Nicholas Mantegna (Urban Forestry)

Student Researcher for SEEDS Sustainability Program in Vancouver, BC

UBC Forestry Co-op Student Nicholas Mantegna swings on a tree at UBC.

There is currently a demand for student led research that informs UBC’s climate action response.  I have been fortunate enough to receive research funding from the SEEDS Sustainability Program.  With help from SEEDS, I am exploring how the topics of biomimicry and ecological connectivity can guide UBC’s climate adaptation plan.  I created a web map using arcGIS and Microsoft Excel that identifies the areas of high and low structural ecological connectivity on campus.  I also performed an extensive amount of research on mycorrhizal networks.  Researching biomimicry and mycorrhizas revealed to me what UBC can learn from the structure of mycorrhizal networks that can be applied to landscape design strategies of the green infrastructure network at UBC.  I also researched the concept of biophilic design, and created design recommendations targeted towards UBC Landscape Architects and Land Use Planners.  I would not have been able to conduct this fascinating research if I was not part of the Forestry Co-op program.  The choice to join the Forestry Co-op program allowed me to receive an extensive amount of support and feedback for this project from UBC faculty, staff and students.  As a result I have learned how to articulate research findings, plan collaborative meetings with UBC Campus and Community Planning clients, create multiple ecological connectivity analyses and much more.  When I am not in my room conducting research on my computer, you can find me hanging from a tree somewhere on campus thinking about mycorrhizal networks.

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