Dr. Nathaniel K. Newlands

Image Nathaniel K. Newlands
Research Scientist
  • Conducts original research to develop or refine ecosystem-level models that describe the long-term influence of agroecosystem management on environmental health, initially focusing on greenhouse gas emissions, carbon sequestration, and atmospheric contaminants.
  • Supervises, trains, and evaluates staff in an Ecosystem Modelling research project.
  • Represents department on national and international committees, as an expert on Environmental Health.
  • Based on scientific literature, emerging policy issues and scientific opportunity, writes and submits innovative, original research proposals.
  • Communicates findings, pertaining to issues of Environmental Health, to scientists, policy-makers, and members of the general public, via oral presentations, scientific manuscripts, media reports, or other avenues.
  • Conducts critical reviews of scientific manuscripts, research proposals, and other scientific documents, and conveys recommendations.
  • Develops methods for compiling, weighing and integrating site-specific research data, from across Canada and elsewhere, into improved ecosystem models.
  • Interacts with researchers and policy-makers in national programs and other scientific networks to build models relevant to national and international environmental issues.
  • Using models, determine the potential effectiveness of proposed farming practices on greenhouse gas emissions, carbon and nitrogen flows, and other measures of environmental health at farm, regional and national scales.
  • Using models, examines the potential feedbacks of global changes on processes in agroecosystems, particularly those affecting Environmental Health.
  • In cooperation with colleagues, devices and implements methods of testing the reliability of ecosystem models and quantifying the uncertainty of their projections.

Current research and/or projects

2021-         Lead (Canada), Global Expert Working Group in Agricultural Nature-based Solutions (NBS), with Land and Water, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN-FAO)

2019-2022 Co-lead (AAFC), Climate-smart agriculture: Big-data analysis to investigate what management practices work (Alberta Innovates) 

2017-2021 Co-lead, Sustainability of Northern Grape Production (Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AAFC)

2021-2024 Collaborator, International Collaborative Earth Observation (EO) Hub (Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AAFC)

2021-2024 Collaborator, A Biovigilance Approach to Pest Management (Canadian Agricultural Partnership, AAFC)

2022-2025 Collaborator, Ag-imaging for the Americas: Building Space-Based Awareness of Agroecosystems

Research and/or project statements

Precision agricultural technologies, remote sensing tools and predictive analytics for reducing agricultural losses and improved resilience and sustainability

Development and validation of artificial intelligence (AI)/machine/deep learning/big data methodologies in digital agriculture

New approaches for predicting crop development, yield and yield loss for making optimal crop management decisions

Designing, developing, and deploying crop disease prediction models to reduce future yield loss and risk to global food security under climate change

Nature-based solutions (NBS) to urban water-food-climate pressures

Development of new approaches to support the sustainable intensification of agriculture and resilience to environmental variability

Mathematical and statistical approaches for solving agroecosystem modeling problems

Professional activities / interests

  • Food-water-energy nexus, Sustainability
  • Climate change, Extreme events
  • Integrated modeling, Risk analysis
  • Decision analytics, Operational decision-support tools
  • Machine-Learning, Spatial prediction
  • Precision agriculture

Education and awards

2016. Recipient of the Government of Canada’s Public Service National Award of Excellence in Innovation (STC/AAFC Field Crops Remote-Sensing Team)

Post-doctoral fellow 2002-2004 in Applied Mathematics, Pacific Institute of the Mathematical Sciences (PIMS) and Department of Mathematics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Ph.D. 1999-2002 Resource Management & Environmental Studies, Institute of Resources, Environment and Sustainability, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

M.Sc. 1997-1999 Astrophysics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Calgary, Alberta

B.Sc.(Honours) 1995-1997  Physics and Astronomy, University of Guelph, Ontario


International experience and/or work

  • Current, Lead (Canada) on Global Expert Working Group in Nature-based Solutions through Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN-FAO)
  • Current, Vice-Chair International Relations in Statistics, American Statistical Association (ASA) and Member of the American Statistical Association (ASA)
  • Current, Global Risk Assessment Framework (GRAF) Fostering Systems Thinking (FST) Working Group, GRAF Secretariat, Global Risk Analysis and Reporting Unit, Support and Monitoring of Sendai Framework Implementation
  • Current, Disaster Risk Reduction Working Group, Subgroup 2 UNDRR Sendai Framework Monitoring and Global Assessments to GEO (Group on Earth Observations)
  • 2018. Commonwealth Organisation for Co-operation and Development (OECD) Collaborative Research Fellowship (CRP) Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agriculture Systems under Theme 3: Transformational Technologies and Innovation. Visiting Canadian Scientist with Host Institution: The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) is a federal research branch of the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, located in Canberra, Australia. 
  • 2017. Deakin University’s Collaborative International Research Scholar/Researcher in Residence (Victoria, Australia)

