Professor in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia, Canada
Theme 3 Forest biodiversity and its ecosystem services
Title Valuing diversity in uncertain times
Summary With unprecedented rates of climate change and uncertainty around future abiotic and abiotic conditions, species and seed-source decisions for reforestation are challenging. At the same time, we are counting on healthy managed forests to provide carbon sequestration, habitat for biodiversity, and a multitude of other ecosystem services. New approaches informing forest management and conservation decision-making will be discussed that integrate climate, species distribution, and genetic models.
Biosketch Sally Aitken is a Professor in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. Her research integrates phenotypic, genomic and climatic data to understand the processes driving local adaptation to climate in trees.
She has led two multi-institutional large-scale applied research projects, AdapTree and CoAdapTree, focussed on developing genomic approaches and tools to guide reforestation, restoration and breeding for new climates. She co-authored the textbook Conservation and the Genomics of Populations (Oxford University Press, 2022).
Dr. Aitken received the Canadian Forestry Scientific Achievement Award in 2009, the International Union of Forest Research Organization’s Scientific Achievement Award in 2014, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2017.