Research in the Garden Contact
6804 Southwest Marine Dr.
Research in the Garden
UBC Botanical Garden both provides research opportunities for students and researchers and conducts research.
Interested researchers and students are invited to contact us to determine if UBC Botanical Garden has the resources and/or collections to support your individual research interests. In addition to its significant plant collections, UBC Botanical Garden has expert horticultural and botanical staff, plant-growing facilities (including a nursery), and a mission to promote plant research.
Research Projects Conducted in UBC Botanical Garden
Monitoring plant condition and phenology using infrared sensitive consumer grade digital cameras
Wiebe Nijland, Rogier de Jong, Steven M. de Jong, Michael A. Wulder, Chris W. Bater, Nicholas C. Coops
For the above-titled study, this research team with representation from UBC's Faculty of Forestry compared infrared-modified and true colour cameras to detect seasonal development of understory plants species in a forest, with the main goal of evaluating the utility of infrared-modified cameras for the remote monitoring of plant health and phenology. The British Columbia Rainforest Garden in UBC Botanical Garden provided an accessible location for mounting the cameras as well as seasonally-changing vegetation. The research paper: Nijland, W et al. 2014. Monitoring plant condition and phenology using infrared sensitive consumer grade digital cameras. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 15 January 2014, 184(98-106).
Geographic Variation in Birds of Western Canada
Darren Irwin (lead), Alison Porter, Kate Broadley, Christine Grossen, Kira Delmore, Thomas Pierce, Michelle Chen, Stephanie Cavanagh, Jessica Irwin
Studying how and why, in a variety of species, there are differences between western and eastern forms, as well as much geographic variation within western forms. The team uses mist nets to temporarily capture individual birds, measure and photograph them, take a blood sample (for later genetic analysis) and feather sample (for later isotopic analysis). The birds are then banded with numbered leg bands and released.
Research Projects Conducted by UBC Botanical Garden
Bryophytes of the UBC Botanical Garden
Sean Graham (lead), Steve Joya, Sean Montgomery
Multiple collecting trips for bryophytes within the Garden (the last bryophyte inventory was done in 2002). As part of the project, Montgomery will deposit vouchered samples in the UBC herbarium and also start DNA barcoding work on the samples in the Graham Lab. On the field and organismal side of things, Montgomery will be mentored by Joya, a young bryologist who actively contributes to the UBC Herbarium.
Joint collection forays
UBC Botanical Garden, in partnership with the UBC Herbarium, has established an annual plant collection foray within British Columbia. For the Botanical Garden, these forays in part serve the purpose of helping to renew the native plant collections within its British Columbia Rainforest Garden as well as develop the collections in the Garry Oak Meadow and Woodland Garden and the eventual Pacific Slope Garden. These forays also help to provide field experience and training to students and expand the documented knowledge of the British Columbia flora.
For 2011, the joint collection foray visited sites near the communities of Yale, Lytton, Spences Bridge and Ashcroft, along southern British Columbia’s Fraser and Thompson River corridors.
Involvement with Canadensys and other research programs
UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research is an institutional partner in the Canada-wide Canadensys project. Through funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation for Canadensys, UBC Botanical Garden has been able to significantly improve the identification, documentation, and herbarium specimen deposits of its plant collections. In turn, this has allowed UBC Botanical Garden to make plant tissue and DNA sequence data available to the International Barcode of Life and OneKP projects.
Magnolia phenology project
UBC Friends of the Garden, in coordination with UBC Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research staff members, have developed a long-term monitoring project of Magnolia phenology in UBC Botanical Garden's collections. Phenology, the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena in relation to climate, is a mechanism by which long-term changes in climate can be identified. The Magnolia phenology project has been ongoing for over twenty years.