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
2013 Dr. Del Rio used a variety of techniques to better understand the factors that restrict enzymes from breaking down cellulose for the production of ethanol from wood. His work showed that the wood could be chemically modified to improve cellulose breakdown and lower the enzyme doses. This knowledge can reduce the cost of converting wood to ethanol. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2013 Dr. Huang studied the effects of the US Lacey Act Amendment, the EU Timber Regulation, and the Chain of Custody certification on China's wood products industry. These initiatives aim to reduce illegal logging and legitimize the associated forest products trade. This research explains the impact at the individual producer level and at the industry level. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2013 Dr. Blight studied seagulls to ask what they can tell us about our environment. She used historical records, museum specimens, and modern data to measure changes in their population numbers, egg production, and diet since 1860. Her results show that gulls can be used to monitor long-term changes in the marine environment of British Columbia and elsewhere. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2013 Dr. Blenner-Hassett examined the effects of light, water, and nutrients on small tree growth across gradients of light and site quality near Kamloops, BC. He subsequently applied his findings to develop a spatially explicit small tree growth model capable of predicting seedling and sapling growth under a wide range of stand conditions. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Lim studied the value placed on the aesthetics of forests. He compared how people in Korea, China, Japan and Canada, and experts in Korea and Canada, rate the aesthetic importance of forests. From his findings, he developed ten forest aesthetic indicators that can be used in future Sustainable Forest Management schemes at an international level. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Donaldson studied the physiology, behavior, and survival of migrating Pacific salmon captured by fisheries. Laboratory and field studies revealed that even a brief fisheries capture resulted in a high stress, prolonged recovery and delayed mortality. Fisheries managers are using these results to enhance survival estimates for migrating Pacific salmon. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Floyd studied what happens when rain falls on snow in recently harvested and regenerating forests on Northern Vancouver Island. He compared these rain-on-snow events using a sophisticated model and a new method he developed to observe snow melt. Results from his research are being used to help minimize the effects of forest harvesting on floods and landslides. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Jeffries studied the effects of high water temperature and rapid aging on wild adult Pacific salmon, at a genome-wide scale. This research was the first to characterize the cellular changes involved in mortality in wild fish. The study has enhanced our understanding of the effects of future climate warming on Pacific salmon. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Unda investigated the role of a group of carbohydrates in poplar trees. Changes in these carbohydrates resulted in trees with increased cellulose content. Enhancing the characteristics of the wood produces trees which can store carbon more effectively and therefore produce better biofuels. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Hernandez studied the aesthetic disfiguration that reduces the value of wood products when they are exposed outdoors. His work revealed that weathered wood surfaces are grayed by the interactive effects of solar radiation and fungal colonization. This knowledge can be used to develop new and less toxic treatments to stop the graying of weathered wood. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)