontario Apple Orchards, an Investigation into Profit-Maximizing Control Strategies.

Research Summary

Provide an understanding of how the mechanisms that drive fire blight disease interplay by constructing a dynamic mathematical model. Upon completion of the model, control strategies will be investigated in order to provide apple growers with a profit-maximizing management practice.

Lead Applicant
  Michael Pupulin

 

Stewardship

Comparing Tractor Tires and Tracks for Their Effects on Compaction of Agricultural Soils using X-ray Computed Tomography

Research Summary

Better understand structural changes under compaction in southwestern Ontario soils to propose, within the context of compaction processes, how to possibly mitigate soil compaction.

Lead Applicant
  Olatunbosun Ayetan

Assessing the Influence of Functional and Structural Complexity of Organic Matter on Phosphorus Mobility, Crop Production, and Soil Health

Research Summary

Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, this research will characterize the carbon structure and functional groups in the wide range of organic soil amendments.

Lead Applicant
  Ibrahim Mohammed

Low-cost and Scalable Water Disinfection Technology Development for Livestock Farm Stormwater Treatment and Irrigation Re-Use

Research Summary

Develop and test a copper-based technology that overcomes limitations with comparable efficiency, consisting of a semi-continuously operated tubular filter unit containing internal copper structured elements with antimicrobial properties.

Lead Applicant
  Leonardo Melo

Impact of Seasonality on Nutrient Transport and Groundwater-Surface Water Interactions Under Temperate Climate Conditions in an Agriculturally-Intense Great Lakes Clay Plain Basin 

Research Summary

Study climate effects on nutrient and fluvial processes in rural southern Ontario to better inform land owners and policy makers of hydrologic vulnerabilities causing unsuccessful management efforts.

Lead Applicant
  Sarah Rixon

Home compostable Alternatives to Single-Use Packaging from Bacterial Bioplastics and Their Biocomposites

Research Summary

Provide a cost-competitive biobased alternative to single-use packaging for food products.

Lead Applicant
  Peter Zytner

Economic Development

Effectiveness of Various Cover Crops to Access Phosphorus From Struvite Fertilizer and the Effect on Subsequent Crop's

Research Summary

Test the ability of different cover crop species to access P from struvite and the impact on P availability for a subsequent corn crop.

Lead Applicant
  Daniel Colcuc

Production of Protein-Rich Snacks using Second Grade/Culled Peaches

Research Summary

The project will focus on product development and optimization and also the development of a commercial plan.

Lead Applicant
  Domenique Mastronardi

Physiological Analysis of Lodging and Yield Response to Plant Growth Regulators in Winter Wheat

Research Summary

Examine the use of four PGRs, including some newly approved products, across four winter wheat cultivars, two different nitrogen rates and three Ontario locations.

Lead Applicant
  Kurtis Pilkington

Identifying the Major On-Farm Factors Associated with Elevated Free fatty Acids (FFAs) in Dairy Cows' Milk

Research Summary

Identify the major on-farm factors contributing to elevated amounts of free fatty acids (FFAs).

Lead Applicant
  Hannah Woodhouse