Forest Conservation Science

Dr. Jay Malcolm’s research focuses on the effects of forest harvesting on biodiversity in boreal and temperate forest ecosystems, the effects of internal and external forest fragmentation on tropical biodiversity, as well as the impacts of global warming on biodiversity.

Researchers in in Dr. Sean Thomas lab study human impacts on the structure, composition, and function of forest ecosystems, as well as the interactions between forest ecosystems, the global carbon cycle, and climate.

Dr. John Caspersen‘s current research focuses include balancing wood production with other forest ecosystem services, increasing utilization of forest biomass for the production of energy, and the effects of land-use change on global biogeochemical cycles.


Forest Governance and Policy

Researchers in Dr. Shashi Kant‘s Sustainable Development and Economics Research Group focus on the economics of sustainable forest management, which goes beyond the traditional economic paradigm of sustained yield timber management to look at market and non-market signals of resource scarcity (social, cultural and aboriginal), and the institutional and evolutionary aspects of forest management regimes.

Dr. Neera Singh‘s research interests include social and environmental movements, United Nations REDD regimes and equity, forest tenure reforms, the rights of indigenous peoples, and how humans connect with nature.


Forest Biomaterials Science

Wood fibre has traditionally been used to produce building materials and paper products, and combusted to generate heat. Today, researchers at the Faculty of Forestry are studying how to utilize it more efficiently and sustainably by transforming forest resources into feedstock for production of biodegradable plastics, specialty chemicals, nutraceuticals and carbon neutral fuels.

Dr. Sally Krigstin‘s research focuses on value-added applications for wood and biomass materials, as well as by-product streams from related processing industries including pulp and paper.

Dr. Ning Yan and the Bark Biorefinery Project Group studies the transformation of bark biomass – a waste residue from forest mills – to higher value eco-friendly industrial products with large market potentials such as green adhesives and bark-based foams.

Dr. Mohini Sain and researchers at the interdisciplinary Centre for Biocomposites and Biomaterials Processing study the engineering principles, physico-chemical and biological phenomena involved in designing sustainable engineered products using wood residues and renewable agro-fibers.


Forest Ecosystem Management

Dr. Sandy Smith‘s lab conducts research on forest pest management, with a focus on managing invasive insects and studying the ecological basis for using biological control to combat forest insect pests like Spruce Bud Worm, Asian Long-Horned Beetle and Emerald Ash Borer.

Dr. Dave Martell and researchers associated with the Fire Management Systems Laboratory study the impact of fire on boreal forest ecosystems and use operational research methods and information technology to develop decision support systems for fire and forest managers.

Dr. Sean Thomas conducts research into how trees and forests respond to human impacts, including different forest management practices.


Research Interests

  • Forest conservation biology and wildlife ecology
  • Forest biosphere science
  • Invasive species and threats to forest health
  • Environmental sustainability of managed forests
  • Fire and ecosystem management
  • Sustainable development and economics
  • Political ecology and governance of forests
  • Social and cultural ecology of forest ecosystems
  • Urban forestry
  • Forest Biomaterials Science
  • Bioenergy
  • Forests in settled and urbanized landscapes: applied science and research