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Current and Past Research

Current projects

Project title: Rooftop Urban Farms for Ecosystem Services: Environmental Monitoring using Commercial Off-the-shelf IoT Components
Goals: To compare the ecosystem services, such as the ability to mitigate urban heat island and the potential to manage stormwater, of a rooftop farm, a green roof and a conventional roof.
Principal investigator: Tamer Almaaitah (MEng), Dr. Darko Joksimovic (PhD)
Project duration: August 2020 - August 2021

Project title: Meteorological Monitoring of the Urban Farm
Goals: To install a meteorological station on the roof of the George Vari Engineering and Computing Centre to monitor temperature, precipitation, wind speed/direction, humidity, and certain types of solar radiation; to use data as a teaching tool and for other research purposes.
Principal investigator: Prof. Claire Oswald (PhD)
Project duration: Ongoing

Project title: Replicable Model Pilot Project
Goals: To monitor evapotranspiration, test various growing medium amendments and irrigation in test beds using varied green roof technology assembly.
Principal investigator: Prof. Kristiina Mai (PhD)
Research assistants: Jeremy Lytle (BEng), Luzalen Marcos (BEng), Devon Santillo (BEng) and Jeremy Wright (BEng)
Project duration: 2020 to 2021

Past projects

Project title: Green Roof Technology Analysis
Goals: Monitoring irrigation usage, water flow sensors, wireless soil sensors.
Principal investigator: Prof. Kristiina Mai (PhD)
Research assistants: Nabeel Ahmed (MES), Martin Fernandez (BEng), Pruthal Merchant (BEng), Devon Santillo (BEng), Bethany Santos (BEng) and Abigail Sy (BEng)
Project duration: 2015 to 2019

Project title: Wireless Soil Monitoring
Investigators: Prof. Kristiina Mai (PhD), Maleeka Batool (BEng), Dau Ekubor (BEng) and Rose Esfandi (BEng)
Completed: 2019

Project title: Research Study to Develop Urban Agriculture Indicators in the City of Toronto
Final report: Indicators for Urban Agriculture in Toronto: A Scoping Analysis, external link
Investigators: Paul Coleman, health research specialist with Toronto Food Strategy, Toronto Public Health; Rhonda Teitel-Payne, co-coordinator with Toronto Urban Growers
Completed: December 2016

Project title: Monitoring of Hydrologic Performance of Ryerson’s Rooftop Garden
Investigators: Muhammad Ammar Khan (BEng,  Department of Civil Engineering, Ryerson University)
Completed: 2016

Project title: Wireless Soil-Sensor Network for Rooftop Gardens
Investigators: M. Nabeel Ahmed (MEng, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Ryerson University)
Completed: 2016

Project title: Exploration of Agricultural Green Roofs Soils for Earthworm Populations, Nitrogen and the Possible Interactions and Practices Involved, Southern Ontario: Agricultural Green Roof Actors
Final report: Earthworm Populations in Agricultural Green Roofs and their Influence on Soil Nitrogen, Greater Toronto Area
Investigators: Caitlin Santos (MASc, Environmental Applied Science and Management, Ryerson University)
Completed: 2016

Project title: Experiences of Community Gardening Participants in Different Garden Settings
Investigators: Adrian Lue (MGeog, Department of Geography & Planning, University of Toronto)
Completed: 2016