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Sustainable Agriculture Faculty & Staff


Dr. Rebecca Harbut

Faculty, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

Fruit Production, Plant Physiology, Crop Ecology

Rebecca Harbut is a native of British Columbia and is delighted to have returned to BC after spending several years in Ontario and the US.  Rebecca received both her BSc and MS degree from the University of Guelph in Ontario and then completed her PhD in Horticulture at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY where she conducted research on fruit crops.  Most recently, Rebecca was a faculty member in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Wisconsin where she developed a fruit research and extension program.  Rebecca recently joined the faculty at KPU where she is the lead faculty in the Sustainable Agriculture program.  

Email: | Tel: 604-599-2568

Mike Bomford

Dr. Michael Bomford

Faculty, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

Organic Farming, Agriculture and Energy, Ecologically-Based Pest Management

Mike moved to Richmond in 2014 to assist with KPU's new Sustainable Agriculture degree program. Before returning to BC, he spent 10 years at Kentucky State University (KSU), leading research, extension, and teaching programs related to organic agriculture, with an emphasis on small farms. He completed his PhD at West Virginia University, conducting companion planting research on a newly-certified organic farm. He grew up the son of a District Agriculturalist among the expansive grain farms of BC's Peace River region and earned degrees in plant science and agricultural pest management at UBC and SFU. 

A passionate teacher, Mike helped launch a new Sustainable Agriculture degree program at the University of Kentucky in 2006; followed by a new Master of Science in Environmental Studies at KSU in 2010; and a new Bachelor of Agriculture, Food and Environment degree at KSU in 2012. In 2013 he was given his College’s Outstanding Teacher award and the USDA’s Honor Award for Excellence.

Mike is very interested in the intersection between food and energy. He has explored energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with farming and food systems, and experimented with renewable energy production techniques for small farms. His teaching responsibilities at KPU include the senior series in Agroecosystem Management, and courses in Vegetable Production, Ecologically-Based Pest Management, and Agriculture and Energy. He also guides a full-year series of Research courses for senior students. 

Email: | Tel: 604-599-2531


Dr. Arcadio Viveros Guzmán

Faculty, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

Biological Pest Management, Agricultural Labour Issues

Before joining the teaching team at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Arcadio Viveros Guzmán completed his Bachelor of Science in Agronomy focusing on Extension and Outreach Services at the Universidad Veracruzana in Mexico. As part of his undergraduate degree, he conducted research on biological control of pests in corn plantations. Later on, he accomplished a Master of Science in Tropical Agroecosystems at the Colegio de Postgraduados Campus Veracruz, where he studied the potential role of weeds in controlling agricultural pests. In Canada, Arcadio completed a Master of Education in Educational Communications in the Department of Curriculum Studies and a Doctoral Degree in the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan. His doctoral dissertation concerned sustainability aspects of temporary foreign worker programs in the agriculture sector in Canada.

In Mexico, Arcadio has taught different agricultural subjects at university level and worked as an agricultural extensionist to assist small-scale farmers through capacity development programs. In Canada, he worked as a university teaching and research assistant in the Department of Plant Sciences, Environment and Sustainability, and the Canadian Centre for Health and Safety in Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan, where he has also worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow.


Torin BoyleTorin Boyle

Research and Teaching Farm Manager, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

Torin completed this Bachelor’s degree at the University of Guelph majoring in organic agriculture in 2013. While completing his Bachelors he worked with his brothers to start “Boyle Bros. Market Garden” at his family’s home in Niagara, Ontario. The business which produces specialty greens and sells to local restaurants and markets is still thriving today. He then went on to do his Master’s degree in the Plant Agriculture Department at the University of Guelph in the stream of Plant Breeding and Genetics. His research focused on testing soybean cultivars and breeding population on organic and conventional farms to compare their performance between the two environments.

Torin came to Vancouver, British Columbia to begin working at KPU in October 2016 as the coordinator of the research and teaching farm. He will be working to further develop KPU’s research and teaching facilities in Sustainable Agriculture as well as managing farm operations.

Email:  | Tel: 604-599-2556

MasoumehDr. Masoumeh Bejaei

Sessional Instructor, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

Animal Agriculture

Masoumeh received her BSc in Agriculture Studies (Animal Sciences) from University of Tabriz and her first MSc in Animal Nutrition from University of Tehran. She earned her second MSc in Animal Science from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and her PhD in Animal Science at UBC. During her tenure as a graduate student at UBC, she was involved with research in developing models for predicting market trends of organic table eggs, and research to improve ostrich welfare during transportation. Her postdoctoral research was a collaborative project between UBC Avian Research Centre and KPU Sustainable Agriculture Program on developing alternative protein sources in laying hen diets. Her research resulted in two Certificates of Excellence in separate presentations at the Poultry Science annual meetings and six refereed research papers in major journals, and a book chapter. Dr. Bejaei is a passionate educator. She developed, coordinated and taught courses in Agroecology, and Land, Food and Community at UBC as a Teaching Assistant, Tutor and Course Coordinator, and Animals in the Food Industry course at Canisius College (New York) as an Adjunct Faculty. As the Coordinator of Land, Food, and Community II course at UBC, she co-developed 60 community-based food system projects and several research methods workshops in two years.

