2019 Eco Scholars

Congratulations to the 2019 Guelph Organic Conference Eco-Scholars!

Heather Beach B.Sc. Agriculture – University of Guelph

I grew up in Picton, in the scenic Prince Edward County, ON. I enjoyed nature and visiting the county’s farms. I have worked and volunteered on ecological market garden and livestock farms in Ontario, as well as in Sweden and France during my recent studies abroad.

I am passionate about agriculture as it offers the opportunity to be involved in addressing issues of social justice, nutrition, and the environment.

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Mbonella Phiri-Nkomo Environment, Health and Nutritional Sciences – University of Toronto

Born, raised, and socialized in Zambia where subsistence organic farming is a way of life, I am a 55 year old multilingual student who returned to part-time academia after a 14-year hiatus.

My undergraduate double major degrees are in Environment, Health and Nutritional Sciences and my aspirations are to own an off-the-grid Earth-ship and to speak about how regenerative sustainability positively impacts human and environmental health.

The food I eat, my backyard gardening practices, my indoor and outdoor living environments, my home management strategies as well as my personal care regimen are all predominantly organic.

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Karthika Sriskantharajah  Ph.D , Plant Agriculture – University of Guelph

I am a Ph.D. student at the department of Plant Agriculture and an Arrell scholar at the Arrell Food Institute at the University of Guelph. Currently I am working with Dr. Jayasankar Subramanian’s research group, with the aim of ‘how to reduce the postharvest losses of apple’ using hexanal, a natural plant-based product known to slow spoilage.

During my undergraduate in Sri Lanka and Masters’ in Japan, I have evaluated the impacts of various climate factors on sweet potato and rice production respectively.

Later, I worked with international groups such as Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) and trained more than thousand women farmers in the war affected northern Sri Lanka to produce biological pesticides, fertilizers and clean seeds.

I strongly believe in ‘Knowledge Mobilization’ to create and transfer innovative ideas. My ambition is to mobilize my knowledge and skills to the farming community to enhance healthy and environmentally friendly food production.

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Conner Platten  B.Sc. Agricultural Business – Dalhousie University

My name is Conner Platten, I’m originally from Edmonton, Alberta, and am currently pursuing an Agricultural Business Degree at Dalhousie University.

My academic interests lie in sustainable agricultural systems and aquaculture. When I’m not studying or working on projects you’ll find me skiing, cycling, cooking, or hanging out with my cat, Ice Tre.

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Tanner O’Hanlon  B.Sc. Organic Agriculture – University of Guelph

I am a fourth year University of Guelph student studying agriculture. I have always wanted to be an ecological farmer since I was a child and growing up in suburban Guelph.

I have created my own little farm in my back yard, where I tend a large garden and raise ducks and chickens. I can see myself in the future owning a small -scale farm and building a career in nutrient management and soil science.

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