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

Current research and/or projects

Currently, we are assessing soil organic carbon and nitrogen links to microbial community composition and diversity as well as enzyme activity. This may help to determine how to optimize the function of soil while maximizing carbon sequestration, crop performance and soil biodiversity. We also assess how soil health is altered by long-term intensive agricultural management, a reality faced by many multi-generation farmers in Canada but one particularly unique to the Fraser Valley of British Columbia.

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, Renewable Resources: Soil Science, McGill University (2016)

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

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

Key publications

  1. 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?. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, [online] 24(33), 26142-26147. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11356-017-0392-5

    2017 - View publication details

  2. 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. Geoderma, [online] 305 92-99. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2017.05.021

    2017 - View publication details

  3. 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. Soil Science Society of America Journal, [online] 81(6), 1537-1547. http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2017.04.0123

    2017 - View publication details

  4. 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. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, [online] 98(1), 136-147. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjss-2017-0052

    2017 - View publication details

  5. Zhang, Y., Shen, H., He, X., Thomas, B.W., Lupwayi, N.Z., Hao, X., Thomas, M.C., Shi, X. (2017). Fertilization shapes bacterial community structure by alteration of soil pH. Frontiers in Microbiology, [online] 8(JUL), http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.01325

    2017 - View publication details

  6. Thomas, B.W., Hao, X. (2017). Nitrous oxide emitted from soil receiving anaerobically digested solid cattle manure. Journal of Environmental Quality, [online] 46(4), 741-750. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2017.02.0044

    2017 - View publication details

  7. Thomas, B.W., Li, X., Nelson, V., Hao, X. (2017). Anaerobically digested cattle manure supplied more nitrogen with less phosphorus accumulation than undigested manure. Agronomy Journal, [online] 109(3), 836-844. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/agronj2016.12.0719

    2017 - View publication details

  8. Thomas, B.W., Luo, Y., Li, C., Hao, X. (2017). Utilizing Composted Beef Cattle Manure and Slaughterhouse Waste as Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fertilizers for Calcareous Soil. Compost Science & Utilization, [online] 25(2), 102-111. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1065657X.2016.1219681

    2017 - View publication details

  9. Thomas, B.W., Larney, F.J., Chantigny, M.H., Goyer, C., Hao, X. (2017). Fall rye reduced residual soil nitrate and dryland spring wheat grain yield. Agronomy Journal, [online] 109(2), 718-728. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/agronj2016.10.0616

    2017 - View publication details

  10. Thomas, B.W., Hao, X., Larney, F.J., Goyer, C., Chantigny, M.H., Charles, A. (2017). Non-legume cover crops can increase non-growing season nitrous oxide emissions. Soil Science Society of America Journal, [online] 81(1), 189-199. http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2016.08.0269

    2017 - View publication details

  11. Thomas, B.W., Hao, X., Willms, W.D. (2017). Soil organic carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus 13 yr after abruptly disturbing Northern Great Plains grassland. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, [online] 97(2), 329-333. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjss-2016-0113

    2017 - View publication details

  12. Hao, X., Thomas, B.W., Nelson, V., Li, X. (2016). Agronomic values of anaerobically digested cattle manure and the separated solids for barley forage production. Soil Science Society of America Journal, [online] 80(6), 1572-1584. http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2016.05.0132

    2016 - View publication details

  13. Yang, Z., Li, Y., Li, P., Zhang, F., Thomas, B.W. (2016). Effect of difference between day and night temperature on tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) root activity and low molecular weight organic acid secretion. Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, [online] 62(5-6), 423-431. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00380768.2016.1224449

    2016 - View publication details

  14. Li, P., Lang, M., Li, C., Thomas, B.W., Hao, X. (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, [online] 227(10), http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11270-016-3094-6

    2016 - View publication details

  15. Thomas, B.W., Whalen, J.K., Sharifi, M., Chantigny, M., Zebarth, B.J. (2016). Labile organic matter fractions as early-season nitrogen supply indicators in manure-amended soils. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science, [online] 179(1), 94-103. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jpln.201400532

    2016 - View publication details

  16. Thomas, B.W., Sharifi, M., Whalen, J.K., Chantigny, M.H. (2015). Mineralizable nitrogen responds differently to manure type in contrasting soil textures. Soil Science Society of America Journal, [online] 79(5), 1396-1405. http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/sssaj2015.03.0124

    2015 - View publication details