Canadian Immigration Updates

Applicants to Master’s and Doctoral degrees are not affected by the recently announced cap on study permits. Review more details

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
2012 Dr. Hamilton examined the genomic and phenotypic architecture of a Sitka and white spruce hybrid zone spanning maritime to continental climates in British Columbia. Her research provides insight into the mechanisms underlying adaptation across ecologically transitional hybrid zones, providing new tools for managing these important tree species. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Chi studied the effects of hurricanes on mangrove vegetation on Turneffe Islands, Belize. He showed that, unless humans have intervened, vegetation re-establishes in the same general location after catastrophic hurricanes. He developed a model for formation of islands, or cays, to demonstrate the effects of storm energy on vegetation and coral reefs. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Norris examined responses to insects in populations of chickadees and nuthatches. She showed that the reproduction and behaviour of those cavity-nesting birds changed in response to mountain pine beetle outbreaks in British Columbia. This suggests that adaptability in foraging and nesting can make wildlife more resilient in changing forest environments. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Kirby worked with three ethnic groups in Panama to explore how farmers from different cultures manage crop choices and farming practices when faced with new market opportunities. She demonstrated that farmers incorporate cultural norms into their practices, which in turn increases crop diversity and food security within the country. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Moss developed a quantitative method for classifying forest structures. Seventeen different classes were used to describe four dominant patterns of forest succession in interior Douglas-fir. Airborne laser scanning data was evaluated for stand structures in class inventory. This work improves our ability to recognize and communicate complex forest stand conditions. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Vahid combined agent-based simulation and optimization techniques to model the economic activities of coastal British Columbia's wood products industry. Her simulation model enables us to investigate the long-term impacts of introducing new facilities and alternative forest management policies on the performance of the industry. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. De La Torre's research provides new insights into the evolutionary relationships between two species of spruce trees. By integrating molecular and quantitative genetics with climate modeling, Dr. De La Torre has deepened our understanding of the genomic basis of local adaptation to climate. Her work has significant implications for forest management in British Columbia. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Brayshaw studied the frequencies and magnitudes of flooding and sediment transport in mountain streams. He found that these streams are responding to deglaciation and intermittent sediment supply by downcutting into glacial sediments. Therefore, these streams transport sediment frequently even though flooding is rare. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Waeber developed a decision-support system for forest management planning in the Champagne and Aishihik Traditional Territory, southwest Yukon. This tool allows forest managers to assess different strategies and tactics under climate change and natural disturbances such as beetle infestation or fire, thereby making better-informed, long-term management decisions. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2012 Dr. Chen has significantly improved our understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle. By integrating ecosystem modeling, footprint analysis, and remote sensing, his innovative fusion of data and models allows for better understanding of carbon fluxes on scales of the stand, the landscape and the region. This research provides a sound basis for shaping carbon management policies to address climate change. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)