Poonam Singh BSc, MSc, PhD

Poonam Singh BSc, MSc, PhD

College address

Manitoba Institute of Culinary Arts, rm. 117
North Hill Campus
1035, 1st Street North
Brandon, MB



Poonam Singh

Dr. Poonam Singh joined the college in 2015 as a Professor of Horticultural Science in the Horticultural Production and Sustainable Food Systems programs. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, a Bachelor of Education degree, a BC Provincial Instructor diploma, a Masters of Science in Landscaping and Floriculture, and a Doctorate in Horticulture.

Dr. Singh’s work history includes working as a Research Fellow at the Institute of Himalayan Bioresource Technology (India), as an Assistant Professor at the Punjab Agricultural University (India), as a Scientist at the Institute for Sustainable Horticulture, BC, and as a faculty member at the School of Horticulture, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, BC.

Dr. Singh’s research focuses on developing sustainable technologies for the greenhouse production of horticultural crops, evaluating new soilless media/substrates, hydroponic crop cultures, vertical farming, and horticultural crop physiology. Dr. Singh has been working in various applied research projects aimed at adopting sustainable practices and improving the production efficiency of horticultural farms. Dr. Singh’s collaborative project with Mayfair farms (Portage La Prairie, MB) and the Vegetable Growers of Manitoba Association provided Manitoba onion producers with critical information on the incidence and prevalence of Botrytis neck rot disease and options for its management. In another collaborative research project with Shelmerdine Garden Center (Winnipeg, MB), she developed sustainable pest management strategies for use in commercial floricultural greenhouses. This approach gave customers organic, pesticide-free products and helped the nursery industry keep up with the changing trends of the horticulture industry. Another partnership with Vermillion Growers (Dauphin, MB) helped them to adopt sustainable crop production technologies by testing the latest products and technologies like root-zone oxygenation, biofertilizers, growth promotors, bio-stimulants to enhance greenhouse vegetable production. Her current research project with Vanderveen's Greenhouse Ltd. (Carman, MB) focuses on exploring new soilless growing media blends to partially or completely replace peat for improving the production of ornamental crops in greenhouses. Dr. Singh’s research is helping growers in reducing production costs, increasing resource efficiency, and contributing to long-term economic and environmental sustainability.

Areas of interest

  • Sustainable Greenhouse Crop Production
  • Soilless Growing Media Applications
  • Hydroponic Crop Cultures
  • Horticultural Crop Physiology
  • Vertical Farming

Courses recently taught

AGRC 0258 Growing Media

SCIE 0074 Horticulture Science

AGRC 0285 Horticulture Industry

AGRC 0283 Food Safety and Security

AGRC 0286 Nursery and Ornamental Horticulture

AGRC 0276 Growing Media Applications

AGRC 0274 Food Systems Applied Research

AGRC 0284 Food Security and Sustainability

AGRC 0288 The Food Industry

PRAC-0263 Practicum – STFDS

Recent Publications

Research papers in peer-reviewed journals:

  • Singh, P., Ahmad, F., Bisht, V., Thakkar, N., Sajjad, S. (2021). Early detection of onion neck rot disease in Manitoba. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 00: 1-14. DOI: 10.1139/cjps-2021-0064
  • Singh, P. (2021). Propagation of 14 prairie native forbs by sexual and asexual methods. Native Plants Journal 22(3):345–354.
  • Singh, P., and Nykolyshyn, T. (2021). Biocontrol in practice in northern floricultural greenhouses. Ornamental Horticulture Journal. 27 (4): 544-555. DOI:10.1590/2447-536X.v27i4.2354
  • Singh, P. (2021). Response of cucumber plants to oxygen-enriched nutrient solution under different greenhouse environments. Acta Horticulturae 1317, 47-54. DOI:10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1317.6
  • Singh, P. and Whibbs, R. (2021). A College’s Traditional Indigenous Plant Garden as Third Space. Canadian Food Studies / La Revue canadienne des études sur l alimentation (under review).
  • Rao, S.A., Mintenko, A., Abbey, L. and Singh, P. (2020). Wintering index and yield traits for early, mid and late season strawberry for colder climates. International Journal of Fruit Science. 20 (2), 151-158. DOI: 10.1080/15538362.2020.1774471
  • Singh, P. and Chettri, R. (2016). A new propagation method for rapid multiplication of chrysanthemum under in vivo conditions. International Journal of Conservation Science. 4(1): 95-100.

