Fernando Montaño Lopez

Role: HQP Scholar

Degree: M.Sc.

Primary Faculty Advisor: Asim Biswas

Department: School of Environmental Sciences

I am a M.Sc. student in the School of Environmental Sciences, currently working in the Sustainable Soil Management Lab under the supervision of Dr. Asim Biswas.

Tell us about your project

In my research, I aim to assess the impact of land use change on soil carbon through digital soil mapping in Northern Ontario. My project involves the use of remotely sensed data to track land use patterns, novel soil sampling methods, the disaggregation of traditional soil maps and the creation of a map of soil carbon that will be developed with the aid of machine learning techniques. Finally, with help of CENTURY, a model of soil carbon dynamics, we will be able to quantify and simulate changes of soil carbon stocks under climate change conditions. I hope that my results can help farmers and policy makers to make better decisions on land management practices.

The HQP program has been very rewarding for me as it introduced me to the Canadian agri-food sector. Being from Mexico, I have always been interested in building strategies that aim to improve the agricultural sector in North America. The HQP program has provided me with essential tools to develop myself professionally such as networking, communication skills and decision-making. Of special interest for me is developing technologies that make our sector more dynamic and resilient to economic and environmental changes. To achieve this, we need to bring research findings to the next step, which I believe is policymaking. By combining research and policymaking, companies and public institutions can foster economic growth for the improvement of social conditions. The HQP program has allowed me to better understand the importance of multidisciplinary research innovations in the agri-food sector.