Ben W Thomas, Ph.D.

Image Ben W. Thomas
Research Scientist – Agroecology

Our program studies how ecological processes regenerate and sustain agroecosystems.

Direct line: 604-799-6765

Office: 604-796-6086

Current research and/or projects

Currently, we are assessing how soil organic carbon fractionates through the various soil organic matter pools in manure-amended soils. This is help to determine the carbon sequestration potential of manure-amended soils. We also assess how the soil's health is altered by long-term intensive agricultural management, a reality faced by many multi-generation farmers in Canada.

Research and/or project statements

FULL PEER-REVIEWED PUBLICATION RECORD (*I was corresponding author)

Invited Book Chapters

2019      01. Whalen, J.K., B.W. Thomas, M. Sharifi. 2019. Novel practices and smart technologies to maximize the nitrogen fertilizer value of manure for crop production in cold humid temperate regions. Advances in Agronomy 153:1–85.

 

Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journal Articles

2021      34. Stoeckli, J.L., M. Sharifi, D. Hooker, B.W. Thomas, F. Khaefi, G. Stewart, I. McDonald, B. Deen, C.F. Drury, B.L. Ma, H.R. Motaghian. 2021. Predicting soil nitrogen availability to grain corn in Ontario, Canada. Canadian Journal of Soil Science (In Press)

 

2021      33. Liu, R. B.W. Thomas, X. Shi, X. Zhang, Z. Wang, Y. Zhang. 2021. Effects of ground cover management on improving water and soil conservation in tree crop systems: A meta-analysis. Catena 199:105085

 

2021      32. Shah, S.H.H., J. Wang, X. Hao, B.W. Thomas. 2021. Modeling the effect of salt-affected soil on water balance fluxes and nitrous oxide emission using modified DNDC. Journal of Environmental Management 280:111678.

 

2020      31. Owens, J.L. B.W. Thomas, J.L. Stoeckli, K.A. Beauchemin, T. McAllister, F.J. Larney, X. Hao. 2020. Greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions from stored manure from beef cattle supplemented 3-nitrooxypropanol and monensin to reduce enteric methane emissions. Scientific Reports 10:19310.

 

2020      30. Zhang, Y., X. Gao, X. Hao, T.W. Alexander, X. Shi, L. Jin, B.W. Thomas*. 2020. Heavy grazing over 64 years reduced soil bacterial diversity in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Canada. Applied Soil Ecology 147:103361.

 

2019      29. Shen, J., R. Treu, J. Wang, X. Hao, B.W. Thomas. 2019. Modeling growing season and annual cumulative nitrous oxide emissions and emission factors from organically fertilized soils planted with barley in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. Agricultural Systems 176:102654.

 

2019      28. Lupwayi, N.Z., Y. Zhang, X. Hao, B.W. Thomas, A.H. Eastman, T.D. Schwinghamer. 2019. Linking soil microbial biomass and enzyme activities to long-term manure applications and their nonlinear legacy. Pedobiologia 74:34–42.

 

2019      27. An, H., B. Zhang, B.W. Thomas, R. Beck, W.D. Willms, Y. Li, X. Hao. 2019. Short term recovery of soil and vegetation after abandoning cultivated mixedgrass prairie in Alberta, Canada. Catena 173:321–329.

 

2019      26. *Thomas, B.W., D. Hunt, S. Bittman, K.D. Hannam, A.J. Messiga, D. Haak, M. Sharifi, X. Hao. 2019. Soil health indicators after 21 yr of no-tillage in south coastal British Columbia. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 99: 222–225.

 

2018      25. Thomas, B.W., X. Gao, M. Zhang, E.W. Bork, X. Hao. 2018. Grazing altered carbon exchange in a dry mixedgrass prairie as a function of soil texture. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 98:136–147.

 

2018      24. Zhang, B., B.W. Thomas, R. Beck, W.D. Willms, M. Zhao, X. Hao. 2018b. Slope position regulates carbon and nitrogen stock response to cattle grazing on Rough Fescue grassland. Journal of Soils and Sediments 18:3228–3234.

 

2018      23. Shrestha, N.K., B.W. Thomas, X. Du, X. Hao, J. Wang. 2018. Modelling nitrous oxide emissions from rough fescue grassland soils subjected to long term grazing of different intensities using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). Environmental Science & Pollution Research 25:27362–27377.

