Funding Winners 2023/2024

The Alberta Land Institute's 2023/2024 Call for Proposals received many fantastic applications, 5 of which were selected for funding. Learn more about the funding winners and their projects below.

Sven Anders


Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology

Sven is an agricultural economist with research and teaching interests in the economics of food systems, supply chains and agri-food trade. Sven has a keen interest in the economics of certification systems and labelling as they relate to food standards in international agri-food marketing and trade.


Irrigation Producer Perspectives on the Future of Water Licensing in Southern Alberta

Sven’s research will investigate questions around the sustainability of the current water licensing policy framework and the suitability of alternative resource management tools to address water allocation challenges due to climate change, economic, and population growth.

Fangliang He


Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Renewable Resources Dept

Fangliang focuses on developing methods to improve how we estimate species diversity, synthesize diversity patterns and test hypotheses about biodiversity mechanisms. He and his research team are shedding light on the central processes that drive change in species diversity and predicting the impact of changes in our climate and land use on biodiversity.


Mapping tree demographic rates and biomass of Alberta’s boreal forest

Fangliang is interested in developing theory and methods for understanding and predicting how trees and tree species are distributed in our forest and how the distributions may change in response to changes in climate and land use. For this ALI project, he will model and map tree biomass in Alberta’s boreal forests and quantifies the carbon sink potential of the forest.

Xiaoli Fan


Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Resource Economics & Environmental Sociology

Xiaoli’s research focuses on understanding consumer and producer behavior to inform better agricultural policies and decision-making. Her research interests include consumer preference for emerging food issues, agrifood sustainability, agrifood value chain coordination, antibiotic use in livestock, and bioeconomic modeling.


Bio-economic Modeling of the Sustainability and Profitability of Beef Production Systems for Better Informed Policy and Decision-Making

Xiaoli’s research will aim to address the gap in Canadian research on whole farm and bioeconomic models in order to help beef producers, stakeholders, and policymakers make informed decisions to improve industry sustainability, support rural development, and strengthen the Canadian beef industry's competitiveness.

Daniel Alessi


Professor and Encana Chair in Water Resources, Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences

Daniel’s research group studies the surface chemistry of materials, the biogeochemistry of metals cycling in water, soils and sediments, and the water cycle in unconventional energy recovery.


Protecting food security and mitigating climate change -Exploring the advantages of sewage sludge biochar and K-feldspar as alternatives to traditional fertilizers and their optimal application in current and future climate conditions

Daniel’s research will seek to understand how amending soils with two materials, biochar and minerals, can play an important role in sequestering carbon in Canada. Such research is critical to ensuring that Canada meets its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

Kristof Van Assche


Professor, Faculty of Science - Earth & Atmospheric Sciences

Kristof is interested in evolution and innovation in governance, with focus areas in spatial planning, environment and development. His recent research into collective strategy, sustainability transitions, and strategy for sustainability transitions, revealed the importance of local leadership, as a phenomenon that was still poorly understood, despite a stream of literature.


Community Resilience: The influence of administrative stability and instability on municipal leadership

Kristof, along with Bob Summers and Monica Gruezmacher, will investigate the resilience of smaller towns by looking at the role of leadership, particularly the importance of local administration for resilience in its everyday functioning, its institutional memory, its networks, and its leadership role.