Dr. Bao-Luo Ma

Image Bao-Luo Ma
Research Scientist

Dr. Ma conducts nationally and internationally recognized research that supports the STB science priorities of identifying plant traits for cultivar improvement, and designing best management strategies and crop production systems that improve agriculture productivity, sustainability and profitability.

Specifically, his research projects are designed to understand crop plant reactions to abiotic stresses as well as to develop risk assessment technologies for different environment-induced stresses in crop stand establishment, growth, development, and yield formation under nutrient-limited (deficiency or over-fertilization), saline, drought, cold, crowded or other adverse conditions.  The overall objectives are identification, understanding, and mitigation of risks associated with abiotic stresses impacting cropping systems. 

Current research and/or projects

Improving Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Soil Sustainability in Canola Production across Canada

Breeding, Genomics, and Agronomy Research to Improve Oat Yield and Quality

Investigation of Critical Tissue Sulfur Concentration and Nitrogen to Sulfur Ratio for Optimizing Canola Production in Eastern Canada

Research and/or project statements

Developing crop-based indicators for detecting abiotic stresses and sensing crop nutrient requirements

Systematic assessment of nutrient cycling in agroecosystems

Understanding the physiological basis for the growth, development and yield of oats and other field crops

Mitigating risks of abiotic stresses impacting crop production systems

Professional activities / interests

Improving nutrient use efficiency of grain cereal and oilseed crops

Developing best management practices

Advancing knowledge and developing technologies for more efficient use of plant nutrients and achieve concurrent improvements in NUE, crop yields, and producers' profit as well as sustaining the environment across different ecoregions in Canada

Education and awards

Ph.D. Agronomy, McGill University, 1991

Fellow, American Society of Agronomy, 2007

Fellow, Canadian Society of Agronomy, 2011

Fellow of Crop Science Society of America, 2012


International experience and/or work

Served two 3-year terms as the Technical Editor of Crop Science journal

Served a 3-year term as a Senior Associate Editor of Agronomy Journal

Co-supervised MSc. and PhD students, supervised post-doctoral fellows and international professors / researchers

Served as external examiner for PhD theses of Canadian and international universities

Key publications

  1. Guo, X., Nan, Y., He, H., Ma, B.L., McLaughlin, N.B., Wu, X., Chen, B., Gao, Y. (2021). Post-flowering nitrogen uptake leads to the genotypic variation in seed nitrogen accumulation of oilseed rape, 461(1-2), 281-294. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11104-020-04815-7

    2021 - View publication details

  2. Ma, B.L. 2020. A nutrient balance approach to growing canola in Eastern Canada. Canala FactSheets. Eastern Canada Oilseed Development Alliance (ECODA). Charlottetown, PEI Canada. https://www.ecodainc.ca/fertility/

    2020 - View publication details

  3. Ma, B.L., Zheng, Z.M., de Silva, N., Whalen, J.K., Pageau, D., Vanasse, A., Caldwell, C., Earl, H., Smith, D.L. (2020). Graphical analysis of nitrogen and sulfur supply on yield and related traits of canola in eastern Canada, 118(3), 293-309. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10705-020-10097-3

    2020 - View publication details

  4. Ma, B.L. 2019. Crop rotation: An effective system to improve crop production efficiency and minimize C footprints. Invited keynote speaker presentation at the 6th International Symposium on Environment, Natural Resources and Ecological Conservation (ISENREC2019). Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada, November 24-30.

    2019 - View publication details

  5. Ma, B.L. 2018. Improving nitrogen use efficiency through balanced N and S supply for optimal canola production. Oral presentation at the 21st World Congress of Soil Science. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 12-17

    2018 - View publication details

  6. Wu, W., B.L. Ma, J.K. Whalen. 2018. Root growth and root system architecture: Potential for enhancing rapeseed tolerance to heat stress in a changing climate. Adv. Agron. 151: 87-151.

    2018 - View publication details

  7. Ma, B.L., and W. Wu. 2018. A new method for assessing plant lodging and canola root system architecture. Oral presentation at the 14th International Conference on Precision Agriculture. Montreal, QC, Jun 24-27.

