Sammy Al-Khalifa, MSc student
Supervisor: Sarah Gergel
Start year: 2020

I want to learn more about aquatic systems while building a more robust technical skill-set. I chose UBC because it seemed like a good fit for me. I am looking forward to finally diving into my own research. My interests include chess, martial arts, wood working, reading and eating.

Jaylen Bastos, MSc Student
Supervisor: Sarah Benson Amram 
Start year: 2020

My research interests are wildlife behaviour and cognition. For relaxation, I like to hike, boulder, sport climb, camp, veganize cultural meals, and canoe.

Kephra Beckett

Kephra Beckett, MSc student
Supervisor: Tara Martin
Start year: 2020

My research is in native pollinator health in the Gulf Islands. In my undergraduate degree I worked on multiple research projects and really enjoyed my experience. I wanted to continue learning and researching questions about insect interactions and physiology. For the past year I have been working at an insect pheromone production company in Delta. My choice was mainly based on finding the right supervisor for myself. I’m really looking forward to working on a multi-year research project for the first time and see where it takes me. I am also excited to join the graduate community and get to know everyone. Reading, fabric arts, hiking, tennis, going to the beach.

Christophe Boyer

Chistophe Boyer, MSc student
Supervisor: Sue Grayston
Start year: 2020

My research is in evaluation of fertilization to accelerate western red cedar growth, enhance soil carbon stocks and decrease greenhouse gas emissions on Haida Gwaii. I have been working in forest restoration for the last two years while completing my diploma in ecological restoration from the University of Victoria. Before beginning my MSc, I was working in riparian forest restoration with Quillicum Environmental services in Haida Gwaii and Kitimat BC. I like exploring the great outdoors of British Columbia. I like trail running, kayaking and snowboarding. I am enthusiastic about mushrooms and enjoy foraging in the fall. I am also experimenting with building mycelium bio-composite materials such as planting pots. I love cooking and watching baseball.

Tara Brown, MSc Student
Supervisor: John Innes  
Start year: 2020

Prior to joining the Faculty of Forestry, I co-founded several community-based nonprofits and tech-startups that focus on equitable hands-on and digital learning opportunities for youth through peer mentoring. I’ve worked in various technical roles, building products for large and small companies and universities. I’ve led environmental monitoring projects for communities and institutions to measure air quality and radiation. Before returning to Vancouver in 2020, I lived in Japan for three years and learned to view forests as a form of integrated mindful living. It was a new mindset that compelled me to research how forests are managed and cared for back home. I’m a dual Canadian-American citizen, and “home” stretches from BC to California, which prompted my interest in transboundary natural resource management, awareness, and cooperation.

Brandon Bung

Brandon Bung, MSc student
Supervisors: Gary Bull, Dominik Roeser
Start year: 2020

My research interests is in Wood Fuel Logistics and Carbon Performance. I like to explore ways forest products could be applied beyond traditional applications. I lived in Sweden for a year and came back to pursue this degree. I look forward to learning about delivered cost and life cycle carbon performance for wood fuel. It wouldn’t have felt right to complete this degree anywhere else. It would have been foolish to turn down an opportunity to work with both Gary and Dominik. I am also excited to be working on a real project with a real partner organization. I also like to seek out the next greatest cheeseburger institution in North America.

Xueyao Chen, MASc
Supervisor: Cristiano Loss
Start year: 2020

I was an undergraduate student in Beijing Forest University in China before I came to UBC. I chose UBC because my university in China had a cooperative program with UBC. Many of my friends studied UBC so I had a great expectation to study at UBC. My research interest is in timber structure materials and engineering.  UBC is the first choice for this. I enjoy watching movie, swimming, shopping and cooking. I also look forward to making more friends and complete a thesis.

