Luke Bergmann

Associate Professor

Research Classification

Research Interests


Relevant Thesis-Based Degree Programs



Master's students
Doctoral students
Postdoctoral Fellows
I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.
I support experiential learning experiences, such as internships and work placements, for my graduate students and Postdocs.
I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).

Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!

Check requirements
  • Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
  • Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Admission Information & Requirements" - "Prepare Application" - "Supervision" or on the program website.
Focus your search
  • Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
  • Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
    • Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
    • Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
Make a good impression
  • Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
    • Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
    • Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
  • Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
  • Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to pique someone’s interest.
  • Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
    • Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
    • Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
  • Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
Attend an information session

G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.



These videos contain some general advice from faculty across UBC on finding and reaching out to a potential thesis supervisor.

Graduate Student Supervision

Master's Student Supervision

Theses completed in 2010 or later are listed below. Please note that there is a 6-12 month delay to add the latest theses.

Farming after Occupy: institutional politics, activism, and the future of agricultural science (2021)

This Master's thesis examines political activism centered at the Gill Tract Community Farm (GTCF) in Berkeley, California. The Gill Tract is roughly 14-acres of University of California, Berkeley (UCB) research land at the boundary of Berkeley and Albany, in the San Francisco Bay Area (SFBA). The GTCF is a community-led agro-ecological farm which emerged out of a protracted land occupation in 2012, and situates itself as a site of opposition to capitalism and colonialism. In 2020, I conducted 17 semi-structured interviews with community farmers and university administrators about the relationship between UCB and the GTCF. Drawing on the interviews, written media, and auto-ethnographic reflections of my own time living in the SFBA and volunteering at the GTCF, I examine three distinct questions. 1) I discuss how the theory of boundary objects helps to understand why the Gill Tract was a site of contestation in 2012, and how the theory of boundary objects can be deepened by viewing them not only as sites of cross-disciplinary collaboration, but also dispute. 2) I explore the uneven ways in which the university and the community farm are legible to each other and are changing each other, read through social scientists engaging with activist movements. 3) I engage in a partially auto-ethnographic reflection on the political potential of the GTCF, using anthropological work on narrative and the alter-globalization movement to frame activism at the community farm. This thesis contributes to a deeper understanding of boundary objects, as well as understandings of the potential for local activist movements to effect political change, both locally and within global activist networks.

View record

Exploring spatio-temporal patterns and environmental determinants of pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease in British Columbia (2020)

Canada has some of the highest rates of pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), including Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), in the world. Environmental factors are known to be important for disease development but are not well understood. This study used two forms of analysis to examine the epidemiology and potential causes of IBD diagnosed before age 17 in the Canadian province of British Columbia from 2001 to 2016. A spatial cluster detection methodology was used to locate disease clusters of high and low incidence rates, the presence of which would highlight potential environmental risk and protective factors. Logistic regression models of case-control data were used to measure the relationship between IBD diagnosis and NO₂ air pollution, density of residential and neighborhood vegetation greenness (green spaces), vitamin D adjusted ultraviolet solar radiation, area South Asian and Jewish ethnicity, area self-identification as Aboriginal, and area social and material deprivation. The spatial distributions of IBD, CD, and UC were significantly clustered, with consistent IBD hot spots identified near the main urban centre of the province and cold spots identified in rural areas of south-eastern British Columbia. CD and UC had similar and different hot and cold spots, suggesting both shared and distinct environmental determinants. Most measured associations between variables of interest and IBD were moderate or small; as IBD is a multifactorial disease, these variables may still have a population-level effect on disease risk or interact with other risk factors and should be studied further. NO₂ air pollution was a significant risk factor for UC. Area South Asian ethnicity was only a significant risk factor in the univariate analysis, though a small and similar effect was observed in the multivariate analysis which included social and material deprivation. Ultraviolet vitamin D exposure was a protective factor for UC and IBD, especially in winter months. Area Aboriginal identity and area material deprivation (areas with lower socioeconomic status) were significant protective factors for CD, though Aboriginal identity was not significant in a multivariate analysis that included social and material deprivation. No reliable relationship was observed for greenness or area Jewish ethnicity.

View record


If this is your researcher profile you can log in to the Faculty & Staff portal to update your details and provide recruitment preferences.


Read tips on applying, reference letters, statement of interest, reaching out to prospective supervisors, interviews and more in our Application Guide!