Mumtaz Cheema, B.Sc. (Hons.), M.Sc., Ph.D. (University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan), Postdoc (Iowa State University, Ames, US)

Professor - Boreal ecosystems and agricultural sciences

Phone: (709) 639-6533


Office: AS244



Dr. Mumtaz Cheema is Associate Vice President Research and Graduate Studies and Professor in the School of Science and the Environment, Grenfell Campus Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada. Dr Cheema has established a very successful research program, developed strong research collaborations at national and international level. His current research focus is to develop productive, resilient, and sustainable cropping systems using innovative approaches/management practices, abiotic stress management, nutrient use efficiency, developing mitigation and adaptation strategies to combat climate change, nanofertilizer development and evaluation, industrial waste management. He has a successful track record of funding and scholarships, as measured by metrics including peer-reviewed publications and other diverse knowledge mobilization outputs and extensive training of highly qualified personnel. His significant progress and accomplishments in the field is illustrated by the followings:

  • Dr. Cheema has been very successful in securing external funding to support his research agenda, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows. Since 2013, he has been successful in securing more than $25 million from Tri-Council (NSERC Discovery, CRD, CREATE, Alliance and SSHRC - NFRF-T), ACOA, RDC, TCII, IET, Mitacs, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, provincial, federal, and other funding agencies.
  • He has published over 160 research articles in peer reviewed journals, 102 posters and abstract in national and international conferences, and more than 100 presentations in national and international conferences. The originality and contribution of his work is evident from the quality of his publications. These are well-cited and appear in top-tier journals and flagship conference proceedings.
  • Dr. Cheema regularly presents his research work in national and international conferences. He has presented several invited keynote speeches and plenary talks at various international conferences. He has established a vigorous, cutting-edge, and very promising research program, as reflected by the amazing number of Master students, Ph.D. students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists he has supervised/co-supervised. Dr. Cheema has supervised/co-supervised 54 Master and 12 Ph.D. students, two visiting PhD and one visiting research scientist. He is supervising/co-supervising 18 Master and 9 Ph.D. students. Additionally, he is mentoring four postdoctoral fellows. He regularly engages with farmers, industry and organize field days/farmers day to demonstrate the outcome of his field research trials. These innovative research trials led to many newspapers’ articles and TV interviews.

He has served and is serving on the editorial board of many top-tier journals and edited special issues. He is very actively involved in Canadian Society of Agronomy (CSA) activities. He was President elect in 2020-21, President in 2021-2022 and past President during 2022-23.


Research Grants and Awards

  1. COPI, Development of Transformative Precision Agriculture Technologies to Ensure Food Security and Mitigate Climate Change: A State-of-the-art Approach to Promote Sustainable Agriculture. NSERC-SSHRC Sustainable agriculture research initiative. [(8.57M) (2024-2028)]. PI, Aitzaz Farooque, University of Prince Edward Island, PEI, Canada.
  2. COPI, Training Network for CLImate Smart Agriculture (CLISA). NSERC CREATE [1.65M) (2024 – 2030). PI, Xander Wang, Associate Professor, University of Prince Edward Island, PEI, Canada.
  3. COPI, Advancing Agricultural Sustainability in Newfoundland: A multidisciplinary research approach. Seed, Bridge and Multidisciplinary Fund, MUN [$10,000) (2024-2026)].
  4. COPI, Estimating the potential of mini-hydropower generation in an ungauged catchment using hydrological modelling. Mitacs Accelerates and Growing for Life [(30,000) (2023-2024).
  5. PI, Developing GHG fluxes pedotransfer functions and quantifying Spatio‐temporal structure of soil quality under different management practices in boreal ecosystems. Mitacs Accelerate and Akin Agrifood Technologies Inc. [($120,000) (2023 – 2025)].
  6. PI, Cropping, fertilization, and soil conditioning strategies for climate change mitigation in NL (NL-LL). AAFC, NL-LL model [($3.8 millions) (2022 - 2027)].
  7. PI, Assessing cover cropping options for improved forage yield, quality, and soil health in a boreal climate. Industry, Energy and Technology (IET), Government of NL – Leverage R&D application [($568,418.00) (2022 -2027)].
  8. PI, Newfoundland, and Labrador living laboratories Initiative (Creating a Collaborative Network). Associate Vice-President (Research) Special Award [($26,500) (2021- 2022)].
  9. PI, Newfoundland, and Labrador living laboratories Initiative – NL-LL. Agriculture and Agri-Food, Canada - ACS program [($99,240) (2021 – 2022).
  10. COAP, Repurposing marine by-products or raw materials for the development and production of functional food and bioactive to improve human health and coastal community sustainability. New Frontiers in Research Fund – Transformation (NFRF-T) [($15.8 Millions) (2021-2027)].
  11. COAP, Collaborative research program on Cannabis edibles as functional foods. NSERC, Fanshawe College, MUN, Beehive Inc. and Wake Inc. [($505,913) (2021-2024)].
  12. PI, Low-input Agriculture in Cool Climate Boreal Ecosystems. Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture, NL - contribution agreement [($55,000) (2021 - 2022)].
  13. PI, Effects of medium-term dairy manure and biochar application on the growth, forage production and quality, soil quality and health in a silage corn monocropping system in boreal climate. Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) [($24,915.00) (2021-2022)].
  14. External collaborator, Improving the health of northern soils. AAFC [($300,000) (2021-2023)]. PI - Vicky Lévesque, Research Scientist, Kentville Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, NS, Canada.
  15. PI, Assessing cover cropping options for improved forage yield, quality and soil health in a boreal climate. NSERC DG [($165,000) (2021 – 2026)].
  16. COPI, Rock dust from mine waste as a natural media amendment in forest reclamation and the production of high value agronomic and horticultural crops. Total funding $ 383,800 [Anaconda Mining Inc. Memorial University of Newfoundland, NSERC-CRD, Tourism, Culture, Industry, and Innovation (TCII)] (2019-2024).



