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Shabeg Briar Ph.D., P.Ag.

Research Scientist - Crops 403.507.7980


Shabeg Briar is a Research Scientist with crops at OCCI. He was raised on a small agriculture farm in India — specifically North India which is known for its intensive agriculture industry — and his family typically grew two or three crops a year which kept them busy. He fondly reflects on farm life and how he was always interested in the entire farm cycle of working with crops, seeing them grow, harvesting and selling the produce. Agriculture was in Shabeg’s blood and he pursued an education in agriculture science due to his farming background.

Shabeg earned his B.Sc. degree in Agronomy and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and Nematology from Ohio State University, USA. In his role as a Research Scientist at Olds College, he is responsible for conducting small plot crop trials related to herbicide efficacy, crop variety evaluation and pest management studies. He is also a certified professional agronomist. Prior to this, Shabeg was working as a Research Scientist with Montana's Agricultural Experiment Station. During his Ph.D. work at Ohio State University, he focused on soil health of farming systems and studied bio-indicators and their role in the soil food web. He has published several peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters and extension articles.

Shabeg equally loves research — with a special interest in designing experiments — and teaching. He feels that being at Olds College is a perfect fit for his interests since he gets to enjoy a hybrid of research, working with crops, and being able to give guest lectures to students on campus. 

Shabeg highlights that every year in crop research brings new challenges with opportunities to learn — he happily considers himself a lifelong learner. Shabeg takes pride in his work and enjoys interacting with such a wide variety of different agriculture companies. He feels immense pride when his team can help companies of all sizes achieve their research goals by getting them the results they need to move forward with their work.

When you meet Shabeg, his larger-than-life sense of humour and smile is quick to show. He loves to tell jokes and makes everyone laugh and feel at ease. Shabeg commutes to Olds College from Calgary where he lives with his wife of over 25 years, and their two sons. Shabeg is quick to say his biggest happiness is spending time with his family and that he just “likes them all so much”.

His wife is an early childhood educator, with degrees in both education and early childhood education. Their eldest son is finishing electrical engineering, and their youngest son is just starting software engineering. Lucky enough, Shabeg’s wife and sons often carpool together since they all work at and attend the same university in Calgary.

When Shabeg isn’t researching or teaching, he focuses on his main hobby — cooking delicious Indian dishes. He also is a big fan of all Bollywood movies. Shabeg’s mom still lives in India and he likes to go back as often as possible to visit with his wife and sons. Shabeg and his family also love to pack up the vehicle and go on long roadtrips like their recent 12-day trip down to Las Vegas and Arizona to explore the national parks.


Crop Research

Shabeg Briar, Ph.D., P.Ag. Headshot