Ward Smith Ph.D.

Image Ward Smith
Scientist - Study leader in Agroecosystem Modelling

Conducts research on improving process-based agricultural models and integrating new modelling approaches into AAFC programs

Current research and/or projects

  • Lead. Modelling approaches for identifying efficient and resilient management for cropping systems across Canada (AAFC internal funds)
  • Co-lead. Evaluation of commercial inhibitors’ impact on crop productivity and nitrous oxide emissions (AAFC internal funds)
  • Sustainable Crop Production in Canada under Climate Change (collaborator)
  • Understanding methane emissions from liquid manure storage across Canada (collaborator)
  • Life cycle analysis of farm systems (collaborator)
  • Water use efficiency in dairy farming (collaborator)
  • Environmental aspects of biogas (collaborator)
  • Assessing Economic and Environmental Aspects of 4R Nutrient Stewardship in Ontario (collaborator)

Research and/or project statements

As an expert in agro-ecosystem modelling, Ward leads research to assess the resilience and sustainability of cropping systems in Canada. He integrates new knowledge from agronomic experiments into models and uses them to investigate the impacts of agricultural management practices on crop productivity, soil organic carbon, GHG emissions, ammonia volatilization and nutrient losses to tile drains and runoff. He studies ways to reduce adverse impacts of climate change on cropping systems and determines soils at risk in Canada. Ward leads and collaborates in several international studies focused on improving and inter-comparing agricultural models.

Recent publications 

2021

  1. Rong Jiang, J.Y. Yang, C.F. Drury, Wentian He, W.N. Smith, B.B. Grant, Ping He, Wei Zhou. 2021. Assessing the impacts of diversified crop rotation systems on yields and nitrous oxide emissions in Canada using the DNDC model. Science of the Total Environment. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143433  
  2. Jing, Q., B. McConkey, B. Qian, W. Smith, B. Grant, J. Shang, J. Liu, P. Bindraban. 2021. Assessing water management practices to improve spring wheat yield in the Canadian Prairies. Water Resource Management. 244: 106591.
  3. Mencaroni M., Dal Ferro N., Furlanetto J., Longo M., Lazzaro B., Sartori L., Grant B.B., Smith W.N., Morari F. 2021. Identifying N fertilizer management strategies to reduce ammonia volatilization: towards a site-specific approach. Journal of Environmental Management. 277 (1): 111445
  4. Rennie, T.J., B.B. Grant, R.J. Gordon, W.N. Smith, A.C. VanderZaag. 2021. Regional climate influences manure temperature and methane emissions – a pan-Canadian modelling assessment. Science of The Total Environment.  750: 142278.
  5. De Laporte, A., Banger, K., Weersink, A., Wagner-Riddle, C., Grant B., Smith, W. 2021. Economic and environmental consequences of nitrogen application rates, timing and methods on Corn in Ontario. Agricultural Systems. (in press)

