Marney Isaac

Marney Isaac
Canada Research Chair
Telephone number
(416) 287-7276
Building EV 462

Dr. Marney Isaac is a Professor in the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences and the Department of Global Development Studies at the University of Toronto. Dr. Isaac holds the Canada Research Chair in Agroecosystems & Development and is the Director of the University of Toronto’s Sustainable Food and Farming Futures Cluster. Her research develops novel social-ecological methods to generate contemporary insights into sustainable agroecosystem policy and practice. She leads an interdisciplinary research lab that explores plant-soil interactions, nutrient cycles and ecosystem function in diversified agroecosystems and agroforestry systems, and the social processes that lead to agroecological transitions. Dr. Isaac serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Ecology, Agronomy for Sustainable Development and Biotropica, and she publishes widely in environmental science, agronomy, ecology, and multi-disciplinary sustainability science journals.

Twitter @MarneyIsaac 


PhD University of Toronto 

MSc University of Guelph 

BSc University of Guelph 

Teaching Interests

  • Principles of Soil Science 
  • Environment and Development 

Research Interests

  • Agroecology
  • Agrobiodiversity
  • Biogeochemistry
  • Plant-soil interactions
  • Plant functional traits
  • Social-ecological systems
  • Social networks 

Awards and Grants

  • Canada Research Chair Tier 2 (2013-2024) 
  • NSERC Discovery Grant (2022-2027) 
  • Cluster of Scholarly Prominence Program (2021-2024) 
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, AGGP (2017-2022) 


  • Gill, D.-G. and M.E. Isaac. 2022. Nitrogen dynamics in agroforestry systems: A review with data synthesis. Agronomy for Sustainable Development, 42:60. 
  • Isaac, M.E., V. Nimmo, A. Gaudin, A. Leptin, J. Schmidt, C. Kallenbach, A. Martin, M. Entz, M. Carkner, I. Rajcan, T.D. Boyle, X. Lu. 2021. Crop domestication, functional trait syndromes, and soil nutrient acquisition in organic agroecosystems: a systematic review. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, 5:716480. 
  • Isaac, M.E., H. Nyantakyi-Frimpong, P. Matous, E. Dawoe, and L. Anglaaere. 2021. Farmer networks and agrobiodiversity interventions: the unintended outcomes of intended change. Ecology and Society, 26(4). 
  • Isaac, M.E. and K.A. Borden. 2019. Nutrient acquisition strategies in agroforestry systems. Plant and Soil, Marschner Review, 444:1–19. 
  • Isaac, M.E., R. Isakson, B. Dale, C.Z. Levkoe, S.K. Hargreaves, V.E. Méndez, H. Wittman, C. Hammelman, J.C. Langill, A.R. Martin, E. Nelson, M. Ekers, K.A. Borden, S. Gagliardi, S. Buchanan, S. Archibald and A. Gálvez Ciani. 2018. Agroecology in Canada: Towards an integration of agroecological practice, movement and science. Sustainability, 10: 3299.