Keynote Speaker: Tim Crews

Keynote Speaker: Tim Crews, PhD, Director of Research and Ecologist at The Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, USA

As Director, Tim helps administer collaborations between researchers at The Land Institute and universities and research institutes in over 10 countries, including Canada.  His own research focuses on carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus economies of perennial grain intercrops, especially grain-legume bicultures. Before joining the staff of The Land Institute, Tim was a professor at Prescott College in N. Arizona where he founded and directed an agroecology program.  He has been a resident visiting scientist at CSIRO Plant Industry in Australia and Rothamsted Research in the UK.  His PhD was in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University.

“Succession > Soil Development > Ecological Intensification: Going Where No Grains Have Gone Before!”: Many of the greatest challenges in agriculture - soil erosion, soil nutrient and carbon retention, weed competition, heavy crop losses to pests - are logical, predictable outcomes of a low diversity food producing ecosystem arrested in a highly disturbed, early successional state. Studies suggest that the development and establishment of diverse perennial grain crops will facilitate soil and ecosystem development in ways that have been unattainable under annual cropping regimes. With improved soil organic matter quality and quantity as a primary driver, a mid-successional agroecosystem is predicted to maintain a different and potentially more beneficial soil micro biome, while also achieving greater water and nutrient uptake efficiencies.