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Queen's University

Peter Ralevic


Contact information:

Peter is currently a PhD Candidate and Sessional Lecturer in Bioenergy Systems Analysis at the Life Cycle Assessment and Carbon Modeling Faculty of Forestry & Centre for Environment University of Toronto. 

Candidate for Canada's Next Great Prime Minister 

Educational background:
Peter Ralevic majored in Biology and graduated from Queen's University in 2006 with a BSc (Honours)

MES 2008

Thesis title:
Optimizing marginal land use through sustainable integration of food and energy production in the Dharwad District of Karnataka, India

Research topic/description:
Adequate and reliable access to energy is essential for societal development, and poverty alleviation through income generation and improvement in health. Concern over conventional sources of energy, such as coal, oil and natural gas, is mounting due to issues of climate change, energy security arising from geopolitical risks, absence of adequate infrastructure in the developing world and increasing prices spurred by excalating demands and declining supplies.

Given such concern, there is an increasing interest directed towards research and policy that favours development of renewable sources of energy such as biomass, which is particularly important in India. While supply of conventional energy sources remains restricted to the urban population, biomass makes up 75% to over 80% of India's rural energy consumption. The collection of biomass such as fuelwood is however unsustainable, leading to the depletion of forest biomass. Estimates show the household demand for biomass in the dryland interior of India to be outweighing current supply from agricultural residues and fuelwood available from forests. In addition, drought conditions make it difficult for households to meet their food demands, largely resulting from a combination of low crop yield and small household landholdings.

This study will assess the possibility of optimizing land use for the marginal poor through a field study of a rural, dryland village in the Dharwad district of the state of Karnataka, India, by focusing on the production of biomass at the household and village level. The objective is to examine optimal ways in which land and available resources within a household can be utilized in order to meet the current and future demands for energy, without compromising current or future abilities to satisfy food demand. Higher yielding biomass crops appropriate to the dryland region will be examined, in addition to multiple use crops, which can satisfy food, fodder and energy demands. The thesis will consider the economic, social and environmental impacts of proposed integrated cropping systems.

Supervisors and committee:
Supervisor: Dr. Gary vanLoon (Dept. of Env. Studies and Chemistry, Queen's University)
Co-Supervisor: Dr. S.G. Patil (University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, India)
Committee: Dr. P. Grogan (Dept. of Biology, Queen's University); Dr. N. Scott (Dept. of Geography, Queen's University)

Research interests:
Biomass; bioenergy; sustainable, optimal land use; nutritive value; fodder value; crop yields; issues of food/nutrition demand, supply, and consumption

Queen's Senate, Graduate Senator: Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS); Senate Operations Review Committee; Society of Graduate and Professional Students council member and member of Operations and Finance Committee.

Ralevic P, Layzell DB. Nov 2006. An Inventory of the bioenergy potential of British Columbia. BIOCAP Canada Foundation. Available at

Ralevic P, Layzell DB, Bates S, Pollard A, Wood S. The bio-energy potential of Canada. Biomass and Bioenergy (under review).

Peter and his supervisor, Gary vanLoon, have just had a paper published. The manuscript can be accessed at

January 2012 - Here is a link to a paper that Gary and I wrote, and which was published this month in the book 'Food Production - Approaches, Challenges and Tasks'. It stems from the Master's research. Feel free to put the link on the website.

Title of article: Achieving Household Food Security:How Much Land is Required?

Published in the book: Food Production - Approaches, Challenges and Tasks



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