Yutong Feng, MSc student
Supervisor: Terry Sunderland
Start year: 2020

My research is in Chinese Medicine Sustainability. Traditional Chinese culture needs to be passed on from generation to generation. And I go to graduate school because I can do what I love, research and continue to learn how to use these methods to better protect Chinese herbal medicine. It’s valuable. Before I came to UBC, I went to university in Beijing, majoring in Biotechnology. After three years of undergraduate study, I came to UBC and started studying Forestry Sciences, and I wanted to continue studying this major. I really like Chinese Tradition. So I will make Chanhua, flowers made from silk, by myself. This is also one kind of Intangible Cultural Heritage. I also enjoy traveling.

Mitchell Fennell

Mitchell Fennell, MSc student
Supervisor: Cole Burton
Start year: 2020

My research focuses on investigating interactions between human recreation and wildlife habitat use, in order to foster human wildlife coexistence. I wanted to learn in more depth, to expand my fields of understanding, and to conduct meaningful research. Previous to being a grad student, I was working as a wildlife field technician in Vancouver. I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the systems I study, and to learn skills to transfer research into action. My hobbies include backcountry skiing, cycling, and backpacking.

Juliana Lima De Freitas

Juliana Lima De Freitas, MSc student
Supervisor: Janette Bulkan
Start year: 2020

My research interest is in Sustainable Forest Management – indicators. I have been on maternity leave for three years so I thought it would be a great opportunity to return to the workforce. I live in Brazil and I am a full-time mom. Before that, I worked for more than 8 years as an environmental engineer at a Brazilian wood industry. I chose UBC because it is one of the best faculties in the world and Canada is a friendly country to foreigners. I am looking forward to working on my thesis since it will also be one of my greatest challenges. I enjoy spending time outside with my family.

Jacqueline Huard

Jacqueline Huard, MSc student
Supervisor: Tara Martin
Start year: 2020

My research is in marine forage fish ecology and policy. Forage fish play a critical role in marine food web in the Salish Sea. My project will increase our understanding of how to reduce human impacts on coastal nearshore habitats and thus provide resources/information to habitat managers to do so. After working in the environmental field for six years I’ve learned that I miss learning. I moved to Vancouver in 2012 to attend BCIT’s Fish, Wildlife, and Recreation program after which, in 2014 I worked in consulting as a wildlife biologist for Dillon Consulting Limited until starting at UBC in 2020. I enjoy kayaking on local rivers like the Chehalis or the Lynn or backcountry touring in the mountains!

Diling Liang

Diling Liang, MSc student
Supervisor: Terry Sunderland
Start year: 2020

My interest lies in ecosystem services and climate change.  I chose to study in Vancouver because I lived in Vancouver since 2017. After finishing my Bachelor’s degree, I worked one year as a Graduate Research Assistant. I really like the nice faculty members and the research direction in dealing with environment problems under climate change. I enjoy watching NBA game and doing outdoor exercises.

Stephanie Lingard

Stephanie Lingard, MSc student
Supervisor: Scott Hinch
Start year: 2020

While working in environmental consulting over the past eight years, many questions regarding salmon ecology occurred to me. Graduate studies offer the opportunity to explore these questions and broader ecological relationships. I am excited to be at UBC and working with the members of the Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation Laboratory. I chose UBC because Dr. Hinch is a leading researcher in Pacific Salmon ecology and behavior. The research currently being conducted at the Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation Laboratory closely aligns with the type of research I am interested in. I thoroughly enjoy gardening and spending time with my dog and husband in the wilds of British Columbia away from other humans.

Sol Lewites (Rodriguez), MASc Student
Supervisor: Chunping Dai  
Start year: 2020

My research interest is in building applications of bamboo. The built environment industry is responsible for 40% of greenhouse gas emissions. A switch to bio-based building materials made out of bamboo is part of the solution. Bamboo sequesters 40% more carbon than wood, grows ten times faster than most trees, and has superior mechanical properties than wood. Together, with my colleagues at the Bamboo Utilization Technology Group, the goal of this research is to develop the next-generation of sustainable building materials using wood and bamboo. For relaxation, I cycle, open water swim, and read about the circular economy.