 

2018     22. Gao, X., B.W. Thomas, R. Beck, D.J. Thompson, M. Zhang, W.D. Willms, X. Hao. 2018. Long-term grazing alters soil trace gas fluxes from grasslands in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Canada. Land Degradation & Development 29:292–302.

 

2018      21. Zhang, B., B.W. Thomas, R. Beck, K. Liu, M. Zhao, X. Hao. 2018a. Labile soil organic matter in response to long-term cattle grazing on sloped rough fescue grassland in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Alberta. Geoderma 318:9–15.

 

2018      20. Zhang, Y., X. Hao, T.W Alexander, B.W. Thomas, X. Shi, N.Z. Lupwayi. 2018. Long-term and legacy effects of manure application on soil microbial communities. Biology and Fertility of Soils 54:269–283.

 

2018      19. Beres, B.L., R.J. Graf, R.B. Irvine, J.T. O’Donovan, K.N. Harker, E.N. Johnson, S. Brandt, X. Hao, B.W. Thomas, T.K. Turkington, F.C. Stevenson. 2018. Enhanced nitrogen management strategies for winter wheat production in the Canadian Prairies. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 98:683–702.

 

2017      18. Thomas, B.W., X. Gao, R. Beck, X. Hao. 2017g. Are distinct nitrous oxide emission factors required for cattle urine and dung deposited on pasture in western Canada? Environmental Science and Pollution Research 24:26142–26147.

 

2017      17. Thomas, B.W., X. Gao, J.L. Stoeckli, R. Beck, K. Liu, K.M. Koenig, B.L. Beres, X. Hao. 2017f. Nitrapyrin reduced nitrous oxide emissions from beef cattle urine patches on a semiarid tame pasture. Soil Science Society of America Journal 81:1537–1547.

 

2017      16. Thomas, B.W., X. Hao. 2017. Nitrous oxide emitted from soil receiving anaerobically digested solid cattle manure. Journal of Environmental Quality 46:741–750.

 

2017      15. Thomas, B.W., X. Li, V. Nelson, X. Hao. 2017e. Anaerobically digested cattle manure supplied more nitrogen with less phosphorus accumulation than undigested manure. Agronomy Journal 109:836–844.

 

2017      14. Thomas, B.W., F.J. Larney, M.H. Chantigny, C. Goyer, X. Hao. 2017d. Fall rye reduced residual soil nitrate and dryland spring wheat grain yield. Agronomy Journal 109:718–728.

 

2017      13. Thomas, B.W., X. Hao, W.D. Willms. 2017c. Soil organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus thirteen years after abruptly disturbing Northern Great Plains grassland. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 97:329–333.

 

2017      12. Thomas, B.W., X. Hao, F.J. Larney, C. Goyer, M.H. Chantigny, A. Charles. 2017b. Non-legume cover crops can increase non-growing season nitrous oxide emissions. Soil Science Society of America Journal 81:189–199.

 

2017      11. Thomas, B.W., Y. Luo, C. Li, X. Hao. 2017a. Utilizing composted beef cattle manure and slaughterhouse waste as nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers for calcareous soil. Compost Science & Utilization 25:102–111.

 

2017      10. Zhang, Y., W. de Vries, B.W. Thomas, X. Hao, X. Shi. 2017b. Impacts of long-term nitrogen fertilization on acid buffering rates and mechanisms of a slightly calcareous clay soil. Geoderma 305:92–99.

 

2017      09. Zhang, Y., H. Shen, X. He, B.W. Thomas, N.Z. Lupwayi, X. Hao, M.C. Thomas, X. Shi. 2017a. Fertilization shapes bacterial community structure by alteration of soil pH. Frontiers in Microbiology doi:10.3389/fmicb.2017.01325.

 

2016      08. Thomas, B.W., J.K. Whalen, M. Sharifi. 2016b. Short-term nitrogen dynamics in soil amended with poultry litter containing woodchip bedding. Canadian Journal of Soil Science 96:427–434.

 

2016      07. Thomas, B.W., J.K. Whalen, M. Sharifi, M.H. Chantigny, B.J. Zebarth. 2016a. Labile organic matter fractions as early-season nitrogen supply indicators in manure-amended soils. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science 179:94–103.

 

2016      06. Hao, X., B.W. Thomas, V. Nelson, X. Li. 2016. Agronomic values of anaerobically digested cattle manure and the separated solids for barley forage production. Soil Science Society of America Journal 80:1572–1584.

