How do we feed

9 billion people without degrading

ecosystem services?

The University of Guelph research initiative Food From Thought is an ongoing research program to redefine agriculture for future generations. Through developing more sustainable farming practices, the research done by the Food From Thought research team will help us to better feed a growing population without damaging valuable ecosystem services. 

Working with world-leading researchers from multiple disciplines, the Food From Thought initiative will establish Canada as a global leader in agri-food and sustainability.  

Food From Thought Logo

Food From Thought has three missions ranging from global initiatives to crop-scale: 

To transform agriculture's global 
impact on biodiversity via collaboration with the International Barcode of Life. 
To sustainably intensify local 
To use big data analytics to enhance farm-wide food
and livestock health 

Research Themes

Food Safety

"We want to increase the capacity, sustainability and safety of food production systems without undermining environmental health, ecosystem services or livestock health and welfare.                                                   - Food From Thought Mission Statement "

Through the integration of agriculture, technology, and big data analytics, Food From Thought will analyze trends in agricultural practices and their resulting impact on biodiversity. Clarifying these relationships  will revolutionize the way future generations will approach both agriculture and ecosystem management.

Aligned with Food From Thoughts mission's, the Ecosystem Services Team is composed of researchers from Guelph and McGill University. The Ecosystem Services team conducts research to better understand how agriculture practices affect biodiversity and ecosystem services.


The Ecosystem Services Team

Dr. John Fryxell is the executive director for the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario (BIO) and professor and researcher at the University of Guelph. 


Dr. Fryxell is testing how ecosystems respond to rapid environmental change using experimental ecosystems at BIO.

Biological Science_DoIB_version2_Full Co

The Projects


Terrestrial Ecosystems

Aquatic Ecosystems



By combining theory and application, researchers from Guelph University and McGill University are working to understand the relationship between food production and ecosystem services health.  


The Ecosystem Services team has been able to collaborate with local farmers in southern Ontario through the efforts of ALUS Canada. This partnership makes the Ecosystem Service research unique, as it allows new conservation strategies to be tested out in real-world settings on local farms.

ALUS logo with link to ALUS site

This research was undertaken thanks in part to funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

Food Fom Thought link
Canada First Research Excellence Fund Link