Dr. Elizabeth Pattey

Image Elizabeth Pattey
Principal Research Scientist

Principal Research Scientist located at the Central Experimental Farm (Ottawa, ON).

As an expert in micrometeorology and ecophysiology, leads projects and collaborates on scientific studies contributing to: 

- Develop and improve methodology for quantifying trace gas fluxes such as nitrous oxide, ammonia, methane and carbon dioxide;

- Quantify greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural practices at the field-, farm- and regional-scales using micrometeorological techniques and laser -based instrumentation;

- Verify process-based models describing 1) greenhouse gas emissions and ammonia volatilization from agricultural sources , 2) crop growth and evapotransiration;

- Quantify crop growth, biomass, water and nitrogen use efficiencies in response to weather and soil conditions using  micrometeorology, modelling and remote sensing (Earth observation).

- Evaluate the impact of field crop beneficial management practices and clean technologies on air quality with a special emphasis on nitrous oxide emissions and ammonia volatilization and deposition.

Research and/or project statements

Leads projects combining micrometeorology, Earth Observations (EO) and modelling to enhance the sustainability of rainfed field crop production and to quantify carbon dioxide, water vapour, nitrous oxide and ammonia fluxes in response to climate variations.

Enhanced the value of EO by providing insight on soil/crop descriptors retrieval and their assimilation in crop growth models to predict crop productivity and assess environmental impact related to crop production.

Led the creation of Identifying NEMO (nitrogen ecophysiologically modelled optimum). A model-based methodology  to derive strategic nitrogen application rates accounting for climate variations and soil properties and fully compatible with the assessment of reactive nitrogen release in the environment.

Principal Investigator of the Canada CFIA–Ottawa site of Joint Experiment of Crop Assessment and Monitoring (JECAM).

Led the creation of the GreenCropTracker software to analyze digital picture for extracting crop fraction and green Leaf Area Index to monitor crop growth  (https://www.flintbox.com/public/project/5470/).

As Principal Investigator, coordinated flux tower measurements in several environments in support to the National Research Council of Canada flux aircraft operations for the Boreal Ecosystem and Atmosphere Study (BOREAS), and for various research initiatives funded by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Education and awards

PhD Plant Science-Micrometeorology

BScA Agronomy

2020 American Meteorological Society The Award for Outstanding Achievement in Biometeorology for pionneering the development of systems that measure surface layer turbulence and the nocturnal boundary layer to quantify particulate matter and trace gas fluxes.

2018 Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society Andrew Thomson Prize in Applied Meteorology for long-standing leadership and significant contributions to agricultural meteorology, particularly tower-based flux measuring systems over agricultural fields which have contributed to improved quantification of pollutants and understanding of greenhouse gas exchanges from agricultural sources.

2015 Fellow of the Canadian Society of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology for lifetime contributions to agricultural and forest meteorology.

2002 Co-recipient of World Meteorological Organization Norbert Gerbier-MUMM International Award.

1997 Graham Walker Award to recognize the excellence in agrometeorology from the Canadian Society of Agro-Meteorology.

International experience and/or work

Collaborated to FarmGas experiments in New Zealand (NIWA).

Key publications

  1. Guest, G., Smith, W., Grant, B., McConkey, B., Chipanshi, A., Reid, K., Kroebel, R., Martel, M., Desjardins, R., VanderZaag, A., Pattey, E., Glenn, A., Wilson, H., Balde, H., Wagner-Riddle, C., Drury, C.F., Fuller, K., Hayashi, M., Reynolds, D. (2018). Comparing the performance of the dndc, holos, and vsmb models for predicting the water partitioning of various crops and sites across Canada. Canadian Journal of Soil Science, [online] 98(2), 212-231. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjss-2017-0112

    2018 - View publication details

  2. Mesbah, M., Pattey, E., Jégo, G., Geng, X., Didier, A., Tremblay, N., (2017) " Including climate variability in determination of the optimum rate of N fertilizer application using a crop model: A case study for rainfed corn in eastern Canada." American Geophysical Union Fall meeting, New Orleans, USA, December 11-15, 2017.