2020

  1. Smith, W., B. Grant, Z. Qi, W. He, B. Qian, Q. Jing, A. VanderZaag, C.F. Drury, M. St Luce, and Claudia Wagner-Riddlee. 2020. Towards an improved methodology for modelling climate change impacts on cropping systems in cool climates.  Sci. Total Environ. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.138845
  2. Smith, W., B. Grant, Z. Qi, W. He, A. VanderZaag, C.F. Drury, and M. Helmers. 2020. Development of the DNDC model to improve soil hydrology and incorporate mechanistic tile drainage: A comparative analysis with RZWQM2. Environmental Modelling Software 123:104577. doi.org/10.1016/j.envsoft.2019.104577
  3. Farina R, Sándor R, Abdalla M. Ensemble modelling, uncertainty and robust predictions of organic carbon in long-term bare-fallow soils. Glob Change Biol. 2020;001:1-25 https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15441
  4. Nilsson, J., Tidåker, P., Sundberg, C., Henryson, K., Grant, B. Smith, W., Hansson, P. 2020. Assessing the climate and eutrophication impacts of grass cultivation at five sites in Sweden, Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica, Section B — Soil & Plant Science, DOI: 10.1080/09064710.2020.1822436
  5. Falconnier et al. 2020. Modeling of climate change impacts on maize yields under low-nitrogen conditions in sub-Saharan Africa. Glob Change Biol. 220;26:5942-5964. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15261
  6. Giltrap, D., J. Yeluripati, P. Smith, N. Fitton, W. Smith., B. Grant, C. Dorich, J. Deng, C.F.E. Topp, M. Abdalla, L.L. Liáng. 2020. Summary of modelling approaches in the Global Research Alliance N2O chamber methodology. Journal of Environmental Quality. doi.org/10.1002/jeq2.20119 
  7. Jiang, Q., Z. Qi, C.A. Madramootoo, W. Smith, N.A. Abbasi, T. Zhang. 2020. Comparison of RZWQM2 and DNDC model in simulating greenhouse gas emission, crop yield and subsurface drainage. Transactions of the ASABE. 63(4): 771-787. doi: 10.13031/trans.13668
  8. Kløverpris, J.H., C.N. Scheel, J. Schmidt, B. Grant, W. Smith, M.J. Bentham. 2020. Assessing life cycle impacts from changes in agricultural practices of crop production. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. doi.org/10.1007/s11367-020-01767-z
  9. S.J. Del Grosso, W. Smith, D. Kraus, R.S. Massad, I. Vogeler, K. Fuchs. 2020. Approaches and concepts of modelling denitrification: increased process understanding using observational data can reduce uncertainties. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.  47:37-45
  10. Qian, B., Q. Jing, W. Smith, B. Grant, A.J. Cannon, X. Zhang. 2020. Quantifying the uncertainty introduced by internal climate variability in projections of Canadian crop production. Environmental Research Letters. 15:7 DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab88fc
  11. Sándor, R., F. Ehrhardt, P. Grace, Sylvie Recous, Pete Smith, Val Snow, Jean-François Soussana, Bruno Basso et al (includes E. Pattey, W. Smith, B. Grant). 2020. Ensemble modelling of carbon fluxes in grasslands and croplands. Field Crops Research. 252: 107791.
  12. Banger, K., C. Wagner-Riddle, B.B. Grant, W.N. Smith, C. Drury, and Yang, J. 2020. Nitrogen fertilizer best management practices combined with rate adjustment have potential to achieve provincial-scale nitrous oxide reduction in Ontario corn production. Sci. Total Environ. 722(20): 137851 doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.137851
  13. He, W., B. Dutta, B.B. Grant, M.H. Chantigny, D. Hunt, S. Bittman, M. Tenuta, D. Worth, A. VanderZaag, R.L. Desjardins, W.N. Smith. 2020.  Assessing the effects of manure application rate and timing on nitrous oxide emissions from managed grasslands under contrasting climate in Canada. Sci. Total Environ. doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135374
  14. Cluett, J., A.C. VanderZaag, T. Rennie, W. Smith, R. Gordon. 2020. Surface covers affect liquid manure temperature, albedo, and evaporation. Transactions of the ASABE. 63(1): 199-210. doi: 10.13031/trans.13559
  15. Nasielski, J., B. Grant, W. Smith, C. Niemeyera, K. Janoviceka, B. Deen. 2020. Effect of nitrogen source, placement and timing on the environmental performance of economically optimum nitrogen rates in maize. Field Crops Research. doi.org/10.1016/j.fcr.2019.107686
  16. Jiang, Q., Z. Qi, L. Xue, M. Bukovsky, C.A. Madramootoo, W. Smith. 2020. Assessing climate change impacts on greenhouse gas emissions, N losses in drainage and crop production in a subsurface drained field. Sci. Total Environ.  DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135969
  17. Jing, Q., B. Qian, G. Bélanger, A. VanderZaag, G. Jégo, W. Smith, B. Grant, J. Shang, J. Liu, W. He, K.J. Boote, G. Hoogenboom. 2020. Simulating Alfalfa Regrowth and Biomass in Eastern Canada Using the CSM-CROPGRO-Perennial Forage Model. European Journal of Agronomy 113:125971. doi.org/10.1016/j.eja.2019.125971

Education and awards

  • PhD, Bioresource Engineering (McGill, 2020)
  • MSc, Agricultural Engineering (McGill, 1991)
  • BSc, Agricultural Engineering (McGill, 1988)
  • 2020 Graduate Thesis Award (PhD) from The Canadian Society for Bioengineering for a thesis entitled "Development of hydrologic processes in the DNDC model to explore beneficial management for reducing nutrient losses from cropping systems"
  • Norbert Gerbier-Mumm International Award as lead author for a research paper entitled "The net flux of carbon from agricultural soils in Canada 1970-2010" 
  • Science Award for Leaders in Sustainable Development in recognition of advancing science for Canada (AAFC)
  • Award for Team Excellence for outstanding contribution to research (AAFC)
  • Outstanding Contribution to Reviewing award from Elsevier

