Robert F Grant, PhD

Professor (Ecosystem Modeling), Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Renewable Resources Dept


Professor (Ecosystem Modeling), Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sci - Renewable Resources Dept
(780) 492-6609
430B Earth Sciences Building
11223 Saskatchewan Drive NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2E3



Job/Research Area: Ecosystem Modelling. The Ecosys Modeling Project - An Interview with Robert Grant


  • Alberta Emerald Awards Order of Excellence - Finalist (2009)
  • Ed and Peggy Tyrchniewicz Award for Innovation in Teaching (2008)
  • McCalla Professor (2005)


Major Responsibilities/Research Interests: Simulation modeling of physical, chemical and biological processes in soil-plant-atmosphere systems as a means of studying resource management and conservation in agricultural ecosystems under current or future climates.

Dr Grant is a participant in the Land Reclamation International Graduate School (LRIGS) program sponsored by NSERC CREATE.

Process-based ecosystem simulation models are needed to predict changes in terrestrial C and water cycles and in greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange under changing climate and land management. The development of such models is a stated objective of interdisciplinary research projects in which I participate, such as the Canada Carbon Project (CCP), the North America Carbon Project (NACP), the Climate Impacts on Canadian Arctic Tundra (CICAT - IPY), Arctic Development and Adaptation to Permafrost in Transition (ADAPT - NSERC) and NitroEurope. My research program is intended to meet these objectives by constructing and testing a comprehensive mathematical model (ecosys) of natural and managed ecosystems. 

The long-term objectives of my program are to provide a means to anticipate ecosystem response to hypothesized changes in environmental conditions (soils, climates and land management practices). These objectives require well-constrained testing of model response functions to changes in air temperature (Ta) and atmospheric CO2 concentration (Ca) under diverse site conditions (soil types, plant species, disturbances and climates). I therefore propose during the next five years to test model hypotheses for responses of ecosystem-atmosphere GHG exchange and ecosystem productivity to changes in climate against measurements recorded during controlled changes in Ta and Ca as part of the Next Generation Ecosystem Experiments (NGEE) managed by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory of the US Dept. of Energy. These experiments include NGEE Arctic on arctic tundra in Alaska, Spruce and Peatland Responses Under Climatic and Environmental Change (SPRUCE) on a spruce bog in northern Minnesota, and NGEE Tropics.


Ecological controls on net ecosystem productivity of a Mediterranean grassland under current and future climates

Author(s): Grant, R.F. Baldocchi, D.D. and Ma, S.
Publication Date: 2012
Publication: Agric. For Meteorol.
Volume: 152
Page Numbers: 189– 200

Controlled warming effects on wheat growth and yield: field measurements and modeling

Author(s): Grant, R.F., Kimball, B.A., Conley, M.M, White, J.W., Wall, G.W., and Ottman, M.J.
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: Agron. J.
Volume: 103
Page Numbers: 1742-1754

Ecological controls on net ecosystem productivity of a mesic arctic tundra under current and future climates

Author(s): Grant, R.F., Humphreys, E.R., Lafleur, P.M. and Dimitrov, D.D.
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: J. Geophys. Res. Biogeosci.
Volume: 116
Page Numbers: G01031

Modelling the effects of hydrology on gross primary productivity and net ecosystem productivity at Mer Bleue bog

Author(s): Dimitrov, D.D., Grant, R.F., LaFleur, P.M. and Humphreys, E.
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: JGR – Biogeosciences
Volume: 116
Page Numbers: G04010

Land surface models need better representation of vegetation phenology: Results from the North American Carbon Program Site Synthesis

Author(s): Richardson, A.D., Anderson, R.S., Arain, M.A., Barr, A.G., Bohrer, G., Chen, G., Chen, J.M., Ciais, P., Davis, K.J., Desai, A.R., Dietze, M.C., Dragoni, D., El Maayar, M., Garrity, S., Gough, C.M., Grant, R., Hollinger, D.Y., Margolis, H.A., McCaughey, H., Migliavacca, M., Monson, R.K., Munger, J.W., Poulter, B., Raczka, B.M., Ricciuto, D.M., Ryu, Y., Schaefer, K., Tian,H., Vargas, R., Verbeeck, H., Xiao, J. and Xue, Y.
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: Global Change Biology

Model intercomparison to evaluate climate and disturbance effects on interannual variation in net ecosystem productivity of a coastal temperate forest landscape