Papers presented in conferences/symposia:

  • Singh, P. (2021). Response of cucumber plants to oxygen-enriched nutrient solution under different greenhouse environments. Paper presented at II International Symposium on Growing Media, Soilless Cultivation, and Compost Utilization in Horticulture, Belgium, Aug. 22-27, 2021.
  • Singh, P., Bisht, V. and Gonsalves, T. (2021). Direct-seeded versus transplanted onions: Varietal Performance in Canadian Prairies. Paper presented at the Annual General Conference of the American Society of Horticulture Science, Denver, Colorado, USA, Aug. 5-7, 2021.
  • Singh, P. and Whibbs, R. (2020). In the Garden of the Ancestors: Preserving Traditional Indigenous Medicines and Culinary Plants in a College Garden. Paper presented at the 22nd Annual Indigenous Knowledge Symposium: Indigenous Plant Sovereignty, Queens University, ON, Canada. Nov. 6-7, 2020.
  • Singh, P. (2018). Advanced crop production systems-a key to sustainable and productive agriculture. Key Note speech presented at Agritex India 2018 Conference and Exhibition, Hyderabad, India, Oct.4-6, 2018
  • Singh, P., Deng, A. and Hinrichs, S. (2017). Managing western flower thrips by the use of biocontrol agents in conventional and solar greenhouses. Paper presented in the 8th World Congress on Agriculture & Horticulture held in Amsterdam, Netherlands, March 2-3, 2017.
  • Hinrichs, S, Deng, A, Singh, P. and Rao, S. (2016). Establishing Biological Pest Control Systems for Managing Greenhouse Pests. Paper presented in Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICAN) Applied Research Symposium held in Winnipeg, Manitoba, March 6-8, 2016.

Research grants:

  • 2021-2022: Exploring new sustainable growing media for ornamental crop production. Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).
  • 2021: Eco-craft Project. A collaboration between Scientists and Artists. Manitoba Craft Council, MB.
  • 2020-2022: Building applied research capacity to support Manitoba agriculture, innovation, and sustainability. NSERC, Canada.
  • 2019: Onion neck rot disease prevalence studies in Manitoba’. Employment and Social Development Canada.
  • 2018-2023: Assiniboine Community College Field to Fork Project, Canadian Agricultural Partnership Grant, a Federal-Provincial initiative, Govt. of Canada.
  • 2018: Establishing a biological pest management program for nursery crop production. NSERC, Canada.
  • 2018: Knowledge Dissemination Travel Grant, Assiniboine Community College (ACC) Applied Research Fund, Manitoba, Canada.
  • 2017-2018: Establishing a Community Plant Germplasm Conservatory. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
  • 2016: Developing herbarium of traditionally important plants for awareness and educational purposes. Employment and Social Development Canada.
  • 2015-2018: Canada-Manitoba Growing Forward 2- Growing Innovation - Capacity and Knowledge Development Program, a Federal-Provincial initiative, Govt. of Canada.
  • 2014: Plant breeding for organic farming systems: A collaborative approach to sustainability. Shastri Partnership Seed Grant project funded by the Shastri Indo Canadian Institute, Canada.
  • 2013: Initiation of a germplasm bank for selected plants with potential to be new crops for BC agriculture-A pilot project. Investment Agriculture Council of British Columbia, Canada.
  • 2013-2014: A new biofertilizer using insect frass and chitin Phase I. NSERC, Canada.

Awards and Honours:

  • 2020-2021: Teaching Excellence Stellar Award by ACC in recognition of demonstrable success in teaching through COVID-19 pandemic years.
  • 2020: Excellence in Teaching Award by ACC for extraordinary contributions to student excellence.
  • 2019: RAVE Award by ACC for being a dedicated and passionate researcher.
  • 2009: Desh Sewa Rattan Award for contributions to the field of teaching and research in horticulture by Punjab State Sikh Committee, India.
  • 2007: Young Scientist Award by the Punjab Academy of Sciences, India
  • 2007: Best Paper Presentation Award by the Punjab Academy of Sciences, India
  • 2006: Best Paper Presentation Awards by the Indian Science Congress Association, India
  • 2003: Best Scientific Essay Award by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India
  • 1999-2002: Senior Research Fellowship Award by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, India