Key publications

  1. Zamar, D.S., Gopaluni, B., Sokhansanj, S., and Newlands, N.K. (2015). "Robust optimization of competing biomass supply-chains under feedstock uncertainty.", 2015 ADCHEM Conference, Whistler, B.C., Canada, June 7-10, 2015, IFAC Proceedings Volume 48, Issue 8; Oral Presentation, pp. 1222-1227.

    2015 - View publication details

  2. Kouadio, L. and Newlands, N.K. (2015). "Building capacity for spatial-based sustainability metrics in agriculture.", Decision Analytics, 2(2), pp. 18 pages. doi : 10.1186/s40165-015-0011-9

    2015 - View publication details

  3. Kouadio, L., Newlands, N.K., Potgieter, A., McLean, G., and Hill, H.S. (2015). "Exploring the Potential Impacts of Climate Variability on Spring Wheat Yield with the APSIM Decision Support Tool.", Agricultural Sciences, 6(7), pp. 686-698. doi : 10.4236/as.2015.67066

    2015 - View publication details

  4. Leggett, M., Newlands, N.K., Greenshields, D., West, L., Inman, S., Koivunen, M.E. (2015). Maize yield response to a phosphorus-solubilizing microbial inoculant in field trials. Journal of Agricultural Science, [online] 153(8), 1464-1478. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0021859614001166

    2015 - View publication details

  5. Chipanshi, A., Zhang, Y., Kouadio, L., Newlands, N., Davidson, A., Hill, H., Warren, R., Qian, B., Daneshfar, B., Bedard, F., Reichert, G. (2015). Evaluation of the Integrated Canadian Crop Yield Forecaster (ICCYF) model for in-season prediction of crop yield across the Canadian agricultural landscape, 206 137-150. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2015.03.007

    2015 - View publication details

  6. Newlands, N.K. (2014). "Probabilistic forecasting of agricultural crop yield under environmental uncertainty.", Geography Departmental Seminar, University of Victoria, September 26, 2014. (Presentation)

    2014 - View publication details

  7. Chipanshi, A.C., Newlands, N.K., Zhang, Y., Davidson, A.M., Kouadio, A.L., Hill, H.S., Howard, A., Qian, B., Daneshfar, B., Bedard, F., and Reichert, G. (2014). "North American Tripartite Committee on Agricultural Statistics (NATCAS)", GIS/Remote Sensing Technical Meeting, Fairfax, Virginia, USA, February 25-26, 2014. (Abstract)

    2014 - View publication details

  8. Newlands, N.K., Smith, W.N., and Kouadio, L. (2014). "Issues with upscaling and downscaling: Theory, methods, findings, challenges. Forestry and Agriculture Greenhouse Gas Modeling Forum.", 7th Forestry and Agriculture Greenhouse Gas Modeling Forum, National Conservation Training Centre, Shepherstown, WV, USA, June 1-4, 2014.

    2014 - View publication details

  9. Newlands, N.K., Sokhansanj, S., Gopaluni, B., and Zamar, D.S. (2014). "Bioenergy feedstocks: sustainable supply metrics and emerging economic development opportunities.", 2014 Bioenergy Modeling Workshop, Washington DC, USA, July 22-23, 2014, United States National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Department of Energy (DOE). (Abstract)

    2014 - View publication details

  10. Kouadio, L. and Newlands, N.K. (2014). "Data hungry models in a food hungry world – an interdisciplinary challenge bridged by statistics.", in Lawless, J.F. (ed.) - Statistics in Action: A Canadian Outlook, CRC Press Taylor & Francis, Chapter 21, pp. 371-385.

