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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
2021 Dr. Greene examined the fire histories and developmental processes of dense, dry forests in southeastern BC. He found that Indigenous fires shaped historical fire regimes, and today's dense forests are novel byproducts of European colonization. His study advances forest management that aims to enhance forest resilience to fires and climate change. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Siegner developed a manager's framework for decision-making to address plural sustainability objectives in the community forest enterprise. She subsequently applied this framework to study trade-offs facing senior staff in six communities throughout British Columbia. This research illuminates the role of organizational behaviour in scaling-up the community forestry model. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Mottiar explored the innate plasticity of lignin formation in plants. Lignin is a phenolic polymer found in plant cell walls that is biologically and industrially important. Discoveries in lignin biochemistry were leveraged to devise new strategies for engineering lignin and ultimately improving the efficiency of industrial biomass utilisation. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2021 Canada is a world leader in making newsprint, a product that nobody wants anymore. To utilize existing infrastructure, Dr. Wu's PhD work demonstrated the potential of repurposing this technique as a front end for a biorefinery process. This helps reduce the overall carbon emission by producing renewable bioproducts such as biofuel from biomass. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Pokorny examined the potential long-term impacts of mountain pine beetles on the Canadian Boreal Forest. He demonstrated that for invading beetles, boreal jack pines are unsuitable hosts compared to native lodgepole pines. This research is important for understanding range dynamics of eruptive insect pests under a warming climate. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2021 Dr. Rahimi worked on different approaches for predicting moisture in a batch of kiln-dried timber. He provided a predictive model and proposed a closed formula to estimate moisture variation after kiln-drying. His research is a forward step to reduce over-dried and under-dried timbers and, therefore, render them more value-added products. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2021 Dr. McMahen studied methods for reclaiming forest ecosystems after mining. She showed that application of fresh forest soil, proximity to undisturbed forest, and planting of specific native plant species can promote recovery of beneficial soil microbes and improve plant establishment. Her research contributes to improving reclamation best practices. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Nasir did research on intelligent wood machining. He developed AI-based models for wood sawing monitoring and automation in the sawmilling industry. His work enables sawmills to do online monitoring and prediction of surface quality of produced lumber, leading to efficiency gains in the Canadian lumber manufacturing and sawmilling industry. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Mulverhill developed methods for estimating forest inventory attributes in a boreal mixedwood forest with terrestrial photogrammetry and airborne laser scanning. These estimates often matched or exceeded those made using conventional inventory techniques and could contribute to more informed and sustainable management of the world's forests. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Srivastava studied geospatial modelling for predicting invasive species potential range expansion and invasion potential. His findings on niche characteristics offer a useful cost-effective tool for managing and monitoring invasive species future spread, as well as to design short and long-term management strategies. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)

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