    2017 - View publication details

  3. Mesbah, M., Pattey, E., Jgo, G., Liu, J., Buis, S., Lecharpentier, P., (2017). "A stochastic Bayesian approach to assimilate satellite derived LAI into STICS crop model", STICS workshop 2017, Rochelle, France, October 17-19, 2017, pp. 2 pages.

    2017 - View publication details

  4. Sandor, R and Ehrhardt, F and Basso, B and Bellocchi, G and Bhatia, A and Brilli, L and De Antoni Migliorati, M and Doltra, J and Dorich, C and Doro, L and Fitton, N and Giacomini, SJ and Grace, P and Grant, B and Harrison, MT and Jones, S and Kirschbaum, MUF and Klumpp, K and Laville, P and Leonard, J and Liebig, M and Lieffering, M and Martin, R and McAuliffe, R and Meier, E and Merbold, L and Moore, A and Myrgotis, V and Newton, P and Pattey, E and Recous, S and Rolinski, S and Sharp, J and Massad, RS and Smith, P and Smith, W and Snow, V and Wu, L and Zhang, Q and Soussana, JF, A multi-model assessment of C cycling and soil C sequestration in grasslands and croplands, Proceedings of 6th International Symposium on Soil Organic Matter, 3-7 September 2017, Harpenden, United Kingdom, pp. 1-2.

    2017 - View publication details

  5. Delogu, E., Le Dantec, V., Mordelet, P., Ceschia, E., Aubinet, M., Buysse, P., Pattey, E. (2017). Improved methodology to quantify the temperature sensitivity of the soil heterotrophic respiration in croplands. Geoderma, [online] 296 18-29. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2017.02.017

    2017 - View publication details

  6. 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. Agronomy Journal, [online] 109(2), 510-523. http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/agronj2016.06.0364

    2017 - View publication details

  7. Jing, Q., Shang, J., Huffman, T., Qian, B., Pattey, E., Liu, J., Dong, T., Drury, C.F., Tremblay, N. (2017). Using the CSM-CERES-Maize model to assess the gap between actual and potential yields of grain maize. Journal of Agricultural Science, [online] 155(2), 239-260. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0021859616000290

    2017 - View publication details

  8. Liu, j., Shang, J., Qian, B., Huffman, T., Pattey, E., Geng, X., Dong, T. 2016. “Approach to soil productivity assessment over Canada’s agricultural land using Earth observation technology”. The Fifth International Conference on Agro-Geoinformatics. July 18-20, 2016. Tianjin, China.

    2016 - View publication details

  9. Pattey, E., Qiu, G.-W., Fiset, S., Ho, E., MacDonald, D., and Chang, L. (2016). "Particulate Matter.", in Clearwater, R.L., Martin, T. and Hoppe, T. (eds.) - Environmental sustainability of Canadian agriculture: Agri-environmental indicator report series -- Report #4, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Chapter 17, pp. 195-208.

    2016 - View publication details

  10. Smith, W.N., Grant, B., VanderZaag, A., Qi, Z., Drury, C., Desjardins, R., Pattey, E., Dutta, B., Guest, G. 2016. Overview of Canada DNDC model development and studies pertaining to crop water use and nutrient loss. China-Canada Water Resource Workshop, Ottawa, ON, Canada, November 15th, 2016.

    2016 - View publication details

  11. Pattey, E., and Gaudnik, C., 2016. Abundant rainfalls modulate the impact of fertilizer application practices on nitrous oxide emissions during spring wheat growing season. American Society of Agronomy Annual Meeting Phoenix (AZ) 06-09 Nov 2016.

    2016 - View publication details

  12. R Sándor, F Ehrhardt, B Basso, G Bellocchi, A Bhatia, L Brilli, M De Antoni Migliorati, J Doltra, C Dorich, L Doro, N Fitton, SJ Giacomini, P Grace, B Grant, MT Harrison, S Jones, MUF Kirschbaum, K Klumpp, P Laville, J Léonard, M Liebig, M Lieffering, R Martin, R McAuliffe, E Meier, L Merbold, A Moore, V Myrgiotis, P Newton, E Pattey, S Recous, S Rolinski, J Sharp, RS Massad, P Smith, W Smith, V Snow, L Wu, Q Zhang, JF Soussana. 2016. C and N models Intercomparison–benchmark and ensemble model estimates for grassland production. Advances in Animal Biosciences. 7(3): 245-247.

