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Mumtaz Cheema



Mumtaz Cheema, B.Sc. (Hons.), M.Sc., Ph.D. (University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan), Postdoc (Iowa State University, Ames, US)

Professor - Boreal ecosystems and agricultural sciences

Phone: (709) 639-6533

Email: mcheema@grenfell.mun.ca

Office: AS240


Dr. Cheema is a Professor in the School of Science and the Environment, member of Environment and Sustainability and the Boreal Ecosystem and Agricultural Sciences program (BEAS). The focus of his research program is to develop productive and sustainable cropping systems to enhance soil quality and health, yield and quality of produce under climate change scenario. In recent years, he has developed strong research collaborations with industry and investigated use of industrial waste by-products (anaerobic digestate, biochar, wood ash, wood sludge and rock dust) to develop growth media; microbial community structure, liming and mineral properties and their effects on crop growth, yield and phytochemical profile of horticultural and agronomic crops under controlled environment and field conditions. Current research focus is to develop management practices that mitigate greenhouse gases and nitrogen losses, enhance soil quality and health in different cropping systems. Impact of climate change on global food security, particularly rising atmospheric CO2 and its impact on crop growth, yield and produce quality. He has developed seed priming techniques to induce stress tolerance in plants under abiotic stresses (cold/chilling, drought and salinity). Impact of climate change on global food security, particularly rising atmospheric CO2 and its impact on crop growth, yield and produce quality. Dr. Cheema has supervised and co-supervised 40 Master, and 10 PhD theses. Prior to joining the Memorial University, Dr. Cheema was a Professor in the department of Agronomy, and Director Graduate Studies (2008 – 2011), at the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Current Research and Projects Highlights

  • Effects of different crop rotations and nitrogen stabilizer on N losses, N uptake and GHG fluxes under boreal climate.

  • How different crop rotation and N stabilizers affect crop growth, photosynthesis, yield and quality of forage crops?

  • Evaluating the diversity and function of genes implicated in nitrification and denitrification under different crop rotation and N fertilizers in podzol soils. 

  • Study of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited (CBPPL) waste byproducts as potential liming and nutrient sources for food production.

  • Developing growth media from wood ash and wood sludge; using wood ash and wood sludge as a natural soil amendment to improve soil physicochemical and biological properties, nutrient use efficiency, and plant growth.

  • Biochar amendment improves soil quality and health, N dynamics, crop growth and yield and mitigates global warming potential in different cropping systems in boreal climate.

  • High value crop production in hydroponic system under controlled environment through integrated re-use of nutrients from dairy liquid waste streams.

  • Rock dust from mine waste as a natural media amendment in forest reclamation and the production of high value agronomic and horticultural crops.

  • Improving agronomic performance, shelf life and quality indices of greenhouse vegetables by pre-harvest and post-harvest treatments under different nutrient composition.

  • Further evaluation of phosphatidic acid role on low temperature stress acclimation in silage-corn.

  • Evaluating phosphorus utilization efficiency in wheat genotypes under different phosphors supplies.

Grants and Awards

PI, Low-input agriculture in cool climate boreal ecosystems. Funded by Agricultural Clean Technology Program, Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation (TCII), Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Fisheries and Land Resources (FLR) and Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) [($1,330,885) (2019 -2021)].

COPI, Rock dust from mine waste as a natural media amendment in forest reclamation and the production of high value agronomic and horticultural crops. Funded by Anaconda Mining Inc. MUN, ACOA, NSERC-CRD, and TCII. [($ 383,800) (2019-2022)]. 

PI, Study of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited (CBPPL) by-products and potential uses for food production. Funded by (Mitacs and CBPPL) [($200,000) (2018-2020)].

COPI, Bridging the divide: Connecting and preparing refugees for work in the province's agriculture industry, Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Advance Skills & Labour - Workforce Innovation Centre (WIC), and Mitacs [($438,139) (2018-2021)].

