Dr. Sean Smukler
January 4, 2012 - 10:46am — Ethan
Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems
Assistant Professor, Applied Biology & Soil Science; Junior Chair, Agriculture and the Environment
My research program is focused on working with farmers, and other managers of agricultural landscapes to find ways to better monitor, protect and enhance biodiversity and the availability of ecosystem services including food, fiber, fuel and timber production, greenhouse gas mitigation, and water quality and quantity regulation. My research has been concentrated on assessing the impact of farm management practices on plant biomass and biodiversity, soil physical and chemical properties, nutrients in water (leaching, and storm and irrigation runoff), and carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. I am interested in developing methods to translate these measures of ecosystem function into estimates of the availability of ecosystem services; then to figure out how to accurately bridge results from plot and farm level to those at larger scales, at the watershed, landscape and region using geospatial statistics, remote sensing and geographical information system tools. By providing landscape level assessments I see the possibility for farmers to not only better understand wider implications of their management practices but also to provide decision makers tools to address the increasing need for agricultural landscape to meet multiple societal objectives beyond just food production.
I am in the process of building a research program that investigates the relationship between agriculture and ecosystem services both in developing and developed world agricultural landscapes. I am currently involved in projects investigating tradeoffs among climate change mitigation, plant biodiversity and food security in East Africa and developing methods for implementing, monitoring, reporting and verifying carbon sequestration projects involving small-holder farmers. I am also working on a project to provide land use managers and farmers in southwest Haiti with tools to create effective watershed management plans to meet multiple objectives of an integrated rural development program. New to British Columbia, I am currently starting to develop research projects within the province, particularly focused in and around the city of Vancouver.
For more information about my research please visit the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes (SAL) laboratory website
G. Galford, J. Hickman, C.A. Palm, M. Bekunda, P. Groffman, J. Kihara, J. Melillo, P. Mutuo, G. Nziguheba, P.A. Sanchez, S.M. Smukler, J. Tang, S. Zingore. N cycling in human-dominated African landscapes and the impacts of a new Green Revolution. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. (Ms. in review).
L.E. Jackson, M.M. Pullman, L. Brussaard, K.S. Bawa, G.G. Brown, I.M. Cardoso, P. De Ruiter, L. Garcia-Barrios, A.D. Hollander, P. Lavelle, E. Ouedraogo, U.Pascual, S. Setty, S.M. Smukler, T. Tscharntke and M. Van Noordwijk. Agrobiodiversity and intensification of agriculture: insights from eight landscapes in several biomes. Global Environmental Change. (Ms in review).
R. Remans, and S.M. Smukler. Linking agricultural biodiversity to improved nutrition and health; methodological approaches, options and impact in , J. Fanzo and D. Hunter editors. Diversifying Food and Diets: Using Agricultural Biodiversity to Improve Nutrition and Health. Earthscan. (Ms. in review).
Smukler, S.M., S. Philpott, L.E. Jackson, A. Klein, F.A.J. DeClerck, L. Winowiecki, and C.A. Palm (2012). Ecosystem Services in Agricultural Landscapes. In F. DeClerck, J. Ingram, and C. Rumbaitis del Rio, editors. Integrating Ecology into Poverty Alleviation and International Development Efforts: a practical guide. Springer, New York.
Sachs, J. D.*, Remans, R.*, Smukler, S. M.*, Winowiecki, L.*, Andelman, S. J., Cassman, K. G., Castle, D., et al. (2012). Effective monitoring of agriculture: a response. Journal of environmental monitoring : JEM, 738-742.
Smukler, S. M., O’Geen, a. T., & Jackson, L. E. (2012). Assessment of best management practices for nutrient cycling: A case study on an organic farm in a Mediterranean-type climate. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation, 67(1), 16-31.
Winowiecki, L., Smukler, S., Shirley, K., Remans, R., Peltier, G., Lothes, E., Comita, L., et al. (2011). Tools for enhancing interdisciplinary communication. Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy, 7(1), 74-80.
Sachs, J., Remans, R., Smukler, S., Winowiecki, L., Andelman, S., Cassman, K., Castle, D., et al. (2010). Monitoring the world’s agriculture. Nature, 466(7306), 558-560.
Smukler, S. M., Sánchez-Moreno, S., Fonte, S. J., Ferris, H., Klonsky, K., O’Geen, a. T., Scow, K. M., et al. (2010). Biodiversity and multiple ecosystem functions in an organic farmscape. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 139(1-2), 80-97.
Palm, C. A.*, Smukler, S. M.*, Sullivan, C. C., Mutuo, P. K., Nyadzi, G. I., & Walsh, M. G. (2010). Identifying potential synergies and trade-offs for meeting food security and climate change objectives in sub-Saharan Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(46), 19661-19666.
Brodt S, Klonsky K, Jackson L, Brush SB, Smukler S. Factors affecting adoption of hedgerows and other biodiversity-enhancing features on farms in California, USA. Agroforestry Systems. 2009;76(1):195–206.
Smukler, S.M., L. Murphee, R. Yakota, I. Ramirez, R. Smith, L.E. Jackson. Transition to Large-Scale Organic Vegetable Production in the Salinas Valley, California. Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment. 2008;126(3–4):168–88.
Cavagnaro, T.R., J.A. Langley, L.E. Jackson, S.M. Smukler, G.W. Koch. Growth, nutrition, and soil respiration of a mycorrhiza defective tomato mutant and its mycorrhizal wild-type progenitor. Functional Plant Biology. 2008;35(3):228–35.
Sánchez-Moreno, S., S.M., Smukler, H. Ferris; A.T. O'Geen, L.E., Jackson. Nematode diversity, soil food web condition, and soil chemical and physical properties in different soil habitats of an organic farm. 2007. Biology and Fertility of Soils 2008;44(5):727–44.