Forest Genetics Summer Research Assistant at UBC Forestry Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences in Vancouver, BC
For my first co-op term, I am working with UBC Forestry’s Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences as a research assistant. Our main project is a provenance trial to test the drought tolerance of western larches and Douglas-fir seedlings from different origins (provenances). Results from this project will be used to inform provincial decisions regarding assisted species migration for these two species in order to protect them against the effects of climate change. As a research assistant, my duties include taking various repeated measurements on over 4,000 seedlings! These measurements range from heights and phenology to fluorescence and water potential. I am also tasked with performing a literature review for a soon-to-be-published paper regarding the conservation statuses of a number of conifer species in North America. Through this placement, I’ve received the opportunity to directly apply concepts taught in the classroom into the field as well as observe first-hand plants’ development and stress response. I am also introduced to various cutting-edge measurement techniques and technologies.