 

2016      05. Li, P., M. Lang, C. Li, B.W. Thomas, X. Hao. 2016. Nutrient leaching from soil amended with manure and compost from cattle fed diets containing wheat dried distillers’ grains with solubles. Water, Air & Soil Pollution 227:1–13.

 

2016      04. Yang, Z., Y. Li, P. Li, F. Zhang, B.W. Thomas. 2016. Effect of difference between day and night temperature on tomato root activity and low molecular weight organic acid secretion. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition 62:423–431.

 

2015      03. Thomas, B.W., M. Sharifi, J.K. Whalen, M.H. Chantigny. 2015. Mineralizable nitrogen responds differently to manure type in contrasting soil textures. Soil Science Society of America Journal 79:1396–1405.

 

2015      02. Gul, S., J.K. Whalen, B.W. Thomas, V. Sachdeva, H. Deng. 2015. Physico-chemical properties and microbial responses in biochar-amended soils: Mechanisms and future directions. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 206:46–59.

 

2013      01. Whalen, J.K., M.L. Kernecker, B.W. Thomas, V. Sachdeva, C. Ngosong. 2013. Soil food web controls on nitrogen mineralization are influenced by agricultural practices in humid temperate climates. CAB Reviews Perspectives in Agriculture Veterinary Science Nutrition and Natural Resources 8:1–18.

Professional activities / interests

Agronomy Section Editor, Canadian Journal of Plant Science

Canadian Journal of Plant Science Representative, Canadian Society of Agronomy Executive Committee

Associate Editor, Canadian Journal of Soil Science

 

Education and awards

Doctor of Philosophy (Natural Resource Sciences), McGill University (2016)

Master of Resource and Environmental Management, Dalhousie University (2012)

Bachelor of Science (Biology), University of Prince Edward Island (2009)

Key publications

  1. Owens, J.L., Thomas, B.W., Stoeckli, J.L., Beauchemin, K.A., McAllister, T.A., Larney, F.J., Hao, X. (2020). Greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions from stored manure from beef cattle supplemented 3-nitrooxypropanol and monensin to reduce enteric methane emissions, 10(1), http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-75236-w

    2020 - View publication details

  2. Zhang, Y., Gao, X., Hao, X., Alexander, T.W., Shi, X., Jin, L., Thomas, B.W. (2020). Heavy grazing over 64 years reduced soil bacterial diversity in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Canada, 147 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsoil.2019.09.011

    2020 - View publication details

  3. Lupwayi, N.Z., Zhang, Y., Hao, X., Thomas, B.W., Eastman, A.H., Schwinghamer, T.D. (2019). Linking soil microbial biomass and enzyme activities to long-term manure applications and their nonlinear legacy, 74 34-42. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pedobi.2019.04.001

    2019 - View publication details

  4. An, H., Zhang, B., Thomas, B.W., Beck, R., Willms, W.D., Li, Y., Hao, X. (2019). Short term recovery of vegetation and soil after abandoning cultivated mixedgrass prairies in Alberta, Canada, 173 321-329. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2018.10.017

    2019 - View publication details

  5. Xiying Hao, Jessica Stoeckli, and Ben W. Thomas. 2019. Assessing Soil Health Indicators for Manure-Amended Soils. Manure Management Update 2019. Jan 14, 2019. Lethbridge, AB. Canada

    2019 - View publication details

  6. Whalen, J.K., B.W. Thomas, M. Sharifi. 2019. Novel practices and smart technologies to maximize the nitrogen fertilizer value of manure for crop production in cold humid temperate regions. Advances in Agronomy 153:1–85.

    2019 - View publication details

  7. Zhang, B., Thomas, B.W., Beck, R., Willms, W.D., Zhao, M., Hao, X. (2018). Slope position regulates response of carbon and nitrogen stocks to cattle grazing on rough fescue grassland, 18(11), 3228-3234. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11368-018-1992-5

    2018 - View publication details

  8. Shrestha, N.K., Thomas, B.W., Du, X., Hao, X., Wang, J. (2018). Modeling nitrous oxide emissions from rough fescue grassland soils subjected to long-term grazing of different intensities using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT), 25(27), 27362-27377. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-018-2719-2

    2018 - View publication details

  9. Thomas, B.W.*, J.K. Whalen, M. Sharifi, M.H. Chantigny, X. Hao. 2018. Nitrogen mineralization in sandy loam and silty clay soils receiving liquid swine and dairy cattle manure. Joint Annual Meeting of Canadian Geophysical Union-Canadian Soil Science Society-Computational Infrastructure in Geodynamics-Eastern Section of the Seismological Society of America-Canadian Society for Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. Niagara Falls, ON, Canada. June 10–14, 2018.