International experience and/or work

  • 2020-2023 Chair of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Service Commission (SERCOM) Expert Team on Agromet Sciences and member of the Standing Committee on Services for Agriculture.  
  • 2018- 2020, Lead of WMO expert team, Commission for Agricultural Meteorology (CAgM) on Climate and Agricultural Modelling for Sustainable Agriculture
  • 2013-current, Collaborating in Global Research Alliance (GRA) C&N crosscutting team
  • 2017-current, Collaborating in several activities under the scope of the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) 
  • 2016-2020, Invited expert for international workshops and guideline/protocol development, such as the Global Research Alliance guideline on modelling and the OECD funded workshop on “Climate change, reactive nitrogen, food security and sustainable agriculture”.
  • 2016-2018, Lead of WMO task team on the effects of climate change and variability on agricultural sustainability
  • 2012-2016, Partnered for Canada in the global Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI).
  • 2011-2015, Lead of WMO expert team on the User Response to Climate Variability and Climate Change: Adaptation to Changing Climate at the Regional Level
  • 2006-2010, Member of WMO expert team on Impacts of Climate Change/Variability and Natural Disasters on Agriculture

Key publications

  1. Smith, W., B. Grant, Z. Qi, W. He, B. Qian, Q. Jing, A. VanderZaag, C.F. Drury, M. St Luce, and Claudia Wagner-Riddlee. Towards an improved methodology for modelling climate change impacts on cropping systems. The 54th Congress of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS), Virtual session, May 27, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  2. Montse Salmeron Cortasa, Kritika Kothari, Rafael Battisti, Kenneth J. Boote, Sotirios Archontoulis, Adriana Confalone, Julie Constantin, Santiago Cuadra, Philippe Debaeke, Babacar Faye, Brian Grant, Gerrit Hoogenboom, Qi Jing, Michael van der Laan, Fernando Macena, Fabio Marin, Alireza Nehbandani, Claas Nendel, Larry C. Purcell, Budong Qian, Alex Ruane, Evandro da Silva, Ward Smith, Afshin Soltani, Amit Srivastava, Nilson Vieira. 2019. Soybean multi‐model sensitivity analysis for prediction of seed nitrogen, biological N fixation, and N cycling. ICROPM 2020, Montpellier, France, Feb 3-5, 2020

    2020 - View publication details

  3. Kritika Kothari, Montserrat Salmeron, Rafael Battisti, Kenneth Boote, Sotirios Archontoulis, Adriana Confalone, Julie Constantin, Santiago Cuadra, Philippe Debaeke, Babacar Faye, Brian Grant, Gerrit Hoogenboom, Qi Jing, Michael van der Laan, Fernando Macena, Fabio Marin, Alireza Nehbandani, Claas Nendel, Larry Purcell, Budong Qian, Alex Ruane, Evandro da Silva, Ward Smith, Afshin Soltani, Amit Srivastava, Nilson Vieira Jr. Poster: First Soybean Multi-model Sensitivity Analysis to CO2, Temperature, Water, and Nitrogen (CTWN). ICROPM 2020, Montpellier, France, Feb 3-5, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  4. Budong Qian, Qi Jing, Ward Smith, Brian Grant, Alex Cannon, Xuebin Zhang (2020) Quantifying the uncertainty introduced by internal climate variability in the projected Canadian crop yield changes. Oral presentation, iCROPM2020, February 2-5, 2020, Montpellier, France.

    2020 - View publication details

  5. GN Falconnier, M Corbeels , KJ Boote , F Affholder , M Adam, DS MacCarthy, Alexander C Ruane, C Nendel, AM Whitbread, E Justes , LR Ahuja, F.M. Akinseye , IN Alou, KA Amouzou , S.S. Anapalli , C Baron, B Basso, F Baudron , P Bertuzzi, AJ Challinor , Y Chen, D Deryng , ML Elsayed , B Faye, T Gaiser , M Galdos , S Gayler , E Gerardeaux , M Giner , B Grant, G Hoogenboom , ES Ibrahim, B Kamali , KC Kersebaum , SH Kim, M van der Laan , L Leroux , JI Lizaso , B Maestrini , EA Meier, F Mequanint , A Ndoli , CH Porter, E Priesack , D Ripoche , T Sida , U Singh, W Smith, A Srivastava, S Sumit , F Tao, PJ Thorburn , D Timlin , B Traore , T Twine, H Webber. Modelling climate change impacts on maize yield under low N input conditions in sub Saharan Africa. Crop modelling for Agriculture and Food Security under Global Change. ICROPM 2020, Montpellier, France, Feb 3-5, 2020.

