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Mumtaz Cheema


cheema.jpgMumtaz Cheema B.Sc. (Hons.), M.Sc., Ph.D. (University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan), Postdoc (Iowa State University, Ames, US); associate professor, boreal ecosystems and agricultural sciences

Phone: (709) 639-6533


Office: AS240

Associate professor – Boreal Ecosystems and Agricultural Sciences


Dr. Cheema is an Associate Professor of Agronomy at Grenfell Campus Memorial University of Newfoundland, member of Sustainable Resource Management program and the Boreal Ecosystem Research Initiative (BERI). The focus of his research program is to develop productive and sustainable cropping systems to cope the challenges of global food security. In recent years, he has studied integrated nutrient management practices that conserve or enhance soil fertility through efficient nutrient cycling and management strategies to maximize nutrient use efficiency and maintain economically sustainable crop productivity with minimize damage to the environment. Abiotic stresses (cold/chilling, drought and salinity) and their management strategies (seed priming and exogenous application of compatible organic solutes) to induce stress tolerance and enhancement of antioxidants in crops. In-situ root monitoring of field crops, identification and quantification of root exudates and their role in nutrients-acquisition, particularly phenomenon of biological nitrification inhibition (BNI) in improving NUE, and supressing greenhouse gases emission; Waste management; Monitoring of greenhouse gases emission 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. Dr. Cheema has supervised 36 Master, and 6 PhD theses, and co-supervised 10 Master and 5 PhD theses. Prior to joining the Grenfell Campus Memorial University in 2013, Dr. Cheema worked as Lecturer, Assistant Prof. Associate and Professor in the department of agronomy, and Director Graduate Studies at University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan.

Current Research and Projects Highlights

  • Effects of different crop rotations and nitrification inhibitors on N losses, N uptake and GHG fluxes under cool climatic conditions.
  • How different crop rotation and N sources affect crop growth, photosynthesis, yield and quality of forage crops?
  •  Monitoring mineral N levels in soil, plants, and drainage under different cropping systems.
  • Evaluating the diversity and function of genes implicated in nitrification and denitrification under different crop rotation and N sources in podzol soils. 
  •  Study of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited (CBPPL) byproducts and potential uses for food production.
  • Potential of wood ash as a natural soil amendment for improving soil physicochemical properties, fertility, nutrient use efficiency, and plant growth.
  • Potential of wood sludge as a natural soil amendment in improving soil physicochemical properties, fertility, nutrient use efficiency, and plant growth.
  • Potential of biochar as a natural soil amendment in improving soil physicochemical properties, fertility, nutrient use efficiency, and plant growth.
  • High value added agricultural production through on-farm, 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 preharvest 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

Thomas R (MUN-Grenfell), Cheema M (MUN-Grenfell), Galagedara L (MUN Grenfell), Abbey L (Dalhousie University). Rock dust from mine waste as a natural media amendment in forest reclamation and the production of high value agronomic and horticultural crops. Total funding $ 383,800 [Anaconda Mining Inc. Memorial University of Newfoundland, NSERC-CRD, and TCII] (209-2022).

Galagedara L (MUN-Grenfell), Cheema M (MUN-Grenfell), Unc A (MUN-Grenfell). Assessing the dairy digestate as a nutrient and water source in soil-based and hydroponic greenhouse vegetable production, Canadian agricultural partnership NL, $24,610 (2019-2020).

Sabrina Ellsworth (GovNL), Cheema M (MUN-Grenfell), R Thomas (MUN-Grenfell), Galagedara L (MUN-Grenfell). Low-input agriculture in cool climate boreal ecosystems. Agricultural Clean Technology Program $557,509 (2019-2021).

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

Cheema M (MUN-Grenfell), R Thomas (MUN-Grenfell), Galagedara L (MUN-Grenfell). Study of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Limited (CBPPL) by-products and potential uses for food production. Mitacs, $200,000 (2018-2020).

Thompson S (Association of New Canadians, NL), R Thomas (MUN, Grenfell), Cheema M (MUN, Grenfell). 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), $328,139 (2018-2021).

Cheema M (MUN Grenfell). Evaluating phosphorus utilization efficiency (PUE) of wheat genotypes under different P environments, Seed, Bridge and Multidisciplinary Fund, Memorial University of Newfoundland, $10,000 (2017-2019).

Unc A (MUN-Grenfell), Cheema M (MUN-Grenfell), Galagedara L (MUN-Grenfell). Assessment of the nutrient value and utilisation options for anaerobic digestate obtained from a dairy liquid waste stream. Total funding $ 288,407.00 [ACOA, TCCI, New World Dairy Inc., Memorial University of Newfoundland] (2018-2020).

Cheema M (MUN Grenfell). Biomass production, phosphorus acquisition and GHG emission from dairy manure in silage corn, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, $80,000 (2017-2019).

