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UBC professors receive funding for forestry research

March 4, 2016 - Research into forest renewal, quantum computer nanotechnology, solar power, high-tech manufacturing, forestry products and the Subarctic ocean climate got a boost, with the announcement of $3.5 million from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).


March 4, 2016
By Andrew Macklin

The funding comes from NSERC’s Strategic Partnership Grants, which support scientific partnerships to strengthen the Canadian economy, society and environment.

Among the six UBC projects tapped for the grants is forestry professor Suzanne Simard’s research into forest renewal practices. Simard received $929,000 in funding to focus on reassessing current practices in the context of climate change.

“This new Strategic Project Grant will investigate novel combinations of logging and planting practices across British Columbia that will protect the legacies and wisdom of the original old-growth forests,” she explains. “In so doing, we will develop strategies for helping our forests remain healthy, vigorous and adaptive as climate changes into the future.”

Simard will partner with the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Brinkman Group.

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“NSERC’s support of these exciting projects not only furthers scientific research, but also helps strengthen science and technology across Canada,” said John Hepburn, vice president, research and international at UBC. “The Strategic Partnership Grants enable our researchers to build important, constructive partnerships with industry and government.”

Also receiving a grant involving forest product research was Harry Brumer, Professor, Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC.

Brumer received $532,812 for research into Biorefining of novel cellulosics from forest fibre resources. He will be working with a Canadian forest products company, this project will use genomic and biochemical methods to develop new technology for wood-fibre modification.