Siddhartho (Sidd) Paul, Ph.D. Student, UBC

Siddhartho Paul is a PhD student at the Faculty of Land and Food
Systems, University of British Columbia. He works with the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Lab at UBC (http://sal-lab.landfood.ubc.ca/) where he studies the impacts of land use and land cover changes on soil organic carbon sequestration in the agricultural landscape of Lower Fraser Valley, BC. The overarching goal of his PhD project is to understand the dynamics of soil organic carbon changes within the study area and explore effective land use management options at field and landscape scales to better manage the ecosystem services. He applies various sorts of remote sensing and geospatial analyses for this research. When Sidd does not enjoy the computer screen (aka, not working), he loves going outdoors, playing team sports and cooking!


President – Elect; Media & Website Coordinator

Chantel Chizen, B.Sc. Student in Applied Biology, UBC

Chantel is an undergraduate student in applied biology, majoring in plant and soil science at UBC. She has always had a passion for agriculture and the environment. Her interest in soils developed through coursework at UBC and volunteering at local farms. When Chantel is not busy with school work, she is usually camping or skiing.







Emma Avery, M.Sc. Student in Soil Sciences, UBC

Emma Avery is a MSc student in Soil Sciences at UBC, where she is researching the long term impacts of a biosolids application on rangeland soil quality and plant species composition. She completed her undergraduate degree in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, studying plant and soil sciences in the Global Resource Systems program. Since then, she has grown a love of farming and local food systems through working on several small scale, organic vegetable and livestock farms, including the UBC farm. Emma is looking forward to deepening her understanding and appreciation for soil throughout her studies at UBC and in the field. When she’s not in the lab or at the UBC farm, she might be found riding her bike or getting into nature.



Katarina (Katie) Neufeld, M.Sc. Soil Science; Lab Coordinator @ SAL lab UBC

Katie’s interest in soils began during her undergraduate degree working in organic soils in Alaska, while completing a BSc in Environmental Science at the University of Guelph. She continued into an MSc at UBC, working in the oil Science department investigating changes to soil microbial communities after long-term dairy manure & fertilizer application in forage grass fields. Now, she continues to work in the laboratory at UBC investigating soils in Delta & the Fraser Valley! She continues her passion for soils, forests & agriculture into the rest of her life by spending her time growing (and cooking!) food, as well as hiking, biking & getting as much time outdoors as possible.


Newsletter Coordinator

Carson Li, M.Sc. Student in Soil Sciences, UBC

Carson Li is a M.Sc. student in soil science at UBC with the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Laboratory. Growing up in Inner Mongolia, China, he has always been emotionally attached to the land. He completed his undergraduate degree in environmental science from Simon Fraser University. His work experiences with Agriculture and Agri-food Canada not only fuelled his passion for soil, but provided him an opportunity to pursue a master degree in soil science. The focus of his research is nitrogen field-loss and field-scale nitrogen budget of semi-virtual model dairy farm. When he needs a break from manure and corns, he loves watching sitcoms (in winter) or camping somewhere near a lake (in summer).


Membership Coordinator

Emma Holmes, M.Sc. Soil Science

Emma Holmes is a soil scientist and farmer. Currently, she is working with small-scale producers through the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC)’s community-based agricultural extension program. She is also an Environmental Farm Planner with the BCMAFF Environmental Farm Plan Program and the Soil and Compost Instructor with Kwantlen’s Tsawwassen Farm School. Emma grew up in North Vancouver and did her BSc and MSc at UBC in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. She studied sustainable agriculture and soils in her undergrad and worked with Dr. Lavkulich on a reclamation focused project for her master’s degree. She loves biking around the city, growing food, and cooking for her friends.


Past President


Zineb Bazza, B.Sc. Applied Biology, M.Sc. student in Soil Sciences, UBC

Zineb Bazza is a M.Sc. student in soil sciences at UBC with the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Laboratory. She did her undergraduate in applied biology with a focus in plant and soil sciences. She became fascinated with soils after working on an organic farm in Delta, BC and decided to make it the focus of her studies. Zineb enjoys gardening and volunteers with a local urban farming company in the summers.


Graduate Representative

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Jin Zhang, Graduate Student, Simon Fraser University

Jin Zhang is a M.Sc. student in the Soil Research Lab from the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University. She grew up in the city and never understood the importance of soil. Starting out as a research assistant in 2012, she has been working in the lab under the supervision of Dr. Margaret Schmidt. The work experience made her realize the importance of soil and the environment. This subject has become so interesting to her that she decided to spend the next two years to focusing on digital soil mapping and field work. Jin shares her passion for soil with the Welsh corgi, an active dog breed that mirrors both her energy and enthusiasm.


Undergraduate Representative and Interim Secretary

Katelyn Hengel, B.Sc. Student in Applied Biology, UBC

Kate is an Applied Biology undergraduate student at UBC, and is majoring in plant and soil sciences. Her interests in ecology and agriculture stem from growing up on a hobby farm in the Okanagan. Additionally, her coursework has helped her discover a growing appreciation for the role of soil in the sustainability of both natural and cultivated systems. In her spare time, Kate loves time spent in the mountains, gardening, and reading.


