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
2018 Dr. Li applied Material Flow Analysis to study the structure of the forest products industry. She developed the concept of 'Apparent Industrial Input' and assessed the conversion factors to measure the wood fibre flowing through the supply chain. This will improve the use of resources and increase the socio-economic benefits of the forest products industry. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2018 Dr. Ramon-Hidalgo examined the role of social capital and networks at empowering rural communities running ecotourism projects in Ghana. This research highlights the importance of considering ethnic and gender differences as well as the role of agents of change to devise effective practices in community-based natural resources management. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2018 Dr. Grant explored the extent to which violence is used against environmental defenders in Cambodia. Her findings demonstrate that the threat of violence undermines the effectiveness of forest conservation projects but people continue to participate as an act of political resistance. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2018 Dr. Borona investigated how communities can leverage Indigenous Knowledge to better protect their landscapes and livelihoods. She found that land, ecological restoration, and food production are the main avenues where this knowledge is applied. This research illuminates the role of community engagement in ensuring sustainable conservation. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2018 Dr. Cho studied composite nanofibers consisting of renewable materials from trees. This study showed the interaction between lignin and nanocellulose during the different heat treatment stages for carbon fiber production. Her study increases our understanding of using properties from renewable materials to replace petroleum-based carbon fibers. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2018 Dr. Chouaib studied the watershed hydrology in the Eastern United States. She found that the interaction between the climate variability and watershed characteristics are determinant of the flow response. Her analysis suggested a process-based model to quantify the flow. This knowledge solves issues of prediction at ungauged basins. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2017 In response to the common underperformance of smallholder afforestation programs, Dr. Baker developed a novel theory to explain how smallholder farmers make their forestland-use decisions in two regions of Nicaragua. His research provides a basis for improving the design of smallholder afforestation programs for many regions of the world. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2017 Dr. Reyes examined the influence of markets and culture on the use of native forests in Chile. This research helps us to understand how forests are used and why, in the context of a complex socioecological system. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2017 Dr. Shi completed her doctoral studies in the field of wood physics. She focused on water behavior inside the wood cell walls and used water molecules to unlock the cell wall structures. Her findings contribute to a better understanding of water sorption in wood and cell wall nanostructure and subsequent application to wood products in service. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2017 Dr. Gorzelak studied belowground communication through mycorrhizal (or fungal) networks between Douglas-fir trees. She demonstrated that communication signals were preferentially transferred between genetically related, or kin Douglas-fir seedlings. This work suggests that trees may be able to recognize and respond to kin. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)

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