Plant Agriculture (PhD)

Male student takes sample in lab, while female student works at computer; both in lab coats

The PhD in Plant Agriculture program of study offers specialization in four broad fields of the Plant Sciences: 1) plant breeding and genetics; 2) plant biochemistry and physiology; 3) crop production systems; and 4) bioproducts.

  • Plant Breeding and Genetics has long been a key focus of our faculty and students. Through breeding and biotechnology, Guelph researchers help society by developing new field-crop, fruit, ornamental and vegetable cultivars that are grown in Canada and worldwide. Also, Plant Agriculture faculty and students seek both to understand the fundamental mechanisms that enable plant improvements and to discover novel methodologies and technologies that will be the foundation for future advances.

  • Plant Biochemistry and Physiology is a broad discipline. Faculty and students in this area study the response of plants to environmental change and plant development at the ecosystem, whole plant, and molecular levels. Students investigate ecologically friendly management strategies, study underlying molecular and biochemical mechanisms that regulate plant development, investigate how plant performance can be optimized in the field or closed environments, and contribute to cultivar development

  • Crop Production Systems research seeks to develop or test agricultural management strategies for yield improvement and economically and environmentally sound production practices in field and horticultural crops such as ornamentals and turf. Students assist producers and industry in the control of weeds, insects and plant diseases, and investigate new management protocols for production of high quality crops.

  • Bioproducts is a multi-disciplinary field that deals with background sciences ranging from chemical engineering to plant science. Students deal with products and materials made from cellulose, oil, protein, starch and other compounds derived from various plant parts such as seeds, stalks/stovers, hulls and cobs of crop plants. Students will develop their expertise in analytical methods, factors affecting quality of lant-derived raw materials, engineering (including bioengineering of bioproducts) biomaterials, and biocomposites.

Admission Requirements

Potential Faculty Advisors

This program is offered through the Department of Plant Agriculture. More details on this program are available through the department's Graduate Studies website.

What's it like to be a Plant Agriculture PhD student?

Sometimes the best way to learn about a program is through meeting a current student. Read about Nicole's experience as a PhD student here.

Meet the Profs

Say hello to the professors of the Department of Plant Agriculture in these 60 second snapshot videos. More faculty videos can be found here. 

Head shot of Darren Robinson with play button graphic overlaid.
Prof. Darren Robinson
 Weed Management
Head shot of Gopi Paliyath with play button graphic overlaid.
Prof. Gopi Paliyath
Biochemistry of Plants, Fruit Development
Head shot of Mary Ruth McDonald with play button graphic overlaid.
Prof. Mary Ruth McDonald
Plant Health and Protection

Find Out More

Here's a compiled list of helpful links about graduate school at the University of Guelph: 

Contact Us

Graduate Program Assistant:
Tara Israel
519-824-4120 ext 56077