Aeryn Ng, MSc student
Supervisor: Dr. Sarah Gergel

Start year: 2020

My research interests broadly include forest ecology, agricultural ecosystems, and the integration of these topics with socioeconomic issues. I am most interested in interdisciplinary projects which examine the influence of ecological health and landcover on social justice, and vice versa. My current research focuses on the relationship between deforestation and food security in Narok County, Kenya. Before beginning my graduate degree I had moved to Vancouver early and spent most of my time climbing in Squamish. I’m now looking forward to using everything I’ve learned so far and tackling  
a more focused, applied problem. 

Ayumi Ono

Ayumi Ono, MSc student
Supervisor: Jeff Sayer
Start year: 2020

My research is about coexistence between the protection of biodiversity and economic stabilization of residents in the tropical areas in which deforestation or forest degradation is ongoing. Before studying at UBC, I lived in Japan through my life (from Hokkaido island to Kyusyu island). After studying my undergraduate degree in Forestry at a Kyoto University, I’ve been working in a Forestry Agency of Japan for 8 years. I’m looking forward to learning a hands-on management policy, exchanging opinion with people who has various backgrounds. My hobby is doing Karate. I belong to a Karate club in Japan and I hold a black belt. I enjoy mountain trekking on weekends.

Yangqian Qi

Yangqian Qi, MSc student
Supervisor: Nicholas Coops
Start year: 2020

I was working as a Work Learn student in the Integrated Remote Sensing Studio (IRSS) at UBC when I was an undergraduate student. I was impressed by the power of remote sensing technologies and decided to pursue a master’s degree. Before starting my MSc, I spent two years studying ecology back in China and transferred to UBC in 2017 to major in Natural Resources Conservation (Global Perspectives). I am looking forward to exploring the applications of remote sensing in real-world scenarios. I am also excited about presenting research to different audiences and communicating with other researchers in the field. When not doing research, I enjoy hiking, jogging, and travelling.

Georgina Preston, MSc student
Supervisor: Lori Daniels 
Start year: 2020

My research interests include how to make dry, interior forests of British Columbia more resilient to fire by applying holistic management strategies that are informed by local traditional knowledge, western science, and community values. I have a dog named Joni, and I enjoy getting outdoors with her and my partner. I love to hike, camp, fish and paddle, often using iNaturalist to identify unknown species I encounter along the way. I also love to cook, read and socialize with friends over good food and drink!

Hunter Rigatti

Hunter Rigatti, MSc student
Supervisor: Younes Alila
Start year: 2020

My research is Forestry Hydrology. After completing my undergraduate within the faculty, what drew me to pursue grad studies in the faculty was all of the members of the faculty. The group of professors, instructors, and staff are extremely kind and helpful. I always have interesting conversations with them. As much as I am looking forward to the analytical side of my research, I think the human side, although not formal, will be the most interesting. I hope to gain a better appreciation of how people view and understand water. While I have my own personal experiences, I can’t wait to be exposed to a few of those diverse views. My interests include riding my motorcycle or playing video games.

Valerie Russell, MSc Student
Supervisor: Sally Aitken 

Start year: 2020

My research interest is the effects of climate change on the forests of British Columbia. I have a hobby farm and love to spend time in the garden. I also enjoy playing music, dancing, and fencing.

Kea Rutherford, MSc Student
Supervisor: Lori Daniels 
Start year: 2020

My research interest is fire ecology. Coming from California, I have experienced firsthand the social and environmental impacts of unprecedented wildfires. Graduate school at UBC will allow me to pursue research that will help address this fire crisis. I graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a BS in Forestry and a BS in Economics. After graduating, I worked for a UC Berkeley lab conducting Sierra Nevada fire-related research. I am most excited to get out into the field and explore the gorgeous landscapes BC has to offer. In my free time I enjoy long-distance running, backpacking, kayaking, and cycling.

