Brent Ward

Professor, Co-director Centre for Natural Hazards Research
Earth Sciences

Areas of interest

Dr. Ward is a classical, field based Quaternary geologist whose research interests include sedimentology, stratigraphy, paleoenvironmental reconstructions, surficial mapping, drift prospecting and landslides. His present research is focussed on trying to resolve aspects of the stratigraphy of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet and associated paleoenvironmental reconstructions. This work is interdisciplinary and requires collaborations with a wide range of other researchers. It focuses on tying stratigraphic studies with plant and insect macrofossil and palynological analysis to reconstruct paleoenvironments and paleoclimate. The most exciting and innovative aspect of this research is work on raised sea caves; the only work of it's kind being done in North America. These caves can provide direct information that can be used to help solve questions of glacial history and past fauna and climate. This research avenue has been successful in providing information on the paleoenvironment of the west coast of Vancouver Island from just before Late Wisconsinan and ice cover, which has implications for the potential of human coastal migrations. Other recent research has included stratigraphic and paleoecological studies in the Chehalis valley, northeastern Fraser Lowland. This work is provocative in that there is strong evidence that the Chehalis Valley was not covered by ice during Coquitlam Stade, the earliest advance of the late Wisconsinan Fraser Glaciation and it extends the temporal and spatial range of the Port Moody Interstade. Also sub-till lacustrine sediments near Prince George yielded a paleoecological record of climatic deterioration from middle to late Wisconsinan time. Dr. Ward is looking for graduate students interested in all aspects of Quaternary geology and forest geoscience.


  • B.Sc. (Hons.), University of Alberta, Canada, 1986
  • Ph.D., University of Alberta, Canada, 1993


Future courses may be subject to change.