Undergraduate Representative

Francis Durnin


Bookstore Director


Andy Jakoy, M.Sc. Soil Science, RPF (retired); Vancouver, BC

I was born on April 27, 1935, in Hungary in a small hamlet where my father was the resident forester. I enrolled in the Forest Engineering School of Sopron (western Hungary) in 1954. The Hungarians revolted against the Soviet occupation in October 1956. The superior Soviet army soon defeated this ill fated effort and most of the Engineering School, staff and students escaped to Austria. In early January, 1957 we were transported to Canada and finally to the West Coast. In September, 1957 we started our studies as an affiliated faculty of the Forestry Faculty of UBC. I graduated with BSF in 1959. In the early 1960-s I worked throughout BC in forest engineering. I started an MF program in silviculture in 1965 in the Forestry Faculty of UBC. My research and thesis work was in the fertilization of 2-0 planted Douglas-fir seedlings in Coastal BC. I had obtained a teaching position in the Natural Resources Department at BCIT in 1967. Soon I established valuable contacts with Drs. Karel Klinka and Nurettin Keser; through them I met Dr. Les Lavkulich and in 1975 I started my grad studies in Soil Science under the guidance of Dr. Lavkulich. In 1981, I defended my thesis, “Soils of grassland and forest transitions north of Kamloops, British Columbia”. Looking back on these years now, I feel I’d completed the best six years of my professional life at that particular time. During this period, I joined the PRSSS, which was initiated by Dr Lavkulich and have maintained my membership ever since. I was the president of our Society in 2002-03, when we celebrated our 25th Anniversary. As a retirement job I look after the report and map collection library of our Society, which we inherited from MOE in the mid 90s. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to learn from and to exchange information with such wonderful people as the earth scientists. I feel I earned the distinction as “director emeritus” of PRSSS.




Art Bomke

Art was raised on a small farm in Illinois, did his university education in that state at Southern Illinois University (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.), and immigrated to British Columbia four decades ago. Art’s educational background is in Agronomy, specifically soil and crop management, and he taught courses and conducted research on soil fertility and management throughout his UBC career. Art has also had opportunities to explore social dimensions of agricultural systems through his teaching in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems’ Land, Food and Community core curriculum. Since coming to UBC, he has conducted research on both inorganic and organic fertilization, nitrogen cycling, on-farm composting, agroecology and cropping systems.  Art officially retired to Professor Emeritus status in 2011 and continues to pursue interests in sustainable soil management and supporting farmers and farm communities. He was a charter member of the PRSSS and past director and is enthusiastic  about helping the Society to engage with the broader public in advocating for policies based in sound soil science.





Eveline Wolterson, M.Sc. Soil Science, EvEco President; Vancouver, BC

Eveline is the President of EvEco consultants. She earned both her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees at UBC and worked as a chemist for an oil refinery before finding her future in the field of soil science.




Tim Philpott, Ph.D. student, Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, UBC

Tim Philpott has been on the PRSSS executive since 2013, and served as the President in 2015-2016. He is an advocate for soil science education and soil conservation. He is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia in the Faculty of Forestry, where he studies how logging impacts decomposition of organic matter by soil fungi at the Silviculture Treatments for Ecosystem Management in the Sayward (STEMS) research installation near Campbell River, BC (http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hre/stems/). When not working on his PhD, you can usually find Tim on one of his bikes, or venturing in the woods looking for strange fungi.




Jason Lussier, M.Sc. student in Soil Sciences, UBC

Jason has always been fascinated by soils. As a young boy, one of his favorite pastimes was conducting “experiments” with soils, insects, fungi and plants in the woods behind his house. Over the years, not much has changed. After spending several years working in the forestry industry, he transitioned to the agriculture industry in 2010. Since then, he has worked closely with growers throughout the Fraser Valley by providing agronomic consulting services and applied research. He is now a graduate student and research assistant under the supervision of Dr. Maja Krzic. In his current research, he is working with growers from his hometown to evaluate the effects of short-term grassland set-asides on soil physical properties and carbon dynamics. When he is not on the clock, you can usually find him getting his hands dirty and exploring the outdoors with his four-legged sidekick.


Regional Director (Kamloops)

Doug Terpsma, M.Sc. student, Environmental Sciences, TRU

Doug is an M.Sc. student in Environmental Sciences (focusing on soil science) and a recent B.Sc. graduate of Thompson Rivers University. His interest in soils was solidified during the summer of 2015, when he was awarded the opportunity to produce an applied soils based management plan for a now-growing hybrid poplar plantation in BC’s southern interior. Since then he has focused his interests on soils throughout the final year of his undergraduate and into his graduate degree. Doug is currently studying the impact of spatial variability of soil physical properties on the distribution of soil moisture, and how that relates to conifer seedling growth and survival in semi-arid forests of BC’s southern-interior plateau. Although pedology and edaphology are his favorite academic subjects to explore, his favorite hobbies outside of work include team sports, bow hunting and fishing. He is looking forward to being the first PRSSS representative at TRU, and is excited to promote the wonderful world of soils to fellow students and colleagues throughout Kamloops.


Regional Director (Fraser Valley)

Alexander Lee, Student, UFV


Click here for Past Executives