Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre Team

Kimberley is currently the Research Program Manager for the Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre at Niagara College, where she oversees projects in the areas of greenhouse technology and innovation, controlled environment agriculture, horticultural sciences and integrated pest management. Kimberley has held such roles as Special Project Manager at Vineland Research & Innovation Centre, Senior Research Associate at the University of California, Davis, and has also held research positions at The University of Guelph and at the National Research Council’s Plant Biotechnology Institute in Saskatoon.

Kimberley holds a Master of Science in Biological Sciences, specializing in Plant Sciences, from Brock University, and was the 2017 Winner of the Distinguished Graduate Award for the highest overall program average. She also holds an Honours Bachelor of Science, with Distinction, in Plant Biology from the University of Guelph, and was awarded the Sharon Marshall Memorial Prize in Plant Biology for the highest cumulative average. She has over 18 years of experience working in an applied horticulture research environment. Kimberley was a 2022 Women in Business Awards finalist and also holds a Governance Professionals of Canada Designation (GPC.D). She has served as Corporate Secretary for several Niagara-based corporations and is Past Chair for local charity Community Crew, which provides healthy lunches to kids across Niagara.

Research Program Manager, HESIC
Daniel J. Patterson Campus

Christine George is the research lead for the Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre (HESIC). She leads and supports the success of applied research projects mainly for the Greenhouse Technology Network, a Niagara College-led initiative that brings together research institutions and greenhouse and technology businesses to accelerate the development, commercialization and adoption of new technologies. Research projects focus on validating novel products and/or technology through testing within greenhouses.

Also a faculty member at NC since 2019, Christine is a partial load professor teaching Plant Science 2 in the School of Environment and Horticulture program. After receiving her Master’s degree in Soil Science (2013) from the University of Guelph, Christine worked as a R&D lab manager for Alpha Agri Products Inc. She has spent the last three years as a private soil health consultant in southern Ontario, dividing her time between contract work with research or grant-driven projects, and soil sampling and analysis.

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Research Lead
Daniel J. Patterson Campus
Scott Golem

Scott Golem is the research lead for the Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre (HESIC). He leads and supports the success of applied research projects mainly for the Greenhouse Technology Network (GTN), a Niagara College-led initiative that brings together research institutions and greenhouse and technology businesses to accelerate the development, commercialization, and adoption of new technologies. Research projects focus on validating novel products and/or technology through testing within greenhouses. Thanks to funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the Applied Research and Technology Partnership, Scott will lead cannabis and hemp projects, in addition to GTN projects.

With over 14 years of experience in teaching and research, Scott has a diverse background in plant science, genetics, as well as indoor, outdoor and greenhouse cultivation. Having led roles as a Master Grower and Plant Scientist for major cannabis companies, he has led numerous projects focused on optimizing crop production and breeding/developing new cultivars.

Scott holds a BSc in Forensic Science from Trent University, an MSc in Biotechnology from Brock University, and a Post-graduate Certificate in Commercial Cannabis Production from Niagara College. Currently, Scott shares his expertise as a part-time faculty member at Niagara College, teaching in the Commercial Cannabis Production Program and the Biological Sciences Department at Brock University.

Research Lead
Daniel J. Patterson Campus

Olga Safonova is the Research Laboratory Technologist of the Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre (HESIC). In her role, she manages the daily activities related to on-going trials, assists with experimental design, and collects data. She also looks after the cannabis growing facilities and greenhouse horticulture laboratory.

For the past 13 years, Olga has been working in horticulture in various roles from Propagation Technician, Lead Grower to Greenhouse Manager. She has worked with all major types of greenhouse crops. She studied Biology and Winemaking and Viticulture at Brock University. She completed her Honours BSc in the Brock Biotechnology lab in 2017.

Olga is proficient in conducting greenhouse trials, as well as in Integrated Pest Management (IPM), greenhouse irrigation, climate control, and lighting systems. Her most recent role at Safari Flower Co. gave her extensive experience in all aspects of cannabis growing from cloning to harvest processing and quality control.

Research Lab Technologist
Daniel J. Patterson Campus
Ashley Paling

 

Ashley Paling is a Research Associate for the Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre (HESIC). She is responsible for supporting research projects carried out in the Niagara College Teaching Greenhouse, and occasionally assists with projects in the Cannabis Indoor Cultivation Research Labs (CannaBunker). Ashley first joined HESIC as a student Research Assistant in 2021. 

