What is TRANSFOR-M?

The Transatlantic Forestry Master (TRANSFOR-M) is a 2-year program that is in partnership with other European and Canadian Universities. This partnership is a unique course-based educational experience, which provides students with the opportunity to explore forestry both in Europe and Canada.

Each UBC TRANSFOR-M student will receive upon completion of the program the UBC Master of Forestry (MF) degree and one of the degrees offered by the European Host University:

  • Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg (Germany – MSc Forest Sciences)
  • Bangor University (Wales, UK – MSc Agroforestry / MSc Conservation and Land Management / MSc Environmental Forestry)
  • University of Eastern Finland (Finland – MSc Agriculture and Forestry)
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria – M.Sc. Mountain Forestry)
  • University of Padova (Italy – M.Sc. Forest Science)

Current TRANSFOR-M Students

Bhattarai, Lokesh

Bhattarai, Lokesh

I am from Nepal, a mountainous country eminent for Everest, so my affinity and love for nature is instinct. Because of this, I have done my undergraduate in Forestry, which is the core subject of choice for somebody who wishes to gain a theoretical base on natural resources, biodiversity and ecology. Besides my course work, I have been an active member of different volunteer organizations, a voracious reader, and an obsessive traveler from the very beginning of my college days. It will be an absolute delight and privilege to be studying this program in these revered universities. This will enrich my life not only with a global and in-depth understanding of my subject matter but also with a global exposure with peoples of different countries, backgrounds, and beliefs, and experiences of travel abroad. I will be completing Msc. Mountain Forestry from BOKU, Vienna before coming to UBC as a part of TRANSFOR-M program.


Cheng, Zhiyun

Cheng, Zhiyun

My name is Zhiyun Cheng, and I feel lucky to be selected as a candidate for the Transfor-M program. I completed my undergraduate degree at the UBC Faculty of Forestry in 2019 and I will begin my study at the University of Freiburg soon! The idea of applying Transfor-M came to me when I was doing my final co-op work term at Okayama University, Japan. I realized that for our generation, the importance of being more internationalized and more open-minded to accept different cultures around the world can never be over-emphasized. I believe that the Transfor-M program will allow me to deepen my knowledge of forestry by looking at how forestry is operated in Germany. In the meantime, I will be able to travel in different countries, expose to different cultures, and learn a new language!


Crawford, Jodi

Crawford, Jodi

I grew up on a small farm in Southwestern Ontario, shortly down the road from a rapidly developing urban landscape. The drastic contrast of these two settings instilled in me an early interest in the complicated relationships between people and the land. As a result, I pursued my BScH in Physical Geography and Geographic Information Sciences at Queen’s University. Following the completion of my degree, I worked and volunteered for various organizations within the environmental sector. I am excited to be starting at the University of Padova in the fall; but until then you can find me hiking, taking photos, reading, baking bread, knitting, running, petting cats, or singing along to whatever my roommate is currently learning on guitar.


Eggink, Ellie

Eggink, Ellie

Hi ya’ll, I am Ellie from Nashville, Tennessee. My passion for environmental science began as a young girl playing ‘forest detective’ in the Appalachian Mountains near my childhood home. Refusing to quit the detective gig, my early fascination with nature only continues to grow. I received my Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Global Studies from the University of Tennessee in 2018. During my undergraduate degree, I focused on international development, sociology, and dendrochronology. Over the past few years, I worked in paleoclimate and dendrochronology laboratories in the United States and in Australia. I am keenly interested in exploring relative roles of ecology, economics, and social science in forest management. In the TRANSFOR-M program, I aim to develop an understanding of value-based and place-based approaches to forest management. I am excited for the new experiences to come- cheers.


Freshwater, Elliot

Freshwater, Elliot

I am from Lexington, Kentucky. I did my undergraduate degree in forestry from the University of Kentucky. While at the University of Kentucky, I went to the University of Finland for a summer where I was a co-author on a paper on biomass production for Europe. The following summer I did an internship with Molpus, a TIMO based in Mississippi. I was accepted to the TRANSFOR-M program, where for the first I studied in Freiburg, Germany, and will finish at the University of British Columbia. Some of my hobbies are rock climbing, backpacking, and reading history or fantasy.


Margaret Guillon

Gullion, Margaret

My name is Margaret and I’m originally from Sugar Land, Texas. I received my BS in Forest Resources from the University of Florida in 2017, and spent the next two years in Senegal serving as an agroforestry volunteer with the US Peace Corps. While there I learned many techniques to improve food security of small farm owners, and helped my host community implement these techniques. Since returning to the United States at the end of 2019, I’ve been working with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department on habitat restoration of prairies and riparian zones. I’m very excited to continue my education in agroforestry through the TRANSFOR-M program and gain more international forestry experience. My goal upon program completion is to continue in academia and pursue a career in agroforestry research and extension. My hobbies outside of work and school are running, yoga, backpacking, reading, and updating my educational native plant instagram account at @native_dendro_selfies!