Book Chapters and Patents

  1. Javed, R., Bilal, M., Ali, J.S., Khan, S., Cheema, M. (2023). Nanotechnology: A Tool for the Development of Sustainable Agroindustry. In: Fernandez-Luqueno, F., Patra, J.K. (eds) Agricultural and Environmental Nanotechnology. Interdisciplinary Biotechnological Advances. Springer, Singapore.
  2. Javed R, Muhammad Arslan Ahmad, Ayesha Gul, Taswar Ahsan, Mumtaz Cheema. (2021). Comparison of chemically and biologically synthesized nanoparticles for the production of secondary metabolites, and growth and development of plants. Comprehensive Analytical Chemistry, 94, 303-329;
  3. The manufacturing of Nanofertilizer from the Chaga mushroom. US Provisional Patent No. 63/451,886.


Selected Research Articles

  1. Bilal Javed, Y. Katanda, M. Nadeem, M. M. Farhain, T. Wickremasinghe, R. Thomas, L. Galagedara, X. Guo, Mumtaz Cheema. 2024. Effectiveness of Wood Ash and Paper Sludge as Liming and Nutrient Sources for Annual Ryegrass Grown in Podzolic Soils of Newfoundland. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 1–11.
  2. Sashini Pathirana, Sébastien Lambot, Manokararajah Krishnapillai, Christina Smeaton, Mumtaz Cheema, Lakshman Galagedara. 2024. Potential of ground-penetrating radar to calibrate electromagnetic induction for shallow soil water content estimation. Journal of Hydrology, 633, 130957. org/10.1016/j.jhydrol.2024.130957.
  3. Rabia Javed, Bakhtawar Khan, Uzma Sharafat, Muhammad Bilal, Lakshman Galagedara, Lord Abbey, Mumtaz Cheema. Dynamic interplay of metal and metal oxide nanoparticles with plants: Influencing factors, action mechanisms, and assessment of stimulatory and inhibitory effects. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, 271115992.
  4. Muhammad Umair, Sehrish Huma Zafar, Mumtaz Cheema, Muhammad Usman. 2023. New insights into the environmental application of hybrid nanoparticles in metal contaminated agroecosystem: A review, Journal of Environmental Management, 349, 119553. org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.119553.
  5. Elham Fathidarehnijeh, Muhammad Nadeem, Mumtaz Cheema, Raymond Thomas, Mano Krishnapillai, and Lakshman Galagedara. 2023. Current perspective on nutrient solution management strategies to improve nutrient and water use efficiency in hydroponic systems. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. org/10.1139/cjps-2023-003
  6. Eric Fordjour, Charles Manful, Rabia Javed, Lakshman Galagedara, Chad Cuss, Mumtaz Cheema and Raymond Thomas. 2023. Chaga mushroom: a super-fungus with countless facets and untapped potential. Pharmacol., 14,
  7. Clinton Mensah, Yeukai Katanda, Mano Krishnapillai, Mumtaz Cheema and Lakshman Galagedara. 2023. Estimation of soil water content using electromagnetic induction sensors under different land uses. Environmental Research Communications, 5(8), DOI 10.1088/2515-7620/acebbd
  8. Ratnajit Saha, R. Thomas, K. Hawboldt, M. Nadeem, M. Cheema, and L. Galagedara. 2023. Biochar applications to boreal podzol improve soil hydraulic properties and control nitrogen dynamics. Canadian J of Soil Science
