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McGill Network for Innovation in Biofuels & Bioproducts


Membership & Governance

To see a list of our members and their expertise click here.

The Director

Donald L. Smith (Ph.D)

Dr. Donald L. Smith

Dr. Donald L. Smith is a well-known researcher and one of the leading experts in the field of plant-microbial interaction. He is the director of the McGill Network for Innovation in Biofuels and Bioproducts (McNIBB). He also currently leads the NSERC funded ($1.2 million per year) Green Crop Network ( on crops and climate change, including work on biofuels.

 Throughout his research career, work on nitrogen fixation has been a consistent theme, beginning with an undergraduate research project on cyanobacteria in 1974.  Current work in this area includes signaling between symbiotic partners during establishment of the legume-rhizobia symbiosis.

During his 22 years at McGill (, 51 graduate students have worked under his direct supervision, 30 Ph.D. and 21 M.Sc.  These have worked largely in production and physiology of crop plants, more recently with an emphasis on plant-microbe interactions.  The following crops have been investigated in one capacity or another: soybean, corn, barley, wheat, lupin, alfalfa, pea, bean, lentil, cowpea, sorghum, pearl millet, alfalfa, clover.  The areas of research investigation are as follows: nitrogen metabolism, nitrogen fixation, root zone temperature stress and nodule development, development of methods for injection of metabolites into developing plants, barley production, use of plant growth regulators, intercropping, the dynamics of inter-plant competition, plant-microbe signaling, plants and climate change and biofuel crops.  He is involved in the physiological responses of crop plants to increasing atmospheric CO2 levels and to climate change. 

Altogether this research activity has resulted over 240 publications (from his postgraduate research activities and those of his graduate students), five patents issued and three others applied for, and a spin-off company (Bios Agriculture Inc.).  During his 22 years at McGill, he has been principal investigator on research grants totaling over $10 million, and has been a co-applicant on approximately $2.5 million in other funds.  He has had international collaborations with India, China and Africa. 

Members of the Governing Board

  • Chair: France Rochette
    Manager New Business Development, E.I. DuPont Canada   
  • Director: Donald L. Smith
    Chair of the Department of Plant Science, McGill University
  • Denis Therien
    VP Research, McGill University
  • Terry McIntyre
    Head of Biotechnology Applications, Environment Canada
  • Ed Hogan
    Manager, Thermochemical Conversion, Industrial Innovation Group - Bioenergy, Natural Resource Canada
  • Joe Cunningham
    Industry Canada
  • Marc Fortin
    Assistant Deputy Minister, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada,
  • Rick Butts
    Science Director, Soil, Water and Air Quality, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Climate Change
  • Christiane Deslauriers
    Science Director, Bio-based Products and Processes Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 
  • Michel Lachance
    Director of the BioProducts-Innovation Network, Centre québécois de valorisation des biotechnologies (CQVB)
  • Norman King
    Environmental Health Unit, Montreal Public Health Board, City of Montreal
  • Roger Samson
    Executive Director, Resource Efficient Agricultural Production-Canada (REAP Canada)
  • Florence Junca Adenot
    Département d'études urbaines et touristiques, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
  • Graduate Student Representative: Keomany Ker
    Department of Plant Science, McGill University


  • Dupont Canada
  • Performance Plants Inc.
  • Agro Energie
  • Centurion Biofuels
  • DNA Land Marks (BASF)

Non-Governmental Organizations

McNIBB membership & expertise

McGill University

Our members are involved in a variety of research projects. A list of McNIBB members and their respective expertises can be found here.

Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Department of Animal Science

Bioresource Engineering Department

Department of Food Science

Department of Natural Resource Sciences

Department of Plant Science

Faculty of Arts

Centre for Developing-Area Studies

Department of Economics

Department of Political Sciences

Faculty of Engineering

School of Architecture

Department of Chemical Engineering

Department of Civil Engineering

Department of Mechanical Engineering

School of Urban Planning

Desaultels Faculty of Management

Faculty of Medicine

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

Faculty of Science

Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences

Department of Biology

Department of Chemistry

McGill School of the Environment

  • Chris Green, Jim Fyles and Don Smith are all associated with the MSE (these persons are already counted through other categories)


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