Dr. Stephen Crittenden

Image Stephen Crittenden
Research Scientist

Soil Health and Nutrient Management.

Current research and/or projects

  • Soil Health in a Changing Climate
  • Eastern Prairies Living Laboratory
  • Agricultural Practices for the Lake Winnipeg Basin
  • Struvite as an organic soil amendment
  • Nitrogen management to improve traits in cereals
  • Improving Nitrogen Use Efficiency and Soil Sustainability in Canola Production across Canada
  • BMPs for late-N application in corn
  • Influence of environmental factors on plant and food product traits

Research and/or project statements

Maintaining or increasing productivity while ensuring the long-term environmental sustainability of agricultural systems through soil health and soil fertility management.

Professional activities / interests

Research currently focuses on improving soil health resilience versus ecosystem trade-offs, 4R Nutrient Stewardship for P, canola N use efficiency, wheat variety N response, cover crops, and contribution of inherent soil properties to beer flavour. Duties include acquiring funding, grant writing, production of scientific journal articles, supervision of field and laboratory technicians, sitting on local and regional committees focused on soil fertility, and participating in Canada-wide Indigenous Student Recruitment Initiative.

Education and awards

  • 2009 - 2013, Ph.D. Soil Quality, Wageningen University, The Netherlands.Thesis: Biophysical soil quality of tillage systems under conventional and organic farming.
  • 2002 - 2005, M.Sc. Soil Science, University of Guelph, Canada. Thesis: Effect of Manure Management Practice on E. coli, Nitrogen, and Phosphorous Loss in Agricultural Water.
  • 1998 - 2002, B.Sc. (Honours) Environmental Science, University of Guelph, Canada. Earth and Atmosphere Science Major. Area of emphasis in Environmental Impact Assessment.

International experience and/or work

  • 2015 - 2017, Postdoctoral Associate, Cornell University, U.S.A. Improving economic and environmental sustainability of dairy farms through whole-farm nutrient mass balances and the New York State Phosphorus Index. Farmer, student, planner, and government consultations and analyses will result in peer-reviewed journal articles, extension documents, and a revised New York State Phosphorus Index that includes a range of best management practices.
  • 2014, COST short-term scientific mission, influence of cover crops on soil properties in vineyards and olive groves, Madrid, Spain.
  • 2013 - 2015, Guest Researcher, Wageningen University, The NetherlandsScientific journal article and PhD thesis writing are the main tasks. Participation in SUSTAIN project meetings. SUSTAIN: SoilFunctional Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services,a Transdisciplinary Approach Participated in proposal writing, execution, and dissemination. http://snowmannetwork.com/?page_id=283.
  • 2009 – 2013, Ph.D. Candidate, Wageningen University, The Netherlands. Thesis covers soil quality in reduced tillage systems in conventional and organic farming. International collaborations were initiated, students were successfully supervised, and multiple field campaigns were organized simultaneously.
  • 2008, Research and Development Coordinator, Western Ag Innovations, Canada. Soil nutrient bioavailability. Created and sustained a strong network in the scientific community, supported collaborative research projects with new and existing clients and developed potential markets.
  • 2007 – 2008, Assistant Engineer, Cemagref (IRSTEA), France. Assessed agri-food and dairy industry effluents for phosphorus recycling potential in Brittany through bibliographical searches and industry surveys.
  • 2006, Research Associate, University of Guelph, Canada. Project and team management included organization and construction of a field research project to investigate environmental impacts of agricultural management.
  • 2005 - 2006, Research Assistant, Global Forum on Agricultural Research, Italy. GFAR is a stakeholder-led initiative that fosters cost effective collaborative partnerships among stakeholders involved in agricultural research for development. I updated and further developed GFAR’s Civil Society Organizations’ database, edited and proof read the Newsletter, and assisted and participated in workshops and meetings.

Research facility

2701 Grand Valley Road, P.O. Box 1000A
Brandon, MB R7A 5Y3


  • Canadian Society of Soil Science
  • Soil Science Society of America
  • American Society of Agronomy
  • European Geosciences Union
  • Spanish Soil Science Society
  • International Soil Tillage Research Organization



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