  9. Umair M, S.H. Zafar, Cheema, R. Minhas, A. M. Saeed, M. Saqib, M. Aslam. 2023. Unraveling the effects of zinc sulfate nanoparticles and potassium fertilizers on quality of maize and associated health risks in Cd contaminated soils under different moisture regimes. Science of The Total Environment, 896, 165147,
  10. Muhammad Arslan Ahmad, Sadaf Chaudhary, Xu Deng, Mumtaz Cheema, Rabia Javed. 2023. Nano-stevia interaction: Past, present, and future. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, 201,107807,
  11. Pathirana, S, S. Lambot, M. Krishnapillai, Cheema, C. Smeaton, L. Galagedara. 2023. Ground-Penetrating Radar and Electromagnetic Induction: Challenges and Opportunities in Agriculture. Remote Sens. 15, 2932.
  12. Fordjour E, Manful CF, Sey AA, Javed R, Pham TH, Thomas R and Cheema M. 2023. Cannabis: a multifaceted plant with endless potentials. Pharmacol. 14:1200269, doi:10.3389/fphar.2023.1200269
  13. Mensah C, Y. Katanda, M. Krishnapillai¬, Cheema, L. Galagedara. 2023. Multi-frequency electromagnetic induction soil moisture characterization under different land uses in western Newfoundland. Canadian Journal of Soil Science,
  14. Muhammad Faran, M. Nadeem, C. Manful, L. Galagedara, R. Thomas, Cheema. 2023. Agronomic Performance and Phytochemical profile of Lettuce Grown in Anaerobic Dairy Digestate. Agronomy, 13, 182;
  15. Wu J, M. Nadeem, L. Galagedara, R. Thomas and M. Cheema. 2022. Recent insights into cell responses to cold stress in plants: Signaling, defense, and potential functions of phosphatidic acid. Environ. and Experi. Botany, 203:105068;
  16. Wahid M. A, Irshad M, Irshad S, Khan S, Hasnain Z, Ibrar D, Khan A. R, Saleem M. F, Bashir S, Alotaibi S. S, Matloob A, Farooq N, Ismail M. S and M. Cheema. 2022. Nitrogenous fertilizer coated with zinc improves the productivity and grain quality of rice grown under anaerobic conditions. Front. Plant Sci. 13:914653; doi: 10.3389/fpls.2022.914653
  17. Sobze Jean-Marie, Galagedara Lakshman, Cheema Mumtaz, Thomas Raymond, Inoue Sahari. 2022. The potential of carbon nanoparticles as a stimulant to improve the propagation of native boreal forest species. Front. For. Glob. Change, 5;
  18. Yurgel, S.N, M. Nadeem and M. Cheema. 2022. Microbial consortium associated with crustacean shells composting. Microorganisms, 10, 1033; microorganisms10051033
  19. Ahmad Latif Virk, Wen-Sheng Liu, Zhe Chen, Yves N´Dri Bohoussou, Mumtaz Cheema, Khurram Shehzad Khan, Xin Zhao, Hai-Lin Zhang. 2022. Effects of different tillage systems and cropping sequences on soil physicochemical properties and greenhouse gas emissions. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 335, 108010,
  20. Wu J, M. Nadeem, L. Galagedara, R. Thomas and M. Cheema. 2022. Effects of chilling stress on morphological, physiological, and biochemical attributes of silage corn genotypes during seedling establishment. Plants, 11, 1217;
  21. Nadeem M, J. Wu, H. Ghaffari, A. J. Kedir, S. Saleem, A. Mollier, J. Singh and M. Cheema. 2022. Understanding the adaptive mechanisms of plants to enhance phosphorus use efficiency on podzolic soils in boreal agroecosystems. Front. Plant Sci.,13,


Community engagement and outreach activities