Skip to main content

Mask wearing is now a matter of personal preference at KPU. Their use in indoor public areas is strongly recommended. [Read more]

You are here

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 has taught in KPU's Sustainable Agriculture program since 2014. 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

Alex LyonDr. Alex Lyon

Faculty, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

Seeds and Plant Breeding, Agrobiodiversity, Sociology of Agriculture

Alex Lyon is an agroecologist who applies interdisciplinary approaches to complex questions in agriculture and food systems, embedding natural science in social and cultural contexts. Some of her core education and outreach interests are the environmental and cultural significance of seeds and crop genetic diversity, and the role of plant breeding in resilient and sustainable food production. She holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Smith College (2004) and an M.S. in Agroecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2009) where her research focused on the role of farmer knowledge in sustainable pasture management. During her Ph.D. in Environment and Resources, also at UW-Madison (2015), Alex began working on seed systems and crop improvement for organic agriculture using on-farm and community-engaged research in a multi-university project that involved farmers, seed companies, and plant breeders from across the northern United States.

She continued this work in British Columbia as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (2015 – 2020). Working with organic vegetable farmers and community partners across Canada, Alex developed the Canadian Organic Vegetable Improvement (CANOVI) project which supported participatory plant breeding and on-farm variety trials to develop regionally adapted varieties for organic production.

Beginning at KPU in 2020, Alex will be teaching courses in Sustainable Agriculture for the 21st Century, Agriculture and Food Systems, Food Systems Field Analysis, and World Trends in Agriculture, as well as co-teaching the Agroecosystems Management series.

Email: | Tel: 604-599-2574

Andy SmithAndy Smith

Research and Teaching Farm Manager, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

Although Andy did not grow up on a farm himself, he comes from a long line of farmers, and has enjoyed reconnecting as an adult with his family’s farming heritage. His interest in sustainable agriculture was kindled while doing community development work in urban squatter communities in north India. While observing patterns of forced migration from rural to urban communities, he became curious about how to increase the resiliency of small-scale farmers. After moving to B.C., this interest led Andy to begin working as an assistant farm manager with A Rocha Canada’s Sustainable Agriculture Program in Surrey. The A Rocha farm feeds 200 families each year through its CSA program, and also works to increase food and agricultural literacy while developing community investment in environmental stewardship.  Andy transitioned to the KPU Sustainable Agriculture team in 2019. He is the manager of the teaching and research farm where he enjoys working at the intersection of agriculture and education. If you visit the farm (which you should!), you may find Andy tending to seedlings in the dome, spreading compost in the field, or discussing crop plans and implementing research projects with students.

Email:  | Tel: 604-599-3381

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."


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.


Fernando BorderasDr. Fernando Borderas

Sessional Instructor, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

Animal Agriculture

Fernando Borderas grew up in a small agricultural town in central Mexico, where he developed a strong fascination for all living things. His love of animals led him to obtain a Veterinarian diploma from Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana in Mexico City. After obtaining a graduate studies scholarship, he moved to Quebec City to pursue a M.Sc. degree in Animal Science at Université Laval in Quebec, studying the feeding behaviour of dairy cows. After spending five years teaching dairy cow behaviour and welfare to veterinary students in Mexico City, he was invited as researcher for a sabbatical year at the Agriculture and Agri-food Canada Research and Development Centre in Sherbrooke QC. His research subjects were cow lameness and calf raising. Afterward, he enrolled at UBC to obtain a Ph.D. in Animal Science through the Animal Welfare Program. His doctoral research was focused on the welfare of dairy calves and using behavioural cues for early detection of illness.

Dr. Borderas has worked as a consultant for the BCSPCA Farm Animal Welfare certification program and as a research writer for the National Farm Animal Care Council of Canada, developing a Code of Practice for the Care and Handling of Veal Cattle. Since 2019 he has been an IB program Biology and Science teacher at École Secondaire Jules Verne and an Animal Agriculture instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

Fernando loves reading, movies, fish and plant keeping, and taking long walks on the west dyke trail near his Richmond home.


Abera DemekeDr. Abera Demeke

Sessional Instructor, Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems

Sustainable Economies

Dr. Abera Birhanu Demeke has over fifteen years of experience in socioeconomic research, international development, and post-secondary teaching. 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 in Development Economics from the University of Goettingen and a PhD (magna cum laude) in Agricultural Economics from the University of Hohenheim, both in Germany. He recently earned a second Master's, in Food and Resource Economics, from the University of British Columbia.

An active researcher, Dr. Demeke has published scholarly articles on food security, climate variability, risk management, technology adoption, and the role of education in rural development. He was 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.

In addition to teaching the Sustainable Human Economy course for KPU's Sustainable Agriculture degree program, Dr. Demeke also teaches economics, research methods, and quantitative methods at other colleges and universities in BC.  


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