Author(s): Wang, Z., Grant, R.F., Arain, A., Bernier, P., Chen, B., Chen, J., Coops, N., Govind, A., Guindon, L., Hember, R., Kurz, W.A., Peng, C., Price, D.T., Stinson, G., Sun, J., Trofymow, J.A. and Yeluripati, J.
Publication Date: 2011
Publication: Ecol. Model
Volume: 222
Page Numbers: 3236– 3249

Changes in net CO2 and N2O exchange with fertilization of Douglas fir: mathematical modelling in ecosys

Author(s): Grant, R.F., Jassal, R.S., Black, T.A. and Bruemmer, C
Publication Date: 2010
Publication: J. Geophys. Res.

Modelling peat thermal regime of an ombrotropic peatland with hummock-hollow microtopography

Author(s): Dimitrov, D.D., Grant, R.F., LaFleur, P.M. and Humphreys, E
Publication Date: 2010
Publication: Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J.

Modelling subsurface hydrology of Mer Bleue bog

Author(s): Dimitrov, D.D., Grant, R.F., LaFleur, P.M. and Humphreys, E.
Publication Date: 2010
Publication: Soil Sci. Soc. Amer. J.
Volume: 74

Changes in net ecosystem productivity of boreal black spruce stands in response to changes in temperature at diurnal and seasonal time scales

Author(s): Grant, R.F., Margolis, H.A., Barr, A.G., Black, T.A., Dunn, A.L., Bernier, P.Y. and Bergeron, O.
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: Tree Physiology
Volume: 29
Page Numbers: 1-17

Using the ecosys mathematical model to simulate temporal variability of nitrous oxide emissions from a fertilized agricultural soil

Author(s): Metivier, K.A., Pattey, E. and Grant, R.F.
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: Soil Biol. Biochem.
Volume: 4
Page Numbers: 2370–2386

Modelling the carbon balance of Amazonian rainforests: resolving ecological controls on net ecosystem productivity

Author(s): Grant, R.F., Hutyra , L.R., de Oliveira, R.C., Munger, J.W., Saleska, S.R. and Wofsy, S.C
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: Ecological Applications
Volume: 79
Issue: 3
Page Numbers: 445–4638

Interannual variation in net ecosystem productivity of Canadian forests as affected by regional weather patterns – a Fluxnet-Canada synthesis

Author(s): Grant, R.F., Barr, A.G., Black, T.A., Margolis, H.A., Dunn, A.L., Metsaranta, J., Wang, S., McCaughey, J.H. and Bourque, C.P.-A.
Publication Date: 2009
Publication: Agric. For. Met.
Volume: 149
Page Numbers: 2022–2039

Temperature sensitivity of N2O emissions from fertilized agricultural soils: mathematical modelling in ecosys

Author(s): Grant, R.F. and E. Pattey
Publication Date: 2008
Publication: Global Biogeochem.
Volume: Cycles 22
Page Numbers: GB4019,

Modeling stomatal and nonstomatal effects of water deficits on CO2 fixation in a semiarid grassland

Author(s): Grant, R. F., and L. B. Flanagan
Publication Date: 2007
Publication: Geophys. Res.
Volume: 112
Page Numbers: G03011

Net biome productivity of irrigated and rainfed maize – soybean rotations: modelling vs. measurements

Author(s): Grant R.F., Arkebauer T.J., Dobermann A., Hubbard K.G., Schimelfenig T.T., Suyker A.E., Verma S.B. and Walters, D.T.
Publication Date: 2007
Publication: Agronomy Journal
Volume: 99
Page Numbers: 1404-1423

Net ecosystem productivity of boreal jack pine stands regenerating from clearcutting under current and future climates

Author(s): Grant, R.F., Barr, A.G., Black, T.A. Iwashita, H. Kidson, J., McCaughey, H., Morgenstern, K., Murayama, S., Nesic, Z., Saigusa, N., Shashkov, A., and Zha, T.
Publication Date: 2007
Publication: Global Change Biol.
Volume: 13
Page Numbers: 1423-1440

Changes in net ecosystem productivity with forest age following clearcutting of a coastal Douglas fir forest: testing a mathematical model with eddy covariance measurements along a forest chronosequence

Author(s): Grant, R.F., Black, T.A., Humphreys, E.R., and Morgenstern, K
Publication Date: 2007
Publication: Tree Physiology.
Volume: 27
Page Numbers: 115-131