Research Highlights

Faculty of Forestry scientists uncover cause of tree-killing fungus
Forest scientists at the University of British Columbia believe they’ve discovered the root cause of a deadly tree fungus: extra genes. The fungus, Mycosphaerella populorum, uses extra genes to produce a toxin that can cause fatal lesions on the leaves, stems and branches of poplar trees. The extra genes were found through genome sequencing, the mapping of an organism’s DNA.


Seagull populations halved since 1980s
The number of seagulls in the Strait of Georgia is down by 50 per cent from the 1980s. Dr Peter Arcesse say the decline reflects changes in the availability of food. Arcesse and other researchers collected 100 years of data on population numbers of Glaucous-winged Gulls, the most common seagull species found in the Lower Mainland, Victoria, Nanaimo and elsewhere in the region.


Biotechnologist of the Year
Congratulations to Shawn Mansfield who has been named 2014 Forest Biotechnologist of the Year. Learn more


Listening in on salmon migration
A particularly important and sensitive period for salmon is the smolt life stage – when, after time spent in freshwater nursery areas, they transform themselves for life in saltwater and make the long migration to the sea. Very little is known about this life stage, and past research has mostly been limited to laboratory studies or snapshots of smolt distributions at sea. Advances in technology have allowed researchers to begin to better understand the factors that affect the migration of salmon smolts.


Reexamining the Forest
In forest ecology fieldwork, our research comes to life around us. In the forests where we work, this happens to be in the form of skyscraper-tall trees draped in moss and fern over layers of green shrubby plants. As part of his MSc thesis, Ira Sutherland investigates the post-logging recovery of multiple ecosystem services (ie, the benefits that people derive from nature).


Protecting Canada’s Forests using Next Generation Biosurveillance
A new $2.43 million research project, funded in part by Genome BC, has been approved to develop state of the art DNA biosurveillance detection tools for operational deployment. Preventing the introduction and establishment of Invasive Alien Species (IAS) such as the Asian gypsy moth and other forest pests, will protect forests and trees and also maintain Canada’s pest-free status to ensure market access for Canadian forest exports.


Climate Proofing Cities
With rising temperatures and rapidly growing cities, a new breed of 'urban foresters' are needed to help create safe, livable, attractive, and sustainable cities. Learn More


Tune into Clean Wood
By using high-energy radio waves, Stavros Avramidis's research is being used to create an environmentally friendly and sustainable process. Learn More


‘Sprinting’ Salmon at Risk
New Faculty of Forestry research suggests excessive burst swimming in wild salmon can cause delayed mortality during migration. Learn more


Researchers design trees that make it easier to produce pulp
Fewer chemicals, less energy and fewer environmental pollutants will be needed to produce paper and biofuel.