Chair's Message

Welcome to the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science (AFNS). We provide integrated research and teaching programs in efficient and sustainable agricultural production, value-added processing, food safety and human health and wellness to improve the health and quality of life. Forging links between students, faculty and industry, we link discovery with application and innovate to meet the changing needs of our society. With award winning faculty, AFNS offers a vibrant atmosphere where staff and students find relevance in focused and transformative and transdisciplinary programs.

Major Disciplines:

Currently there are over 60 faculty members, including 21 industry and government supported positions, and also 9 research chairs, engaged in integrative teaching and research programs in the following arenas:

  • Efficient and Sustainable Agricultural Production
  • Value-added Processing
  • Food Safety
  • Human Health


Undergraduate Degree programs:
Students and staff are drawn to the University of Alberta and AFNS because of our culture of excellence in teaching and research and the outstanding facilities available for experiential teaching and learning.  Our degree programs include:

  • BSc Agriculture (Includes Pre-veterinary medicine).
  • BSc Agricultural/Food Business Management (in conjunction with the Department of Rural Economy)
  • BSc Nutrition and Food Science
  • BSc Animal Health 

Graduate Programs:
The department offers the following graduate programs: MAg, MEng, MSc Course-based, MSc Thesis-based and PhD. AFNS has over 230 graduate students; 35% made up of international students representing 30 different countries, with roughly half of all students in doctoral programs. AFNS graduate students study in the following programs:

  • Plant Science
  • Animal Science
  • Bio-resource and Food Engineering
  • Range and Wildlife Resources
  • Food Science and Technology 
  • Nutrition and Metabolism

Research Programs:
The Department of AFNS attracts about $20 million in research funding every year and has extensive research infrastructure at the Edmonton Research Station, Kinsella Research Ranch, Ministik Wildlife Field Station and on the main campus for research and teaching in plant, animal, food processing and bio-resource, Human Nutrition, Agri-Food Materials, Genomics and Proteomics and Food Microbiology.

AFNS is a very exciting place to be. Our partnerships with industry and government are leading us to new territory and helping us find creative solutions to problems that, in the past, seemed unsolvable. On behalf of the Department I would like to invite you to find your place within our excellent team.

Dr. Ruurd Zijlstra, AFNS Chair 
Phone: (780) 492-2131
Fax: (780) 492-4265