Julie Nielsen

PhD Candidate


  • Diploma in Forestry, BCIT
  • BSc, Conservation Biology, University of Alberta
  • MSc, Environmental Science, University of Lethbridge


I am a Registered Professional Biologist specializing in forest ecology with a background in forestry, conservation biology, and tree physiology. My PhD research is focused on the relationship among three aspects of forest resource management on the South and Central Coasts of BC: policy governing forest resources in the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR), ecosystem-based management (EBM) theory and principles, and the cultural use of redcedar (Thuja plicata). I am researching how the recent implementation of policy, guided by EBM tenets, has potentially affected certain First Nations’ access to and cultural use of redcedar in the GBR.  My research involves an investigation of First Nation carvers’, weavers’ and woodworkers’ experience of forest practices, with respect to their cultural cedar use, and an assessment of forest harvesting practices, since the introduction of EBM regulations. I will also investigate a potential association between cultural “grades” of cedar and environmental habitat variables, which could contribute to modeling cultural cedar distributions across the landscape. Collectively, this research will be used to better understand and inform the development and implementation of policy that aims to accommodate First Nations goals concerning cultural cedar use.

Research Group(s): Conservation and Policy Research Group with Dr. Murray Rutherford & FEAM Lab with Dr. Ken Lertzman