Before switching into the horticulture industry, Ashley studied and completed research in archaeology, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Near Eastern and Classical Archaeology from Wilfrid Laurier University, and a Master of Science in Archaeological Science from University College London, where she was trained in a variety of methods of scientific analysis of materials. During her master’s degree, one of Ashley’s specializations was archaeobotany, which prompted a career change into the horticulture and plant science industry. She has since worked at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Sheridan Nurseries, and as a Horticulture Program Supervisor at a retirement property in Kitchener, Ont.  

Ashley graduated from the Horticulture Technician program at Niagara College in May 2023, and recently joined the School of Environment and Horticulture at Niagara College as a Part-Time Professor, teaching the tropical plant course called Architectural Green Spaces.  

Research Associate
Daniel J. Patterson Campus
Adam Jukosky

 

Adam Jukosky is a Research Associate for the Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre (HESIC), specializing in cannabis projects. He supports research initiatives at the Cannabis Indoor Cultivation Research Lab (CannaBunker) and helps design and implement various research trials. He also contributes to projects within the Niagara College Teaching Greenhouse. 

Adam began his journey at HESIC as a Research Assistant while completing his postgraduate studies in Commercial Cannabis Production at Niagara College. He holds a Niagara College Greenhouse Technician diploma, equipping him with a solid foundation in plant biology, greenhouse technology, and pest management. Adam is passionate about advancing cannabis research and production, focusing on aspects such as cultivation techniques, plant health, and industry regulations. 

With more than six years of experience in technical roles, Adam brings a strong background in data collection, analysis, and report formulation to his current position. His commitment to excellence is evident through his numerous academic achievements, including multiple appearances on the President’s Honour Roll. 

Research Associate
Daniel J. Patterson Campus

Bill MacDonald has extensive expertise in greenhouse production, plant agriculture, soil science, LED lighting, and nutrient-use efficiency. As well as a teaching faculty member and coordinator, Bill co-designed and developed the current Commercial Cannabis Production Ontario College Graduate Certificate program curriculum. He has experience supporting licensed cannabis producers in their production systems, advising on many aspects of their production and he serves on the Cannabis Jobs Steering Committee with the Niagara Workforce Planning Board.

With a strong background in the applied and research horticultural fields, Bill has managed and owned greenhouse operations in Nova Scotia and Ontario. He began his time at Niagara College in 2007 teaching Plant Science, Soil Science, and Nursery Management courses, as well as conducting ongoing applied research projects with the College’s Research & Innovation division. Bill holds a BSc in Soil Science (1983) and an MSc in Plant Agriculture (2013), both from the University of Guelph.

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Faculty Research Lead
Daniel J. Patterson Campus

Derek Schulze has been a faculty member at Niagara College since 2016 for the School of Environment and Horticulture Studies, and the Coordinator for the Greenhouse Technician program. Prior to this, he spent 15 years in industry as a commercial greenhouse owner/operator (TJ Greenhouses Inc.). Derek received his MSc in plant biotechnology and biophysics from the University of Guelph (1996) and a BSc (Hon) from the University of Waterloo (1994). In the years between graduation and his time in industry, Derek worked as a Research Associate at Queen’s University in the Cancer Research Institute (CRI). While there, he contributed to grant applications, designing experimental protocols and performing research at both whole animal and cellular levels.

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Faculty Research Lead
Daniel J. Patterson Campus

Sebastien Jacob is a professor in the Horticulture, Greenhouse and Commercial Cannabis programs at Niagara College’s School of Environment and Horticulture Studies. He joined the College in August 2018 after 15 years of practical experience in the greenhouse horticulture industry, which included advising, training and teaching growers and their staff – throughout North, Central and South America – the art of implementing and maintaining a successful Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.

He also served as Research Assistant for both Laval University and Agriculture and Agri-food Canada and as an IPM Specialist and R&D Manager for a biological control company. Sebastien holds an MSc in Entomology (Biocontrol Science) from the University of Montreal (2004) and a BSc in Biology from University of Quebec in Trois-Rivieres (1998). 

Faculty Research Lead
Daniel J. Patterson Campus