    2014 - View publication details

  11. Newlands, N.K. (2014). "Sustainability metrics, uncertainty and risk in regional-scale bioenergy supply and production.", Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group (BBRG), Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, University of British Columbia. (Presentation)

    2014 - View publication details

  12. Chipanshi, A.C., Zhang, Y., Newlands, N.K., Zamar, D.S., Hill, H.S., and Howard, A. (2014). Canadian Crop Yield Forecast – 2015 Yield Outlook for Spring Wheat, Duram Wheat, Canola, Barely, Oats, Corn for Grain and Soybeans. (Report)

    2014 - View publication details

  13. Newlands, N.K., Lu, W., and Porcelli, T.A. (2014). "Downscaling of regional climate scenarios within agricultural areas in Canada with a multi-variate, multi-site model.", 2013 Paper Proceedings of the Applied Mathematics, Modelling and Computational Science Interdisciplinary Conference (AMMCS), Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 26-30 August, 2013, Springer-Verlag, pp. 1-6.

    2014 - View publication details

  14. Cai, S., Zidek, J.V., Newlands, N.K., Neilsen, D. (2014). Statistical modeling and forecasting of fruit crop phenology under climate change. EnvironMetrics, [online] 25(8), 621-629. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/env.2304

    2014 - View publication details

  15. Gagnon, P., Sheedy, C., Farenhorst, A., Mcqueen, D.R., Cessna, A.J., Newlands, N.K. (2014). A coupled stochastic/deterministic model to estimate the evolution of the risk of water contamination by pesticides across Canada. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, [online] 10(3), 429-436. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ieam.1533

    2014 - View publication details

  16. Newlands, N.K., Zamar, D.S., Kouadio, L.A., Zhang, Y., Chipanshi, A., Potgieter, A., Toure, S., Hill, H.S.J. (2014). An integrated, probabilistic model for improved seasonal forecasting of agricultural crop yield under environmental uncertainty. Frontiers in Environmental Science, [online] 2(JUN), http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2014.00017

    2014 - View publication details

  17. Bonner, S.J., Newlands, N.K., Heckman, N.E. (2014). Modeling regional impacts of climate teleconnections using functional data analysis. Environmental and Ecological Statistics, [online] 21(1), 1-26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10651-013-0241-8

    2014 - View publication details

  18. Phillips, A.J.L., Newlands, N.K., Liang, S.H.L., and Ellert, B.H. (2014). "Integrated sensing of soil moisture at the field-scale: sampling, modelling and sharing for improved agricultural decision-support.", Computers and Electronics in Agriculture, 107, pp. 73-88.

    2014 - View publication details

  19. Kouadio, L., Newlands, N.K., Davidson, A., Zhang, Y., Chipanshi, A. (2014). Assessing the performance of MODIS NDVI and EVI for seasonal crop yield forecasting at the ecodistrict scale. Remote Sensing, [online] 6(10), 10193-10214. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/rs61010193

    2014 - View publication details

  20. Newlands, N.K. (2013). "Sustainability metrics, uncertainty and risk in regional-scale bioenergy supply and production.", published in Biomass and Bioenergy Research Group (BBRG), University of British Columbia, Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering (abstract).

    2013 - View publication details


250 486 3164

Research facility

4200 Highway #97
Summerland, BC V0H 1Z0


  • Professor (Adjunct) in Geography, University of Victoria
  • Editorial Board Member - Anthropocene Journal (Springer)
  • Editorial Board Member - International Journal of Ecology (IJE)
  • Editorial Board Member - Frontiers in Environmental Science (Interdisciplinary Climate Studies)
  • Theme Lead (Canada) (Integrating Digital Technologies and Big Data in the Redesign of Food Systems), Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Precision Food Systems WG, International Bioeconomy Forum (IBF)
  • Canadian National Statistical Institute (CANSII)’s Data Science Committee
  • The International Environmetrics Society (TIES) - North American Regional Officer (2021-2025) and Member of The International Environmetrics Society (TIES)
  • Official representative of the Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC) in the workplace representing all members within BC/Yukon Region and Summerland Research and Development Centre jurisdictions
  • Executive Member of RE (Scientific Research) Group for PIPSC
  • National Member of PIPSC Union-Management Management Committee (UMCC) with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
  • International Bridge Collaborative – a major international sustainability initiative led by The Nature Conservancy, PATH, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPR), and Duke University
  • British Columbia’s Climate Adaptation Research Network (ACARN)’s Climate and Weather Working Group