Research Teams


Research Teams

Joy Agnew
Administration Team Joy Agnew Ph.D., P.Eng.

Associate VP, Applied Research

☎ 403.556.4798

Joy earned her Ph.D. in Ag/Bio Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan and has more than 10 years of experience in managing applied research programs. As Associate VP Applied Research at Olds College, Joy oversees the applied research activities in crops, livestock, turfgrass production, environmental stewardship, and smart agriculture while supporting the College's innovation and entrepreneurship activities, smart farm operations, and the barley and triticale breeding program at Lacombe. Joy also holds a leadership role in the development of the College's Smart Ag Ecosystem, bringing together the academic programming, applied research, strategic partnerships, smart farm operations, and extension and communication activities to help the College meet its goal to be a leader in Smart Agriculture. Joy is past president of the Canadian Society of Bioengineering and is an adjunct professor at the University of Saskatchewan.

Kelly Mackinnon
Administration Team Kelly Mackinnon

OCCI Administration


Kelly is a graduate of the Olds College Office Administration program and has worked at the College since November 1993. Through various courses, she has continued to increase her knowledge and move forward in her position. She has successfully held a variety of positions such as an Administrative / Clerical support, Composting Technician, Natural Fibre Laboratory Technician, Webmaster, Information Systems Manager, and Events Coordinator.

Paul Tiege
Crop Research Paul Tiege PhD.

Research Scientist - Field Crops, Sustainable Chemistry

Shabeg Briar
Crop Research Shabeg Briar PhD. PAg.

Research Agronomist

☎ 403.556.4798

Shabeg Briar earned his B.Sc. degree in Agronomy and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology and Nematology from Ohio State University, USA. Currently in his role as a Research Agronomist, he is responsible for conducting small plot crop trials related to herbicide efficacy, crop variety evaluation and pest management studies. He is a certified professional agronomist and possesses a pesticide applicator license. Prior to this, he was working as a Research Scientist with Montana Ag. Exp. Station. During his Ph.D. work at the 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.

Hilke Beuck
Crop Research Hilke Beuck

Research Technician - Field Crops

☎ 403.556.8322

Currently, Hilke is working as a Research Technician with the crops division of OCCI and specializes in small plot research trials for herbicide efficacy, fertilizer and germplasm screening. Prior to this Hilke worked with a German company for eight years involved in the cultivation of a new strain of grains and was responsible for the technical realization of field, greenhouse and laboratory trials of wheat, barley, rye and triticale. Hilke received an Agricultural-Technological Assistant Diploma in 1990 from Germany.

Field Crop Development Centre Mazen Aljarrah M.Sc.

Triticale breeder

Field Crop Development Centre Flavio Capettini Ph.D., B.Sc.

Two-row barley breeder

Field Crop Development Centre Yadeta Kabeta Ph.D.

Feed and forage barley breeder

Field Crop Development Centre Mark MacNaughton


Field Crop Development Centre Lori Oatway, M.Sc.

Research Scientist - Quality

Field Crop Development Centre Kequan Xi, Ph.D.

Research Scientist - Pathology

☎ 825.640.2030

Field Crop Development Centre Jennifer Zantinge Ph.D.

Research Scientist - Biotechnology

Ike Edeogu
Smart Farm/Land and Water Environmental Research Ike Edeogu, P.Eng,


☎ 403.556.4650

Ike Edeogu is the Smart Agriculture Applied Research Manager with Olds College Centre for Innovation. He is a professional engineer with an M.Sc. in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Alberta. Prior to joining Olds College in 2020, Ike worked with Alberta's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry for about 25 years in the application of applied research and innovation techniques and principles towards the advancement of Alberta’s agricultural sector. He has a vast network of professional contacts from across the private sector, academia, government, and non-government organizations, both across Canada and abroad.

Sean Thompson
Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production Sean Thompson


☎ 403.556.8314

Sean Thompson is the Manager of the Technology Access Center for Livestock Production (TACLP). In his current role, Sean provides oversight to operations conducted by the TACLP with emphasis on technical advisory, project management and maintaining client relationships. Sean has an extensive background in the management, nutrition and genetics of beef cattle. Further, he has over 6 years’ experience managing research projects at post-secondary institutions. Sean holds an MSc in beef cattle nutrition from the University of Manitoba. Prior to joining Olds College, Sean served as Feed Industry Liaison at the University of Saskatchewan, managing feed processing and livestock feeding research projects.

Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production Shianne Hofer


☎ 403.559.4258

Shianne Hofer works as a Research Technician for the Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production (TACLP). Shianne is responsible for beef cattle and sheep husbandry, data collection activities related to animal performance trials, management record-keeping and the maintenance of technical equipment and facilities. She has three years of experience working with the TACLP, assisting in applied research projects involving grazing management, heifer development, and calf weaning strategies.

Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production Brittany Scott


☎ 403.586.2515

Brittany Scott is a Research Technician with the Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production and specializes in livestock research trials evaluating animal performance, health and environmental sustainability. She is responsible for animal husbandry, data collection and technical evaluations related to beef and sheep research projects. Prior to this Brittany was a student at Lakeland College where she studied Animal Science Technology. Thereafter, she attended Olds College where she earned her Agribusiness Degree in 2020.

Desiree Gellatly
Technology Access Centre for Livestock Production Désirée Gellatly

Business Development Coordinator

☎ 403.556.4786

Dr. Désirée Gellatly is the Business Development Coordinator for the TACLP at Olds College. Included in Désirée’s responsibilities is the sharing of livestock production technology information and services with producers, marketing, administration and organizing field days and presentations. She also works with hands-on applied research projects in the area of livestock technologies and related services. Désirée completed her MSc and PhD in Animal Science at São Paulo State University in Brazil with a focus on the assessment of cattle temperament and its relationship with feeding behavior, feed efficiency, growth and reproductive performance. She also carries two post-doctorates from Agriculture and Agri-Food of Canada managing projects related to beef cattle and sheep behavior and welfare. Désirée works with the TACLP manager to accomplish technology transfer, extension and outreach to ensure that the livestock industry and producers are aware of and benefiting from the services of the TACLP.

Manuel Chavarria Sanchez
Turfgrass Research Manuel Chavarria Sanchez, PhD.

Research Associate

☎ 403.507.7973

Dr. Manuel Chavarria Sanchez joined the Prairie Turfgrass Research Centre at Olds College Centre for Innovation in 2018 as a Research Scientist after earning his PhD degree in Molecular Environmental Plant Science from Texas A&M University. His research program focuses on the best management practices related to home lawns, sports fields, parks and recreations, and golf courses. Dr. Chavarria has been overseeing research projects evaluating the benefits of new fungicide applications in comparison to standard fungicide programs to control pink and gray snow mold for fall and winter management of creeping bentgrass turf. He works closely with private industry partners including Intelligro, Adama, Syngenta, Bayer, Nufarm, and Engage Agro to develop improvements to the current application and best management practices.

Turfgrass Research Mark Anderson

Research Technician

Smart Farm Research Herman Simons

Project Lead

Brianna Gratton
Smart Farm Research Brianna Gratton, CCA