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USask recognizes sustainable hort researcher for breaking new ground

June 15, 2023  By University of Saskatchewan

The University of Saskatchewan has announced their four major annual research awards, and an aggie made the cut. Kate Congreves, an associate professor in plant sciences at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, was honoured for her work in breaking new ground in sustainable agriculture.

“I’m very humbled by the recognition, and grateful to my colleagues and the university,” said Congreves, an associate professor in plant sciences at the College of Agriculture and Bioresources, in a press release.

“This totally wouldn’t be possible without the excellent work of my team – a group of really awesome students and technicians that I’ve had the great fortune and pleasure of working with over the past few years.”

Since joining the University of Saskatchewan in early 2017, Congreves has developed an internationally recognized research program in environmental horticulture and agronomy.

“My research focuses on understanding how nitrogen cycles in cropping systems, and by understanding that, I aim to better design and manage sustainable cropping systems that don’t degrade the soil but regenerate it instead, and to develop systems that reduce greenhouse gases,” she said.

Her work supports two of the University of Saskatchewan’s signature areas – agriculture, and communities and sustainability. In 2022 Congreves was awarded a Sustainability Faculty Fellowship by the University of Saskatchewan’s Office of the Vice Provost, Teaching and Learning.

Her research has attracted $2.9 million in direct funding, and nearly $10 million in total collaborative funding. Congreves has produced 27 peer-reviewed research publications over the past six years at the University of Saskatchewan – especially noteworthy achievement since many are considered “firsts of their kind” in Saskatchewan. For example, she has developed a soil health testing protocol for cropping systems in the province, created a new GHG monitoring station, and began testing cover crops in Prairie field and vegetable crop rotations – essential contributions to food security and nature-based climate solutions.

“We are always trying to look for that balance between environmental and agronomic benefits,” Congreves said. “Where they overlap is where we have a chance to make a difference for farming.”

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