A memorial scholarship fund has been set up to honour Forest Ecology PhD student Adrian Weber to ensure that his groundbreaking work will continue at UBC.
Weber, 38, drowned New Year's Day when he dove into Kingsmere Lake near Ottawa. Forest Ecology Prof. Hamish Kimmins says Weber was working on a breakthrough in the effects of wind and clear-cutting on forests.
Besides honouring Weber, the scholarship will provide funding for other young researchers working in forest ecology, says Kimmins.
"In his heart Adrian was a conservationist and environmentalist," he says. "But in his head he was a scientist which is the kind of combination we need to move towards a sustainable relationship between humans and the environment." Weber studied seedlings of western red cedar, one of the more profitable species for the forest industry. The tree normally grows well in shaded areas of old forests but does not regenerate in some types of north island forests.
Weber's work suggested that the seedlings can regenerate in shaded areas if a certain fungus, VAM, is present in the soil. But without the fungus, the seedlings will only regenerate through the high light and increased nutrient achieved if trees are removed.
Kimmins says that he will continue Weber's work and take it to the publication stage.
Contributions to the Adrian Weber Memorial Scholarship in Forest Ecology may be sent to the Forest Sciences Dept., 2424 Main Mall, V6T 1Z4. Please make cheques payable to The University of British Columbia and specify the scholarship name. For more information, contact Maxine Horner at 604-822-6018.