Recent Publications

Ali W, M. Nadeem, W. Ashiq, M. Zaeem, S. S. M. Gilani, S. R. Khamseh, V. Kavanagh, R. Thomas, Cheema, M. 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. Submitted for publications.

Ashiq, W., M. Nadeem, W. Ali, M. Zaeem, J. Wu, L. Galagedara, V. Kavanagh and Cheema, M. 2019. Biochar amendment mitigates global warming potential, greenhouse gas intensity and nitrogen losses from silage corn cropping systems under boreal climate. (Submitted).

Ali W, M. Nadeem, W. Ashiq, M. Zaeem, R. Thomas, V. Kavanagh and Cheema, M. 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).

Zaeem M, M. Nadeem, T.H. Pham, W. Ashiq, W. Ali, S. S. M. Gilani, S. Elavarthi, V. Kavanagh, Cheema, M, 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. Scientific Reports, 9:13148 (

Wanniarachchi D, Cheema, M, 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).
Vermooten M, M. Nadeem, Cheema, M, 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).

Badewa E, A. Unc, Cheema, M and L. Galagedara. 2019. Temporal stability of apparent electrical conductivity (ECa) in managed podzol. Acta Geophysica, 64:1107-1118

Wanniarachchi D, Cheema, M, R. Thomas, V. Kavanagh and L. Galagedara. 2019. Impact of soil amendments on the hydraulic conductivity of boreal agricultural podzols. Agriculture, 9 (6), 133; doi:10.3390/agriculture9060133.

Sattar A, A. Sher, M. Ijaz, M. Irfan, M. Butt, T. Abbas, S. Hussain, A. Abbas, M. S Ullah, Cheema, M. 2019. Biochar application improves the drought tolerance in maize seedlings. Phyton-International Journal of Experimental Botany (In press).
Nadeem M, H. Pham, A. Nieuwenhuis, W. Ali, M. Zaeem, W. Ashiq, S. M. Gillani, C. Manful, O. A. Adigun, L. Galagedara, Cheema, M, 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.

Nadeem, M., Pham, H., Ashley, N., Zaeem, M., Ashiq, W., Gillani, S.S.M., Manful, C., Adigun, O.A., Galagedara, L., Cheema, M, 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 (

Sattar A, Cheema, M, A. Sher, M. Ijaz, A. Wasaya, T. A. Yasir, T. Abbas, M. Hussain. 2019. Foliar applied silicon improves water relations, stay green and enzymatic antioxidants activity in late sown wheat. Silicon (
Sattar A, Cheema, M, A. Sher, M. Ijaz, A. Wasaya, T. A. Yasir, T. Abbas, M. Hussain. 2019. Exogenously applied Trinexapac-ethyl improves photosynthetic pigments, water relations, osmoregulation and antioxidants defense mechanism in wheat under salt stress. Cereal Research Communications, 47(3):430-441 (doi: 10.1556/0806.47.2019.20).

Ghaffari H, M. R. Tadayon, M. Nadeem, Cheema, M, J. Razmjoo. 2019. Proline-mediated changes in antioxidant enzymatic activities and the physiology of sugar beet under drought stress. Acta Physiologiae Plantarum 41:23

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)

Sattar A, Cheema, M, 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 (

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

Vidal N, T. H. Pham, C. Manful, R. Pumphrey, M. Nadeem, Cheema, M, 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. Scientific Reports. 8:14771(doi:10.1038/s41598-018-32866-5).
Sattar, A., Cheema, M, Sher, T. Abbas, M. Irfan, M. Ijaz, S. Hussain and Q. Ali, 2018. Foliage applied silicon alleviates the combined effects of salinity and drought stress on wheat seedlings. Int. J. Agric. Biol., 20: 2537‒2543.

Badewa E, L. Galagedara, A. Unc and Cheema, M. 2018. Soil moisture mapping using multi- frequency and multi-coil by electromagnetic induction sensors on managed podzols. Agronomy 8, 224 (doi:10.3390/agronomy8100224).

Saleem M.F, A. Shakoor, M. Shahid, Cheema, M, Shakeel, M. Shahid, M. U. Tahir, and M. F. Bilal. 2018. Removal of early fruit branches as potential regulator of Cry1Ac, antioxidants, senescence and yield in Bt. Cotton. Industrial Crops & Products, 124:885-898 (

Farhad W, Cheema, M, H.M. Hammad, M. F. Saleem, S. Fahad, F. Abbas, I. Khosa and H. F. Bakhat. 2018. Influence of composted poultry manure and irrigation regimes on some morpho-physiology parameters of maize under semiarid environments. Environ Sci.& Pollut Res (doi:10.1007/s11356-018-2125-9).

Altdorff D, Galagedara L, Nadeem M, Cheema, M, Unc A. 2018. Effect of agronomic treatments on the accuracy of soil moisture mapping by electromagnetic induction. CATENA, 164: 96-106 (

Graduate Studies

Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland
20 University Drive, Corner Brook, NL
A2H 5G4, Canada

Office: FC4021
Phone: (709)639-6585