Mentors for The University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC

Please take note of your top 3 mentors/programs. You will list them in order of preference when you will out the application form. Projects are designed specifically for Kirkness Program scholars. If you want more information on the mentors each University website has detailed descriptions for each professor.

NOTE: We will try and match each student’s preference but this is not always possible. The sooner you apply the better chance you have of getting your research preference. Applicants must be prepared to work in any laboratory and University that they are assigned to.

Dr. Cole Burton, Assistant Professor
Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia

Study how humans and wildlife co-exist
Research in the WildCo Lab is motivated by the fundamental question of how best to conserve, manage, and restore biodiversity in a rapidly changing, human-dominated world. Students will learn how large mammals and humans can co-exist in different ecosystems using data collected from the Wild Cam network (Wildlife Cameras for Adaptive Management). Website:

Dr. Harry Brumer, Professor
Michael Smith Laboratories, Department of Chemistry, and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia

Project title: Understanding enzymes in biology and biotechnology
Students participating in this project will perform the recombinant production and biochemical analysis of a newly discovered enzyme from nature, and use this enzyme in a biocatalytic reaction to make an aromatic flavour molecule. The project will demonstrate how we can learn from nature’s diversity to develop new, environmentally considerate biotechnology to make materials that improve our lives.

Dr. Erik Eberhardt, Professor and Director
Geological Engineering and Faculty of Sciences, University of British Columbia

About Dr. Eberhardt


John Bass, Associate Professor and Chair
Architecture Program, Faculty of Applied Science, University of British Columbia

This is an opportunity for students interested in architecture and design. Working with First Nations community members, students will assist in the development of culturally specific designs for an elders’ house.

Dr. Madjid Mohseni, Professor
Chemical and Biological Engineering Laboratories, University of British Columbia

Project title: Understanding conventional and leading-edge drinking water treatment technologies for Small Rural Communities and First Nations

Dr. Pierre Bérubé, Professor
Department of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia

The Filtration Technologies Laboratory at UBC ( develops and optimizes approaches to treat water for domestic (e.g. potable water) or industrial (e.g. oil extraction) applications. Current activities focusing on potable water treatment are aimed at developing simple and low-cost technologies for use in rural and remote communities in Canada and abroad. Students in the Kirkness Science and Engineering Program will work as part of a research team to build and test prototypes of novel water treatment technologies prior to field deployment.

Dr. Sheryl Staub-French, Professor
Department of Civil Engineering, University of British Columbia

Virtual Design and Construction (VDC), Building Information Modeling (BIM), collaboration and integrated project delivery, design and construction coordination, 4D (3D + time) visualization, interactive workspaces.

Dr. Lori Daniels, Professor
Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia

Study cultural use and ecology of western red cedar
The tree-rings of old-growth western red cedar trees store a wealth of information. Students will visit the coastal forests to collect samples then learn to “read between the lines” to interpret history over decades to centuries and answer questions about the ecology and cultural use of this amazing tree. Website:

Dr. Scott Hinch, Professor
Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia

Study the impact of climate change on salmon survival
The Pacific Salmon Ecology and Conservation Lab is committed to the study of salmon ecology, behaviour and sustainable use of fish resources. Students will learn about salmon migration patterns, environmental impacts on salmon, and how salmon are affected by stress and disease. Website:

Dr. Rob Guy, Professor
Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia

Study stress in plants and trees
Students will learn about the structure, diversity and development of trees and other plants. This lab specializes in flowering plants, as well as the chemical and physical functions of balsam poplar trees from temperate, boreal and arctic environments Website:

Dr Edie Dullaghan 

Head of Target Validation at the Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD).

Responsibilities include the development of cutting edge assays to facilitate the identification of biomarkers of interest to develop as companion diagnostics for clinical trial drug candidates. My team has now facilitated several such assays that are enabling biotechnology companies in Canada to develop new drugs for Canadians.                                                                                               

Dr. Richard Liggens

Richard is the Senior Director, Advanced Projects and Head, Analytical Chemistry at The Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD). With 15 years of industrial drug development experience, he has expertise in formulation optimization and scale-up.

Dr.Brian Hunt, Assistant Professor 

UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries 

Dr. Brian Hunt is a biological oceanographer with broad interests in the structure and function of pelagic marine ecosystems, and their response to climate forcing and anthropogenic impacts. His research has focused on plankton dynamics, the response of these lower trophic levels to bottom-up forcing by climatic and oceanographic conditions, and the implications of this response for mid-trophic levels, including forage and juvenile fish, as well as top predators. Brian’s research is wide ranging, spanning interests in the Antarctic, tropical South Pacific, New Zealand, Mediterranean, North Pacific and Arctic.Learn more about Dr. Brian Hunt by clicking here 

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