She joined the teaching team at KPU in January 2016. Her goal is to continually improve the sustainability of animal farming through research and teaching, and at the same time to provide much-needed support for local farm animal producers.


Chris Bodnar

Dr. Chris Bodnar

Sessional Instructor, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

Business Planning, Co-operatives, Farm Management

Chris Bodnar owns and operates Close to Home Organics, a small-scale farm in Abbotsford, British Columbia, located at Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-operative. Prior to farming Chris earned a PhD in Communication from Carleton University. Although he now farms full-time, he still enjoys time in the classroom and teaches the Business of Agriculture course in Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Sustainable Agriculture program. He also sits on the board of the Mount Lehman Credit Union and the Glen Valley Organic Farm Co-operative.

In the past he has served on the boards of the BC Association for Regenerative Agriculture and the Certified Organic Associations of BC as well as advisory committees for the BC Foodlands Co-op, the Organic Online System and the BC Organic Branding Initiative. Chris is a Mentor to new farmers through the Young Agrarians' BC Business Mentorship Network program.

In the off-season he facilitates workshops and speaks on the topics of business planning for small farms and co-operatives in agriculture. In 2017 Chris was awarded the Brad Reid Memorial Award from the Certified Organic Associations of BC, which "honours an innovative leader who has strengthened the organic community by moving the sector forward."



Dr. Abera Demeke

Sessional Instructor, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

Socioeconomics of Agriculture

Dr. Abera Demeke has over ten years of broad working experience in socioeconomic research, international development as well as teaching at post-secondary level. Dr. Demeke's academic background goes back to his first degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Alemaya in Ethiopia, followed by a master’s degree in Development Economics from the University of Goettingen and a PhD degree (magna cum laude) in Agricultural Economics from the University of Hohenheim both in Germany and, recently, he received a master's degree in Food and Resource Economics from the University of British Columbia (UBC) Vancouver, Canada.

 Dr. Demeke has been a research fellow at the University of Hohenheim, Germany and a research officer at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He actively participates in research and has published various articles in a range of areas, including food security, climate variability, risk management, technology adoption and the role of education in rural development in reputable scholarly journals. He presented papers in different international conferences such as the International Panel Data Conference at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Seminar of the European Association of Agricultural Economists at the University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart. He is the author of a book entitled: "Weather Risk, Social Capital and Household Wellbeing in an Agrarian Economy: Empirical Studies on Ethiopian Smallholders", published by Margraf Publishers in 2011.

Dr. Demeke teaches economics, research methods, quantitative methods and business courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He teaches at Douglas College, University Canada West, and Acsenda School of Management.


aimeeDr. Aimee Taylor

Sessional Instructor, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

Soil Science, Sustainable Soil Management

Before teaching at KPU, Aimee worked for provincial government social housing initiatives. She is a Registered Horticultural Therapist (HTR). In this capacity, she uses horticultural techniques as a modality for improving well-being, health and teaching life skills. In her position at BC Housing, Aimee managed the province-wide program for assisting vulnerable adults and families in learning to grow food either in communal spaces or in their own yards. The program aimed to improve food security by teaching the skills required to grow and prepare food and by providing a method for community development through partnerships, empowerment and inclusion.

Aimee arrived in Canada in 2002 as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia, in the Faculty of Forestry with Dr. Cindy Prescott, where she investigated the decomposition rates and nitrogen mineralization of forest litter.

Email: | Tel: 604-599-2574

mullinixDr. Kent Mullinix

Director, Institute for Sustainable Food Systems and Adjunct Faculty, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

As Director of ISFS, Dr. Mullinix oversees all of the Institute's research projects, two farm school programs, and other initiatives. He works closely with staff and faculty in the Sustainable Agriculture program here at KPU. Mullinix's research focuses on ecologically sound crop production, agriculture education programming, sustainable agriculture and food systems, and family-based agriculture revitalization as a foundational and integral element of sustainable society. Additionally Mullinix conceived and led the development of the B.A.Sc. Sustainable Agriculture degree at KPU and is now closely involved in its implementation. He also led the conceptualization and implementation of the Richmond Farm School and Tsawwassen First Nation Farm School. Mullinix is an Adjunct Professor in The Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia and serves on the editorial board of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal.

Mullinix attended the University of Missouri where he earned a B.S. in Agriculture (major horticulture with emphasis on fruit and vegetable production), M.S. in Horticulture (specializing in Pomology) and Ph.D. in Agriculture Education (specializing in curriculum and program development, crop sciences and soil conservation). He also earned a Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia in Plant Science (specializing in integrated pest management). He is a Professional Agrologist - British Columbia Institute of Agrologists. Before joining KPU, Mullinix held the Endowed Joint Chair in Pomology and was an Associate Professor (fruit crops production/ degree program administration), Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Washington State University. Prior he was a fruit crops research specialist for the Universities of Missouri, Minnesota and Kentucky.

Mullinix has lived and worked on a diversified family farm in central Missouri, owned and operated (with his family for 15 years) a pear orchard on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains, and for 14 years provided direct oversight for the planning, establishment and management of a 45 acre organically farmed apple, sweet cherry and peach teaching and demonstration orchard in north central Washington.

Email: | Tel: 604-599-2540 | Cell 604-612-1252