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
2011 Dr. McLane examined how climate impacts tree germination, survival and growth. She assessed the potential for whitebark pine, which is endangered in Canada, to grow in locations north of its current range. She also assessed the growth potential of lodgepole pine populations under diverse temperature regimes. This research will help forest professionals and conservationists forecast changes in forest productivity and species survival as temperatures warm. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Rathbun investigated how multiple treatment interventions across a landscape affect mortality and growth within actively managed stands in a forest. This research provides models created for use in managed forest stands, where variable retention systems may occur, filling a gap in available models on the BC Coast. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Szeftel examined the connectivity of water flow between hillslopes, the riparian zone and the stream channel. His research highlights the role of topography in controlling connectivity and implications for predicting streamflow response at different spatial and temporal scales. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Hajjar explored power imbalances between governments and forest-dependent communities in Brazil and Mexico. She proposed a strategy for overcoming challenges faced by community forest enterprises, and brought forth the perspective of the local forest user to improve interventions designed by conservation and development agencies. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Coggins detected mountain pine beetle infestations in British Columbia using remotely sensed imagery that provides fine scale measurements over very large areas. This research enhances our understanding of how infestations initiate and spread, and it provides accurate location information to control infestations before they spread to large areas. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Jones developed and implemented an ecological mapping methodology, resulting in unprecedented collection of structural and forest species information for the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. The detail and accuracy of resulting maps are critical to addressing pressing environmental concerns, including quantification of rare Garry oak habitat. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Byrne developed a spatial model to predict the uprooting or breaking of individual trees by wind. The model characterizes windthrow dynamics where the loss of trees changes the stability of their surviving neighbours. This was accomplished by using spatial tree lists which can be modified to reflect forest management treatments. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Ghafghazi studied the suitability of using wood pellets as the primary energy source for district heat generation in BC. He showed that despite upstream activities required for production and transportation of wood pellets, it is economically and environmentally advantageous to utilize this emerging energy source in BC when compared with other available options such as natural gas or heat pumps. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2010 Dr. Hruska examined factors that influenced spawning success in Pacific salmon. She found that the physiological condition at the start of spawning affected how long salmon lived on spawning grounds and how many eggs were fertilized. She concluded that ocean and river migration conditions likely play pivotal roles in spawning physiological condition. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2010 Dr. Ismail investigated the level of population structure of black cottonwood in British Columbia. He found three main groups of populations classified as north, interior, and south, with high level of gene flow. In comparison with other poplar species, Ismail found low level of nucleotide diversity. These results will assist in designing association genetics studies for economically important traits. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)