Summerland Research and Development Centre

  • Horticulture
  • Agro-Ecosystem Resilience
  • Biodiversity and Bioresources
  • Agri-Food

 

The Summerland Research and Development Centre (Summerland RDC) was established in 1914 in the heart of the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia. It is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) network of 20 research and development centres. 

Areas of Research

Research at the Summerland RDC addresses the mitigation of environmental pressures, control of biological threats and integration of sustainable production and processing systems for the delivery of high quality, value-added horticultural and agri-food products. Research activities focus on high value horticultural crops, particularly wine grapes and tree fruits, and the development of environmentally and economically sustainable methodologies and strategies to ensure the success of our agricultural industries locally, nationally and internationally.

Summerland RDC is one of seven sites where field trials on potential pest management tools and technology trials are conducted for AAFC’s Minor Use Pesticides Program. The centre also houses the Canadian National Collection of Plant Viruses.

Search Research projects from the Summerland Research and Development Centre to learn more about what we do.

Sector Needs

The Summerland RDC carries out innovative research, development, technology and knowledge transfer activities in support of the AAFC's Strategic Plan for Science, which includes:

Summerland RDC develops new sweet cherry and apple cultivars, conducts research on insect ecology and management, and disease epidemiology, management and host-pathogen relationships. This research enables the development of sustainable management strategies for insect pests, field and post-harvest diseases as well as emerging insect and disease pests of tree fruit and grape.

Research focuses on soil, water and nutrient management and development of management practices for tree fruit and wine grapes. The development of models for climate, land and water resources, and crop suitability supports National Climate Change Adaptation strategies.

The Canadian Plant Virus Collection acquires and distributes plant viruses for research and regulatory purposes and supports development of diagnostic tests to manage viral diseases of plants. Research also includes identifying species and enhancing our understanding of plant viruses.

  • Agri-food

The food microbiology program addresses contamination of fresh produce and sprouts with food-borne illness pathogens, in particular leafy greens and E. coli. Novel attributes of fresh produce that are associated with health are identified. Post-harvest research helps maintain the quality of apples and sweet cherries during storage to provide enhanced market opportunities and food security for these products.

Meet our Scientists

Find out more about the scientists at Summerland Research and Development Centre through their profiles below.

You can also visit the Fields of Science campaign featuring 11 Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada scientists from coast to coast. Discover why they chose to pursue a career in agriculture and learn more about their research.

4200 Highway #97
Summerland, BC V0H 1Z0
Canada
(250) 494-7711

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Scientists and researchers

Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Christopher Pagliocchini
Biologist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Daniel O'Gorman
Biologist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Basudev Ghoshal
Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Hao Xu
Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Karen Fong
Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Kelly Anne Ross
Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Systems Agro-Ecologist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Mehdi Sharifi
Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Nathaniel K. Newlands
Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Peter Toivonen
Retired - Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Postdoctoral Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Howard Michael Andrew Thistlewood
Honorary Research Associate
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Jesse L MacDonald
Biologist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Masoumeh Bejaei
Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Naomi DeLury
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Image Ron Reade
Curator of the Canadian Plant Virus Collection
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Research Scientist
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

 

Blog posts from our researchers

When you reach for an apple in the grocery store, do you choose a crisp sweet blushing AmbrosiaTM, a juicy aromatic Salish®, or a tart bright red and green McIntosh?  Is it taste that guides you, colour, or something else? Are you someone who can’t...
Beneficial compounds are discovered in fruit cell walls.
Could we consider the unassuming raspberry a superfood? When Dr. Kelly Ross took a closer look at raspberries, she found evidence of their potential to enhance human health and benefit diabetics. Dr. Ross and her team, David Godfrey and Lana...
A link between soft scald in storage and water stress during development is discovered in a highly valued apple variety.
The popular Ambrosia™ apple, named for “food of the gods” in Greek mythology, makes up a third of the apples grown in BC, generating a farm gate value of over $12.5M.  With a sweet honey flavour and light flesh that is slow to brown, it lives up to...
Investigating the cause of apple tree mortality in Canada
In 2018, growers started mentioning inexplicable die-back of a few apple trees here and there. Driving through the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia - a vast semi-arid landscape of acreages of apples, cherries, and grapes - it's not a surprise to...
Forgotten phenolics for intestinal wellbeing
Scientists have been trying to solve the mystery of why most fruit extracts don’t show the same health benefits compared to eating the entire fruit.  The same phenomenon occurs with vegetables.  It is very difficult to capture the full benefit of...

Publications

  1. 13th International Vaccinium Symposium Halifax

    2024 - View publication details

  2. Bejaei, M., Graveline, N. (2024). Deep Space Food Challenge – Sensory Testing. A confidential report submitted to the Canadian Space Agency.

    2024 - View publication details

  3. Williams, H.E., D. Ensing, & C.E. Moffat. 2023. Investigation into the contemporary status of Saint John's wort biocontrol in British Columbia. Inter-ministry Invasive Species Working Group (IMISWG) meeting, 25 Oct 2023.

    2023 - View publication details

  4. MacDonald JL, Franklin MT, Hann S, Makela K. 2023. A more inclusive biovigilance approach to pest management: Case study of the strawberry blossom weevil and implications for plant disease monitoring strategies. The Canadian Tri-Societies Meeting: Agroecosystem Resiliency Under a Changing Climate. Ottawa ON, Canada. 20 June 2023.

    2023 - View publication details

  5. MacDonald JL, Hannam KD, Xu H, D O'Gorman. 2023. Sudden apple decline in British Columbia: a potential link between fungal cankers, invasive Sesiidae moths, and abrupt hydraulic failure. The Canadian Tri-Societies Meeting: Agroecosystem Resiliency Under a Changing Climate. Ottawa ON, Canada. 20 June 2023.

    2023 - View publication details

  6. British Columbia (& Canada’s) Approach to Spotted Lanternfly Preparedness. Moffat, C.E., Williams, H., Kimoto, T., Holden, D., Bullas-Appleton, E., Gariepy, T.,D., Turbelin, A., Roe, A. Washington State Spotted Lanternfly Action Plan Webinar, Presentation to Washington Invasive Species Council. June 6, 2023.

    2023 - View publication details

  7. 2023. Annual meeting, the Canadian phytopathological society, 2022/Réunion annuelle, la société canadienne de phytopathologie, 2022, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, 45:3, 210-235, DOI: 10.1080/07060661.2023.2202486

    2023 - View publication details

  8. 2023. Annual meeting, the Canadian phytopathological society, 2022/Réunion annuelle, la société canadienne de phytopathologie, 2022, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, 45:3, 210-235, DOI: 10.1080/07060661.2023.2202486

    2023 - View publication details

  9. Bejaei, M. (2023, May). Sensory and physicochemical characteristics of Staccato sweet cherries at harvest and after a 28-day storage. Technical bulletin submitted to Summerland Varieties Corporation (Summerland, BC) and BC Cherry Association. Pages 1-5.

    2023 - View publication details

  10. Ensing, DJ, RS Bourchier, R De Clerck-Floate, V. Miller, S. Turner, and CE Moffat. 2023. 30 years of biological control of invasive spotted knapweed in British Columbia. Alberta Invasive Species Council Annual Conference and General Meeting. 07-08 March 2023. Olds, AB.

    2023 - View publication details