Gonghan Sheng

Gonghan Sheng, MSc student
Supervisor: Guangyu Wang
Start year: 2020

My thesis will be on the National Park Development in China. I initially noticed the concept of national park in 2012 when I travelled to Banff. I was amazed by its beauty and its harmonious human-environment relationship. However, the concept of national park was not practiced in China for ecological protection and restoration. Even though the Chinese government started to think about national park construction in 2013, and began its pilot project in 2016, the concept of national park remains unfamiliar in China. I hope that my study of national parks and environmental policies will help China to better tackle environmental problems in the future by introducing more reasonable environmental measures and policies. I also enjoy reading, hiking, playing video games and/or travelling.

Laura Stewart, MSc student
Supervisor: Cole Burton

Start year: 2020

My research interest is in assessing wildlife community dynamics in Indigenous protected areas of the Northwest Territories, Canada.

Kelsey Tikka

Kelsey Tikka, MSc. Student
Supervisor: John Richardson
Start year: 2020

I am interested in research with predator-predator interactions in aquatic environments. I have a passion for research and want to continue understanding ecosystem dynamics and how humans are impacting these systems. I wanted to be involved in the high calibre research that is produced! I’m looking forward to collaborating and working with members of my lab as well as others within the Faculty of Forestry. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, working out, hanging out in the forest or at the beach and doing research.

Kirsten Wong-Stevens

Kirsten Wong-Stevens, MSc student
Supervisors: Lorien Nesbitt, Matilda van den Bosch
Start year: 2020

I completed my undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Forestry at the University of Toronto. I am currently a MSc student under Dr. Lorien Nesbitt in the Urban Natures Lab. My research broadly looks at the health impacts of nature-based solutions for climate resilience. Specifically, I use mixed methods to study the urban forest experiences and preferences of diverse urban residents to cope with heat. I am also interested in environmental justice, community engagement, public health, governance, and urban planning.

YeLing Xia

YeLing (Monica) Xia, MSc student
Supervisor: Chunping Dai 
Start year: 2020

Pursuing a graduate degree was somehow a natural choice for me. It would be a great pity for me to give up the opportunity to continue my study at UBC. To a student majoring in wood products manufacturing, the relevant industries in Canada are very worthy of learning. The relative immaturity of bamboo manufacturing in some processes has given me a broad research prospect. Meanwhile, I can feel that the wood-related knowledge I learned in undergraduate courses can be effectively applied. I’m a big fan of Japanese virtual YouTuber, and now devoting all my spare time to editing, translating, and uploading their live videos. I also do a lot of digital painting.

Irene Xiang, MSc student
Supervisor: Frank Lam
Start year: 2020

My research interest is in Timber Engineering. Prior to UBC, I was living in Chongqing, China. I chose UBC Because I am interest in Timber Engineering. I enjoy staying home to relax.

Zhengyang Lambert Ye

Zhengyang (Lambert) Ye, MSc student
Supervisor: Tongli Wang 
Start year: 2020

I am interested in learning about climate change and chose to pursue grad school because I have a thirst for knowledge and am eager to make some differences. I was in a 3+2 international program at Beijing Forestry University and UBC Forestry. Before that, I was a student in BFU majoring in Biotechnology. I like to play video games and exercise outdoors.

Yifan Zhang

Yifan (Ivan) Zhang, MSc student
Supervisor: Feng Jiang
Start year: 2020

My research interest lies in Supercapacitor and Conductive hydrogel. I hope graduate study can enrich my knowledge and I am keen to extend my range and develop myself with a more fulfilling and challenging opportunity. I am a 3+2 student and completed my undergraduate studies at BFU for 3 years and UBC Forestry for last 2 years. I was deeply impressed by the faculty of Forestry during my study in UBC, and the friendly staffs and learning environment are very suitable as well. I chose UBC because I received my undergraduate degree here and like the weather in Vancouver. I am looking forward to get involved in designing and doing experiments now. My hobbies include Dota2, hiking, and watching movies.