PI, Imparting best management practices to external collaborators and partners through public engagement activities. PEPDP, Memorial University of Newfoundland, $25,000 (2019-2020).

Publications (selected)

  1. Wahid M.A, M. Saleem, S. Irshad, S. Khan, M. Cheema, M. F. Saleem and S. A. Tung. Foliar feeding of boron improves the productivity of cotton cultivars with enhanced boll retention percentage. Journal of Plant Nutrition; https://doi.org/10.1080/01904167.2020.1783300

  2. Oludoyin Adigun, M. Nadeem, T.H. Pham, V. Kavanagh, L.E. Jewell, M. Cheema and R. Thomas.2020. Recent advances of bio-chemical, molecular and physiological aspects of membrane lipid derivatives in plant pathology. Plant, Cell & Environment (accepted)

  3. Ashiq W, M. Nadeem, W. Ali, M. Zaeem, J. Wu, L. Galagedara, R. Thomas, V. Kavanagh and M. Cheema. 2020. Biochar amendment mitigates greenhouse gases emission and global warming potential in dairy manure based silage corn in boreal climate. Environmental Pollution, 265, 114869; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114869

  4. Sey A, T.H. Pham, V. Kavanagh, S. Kaur, M. Cheema, L. Galagedara, R. Thomas. Canola produced under boreal climatic conditions in Newfoundland and Labrador have a unique lipid composition and expeller press extraction retained the composition for commercial use. Journal of Advanced Research, 24:423-434; https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jare.2020.05.002

  5. Illawathure C, M. Cheema, V. Kavanagh, L. Galagedara. 2020. Distinguishing the capillary fringe reflection in a GPR profile for precise water table depth estimation in a boreal podzolic soil field. Water, 12, 1670; doi:10.3390/w12061670

  6. Nadeem M, R. Thomas, O. Adigun, C. Manful, J. Wu, T. H. Pham, X. Zhu, L. Galagedara, and M. Cheema. 2020. Root membrane lipids as potential biomarkers to discriminate silage-corn genotypes cultivated on podzolic soils in boreal climate. Physiologia Plantarum (accepted).

  7. Sattar A, A. Sher, M. Ijaz, S. Ullah, M. S. Rizwan, M. Hussain, K. Jabran, M. Cheema. 2020. Terminal drought and heat stress alter physiological and biochemical attributes in flag leaf of bread wheat. PLOS ONE 15(5): e0232974; https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0232974

  1. Samiullah, A. Sattar, A. Sher, M. Ijaz, M. Butt, M. Irfan, M.S. Rizwan, H. Ali and M. Cheema. 2020. Interactive effect of biochar and silicon on improving morpho-physiological and biochemical attributes of maize by reducing drought hazards. Journal of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition; doi.org/10.1007/s42729-020-00253-7

  2. Farooq M, I. Khan, A. Nawaz, M. Cheema, K. H. M. Siddique. 2020. Using sorghum to   suppress weeds in autumn planted maize. Crop Protection, 133; doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2020.105162

  3. Ali M.H, J.M. Sobze, T. H. Pham, M. Nadeem, C. Liu, L. Ga​​lagedara, M. Cheema, R. Thomas. 2020. The use of nano-priming in boreal forest upland species: Potential applications in boreal forest reclamation following anthropogenic disturbance. Nanomaterials, 10, 176; doi.org/10.3390/nano10010176 

  4. Ali W, M. Nadeem, W. Ashiq, M. Zaeem, S. S. M. Gilani, S. R. Khamseh, V. Kavanagh, R. Thomas, M. Cheema. 2019. The effects of organic and inorganic phosphorus amendments on the biochemical attributes and active microbial population of agriculture podzols following silage corn cultivation in boreal climate. Nature Scientific Reports, 9, 17297;doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-53906-8

