Current Students

Jordan Benner
PhD Candidate
My research interests span a broad range of disciplines and topics, but generally involve using quantitative and qualitative tools to examine questions about forest management and sustainability. During my master’s degree, I conducted a fiber flow analysis and performed interviews in five communities across the interior of BC to look at the effect of tenure arrangements and policies on indicators of local benefits. Part of this research encompassed an evaluation of the ways in which communities make strategic choices and negotiate tradeoffs to best capture local value from forest management. For my PhD, I am working with the Hakai Network for Coastal People, Ecosystems and Management in collaboration with the Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department to study ecosystem-based management (EBM) implementation on the Central Coast. This research uses an interdisciplinary research approach that combines elements of forest estate modeling, traditional knowledge, policy analysis, economics, silvaculture, and forest ecology to examine questions about EBM through the lens of western redcedar (Thuja plicata) management – a species of critical economic, ecological, and cultural importance.

Although I have focused the majority of my attention on research in recent years, I have also been involved in forest management and forest operations for the past decade and a half, including on my family’s woodlot license on Quadra Island. Past consulting projects range from developing forest management plans to conducting ecological inventories, and have allowed me to keep one foot in the office and the other in the forest. In particular, my ability to escape to our family woodlot to fall trees, drive big machines, plan logging operations, undertake silvaculture activities, and think about inter-generational sustainability in the context of small scale forestry is key to grounding my research in reality.

Ian Giesbrecht
PhD Candidate

Amanda Girard
MRM

Laramie Ferguson
MRM
Laramie Ferguson is a masters student in Dr. Ken Lertzman's lab. She completed an Honors Bachelor's of Science in Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University, where she worked with Dr. Tony Williams assessing climate change impacts to avian timing of breeding and reproductive success. As a graduate student in the REM program, Laramie is continuing her focus on wildlife research in the field of environmental assessment. She hopes to inform the federal environmental assessment process on best practices for evaluating impacts to wildlife of concern.

Steve Taylor
PhD Special Arrangements

Jonny van Elslander
BSc Honours
My research focuses on forest structure and canopy light transmission in subalpine old-growth coastal temperate rainforest in Cypress Provincial Park. Specifically, I am exploring how variability in stand structure, canopy openness, and stand topography create heterogeneous light environments in the understory. My results indicate that the interaction between light availability and forest structure is related to a range of variability that extends to all aspects of stand structure and topography. Though my research focuses strictly on forest ecology, my broader interests include riparian interactions, wildlife ecology and all aspects of forest management.

I am originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba but moved to Vancouver in 2012 to work towards my BSc in Environmental Science at SFU. Over my time at SFU I have been involved in my own research with the FEAM lab, and as a volunteer and employee of the Salmon Watersheds Lab in the Earth 2 Oceans Groups in the department of Biology at SFU. I spend my free time, snowboarding, taking photographs, and immersing myself in the local woods.