    2018 - View publication details

  10. Jen Owens, Xiying Hao, Ben W. Thomas, Jessica L. Stoeckli, Francis J. Larney, Karen A. Beauchemin, Tim A. McAllister. 2018. Do the effects of dietary greenhouse gas inhibitors persist in beef cattle manure during composting and stockpiling? 2018 Joint Meeting of the CGU-CSSS-CIG-CSAFM-ESSSA. June 10-14, 2018. Niagara Falls, ON. Canada.

    2018 - View publication details

  11. X. Hao, J.L. Owens, B.W. Thomas, J.L. Stoeckli. 2018. Legacy Effect of Cattle Manure Application on Greenhouse Gas Emission. 2018 CGU, CSSS, CIG, Es-SSA and CSAFM joint annual meeting. June 10-14, 2018. Niagara Falls, ON, Canada

    2018 - View publication details

  12. Zhang, B., Thomas, B.W., Beck, R., Liu, K., Zhao, M., Hao, X. (2018). Labile soil organic matter in response to long-term cattle grazing on sloped rough fescue grassland in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Alberta, 318 9-15. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2017.12.019

    2018 - View publication details

  13. Soden, C, Hao X, Thomas BW, Stoeckli K, Floate K, Lupwayi N. 2018. Could dung pats treated with and without ivermectin affect insect activities and impact soil available nitrogen on native pasture? 2018 Alberta Soil Science Workshop, Edmonton AB, Feb 20-22, 2018.

    2018 - View publication details

  14. Zhang, Y., Hao, X., Alexander, T.W., Thomas, B.W., Shi, X., Lupwayi, N.Z. (2018). Long-term and legacy effects of manure application on soil microbial community composition, 54(2), 269-283. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00374-017-1257-2

    2018 - View publication details

  15. Gao, X., Thomas, B.W., Beck, R., Thompson, D.J., Zhao, M., Willms, W.D., Hao, X. (2018). Long-Term Grazing Alters Soil Trace Gas Fluxes from Grasslands in the Foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Canada, 29(2), 292-302. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ldr.2664

    2018 - View publication details

  16. Hao, X., C. Soden, J. Stoeckli, B.W. Thomas, K.D. Floate and N. Lupwayi. 2018. Could insect activities reduce greenhouse gas emissions from dung pats? 71st Annual Meeting of the Society for Range Management, Sparks, Nevada, 28 January – 02 February. [oral presentation]

    2018 - View publication details

  17. Thomas, B.W., Stoeckli, J.L., Beck, R., Liu, K., Koenig, K.M., Beres, B.L., Hao, X., Gao, X. (2017). Nitrapyrin reduced nitrous oxide emissions from beef cattle urine patches on a semiarid tame pasture, 81(6), 1537-1547. http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2017.04.0123

    2017 - View publication details

  18. Thomas, B.W., Gao, X., Beck, R., Hao, X. (2017). Are distinct nitrous oxide emission factors required for cattle urine and dung deposited on pasture in western Canada?, 24(33), 26142-26147. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-0392-5

    2017 - View publication details

  19. Zhang, Y., de Vries, W., Thomas, B.W., Hao, X., Shi, X. (2017). Impacts of long-term nitrogen fertilization on acid buffering rates and mechanisms of a slightly calcareous clay soil, 305 92-99. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2017.05.021

    2017 - View publication details

  20. Thomas, B.W., Gao, X., Zhao, M., Bork, E.W., Hao, X. (2017). Grazing altered carbon exchange in a dry mixed-grass prairie as a function of soil texture, 98(1), 136-147. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjss-2017-0052

    2017 - View publication details

Research facility

6947 Highway 7
PO Box 1000
Agassiz, BC V0M 1A2
Canada

Affiliations

Member, Canadian Society of Agronomy

Member, Soil Science Society of America

Member, American Society of Agronomy

Member, Crop Science Society of America

Language

English