The ongoing process of warming climate is impacting forest ecosystems. Many climate change studies have focused on the effects of climate on either independent tree species or a whole community behavior. However, prior research has not accounted for the effect of tree species interactions on species responses to changes in climate. I am interested in understanding how tree species interactions, mainly competition, can influence tree species responses to changing climate. In this study, I propose a different research design to study the competitive fitness of trees species in a forest stand. Specifically, I utilize machine learning algorithms to combine tree measurements, dendrochronology and environmental data into one tree growth model. In the future, forest areas will be dominated by those species that are the best competitors in the new climate. Therefore, understanding tree species’ competitive abilities to survive and evolve, applying stand dynamics concepts, and utilizing machine learning algorithms into modelling process can meaningfully extend the boundaries of our knowledge about how forest communities might respond to changes in climate.
What aspect of your graduate program do you enjoy the most or are looking forward to with the greatest curiosity?
I enjoy all the teaching, research, and career related opportunities that the Forestry graduate program offers me. It provides a great environment to challenge the conventional wisdom, influence and be influenced by others. I am looking forward to the results of my project, and to contribute to the understanding of tree species responses to changing climate.
What was the best surprise about UBC or life in Vancouver?
Raincouver exceeded my rainy expectations. UBC life has a lot to offer, such as many workshops, student associations, UBC athletics, and innumerous theater and music performances. UBC Faculty of Forestry has a great international study body and atmosphere. I have met people from all over the world and that enriches my graduate life experience.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
One of my undergraduate professors convinced me that UBC is one the best Forestry schools in the world, and provides its students with many opportunities. Before applying for the graduate program, I decided to come here to meet different professors and explore the city. That was when I met my enthusiastic supervisor who demonstrated a passion for Forestry and teaching, encouraging me to pursue a PhD degree.
What aspects of your life or career before now have best prepared you for your UBC graduate program?
My previous international academic and work experience in different areas, such as tree morphology and taxonomy, phytopathology, urban forestry, and modelling, provide me with a more holistic view of the Forestry field.
What do you like to do for fun or relaxation?
I enjoy water sports, so I enrolled in the UBC adult rowing league which has being the best way to unwind. Other than that, I am also an assiduous attendant of the UBC aquatic centre.
What advice do you have for new graduate students?
Be prepared to work hard, and also live a balanced life. Time flies, so do not hesitate to take advantage of all opportunities that your program offers. Build a good network of friends and strengthen the relationship with your supervisor. These are the bases for succeeding in academic life.