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Forests go far beyond British Columbia; they cover 1/3 of the Earth’s land surface. Forestry graduate students learn from a dynamic and diverse group of researchers who educate and communicate how forests and forest products contribute to the well-being of all living things. The health and sustainability of forests and the people who depend on them underlies everything we do.

The Faculty of Forestry is one of the top institutions globally in forest-related education and research. The unique breadth of expertise we possess allows us to integrate new knowledge across many disciplines. Offering both master’s and doctoral programs, our graduate students learn from a dynamic and diverse group of researchers from around the world.


Research Facilities

The Forest Sciences Centre is a showcase for construction using Canadian forest products, and was architecturally designed to mimic the landscape of British Columbia: towering trees, mountains, and blue-green waters. The 17,505-square-metre Forest Sciences complex has 11 classrooms, 2 lecture theatres, teaching laboratories, office space, computer labs, study areas, and a cafeteria, and houses the Faculty’s three departments.

Built alongside the Forest Sciences Centre is the 3,730-square-metre Centre for Advanced Wood Processing. It is Canada’s national centre of excellence for education and research related to wood products processing and advanced wood products manufacturing, and works to advance knowledge that fosters job creation, stabilizes forest-dependent communities, encourages increased value recovery, and ensures the sustainable management of Canada’s forests. This building includes two 25-seat classrooms, a machine lab, a simulator lab and a computer lab.

Within the Faculty of Forestry, there are also several research groups. Visit the website of each project to find out more.

Off-campus facilities include two Research Forests: the Malcolm Knapp Research Forest in Maple Ridge and the Alex Fraser Research Forest near Williams Lake. These are working forests located throughout the province where students and faculty can study in an outdoor setting. Fish and wildlife, silviculture, forest harvesting, forest ecology, forest management, and resources management figure prominently in these field studies.

Research Highlights

UBC Forestry is turning out a new generation of foresters, and faculty are committed to meeting future challenges in forestry through in-depth, cutting edge research. In fact, UBC Forestry receives the highest level of forestry research funding of any forestry faculty in Canada.

In the 2017/2018 fiscal year, members of the Faculty Forestry were awarded a total of over $12 million in research funding. 

Our wide breadth of research includes topics such as tree rings, integrated remote sensing, bioenergy, forest conservation genetics, landscape visualizations, African forest conservation and development, alpine studies, climate change, and advanced wood processing.

Recent Publications

This is an incomplete sample of recent publications in chronological order by UBC faculty members with a primary appointment in the Faculty of Forestry.


Recent Thesis Submissions

Doctoral Citations

A doctoral citation summarizes the nature of the independent research, provides a high-level overview of the study, states the significance of the work and says who will benefit from the findings in clear, non-specialized language, so that members of a lay audience will understand it.
Year Citation Program
2016 Dr. Piltan developed a model for evaluating the performance of business partnerships as well as a model for evaluating factors influencing the partnership performance over time. He applied his models to a partnership in the Canadian forest products supply chain. His results help managers make more informed decisions for their business partnerships. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2016 Dr. Pickell examined the impacts of human appropriation of Canada's boreal forest on the spatial patterns of forested ecosystems. He developed new approaches for evaluating forest land management strategies and remotely monitoring the ecological condition of our forests. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2015 Dr. Gonzalez developed and taught a sustainability leadership course. It was designed to fill a gap in higher education, by empowering students to develop the skills to mobilize purposeful change in today's complex world. His analysis of outcomes suggest a need for more courses and programs that integrate practical and embodied leadership skills. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2015 Dr. Germain used a long-term study of wild songbirds to examine the relative influences of habitat quality and the quality of individual birds on survival and reproductive success. This work highlights the importance of accounting for intrinsic variation among individuals when identifying the habitat features which influence their life-history. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2015 Dr. Malan examined resource management, using two tans-boundary conservation case studies in southern Africa. Using a governance and a collaboration capability model, she found that the lack of formal trans-boundary institutions impede decision-making. Her findings improve our understanding of failures in trans-boundary natural resource governance. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2015 Salmon migrations in the ocean are extremely challenging events. Dr. Drenner's research showed these migrations are influenced by environmental conditions and fish physiological state. These results further our understanding of the marine migration of salmon and will aid in their management and conservation. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2015 Dr. Read analyzed the windstorms that affected southwest BC from 1994 to 2012, and modeled related damage to the electrical grid. Power outages were found to be nearly certain for winds above 60 km/h, and outage frequency increased exponentially with peak wind speed. Outage forecasts help utilities improve grid resiliency, keeping our cell phones on. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2015 Dr. Haghdan investigated the behavior of laminates made of wood and polyester when they are compressed. Those new bio-composites reacted to being crushed with the same absorption ability as their synthetic fibre counterparts. The advantages of these laminates are their mechanical properties, light weight, low cost and environmental benefits. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2015 Dr. Vergara explored improvements to decision-making in lumber planning. He identified the benefits of the decision to move BC coastal forest industry firms to lean, agile or cut-to-order manufacturing environments. His study focussed especially on lumber planning decisions made in the context of new lumber product portfolios. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2015 Dr. McGuigan evaluated the social impact assessments conducted for major projects in rural and small-town British Columbia. The findings strengthen our understanding of how the social benefits and burdens of development are managed. The study benefits all British Columbians since everyone relies on the sustainable development of natural resources. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)