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All living things depend on the sustainability of the earth’s resources, and understanding how to protect and better manage those limited resources is crucial to our survival. Critical environmental issues like water pollution, food shortages and rising temperatures could have a catastrophic effect on our ability to meet basic human needs in the near future. Experts in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems are working on solutions to many of these challenges.

Our researchers are studying everything from climate change and storm water management to the relationship between food, nutrition, diet and health. The research discoveries being made here have the potential to reach across borders for world-wide applications.

We are also sharing what we’ve learned with the next generation of scientists - our students. They come to us with a strong sense of global responsibility, passionate about creating positive and lasting change on issues of importance. We believe that by providing them with the opportunity to learn outside the traditional classroom - taking part in a community-based experiential learning project or studying overseas - we can enhance their education and help them develop to their full potential.



Research Facilities

The Faculty of Land and Food Systems offers unique hands-on learning sites for graduate students, in addition to traditional labs where food science, food processing, and nutrition and health research take place.

UBC Farm is 24-hectare site on UBC Vancouver campus, which is a living laboratory that contains agricultural, forest, and transitional landscape areas for interdisciplinary field research. The Centre for Sustainable Food Systems (CSFS) located at UBC Farm is a unique research centre that aims to understand and fundamentally transform local and global food systems towards a more sustainable, food secure future.

The Dairy Education and Research Centre, located a 2-hour drive from UBC Vancouver campus, is an internationally recognized dairy cattle research centre supporting the development and adaptation of new technologies for the dairy industry in British Columbia and beyond. The Centre has a large research herd that can provide sufficient numbers of experimental animals at a given physiological stage to meet most research requirements. These features support a vibrant critical mass of students, postdoctoral fellows, staff, visiting scientists, and faculty. A 10,800 square-foot student residence building opened in September 2015, which allows students and researchers to live on-site at the Agassiz, B.C. research station, and more closely monitor their research projects in dairy cattle welfare, animal reproduction, and resource recovery.

The Wine Research Centre has sites at both UBC Vancouver and UBC Okanagan campuses, with modern and fully equipped laboratories. Researchers in the Wine Research Centre also have access to the outstanding research facilities in the Michael Smith Laboratories (MSL) which is conveniently located adjacent to the Centre. The MSL has established itself as a force in the global biotechnology research community. Research areas include grapes, vineyards, and soils; wine and fermentation; winery performance and sustainability; and wine territory competitiveness.


Research Highlights

In the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, our researchers are focused on finding viable solutions to pressing global crises and are known worldwide for their innovation and leadership in areas such as food science, dairy reproduction and animal welfare, sustainable agriculture, and community health and nutrition.

Our researchers have attracted millions of dollars in research funding from sources including Genome Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Michael Smith Scholar, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).

Our experts are conducting ground-breaking research in many areas including:

  • animal biology, health, and welfare;
  • ecofriendly alternatives in pest management;
  • food technology, genomics, and safety;
  • food processing and food waste management;
  • plant and soil health;
  • watershed management;
  • food security and sovereignty;
  • community health and nutrition;
  • agricultural land use and impact.

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 Land and Food Systems.


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
2010 Dr. Nie investigated protein-protein interactions of the major regulatory proteins, IE0 and IE1, of the baculovirus AcMNPV. She identified a domain required for binding viral proteins that were shown to play a critical role in the production of virus particles by enabling the rapid start of viral gene expression. Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Science (PhD)
2009 Dr. Hui showed that specific regions of a plant virus coat protein are essential for virus transmission to its host. The protein was also found to be localized at specific sites within plant cells, suggesting a possible role in virus particle disassembly. These findings will aid in the development of new strategies for plant virus disease control. Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Science (PhD)
2009 Dr. Miresmailli demonstrated that the detection of volatile compounds emitted by plants under attack by pests can be used as an alternative source of information to help monitor insect pests in greenhouses. This research will assist in the development of new tools for pest monitoring and management. Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Science (PhD)
2009 Dr. Anderson examined the role of policy in collaborative community based resource management using the Delta Farmland Wildlife Trust as her case study. She demonstrated that communities in conflict can work together to manage agricultural and wildlife habitat resources. This research shows how collaboration and policy can impact resource management. Doctor of Philosophy in Integrated Studies in Land and Food Systems (PhD)
2009 Dr Edwards examined a plant-based approach for the management of carbon dioxide in commercial greenhouse tomato production. She discovered plant and crop level responses were useful to improve grower decision-making for dosing supplemental carbon dioxide. Implementation of this research will increase the sustainability of these farms. Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Science (PhD)
2008 Dr. Friesen examined sustainable alternative feed ingredients for the aquaculture industry. Atlantic salmon and sablefish were fed these new diets and she showed the alternative ingredients to be safe and nutritious food products because they were low in persistent organic pollutants and a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Doctor of Philosophy in Food Science (PhD)
2008 Dr. Boucher studied environmental and genetic variations in the chemistry of the medicinal plant Echinacea. The information generated from his research has led to a series of recommendations for plant breeding projects aimed at developing Echinacea varieties with improved therapeutic qualities. Doctor of Philosophy in Plant Science (PhD)