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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
2011 Dr. Chang developed a prototype of a composite material made of plastic and wood attacked by mountain pine beetles. He studied its long-term deformation, using methods that predicted the behaviour of the composite efficiently. He found that varying temperatures greatly influence properties, which is very significant to its load-bearing applications. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Chamberlain developed new computer methods to improve landscape management in areas of high visual quality, such as scenic drives, parks and recreational places. The research led to the creation of new 3D mapping technologies that are being used for forest management in central BC and for research in Clayoqout Sound on Vancouver Island. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Albouyeh studied the genes of five species of spruce to discover how those genes had evolved over time. He found 9 different gene families in the bark samples, and was able to demonstrate that the greater the number of genes inherited, the greater defence the spruce had against pests. These findings will help to create healthier forests. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Branton evaluated the functions of floodplain ponds that had been restored for juvenile coho salmon. She demonstrated that habitat restoration conducted for one species can benefit other species. Furthermore, she found that the type of habitat is important in determining the success of the restoration. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Chen examined the challenges facing the adoption of sustainable forest management and forest certification in China. Her work is contributing to a better understanding of how different groups of stakeholders are responding to these challenges and is providing guidance in this rapidly changing area of forest policy. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Barker examined the role that symbiotic fungi have in facilitating natural forest regeneration after wildfire in interior forests. His results indicated that sufficient resiliency in the fungal community exists to survive losses caused by fire. The research also highlights the importance of conservation of soil organic matter in forests. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. deWaard developed a rapid and effective genetic method for monitoring forest insect diversity. He applied this approach in several disturbed ecosystems across British Columbia, including Stanley Park and ponderosa pine forests. His work demonstrates the utility of this novel method for detecting invasive species and assessing forest health. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Bingham showed in Douglas-fir how interactions between trees and seedlings that vary with climate are mediated by ectomycorrhizal fungi. Dr. Bingham provides evidence that, rather than being purely competitive, facilitative effects occur simultaneously, and that ectomycorrhizal fungi are largely responsible for the facilitative effects. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Chen developed an innovative wood building material, box-based cross laminated timber, for use in building floors. As the first research of its kind in North America, her work contributes to the understanding of floor systems for commercial and non-residential applications, particularly in tall and long-span situations where conventional timber framing has limitations. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2011 Dr. Soolanayakanahally studied native balsam poplar trees to understand how they adapt to Canadian temperate and boreal climates. His findings show that balsam poplar can accommodate a diversity of climates, but because of adaptation to different day-lengths at different latitudes, existing populations are restricted in their ability to benefit from climate change. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)