Coast Forest Region Research Section - Ecology


Ecology is the science of living organisms and their interactions with each other and the physical environment. The ecology research programme in the Coast Forest Region conducts ecological studies that describe, classify, and predict natural variation of our coastal forests, and the influences of management activities on them. The research ecologists work collaboratively with other members of the RCO research team and the provincial research ecologists to provide a scientific basis for forest management in the Region.

A primary area of study involves refinement of the biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification (BEC) and mapping of biogeoclimatic units (subzone, variants) in the Region. Other current projects are focused on understanding ecosystem-based management (EBM), natural disturbance regimes, variability in old growth stand structure and dynamics, and patterns of vegetation change with different silvicultural practices.



Andy MacKinnon, RPF Research Ecologist Tel:(250) 387-3976

Andy's areas of responsibility include research in forest ecology and ecosystem-based management (EBM). Responsible for biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification (BEC) and mapping. Provides consultation and training in EBM and BEC. Serves on provincial and national research committees. Current research interests include natural disturbance, old-growth forests, non-timber forest products, and native plants, fungi and lichens.


Dr. Sari Saunders, M.R.M, R.P.Bio Research Ecologist Tel:(250) 751-7165

Research and consultation biogeoclimatic classification, and forest and landscape ecology. Currently working with the regional Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification (BEC) database to evaluate sampling needs and strategize field activities to support applications. Interests include disturbance dynamics, ecology of edges and spatial patterns of landscapes, carbon dynamics, and monitoring within human modified and nonhuman disturbed landscapes.


Heather West, A.Ag. Research Ecology Technician Tel:(250) 751-7114

Assist regional ecologists with forest ecology research and biogeoclimatic ecosystem classification (BEC) and mapping. Interests include structural dynamics, climate change, and disturbance dynamics and integration of these topics with ecosystem classification and forest management.