Daniella Zhang (Urban Forestry)

Undergraduate Research Assistant at Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada in Vancouver, BC

Daniella smiling at the camera.

For my second co-op term, I worked as a research assistant for Dr. Susan Day at the Urban Forest Ecosystems Lab here at the Faculty of Forestry. Dr. Day and I co-designed an observational study to investigate age-related soil development patterns across 56 sites on campus. The aim of the project is to understand the effects of widely used manufactured soil blends on vegetation health and to provide a practical baseline dataset for landscape managers. 

Throughout this project, I was fortunate enough to be involved in every step of the applied research process. This includes writing research proposals, selecting sites, collecting and processing soil samples, presenting results, and supporting other graduate students in their research. I also had the opportunity to present my research poster at a soil science research conference in Baltimore, MD. I think my favorite part of this job was collaborating with other campus stakeholders to produce practical and sustainable soil management strategies. As this project is ongoing, the results will be shared with other researchers and the greater campus community to ensure our urban trees are resilient against climate stressors. I am incredibly grateful for all the research skills that I gained, and I am looking forward to continuing my research career.

Thank you UBC Co-op and Dr. Susan Day for this wonderful opportunity! I would also like to acknowledge the funding support from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada and the UBC SEEDs Sustainability Program.

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