  5. Ali W, M. Nadeem, W. Ashiq, M. Zaeem, R. Thomas, V. Kavanagh and M. Cheema. 2019. Forage yield and quality indices of silage-corn following organic and inorganic phosphorus amendments in podzol soil under boreal climate. Agronomy, 9, 489; doi:10.3390/agronomy9090489

  6. Zaeem M, M. Nadeem, T.H. Pham, W. Ashiq, W. Ali, S. S. M. Gilani, S. Elavarthi, V. Kavanagh, M. Cheema, L. Galagedara, and R. Thomas. 2019. The potential of cereal-legume intercropping to improve the soil health status and biomass production in cool climate boreal ecosystems. Nature Scientific Reports, 9:13148; doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-49558-3

  7. Wanniarachchi D, M. Cheema, R. Thomas, and L. Galagedara. 2019. Effect of biochar on TDR based volumetric soil moisture measurements in a loamy sand Podzolic soil. Soil Systems, 3, 49; doi:10.3390/soilsystems3030049

  8. Vermooten M, M. Nadeem, M. Cheema, R. Thomas, and L. Galagedara. 2019. Effects of biochar and dairy manure on physicochemical properties of podzol: Case from a silage-corn production trial in boreal climate. Agriculture, 9, 183; doi:10.3390/agriculture9080183

  9. Badewa E, A. Unc, M. Cheema and L. Galagedara. 2019. Temporal stability of apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) in managed podzol. Acta Geophysica, 64:1107-1118; doi.org/10.1007/s11600-019-00306-1

  10. Nadeem M, H. Pham, A. Nieuwenhuis, W. Ali, M. Zaeem, W. Ashiq, S. M. Gillani, C. Manful, O. A. Adigun, L. Galagedara, M. Cheema, R. Thomas. 2019. Adaptation strategies of forage soybeans cultivated on acidic soils under cool climate to produce high quality forage. Plant Science, 283:278-289.

  11. Nadeem, M, Pham, H., Ashley, N., Zaeem, M., Ashiq, W., Gillani, S.S.M., Manful, C., Adigun, O.A., Galagedara, L., M. Cheema, Thomas, R. 2019.  Data article: Changes in soybean root membrane lipids and forage quality in response to field cultivation on agricultural podzols in boreal climates. Data in Brief; doi.org/10.1016/j.plantsci.2019.03.014

  12. Ghaffari H, M. R. Tadayon, M. Nadeem, M. Cheema, J. Razmjoo. 2019. Proline-mediated changes in antioxidant enzymatic activities and the physiology of sugar beet under drought stress. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 41:23; doi.org/10.1007/s11738-019-2815-z

  13. Nadeem M, H. Pham, R. Thomas, L. Galagedara, V. Kavanagh, X. Zhu, Cheema, M. 2019. Potential role of root membrane phosphatidic acid in superior agronomic performance of silage-corn cultivated in cool climate cropping systems. Physiologia Plantarum doi:10.1111/ppl.12902.

  14. Sattar A, M. Cheema, Sher, M. Ijaz, S.Ullah, A. Nawaz, T. Abbas, Q. Ali. 2019. Physiological and biochemical attributes of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) seedlings are influenced by foliar application of silicon and selenium under water deficit. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum, 41:146; doi.org/10.1007/s11738-019-2938-2

  15. Pham T. H, M. Zaeem, T. A. Fillier, M. Nadeem, N. P. Vidal, S. Cheema, M. Cheema, R. Thomas. 2019. Targeting modified lipids during routine lipidomics analysis using HILIC and C30 reverse phase liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Nature Scientific Reports, 9(1):5048; doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-41556-9

  16. Vidal N, T. H. Pham, C. Manful, R. Pumphrey, M. Nadeem, M. Cheema, L. Galagedara, A. L. Aladekoba, L. Abbey, and R. Thomas. 2018. The use of natural media amendments to produce kale enhanced with functional lipids in control environment production system. Nature Scientific Reports, 8:14771; doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-32866-5

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