    2020 - View publication details

  6. Carozzi M Bellocchi G., Ehrhardt F., Brilli L., Bathia A., De Antoni Migliorati
    M., Doltra J., Dorich C., Doro L., Fitton N., Grace P., Grant B., Giacomini S.,
    Leonard J., Loubet B., Massad Raia S., Pattey E., Sharp J., Smith P., Smith W.,
    Zhang Q., Recous S. 2020. Evaluation of mitigation practices to reduce N2O and increase soil C; multi-model assessment in five croplands worldwide. Proceedings of ICROPM 2020, Montpellier, France, Feb 3-5 2020, 547-548

    2020 - View publication details

  7. Budong Qian, Qi Jing, Ward Smith, Brian Grant, Alex Cannon, Xuebin Zhang (2020) Uncertainty introduced by internal climate variability in the projected climate change impacts on Canadian crop yields. Oral Presentation, American Meteorological Society Annual Meetings 20202, January 10 -16, 2020, Boston, USA.

    2020 - View publication details

  8. Kritika Kothari, Montse Salmeron Cortasa, Rafael Battisti, Kenneth J. Boote, Sotirios Archontoulis, Adriana Confalone, Julie Constantin, Santiago Cuadra, Philippe Debaeke, Babacar Faye, Brian Grant, Gerrit Hoogenboom, Qi Jing, Michael van der Laan, Fernando Macena, Fabio Marin, Alireza Nehbandani, Claas Nendel, Larry C. Purcell, Budong Qian, Alex Ruane, Evandro da Silva, Ward Smith, Afshin Soltani, Amit Srivastava, Nilson Vieira. 2019. AgMIP Soybean Phase 1: Multi-Model Sensitivity Analysis to CO2, Temperature, Water, and Nitrogen. ASA, CSSA and SSSA International Annual Meetings, San Antonio, Texas, Nov 10-13, 2019.

    2019 - View publication details

  9. Smith, W., Z. Qi, B. Grant, W. He, A. VanderZaag, C. Drury, C. Tan, M. and Helmers. Towards improving the DNDC model for simulating soil hydrology and tile drainage. 2019 ASABE Annual International Meet, Boston, Massachusetts, July 7–10, 2019. DOI:https://doi.org/10.13031/aim.20

    2019 - View publication details

  10. Farina, R., Ehrhardt, F., Bellocchi, G., Chenu, C., Soussana, J.-F., Abd-Alla, M., Álvaro-Fuentes, J., Brilli, L., CLIVOT, H., De Antoni Migliorati, M., Di Bene, C., Dorich, C., Ferchaud, F., Fitton, N., Francaviglia, R., Franko, U., Giltrap, D., Grant, B., GUENET, B., Harrison, M. T., Kirschbaum, M. U. F., Kulmala, L., Kuka, K., Liski, L., Meier, E., Menichetti, L., Moyano, F., Nendel, C., Smith, W., Taghizadeh-Toosi, A., Tsutskikhr, E., Recous, S. (2019). Poster: Multi-metric evaluation of an ensemble of biogeochemical models for the estimation of organic carbon content in long-term bare fallow soils. Presented at International conference "Food security and climate change: 4 per 1000 initiative new tangible global challenges for the soil", Poitiers, FRA (2019-06-17 - 2019-06-20).

    2019 - View publication details

  11. Scheer, C., Pelster, D., Butterbach-Bahl, K., Cleemput, O. Van, Kanter, D., Winiwarter, W., Ogle, S., Boeckx, P., Fuchs, K., Baggs, E., Bakken, L., Barton, L., Cardenas, L., Clough, T., DelGrosso, S., Dorich, C., Friedl, J., Hu, C., Leitner, S., Massad, R., Peterson, S.O., Skiba, U., Smith, W., Subbarao, G.V., Vogeler, I. and Wagner-Riddle, C. Addressing nitrous oxide: An often ignored climate and ozone threat. Policy Brief of the workshop on “Climate change, reactive nitrogen, food security and sustainable agriculture” Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, 15-16 April, 2019. https://mopga.imk-ifu.kit.edu/sites/mopga/files/inline-files/Policy%20Brief%20-%20Nr-Workshop%20Garmisch%20final.pdf

    2019 - View publication details

  12. Smith, W., B. Grant, W. He, Z. Qi, A. VanderZaag, Kamaljit Banger, Craig Drury, and Claudia Wagner-Riddle. Modelling approach for identifying management practices that reduce GHG emissions from cropping systems in Canada. Proceedings of the workshop on “Climate change, reactive nitrogen, food security and sustainable agriculture”, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, 15-16 April, 2019. https://mopga.imk-ifu.kit.edu/workshop-presentations

