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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
2014 Dr. Schuster investigated systematic conservation planning in human-dominated landscapes. He developed novel techniques to maximize efficiency in biodiversity conservation via carbon sequestration and land management. His work provides guidelines to successfully fund conservation investments and highlights their potential benefits and shortfalls. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2014 Dr. Ristea developed a novel framework to investigate the greenhouse gas footprint of wood ethanol as compared with gasoline. He found that the dynamics of biogenic carbon could greatly affect the results of life cycle analyses. Dr. Ristea showed that displacing gasoline with wood ethanol is not always a viable strategy for climate mitigation. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2014 Dr. Beaudoin examined the conditions that allowed the Essipit Innu First Nation in Quebec to grow a model of forestry that has deep community roots. Unlike other Aboriginal communities who struggled with the forest industry, Essipit achieved true successes that shed light on new and more sustainable ways to steward, manage and develop forests. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2014 Dr. Ferster evaluated the role of smartphones in monitoring forests, and developed an application to measure wildfire threat. He tested the application in communities and checked the accuracy of measurements made with it. The frameworks developed to use smartphone data with satellite remote sensing may lead to more widespread wildfire monitoring. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2014 Dr. Gourlay focused on developing new applications for forestry residues such as wood chips and sawdust. He used enzymes from fungi to break down these woody materials into sugars, which are then fermented into products such as bio-fuels or bio-plastics. These products have the potential to provide new revenue streams for Canada's forest industry. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2014 Dr. Cizek displayed the existing and future Alberta tar sands and associated pipelines using Google Earth software, to study responses from members of the general public. Focus group participants experienced significant learning and expressed emotional reactions. This research will help practitioners communicate the scale of very large projects. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2014 Dr. Chandler studied ecosystem response 20 years after clearcutting and slashburning in conifer forest of central British Columbia. Significant contributions of her work include determining the relative importance of climate and disturbance to resilience, and developing a trait data set with functional type classes for more than 180 plant species. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2014 Dr. Alamouti studied fungi that have destroyed more than 18 million hectares of pine forests in western North America. She used evolutionary genomic approaches and identified variations in genes that help fungi attack trees. This provides important insights into how fungi evolve and adapt to different pine trees and to changing environment condition. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2014 Dr. Hu has shown how the complex enzymes produced by mushrooms and fungi can break down cellulose, found in woods and plants. Cellulose is the world's most common form of sugar and it can be used to make biofuels. Dr. Hu (or Who) plans to continue exploring the universe in his time-travelling police box, the Tardis, powered by renewable biofuels! Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2014 Dr. Eddington's research focused on the development of a strategy for monitoring the biophysical attributes of British Columbia's forests and rangelands. The aim of the study was to supply the information needed to bring climate change adaptation considerations into decision-making in the Province. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)