    2018 - View publication details

  8. Wu, W., Ma, B.L. (2018). Assessment of canola crop lodging under elevated temperatures for adaptation to climate change, 248 329-338. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2017.09.017

    2018 - View publication details

  9. Li, P.F., Ma, B.L., Xiong, Y.C. (2018). Modern hexaploid wheat differs from diploid and tetraploid ancestors in the importance of stress tolerance versus stress avoidance, 69(3), 265-277. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/CP17224

    2018 - View publication details

  10. Li, P.F., B.L. Ma*, Y.C. Xiong, and W.Y. Zhang. 2017. Morphological and physiological responses of different wheat genotypes to chilling stress: A cue to explain yield loss. J. Sci. Food Agric. (in press).

    2017 - View publication details

  11. Yan, W., Fregeau-Reid, J., Ma, B.L., Pageau, D., Vera, C. (2017). Nitrogen fertilizer complements breeding in improving yield and quality of milling oat, 57(6), 3291-3302. http://dx.doi.org/10.2135/cropsci2017.05.0290

    2017 - View publication details

  12. Junjie Yu, Bahram Baninasab, Shuhui Xu, Mirko Tabori, Yuxue Zhang, Xuelian Wang, Ian DeSchiffart, Yolande Dalpé, Franck Stefani , Sylvie Séguin, Baoluo Ma, Chenwu Xu, & Shahrokh Khanizadeh, 2017. Effect of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi on tolerance and growth of selected spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) lines under salinity stress. Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment (JFAE) Vol.15 (3&4):40- 47

    2017 - View publication details

  13. Herath, A., Ma, B.L., Shang, J., Liu, J., Dong, T., Jiao, X., Kovacs, J.M., Walters, D. (2017). On-farm spatial characterization of soil mineral nitrogen, crop growth, and yield of canola as affected by different rates of nitrogen application, 98(1), 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjss-2017-0024

    2017 - View publication details

  14. Morrison, M.J., Cober, E.R., Gregorich, E.G., Voldeng, H.D., Ma, B., Topp, G.C. (2017). Tillage and crop rotation effects on the yield of corn, soybean, and wheat in eastern Canada, 98(1), 183-191. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjps-2016-0407

    2017 - View publication details

  15. Wu, W., Duncan, R.W., Ma, B.L. (2017). Quantification of canola root morphological traits under heat and drought stresses with electrical measurements, 415(1-2), 229-244. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11104-016-3155-z

    2017 - View publication details

  16. Ma, B.L., and Z.G. Wang. 2017. Crop rotation: A sustainable system for maize production. p.181-202. In Walson, D. (ed.) Achieving Sustainable Maize Cultivation. Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing Ltd., Swanston, Cambridge, UK.

    2017 - View publication details

  17. Jing, Q., Qian, B., Shang, J., Huffman, T., Liu, J., Pattey, E., Dong, T., Tremblay, N., Drury, C.F., Ma, B.L., Jégo, G., Jiao, X., Kovacs, J., Walters, D., Wang, J. (2017). Assessing the options to improve regional wheat yield in eastern canada using the csm–ceres–wheat model, 109(2), 510-523. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/agronj2016.06.0364

    2017 - View publication details

  18. Zhang, T.Q., Tan, C.S., Wang, Y.T., Ma, B.L., Welacky, T. (2017). Soil phosphorus loss in tile drainage water from long-term conventional- and non-tillage soils of Ontario with and without compost addition, 580 9-16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.12.019

    2017 - View publication details

  19. Ma, B.L. 2017. Developing a non-destructive method for assessing root lodging in canola. Oral presentation at the Ontario Soybean and Canola Committee Research Activity Workshop. Four Point Sheraton Hotel, London, ON. Jan. 19.

    2017 - View publication details

  20. Nimir, N.E.A., Zhou, G., Guo, W., Ma, B., Lu, S., Wang, Y. (2017). Effect of foliar application of GA3, kinetin, and salicylic acid on ions content, membrane permeability, and photosynthesis under salt stress of sweet sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench], 97(3), 525-535. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjps-2016-0110

    2017 - View publication details

Research facility

960 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6


Adjunct Professor, McGill University

Adjunct Professor, Nipissing University