    2019 - View publication details

  13. Sandor, R., Bellocchi, G., Ehrhardt, F., Bhatia, A., Brilli, L., de Antoni Migliorati, M., Carozzi, M., Doltra, J., Dorich, C., Doro, L., Fitton, N., Fuchs, K., Gongadze, K., Grace, P., Grant, B., Giacomini, S., Klumpp, K., Léonard, L., Liebig, M., Martin, R., Massad, R. S., Merbold, L., Newton, P., Pattey, E., Rees, B., Rolinski, S., Sharp, J., Smith, P., Smith, W., Snow, V., Soussana, J.-F., Zhang, Q., Recous, S. (2019). Poster: Quantification of modelling uncertainties in an ensemble of carbon simulations in grasslands and croplands. Presented at 3rd Agriculture and Climate Change Conference, Budapest, HUN (2019-03-24 - 2019-03-26). https://prodinra.inra.fr/record/472277

    2019 - View publication details

  14. Fan, J., McConkey, B.G., Liang, B.C., Angers, D.A., Janzen, H.H., Kröbel, R., Cerkowniak, D.D., Smith, W.N. (2019). Increasing crop yields and root input make Canadian farmland a large carbon sink, 336 49-58. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2018.08.004

    2019 - View publication details

  15. Del Grosso, S. J., Ogle, S. M., Parton, W. J., Nevison, C. D., Smith, W., Grant, B., Wagner-Riddle, C., Tenuta, M. Comparing Soil Nitrous Oxide Emissions Simulated by the New Freeze-Thaw Version of DayCent with Fluxes Inferred from Atmospheric Inversion. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting, abstract #B24C-06, Washington, D.C., December 2018

    2018 - View publication details

  16. Marco Carozzi, Fiona Ehrhardt, Lorenzo Brilli, Gianni Bellocchi, Arti Bhatia, Massimiliano De Antoni Migliorati, Jordi Doltra, Luca Doro, Nuala Fitton, Peter Grace, Sandro Giacomini, Joel Léonard, Benjamin Loubet, Raia Silvia Massad, Laura Mula, Elizabeth Pattey, Joanna Sharp, Peter Smith, Ward Smith, Qing Zhang, Sylvie Recous. 2018. GRA affiliated presentation: Management practices to mitigate GHG emissions in cropping systems: a multi-model assessment. European Society for Agronomy Congress. August 27-31, Geneva Switzerland, 2018.

    2018 - View publication details

  17. Obi-Njoku, O., G. Price, M. Boh, W. Smith, and O.G. Clark. 2018. Calibrating DNDC to estimate crop yield and greenhouse gas emissions from land-applied biosolids on maize and barley fields in Canada. Canadian Society for Bioengineering Annual General Meeting and Technical Conference 2018, Guelph, ON, Canada. 22-25 July.

    2018 - View publication details

  18. Carozzi, M., Ehrhardt, F., Brilli, L., Bellocchi, G., Bathia, A., De Antoni Migliorati, M., Bregon, J.D., Dorich, C., Doror, L., Fitton, N., Grace, P., Grant, B., Giacomini, S.J., Leonard, J., Loubet, B., Massad, R.S., Mula, L., Pattey, E., Sharp, J., Smith, P., Smith, W., Zhang, Q., Recous, S. 2018. GRA affiliated presentation: Multi-Model Assessment of Mitigation Options for GHG Emissions in Croplands. 20th N Workshop and Side event, 25-27 June, 2018, Rennes, France

    2018 - View publication details

  19. Banger, K., C. Wagner-Riddle, B.B. Grant, W.N. Smith, C.F. Drury. Modeling and scaling up of gaseous nitrogen loss from corn production systems of Ontario. 2018 Joint Meeting of the CGU-CSSS-CIG-CSAFM-ESSSA. June 10-14, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada.

    2018 - View publication details

  20. Kløverpris, J.H., Grant, B., Smith, W., Schmidt, J., Bentham, M.J. 2018. Environmental life cycle assessment of US corn produced with microbial phosphate inoculant. External critical review conducted and approved by Michael Hauschild, Lorie Hamelin, and Nuala Fitton according to the ISO standards for LCA (14040 and 14044), May 2018.

    2018 - View publication details

Research facility

960 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6
Canada

Affiliations

Editor of Agronomy Journal (2020-2022)

Member of Canadian Society of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology (2016-current)

Member of American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) (2016-2019)

Language

English