    2016 - View publication details

  13. "From fields to regions: Improving crop model predictions, using remote sensing-derived biophysical descriptors and climate data." Pattey, E.,Jégo, G. ,A. Vanderzaag, J. Liu, B. Qian, X. Geng; Res. Team: S. Admiral, M. Mesbah, D. Dow, T. HotteF. Baret, M. Weiss, R. Lacaze, F. Camacho, N. Beaudoin, R. Desjardins, T. Huffman, H. McNairn 2016. 2016 Canadian JECAM Site Update: CFIA-Ottawa. JECAM Science Meeting Kyiv, 11-12 Oct 2016 (poster).

    2016 - View publication details

  14. Desjardins, R.L., MacPherson, I., Schuepp, P.H., Worth, D.E., Pattey, E. 2016. Aircraft flux measurements during FIFE and BOREAS. How FIFE and BOREAS changed the world Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt 2016/10/06 - 2016/10/07.

    2016 - View publication details

  15. Pattey, E., Desjardins, R.L., Lamb, B., Miller, J. 2016. Tower flux measurements in support of … other tower-flux groups, aircraft teams, chemists, Earth observation. Workshop on How FIFE and BOREAS changed the world. Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt )6-07 Oct. 2016.

    2016 - View publication details

  16. Desjardins, R.L., Worth, D.E., Mauder, M., Pattey, E., Metzger, S. and MacPherson, I. 2016. New perspectives for eddy covariance flux measurements using aircraft-based technology. 32nd Conference on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Utah 2016/06/20 - 2016/06/24.

    2016 - View publication details

  17. Pattey, E., Desjardins, R.L., Murphy, J., MacDonald, D., Mesbah, M., 2016. N fluxes from the agricultural sector.WMO- GLOBAL ATMOSPHERE WATCH INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON NITROGEN CYCLE York 13-14 Apr 2016. Invited Talk

    2016 - View publication details

  18. Pattey, E., Qiu, G.-W., Fiset, S., Ho, E., MacDonald, D., and Liang, C. (2015). "Primary particulate matter emissions and trends for Canadian agriculture.", Air Pollution XXIII, WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, Wessex Institute, Valencia, Spain, June 1-3, 2015, 198:143-154.

    2015 - View publication details

  19. Jégo, G., Pattey, E., Chantigny, M.H., Brin, L., Goyer, C., and Léonard, J. (2015). "Coupling the STICS soil-crop model with a snow-cover model for improving simulation of agricultural soil nitrogen processes under northern climates.", ASA-CSSA-SSSA International Annual Meeting: Synergy in Science. Partnering for Solutions, Minneapolis, MN, USA, November 15-18, 2015.

    2015 - View publication details

  20. Pattey, E., Jégo, G., Mesbah, S.M., Liu, J., and Duchesne, I. (2015). "Impact of spatial resolution of soil and climatic data on regional corn yield predictions using OptimiSTICS package.", STICS workshop 2015, Rennes, France, March 24-26, 2015, pp. 2 pages.

    2015 - View publication details

Research facility

960 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6


  • Expert Team Leader for Commission for Agricultural Meteorology of World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  • Chair of the Board on Atmospheric Biogeosciences of the American Meteorological Society (2009-15)
  • Editor of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology
  • Board Member of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology (2012-2019)
  • Scientific steering committee of CarboNA
  • Agricultural Institute of Canada
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Society of Agronomy
  • Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society
  • Canadian Remote Sensing Society
  • Remote Sensing Society of Quebec
  • Adjunct Professor, Department of Renewable Resources, McGill University (2002-2009)
  • President (-elect and past-) of the Canadian Society of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology (2004-2006)