Current Research Projects

Seedlings produced from tree improvement programs in Alberta currently account for ~15% of all reforestation in Alberta. Erosion of the forested land base through expansion of the energy sector, agricultural and urban development combined with climate change, signals an increasing demand for fast growing, well-adapted trees. The main goal of the Industrial Research Chair program is to fill knowledge gaps in both hardwood and softwood tree improvement programs needed to, for example, determine the trade-offs between wood quality and growth rate, support the selection of parent trees for seed orchards, develop an elite breeding strategy for white spruce, and assist with integration of genetic gain into operational growth and yield models. Ultimately, the findings from this research will provide industry and the Alberta government with the information required to make science-based decisions in their operational programs and also assist with both economic and policy decisions.

Additional research in the lab focuses on understanding the plant response mechanisms to drought stress on the distribution of trembling aspen on the landscape and the role that sex plays in plant behaviour.

Graduate students and Postdoctoral Fellows will collaborate and have an opportunity to learn from scientists, professional foresters and government officials from various organizations and industry partners.

Funding Agencies and Partners

  • Alberta Pacific Forest Industries Inc.
  • Alberta Newsprint Co.
  • Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor)
    • Grande Prairie
    • Whitecourt
  • Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA)
  • Government of Alberta
  • Huallen Seed Orchard Company Ltd.
  • NSERC –¬†Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
  • Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA)
  • West Fraser
    • Alberta Plywood
    • Blue Ridge Lumber
    • Hinton Wood Products
    • Sundre Forest Products In
  • Weyerhaeuser Company Limited
    • Grande Prairie Timberlands
    • Pembina Timberlands