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Researchers setting up a field experiment on a farm

Our (growing) research team

We are a brand new lab with exciting funded research projects for MSc and PhD graduate students to lead. Prospective graduate students with academic training and/or experience in agroecology, soil science, biogeochemistry, plant science, environmental sciences, and other relevant fields are encouraged to connect with me (

Prospective graduate students are encouraged to take a look at:

Environmental & Life Sciences Graduate Program

Graduate Scholarships and Awards

I am also seeking enthusiastic undergraduate students enrolled at Trent University who would like to gain experience conducing field and lab work in agricultural and environmental sciences.

Current lab members

Dr. Kira Borden

Dr. Kira Borden

Assistant Professor

Trent School of the Environment

I am an agroecologist with expertise in plant-soil interactions, plant functional ecology, and biogeochemical cycling. I've conducted my research over a range of agricultural environments that feature more plant diversity (such as with cover crops, intercropped vegetables, and various forms of agroforestry) across Canada, West Africa, and the Caribbean. Prior to my position at Trent, I earned my PhD from the University of Toronto and led research at The University of British Columbia and University of Guelph as an NSERC-Banting postdoctoral fellow.

I am thrilled to join the Trent School of the Environment and am leading several new research projects financially supported by NSERC (Discovery and Alliance grants), Trent University, and OMAFRA.

Dilrukshi Kombala Liyanage

Dilrukshi Kombala Liyanage

PhD student, University of Guelph

co-supervised with Dr. Claudia Wagner-Riddle

Dilrukshi earned her bachelor's degree in agricultural science from the University of Wayamba in Sri Lanka. She then earned her Master of Science in plant science from the University of Alberta in 2022, investigating the effects of drought stress on soybean. Her persistent interest in agriculture prompted her to pursue a Ph.D. in Environmental science at the University of Guelph. She aims to understand how the use of cover crop mixtures could optimize the greenhouse gas reduction benefit through increased diversity and complementary root-soil interactions of different species. Her long-term educational goal is to contribute to research on greenhouse gas emissions reduction. When not in the lab or the field, Dilrukshi enjoys painting, cooking and reading.

Victoria Vanslyke

Victoria VanSlyke

BSc Community Based Research Project

co-supervised with Dr. Autumn Watkinson

Victoria is working on a Trent Community Based Research project that examines the sale of carbon credits as an alternative source of income for Peterborough County farmers. Currently, in phase one, this project aims to help increase farmer income and sequester carbon, helping Canada to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

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