Manduca, Veronica

Manduca, Veronica

Hello to everyone! My name is Veronica and I am from Rome, Italy! After attending classical studies in Rome, my interest in science and ecological themes came out, so I began my bachelor’s degree in Environmental and forestry sciences in Italy, Viterbo… having the big chance to develop my final thesis in South America! I definitely fell in love with tribal cultures … for this reason, after my graduation, I decided to take a break from my studies and have a work-volunteering experience in collaboration with an NGO in Africa. I had the big chance to live almost one year in a rural village within the Masai Mara National Park in Kenya, working about water access, food security, women empowerment, education, and food forests! During this path, I did several internships concerning forest management plans in Italy, reforestation and land recovery in Ecuador, and cooperation in Kenya! Since I think that every goal is a new starting point, I decided to begin my master’s in Padua, where I have been studying one year before coming to UBC! I love making new friends and know new cultures, so I will enjoy this multicultural environment in Vancouver for sure! I am a big fan of outdoor activities, indeed I also worked as a naturalistic guide! Anyway, I never forget about relaxing time, so I hope to meet people for both amazing experiences or a cup of coffee! I love cooking, art, music, and exploring! I hope to make the most of this amazing experience too!


Michael Osborne

Osborne, Michael

I grew up in the seaside town of Porthcawl in south Wales, UK. I spent a lot of time as a kid working on farms, mostly so that I could ride the horses, which also got me outside and close to nature. I completed my BSc (Hons) in Zoology from Cardiff University and after a few wayward years I began a traineeship in conservation grazing with a small woodland enterprise. I developed skills in livestock husbandry, wildlife conservation, and estate management. I got to utilise these skills in my most recent role as a Country Parks Ranger. In 2019 I returned to academia as a student at Bangor University studying MSc Environmental Forestry where I first learnt of the TRANSFOR-M programme. The chance to continue my studies for another year whilst experiencing Canada greatly appealed to me. I am very interested in management practices and, with multi-functional forests becoming increasingly important, exploring the evidence base for what the ‘best’ practices might be. I hope to build on this in Vancouver where I can study forest management from a new perspective.


Shen, Emily

Shen, Emily

I come from Nanjing, China. I completed my BSc in Forest Recourse Management at The University of British Columbia. I am specifically attracted to the fact it is an international program where students have access to forestry knowledge regarding North America and Europe. Since I anticipate completing a thesis project in the future, the TRANSFOR-M program will allow me to select my desired topic in Europe and continue working on the same topic when I return to UBC. I will also have the opportunity to learn in different academic environments. I would like to pursue a career in landscape ecology in the future to research the relationship between land and human by various tools.


Swan, Cydney

Swan, Cydney

I call Calgary, Alberta home. I took my Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science at Western University. After graduating, I spent 6 months as a conservation intern on a green sea turtle project in Phang Nga, Thailand. Since then, I have spent the past year working in the education department at the Calgary Zoo. Ideally, I will be surrounded by animals for the rest of my life. I love to be outside and have meaningful conversations. I will be spending my first year in Padova, Italy, where I am excited to learn, grow, ride bikes, and eat pizza. I am extremely excited by the unique opportunity of the TRANSFOR-M program to understand the perspectives from two countries with distinct cultures, economies, and histories, and how this has led to differing approaches to managing natural resources and dealing with environmental issues. I can’t wait to challenge myself, meet new people, and see what the program has in store for me!


Tommaso Trotto

Trotto, Tommaso

I am from Nanto, a little town in the countryside of Vicenza, Italy. I studied Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at high school, but then my passion for forestry popped out so I enrolled at University of Padova. Here I deepened my knowledge of silviculture, harvesting operations, remote sensing and many other cool things to learn ecosystem dynamics and how to respect them. I’m very grateful for the outstanding opportunity to be part of UBC! I was in Ontario in 2019 to study Forestry Technician at Fleming College and develop my thesis project about ecological successions, then I moved back home and I graduated in Forestry and Environmental Sciences, yet my professional experience is still linked to agriculture, indeed I interned at a genetic engineering laboratory for food production for a while. When I have some spare time I like to get my hands dirty at work, and having fun of course! Looking at the future, I yearn to understand the philosophy of forestry and help solve issues in forest management in order to apply strategies to respect the ecosystem as it deserves, while being able to use its invaluable resources sustainably.


Mia White

White, Mia

Hey Folks! My name is Mia White. I was born and raised in Detroit, MI, USA. I first learned my love for the outdoors through a trade school I attended concurrently with high school. I received my Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University in Forestry (Virtual Class of 2020). I have previously managed a closed-loop greenhouse, cared for plants at a botanical garden, and helped teach dendrology to students. I wanted to pursue a master’s program because I want to work internationally and learn more about forestry. I am extremely interested in Agroforestry to tie my foodie roots to my love for trees. Through the Transfor-M program, I’ll obtain a Master’s of Agroforestry and Food Security from Bangor University and I think this will really set me apart with the Master of Forestry from UBC. In my spare time, I love to read books, play video games, and cook! I also have gotten into kombucha brewing and mushroom growing. I enjoy bike rides and traveling to new places. FUN FACT: I studied abroad twice in my undergrad (Ireland and the Netherlands). After being in the Netherlands for six months, I traveled with my dad to 19 different countries!