About the Symposium

The Guelph Agricultural Sciences Symposium is bringing together several remarkable individuals with diverse perspectives and backgrounds to speak about current trends in plant sciences, such as handling big data, machine learning, and using cutting-edge technology for agricultural uses.

This event is open to students, staff, and faculty from the University of Guelph. All interested persons are welcome.

This event will be on November 15th, 2023 from 9:00am-4:00pm.  

Meet the 2023 Guelph Agricultural Sciences Symposium Organizing Committee

The Guelph Agriculture Sciences Symposium is organized by University of Guelph graduate students from the departments of the Ontario Agricultural College. 

Contact us at: symposium@uoguelph.ca


Kayleigh DeCoste

Position: Co-Chair

K. DeCoste

Kayleigh DeCoste is an MSc. candidate in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph. Her thesis research investigates the effects of different grazing management strategies on pasture productivity, pasture resiliency and animal yields with beef cow-calf pairs on Ontario pastures. The aim of her research is to develop optimal grazing management for Ontario producers to increase yields and profitability of their operation while decreasing the need for frequent pasture renovations, thus, increasing soil carbon sequestration. In her free time, Kayleigh enjoys reading, gardening and spending time outdoors. 


Emily McFaul

Position: Co-Chair 

E. McFaul

Emily McFaul is a MSc student in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on evaluating pathogen factors that affect disease severity and management. She is working on examining the progression of resistance of Stemphylium vesicarium to various fungicides and determining cultivar susceptibility to toxins produced by this pathogen. Through this, she hopes to improve current disease management practices for stemphylium leaf blight on onion and support sustainable onion production in the Holland Marsh, ON. In the future, she wishes to pursue a career in agricultural research, with a desire to reduce the inputs required for pest management while maintaining adequate levels of control. Outside of school, Emily enjoys volunteering, cooking, disc golf and camping. She is looking forward to connecting with professionals within the agricultural community to gain insight into current research and shortcomings of the agricultural production chain. 


Mariam Abu-El-Magd

Position: Speaker Liaison

M. Abu-El-Magd 

Mariam is a second year MSc student in the Department of Food Agriculture Resource Economics (FARE) at the University of Guelph. She is currently researching the impact of loyalty points on encouraging grocery shoppers to buying healthier food options. She believes that her research would open up new ways for policymakers and industry stakeholders to improve the food environment in Canada. In her spare time, Mariam enjoys playing soccer and tennis with her family and friends. 


Ed Flaherty

Position: Speaker Liaison

E. Flaherty 

Ed Flaherty is currently in his third year as a PhD candidate in the department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph. His research focuses on the effect of salinity stress on the phosphorylation status of the enzyme glutamate decarboxylase, subsequently influencing the metabolome of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana. His research aims to improve our understanding of the effect of salt stress in plants. In his spare time, Ed enjoys golfing, mountain biking, and spending time with family and friends. 


Isadora Bischoff Nunes
Position: Poster Session Coordinator

I. Bischoff Nunes 

Isadora Bischoff Nunes is a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on the plant-pathogen interactions between American ginseng and Ilyonectria mors-panacis regarding ginseng replant disease. She aims to elucidate the molecular aspects involved in this disease and possible influences by the bacterial soil community in ginseng fields, which can aid ginseng growers in Ontario for better management and possibly reduce crop losses. In the future, she wishes to become a professor and continue other lines of research in plant pathology. In her free time, she loves to read, travel, cook and learn new languages. She is looking forward to networking with agricultural professionals and peers. 


Marinda DeGier
Position: Treasurer

M. DeGier 

Marinda DeGier is a candidate pursuing a Master of Science in Plant Agriculture, currently in her final year of study at the University of Guelph. Her thesis focuses on evaluating a relay intercrop system in Ontario with winter canola and soybeans. Through this research, agronomic factors are explored that may help with driving the success of this cropping system. Outside of school, Marinda enjoys gardening, exploring the outdoors, and spending time with family and friends.

Akinade Adebayo Samson

Position: Social Media Coordinator

A. Adebayo Samson

Akinade Adebayo Samson is a Ph.D. student at the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety (CRIFS), Department of Food Science, University of Guelph. He is a Veterinarian from Nigeria with rich experience in poultry, swine, fish, and small animal medicine but has been fully involved with dairy cattle in the dairy development program in the last twelve years with FrieslandCampina, a global brand in dairy manufacturing and marketing. His current research focus is on the impacts of probiotics on cattle rumen functions and their influence on methane reduction (environmental health). The main feed of ruminants is plant-based, so he has always deeply participated in pasture development, forage cultivation, preservation, and conservation. He loves sports, public speaking, cooking, adventures, and volunteering.


Plant Sciences Symposia Series: Reaching the next generation of plant scientist since 2008

The Plant Sciences Symposium Series has been held at the University of Guelph since 2016.

For more information about the Plant Sciences Symposia Series, please visit their website.