Multiproxy reconstructions of mixed-severity fire dynamics in the Alberta Foothills

The proposed research will use a multiproxy fire history approach to reconstruct wildfire history, severity, and impacts, as well as controls on and changes to the fire regime in the Alberta Foothills region. Fire scar and stand origin records will be used to reconstruct the fire history of the study area over recent decades and centuries. These records will be extended in length using the macroscopic sedimentary charcoal record.

Further development of sulphite-based dissolving pulp production

The requested Mitacs-Accelerate Internship application will support Dr. Yishan Liu (as an intern) and Dr. Yonghao Ni (as supervisor) of the University of New Brunswick and Neucel Specialty Cellulose. The overall objectives of the project are: 1) to improve the quality of dissolving pulps; 2) to decrease the manufacturing costs by using low-cost wood material. The improvements in pulp quality will be achieved based on enzymatic/ mechanical treatments that can be readily implemented at the existing mill configurations.

Economic development through sustainable forest management at Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve

Master of Forest Conservation Candidates from the Faculty of Forestry at the University of Toronto will partake in the research and development of biochar in Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Ltd. Studies will provide a greater basis for certification and standardization of the product for use in forest systems and operations in Haliburton Forest, as well as in urban gardening applications as a soil amendment.

The efficacy of fall and burn operations on the erradication of mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) in Alberta

Bunch and burn operations is a common tool for controlling the spread of mountain pine beetle in Alberta and involves felling and piling of infested pine trees and subsequently, burning the log decks to eradicate the beetles. Current practices mandate the complete burn of the bark, whereas past studies and government standards have shown that heat levels of 56˚C is sufficient to kill most pests and pathogens. This study will test the efficiency of bunch and burn operations, as well as comparing different log deck structures, in eradicating mountain pine beetle larvae.

Property evaluation of tamarack veneer and plywood

Tamarack is deemed as an underutilized species. Recently York North Veneer Products Inc. (YNVP) received an inquiry on use of Tamarack veneer as sheathing materials in construction of light frame walls in Japanese market with an aim to replace Russian larch and Douglas-fir veneer.


City parks and outdoor recreational opportunities are among Toronto’s most valued resources. The Discovery Walks Program has been one of  Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation’s flagship outreach efforts to engage residents and tourists alike in learning about culturally and environmentally significant areas across the city. The purpose of this project is to develop and implement a mobile interactive Discovery Walks application that delivers an in-depth and customizable experience to users.

Business Transformation: Forest Firms

Business transformation involves firms changing their business models to pursue new opportunities. The ambitions of transformation are to  enhance a firm’s competitiveness. Transformation is risky— literature highlights that transformation efforts often fail; reasons include firms not having the sufficient competencies or enough capital to carry the changes through. As Canadian forest sector firms look to new opportunities in the bio-economy, they must change their business models to successfully compete in these new segments.

Understanding of intra-annual wood formation and phenological development of black spruce and balsam fir over the spatial gradient in the boreal forest of Quebec

Climate warming may have resulted in altered initiation and termination dates of the primary growth (e.g. phenological development) and the secondary growth (e.g. stem xylem growth) of trees in the boreal forest, consequently impacting wood quality, forest growth and productivity, and carbon sequestration.

Multivariate random effects model for Integrated measurement of green veneer thickness and roughness

Thickness and surface roughness are the two main veneer quality criteria affecting material recovery, plywood glue bond quality, and glue consumption. At present, on-line green veneer thickness and surface roughness are generally not measured, which causes difficulty in assessing overall veneer quality for a better control of log conditioning and veneer peeling process.

Residual white spruce growth responses following partial cutting treatments in boreal mixedwoods

The boreal mixedwood forests of the Abitibi region of Quebec are often characterized by a canopy of trembling aspen with shade tolerant species such as white spruce and balsam fir in the subcanopy. In many cases, harvesting has converted complex mixedwoods into simpler, even aged forests. Due to the differences in regeneration and tree growth, the white spruce is often of small merchantable size classes when the trembling aspen is ready for harvesting.