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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
2020 Dr. Ukrainetz used DNA markers to predict growth and wood traits in lodgepole pine. This technique can be used to predict mature traits in young seedlings, offering tree breeders a tool to make selections after one year as opposed to more than ten. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Wang investigated the complex socio-ecological changes being experienced by local communities in two protected areas in China. Her findings show that the livelihoods of local people can be adversely affected by unreasonable government structure and institutional arrangements, and that the provision of alternative livelihood options is critical. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Asay investigated differences in growth and behaviour of interior Douglas-fir seedlings based on presence, absence or mixtures of close genetic relatives. Her results show that high or low plant density extremes, lower soil fungal associations, and presence of a different species impact seedling behavior and growth specific to that environment. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Maillard studied the effects of over-abundant deer on the soil in the forests of Haida Gwaii. Studying islands with varying years of deer habitation, Dr. Maillard found that long-term deer presence modified soil microbial community structure and slowed down litter decomposition, but forest restoration through removal of deer is possible. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Liu developed a greener and highly efficient route to obtain a platform lignin product with controllable properties. This modification showed an advance in using renewable materials for useful applications like insulating foams and water-proof coatings. His efforts will contribute to the lofty goal of sustainable development in this century. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2020 Dr. Moniruzzaman used a synthesis of approaches such as programming, nonlinear analysis, probabilistic modelling, and analytical methods to examine the effects of cross-layers on the performance of cross-laminated timber under axial compression loads. He has accomplished the project with 42% material savings compared to existing design practices. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2020 Over 50% of all wood globally is used for daily cooking, which negatively impacts climate change and forest sustainability. Dr. Singh assessed factors which dictate changes in household fuelwood consumption patterns in India. Her results have direct and important implications for international climate policy and forest management. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Skaien studied the relationship between natural selection and genetic variation through observing local deer and seablush, a flowering species native to western North America. Her results illustrate the effect of natural selection by browsing deer on this species' ability to persist in the face of natural and human-induced environmental change. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2019 Dr. Defrenne showed that tree species can adjust to climate through their fine roots and associated symbiotic fungi, called mycorrhizal fungi. Her research on Douglas-fir suggests that the success of Douglas-fir as climate changes and stress increases may be dependent on maintaining strong associations with local communities of mycorrhizal fungi. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2019 Dr. DeBoer examined whether, why, and how businesses approach environmental sustainability initiatives in the US pulp and paper industry. This research advances our understanding of the factors that influence the adoption and implementation of environmental initiatives, as well as compliance with environmental regulation. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)