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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
2018 Dr. San-Miguel developed a novel framework using Landsat satellite data to improve our understanding of historical fire patterns across the Canadian boreal forest. When applied, the framework produced new information for 507 fires. This work increases our understanding of fire mortality and fire burn behaviour that was not previously known. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2018 Former U.S. President Bush once said, "The world is addicted to oil". To address this, Dr. Zhong examined the possibility of making bioethanol from sustainably sourced wood residues as an alternative to oil for transport. Her research advances the industrialization of lignocellulosic bioethanol production. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2018 Using time series of satellite images, Dr. Lu quantified the dynamics between urban green space and socio-economic development within the pan-Pacific region from 1984 to 2012. His interdisciplinary research innovatively applied Earth observation technique, unlocking new ways of studying economy and urbanization. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2018 Dr. Murcia studied how corporate social responsibility practices affect companies' strategic decisions. She found that socially responsible companies outsource value chain activities significantly less. In addition, socially responsible practices improve employee relations, which through knowledge retention, lead to product innovation. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2018 Urban vegetation is becoming a key part of residents' well-being. Dr. Nesbitt explored the concept of urban green equity in North America, identifying its key dimensions and showing that urban vegetation is unfairly distributed across the US. This research provides guidance for urban greening programs that wish to improve green equity in their cities. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2018 Dr. Philpott studied root decomposition and fungal communities under alternative forestry practices. He found that leaving some trees after harvest preserves fungi often found in uncut forests, and that tree coverage slows root decomposition. His work identified forestry practices that protect fungi and potentially increase soil carbon storage. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2018 Dr. Chara studied the impacts of agriculture on freshwater ecosystems. Her experiments demonstrated that insecticide toxicity may be amplified or mitigated by other agricultural disturbances, such as fertilizer and sediment inputs. Her research will inform the development of effective strategies to protect aquatic life in agricultural landscapes. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2018 Dr. Tsuruta studied the impacts of climate change on the sediment dynamics of the Fraser River Basin. He adapted a small-scale model into one capable of simulating the sediment processes within a large-scale basin. His findings will inform future water-related decisions. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2018 Dr. Mahony explored the ways that climates of the 21st century are departing from historical variability. Some of these locally unfamiliar climates are unlike the historical climate types of British Columbia and North America. Identifying novel climates is an important step in adapting forestry practices to climate change. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)
2018 Dr. Da Ros examined the biological potential of poplar and willow as a buffer crop to reduce the flow of phosphorus into aquatic environments and help prevent algal blooms. Effective nutrient resorption was identified as the major factor impeding phosphorus removal. This work has implications on nutrient management in perennial agriculture systems. Doctor of Philosophy in Forestry (PhD)