4 Year PhD in Forestry, University of British Columbia

Vancouver, Canada

Position Title: 2 Year PhD in Forestry

Organization: University of British Columbia

Location: Vancouver, Canada

Project Overview: A funded four-year PhD position is available in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver under the supervision of Prof. Hamish van der Ven. The successful candidate will contribute to a broader SSHRC-funded research agenda examining the political, social, economic, and physical impacts of the internet on the natural environment. The candidate will be expected to provide research assistance as well as conduct their own independent research on concurrent themes. For information on domestic and international student tuition and fees at UBC, please see the PhD Program Overview.

The internet has embedded itself into almost every aspect of human life. Yet, the relationship between the internet and the natural environment is poorly understood. This project seeks to uncover whether and how the internet has affected the environmental crises that characterize the Anthropocene. Potential avenues of investigation include: the physical impacts of internet infrastructure on GHG emissions, the political impacts of internet populism on pro-environment policies, the cultural and spiritual impacts of leading lives that are increasingly decoupled from nature, and the economic impacts of online environmental activism, etc. The student will have broad leeway to identify their own research topic and approach within the broader theme. This research agenda is inherently interdisciplinary and open to a range of theoretical perspectives and methodological tools. The objective is to provide a multifaceted examination of the various pathways through which the internet alters the natural environment, and in doing so, provide recommendations for creating a more sustainable relationship between the internet and the natural environment.


  • Applicants must hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent) from an approved institution
  • Applicants should have a first-class GPA equivalent to 90% (A+) in the last two years of full-time study
  • Applicants must satisfy the minimum academic requirements for admission established by the UBC Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies office (and departmental requirements)
  • All applicants must meet eligibility requirements to live and study in Canada

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A background in the environmental social sciences
  • Demonstrated expertise in either quantitative or qualitative research methods
  • Previous experience working on large research projects
  • Excellent communication and writing skills in English
  • A demonstrated ability to work independently and as part of a team

Salary/pay:  The guaranteed rate of funding is $22,000 CAD per year for four years. There is also the possibility of additional funding through the Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) program

Expected Start Date: September 2022

Application Deadline: March 15, 2022

How to Apply:

Apply online here. You will need:

  • A brief cover letter outlining your proposed research
  • A current curriculum vitae
  • Scans of official transcripts
  • Three academic references
  • Proof of English proficiency (if applying from a non-English institution)
  • A writing sample (submitted as ‘additional material’ through the online portal)

For inquiries about this position, please contact Prof. Hamish van der Ven, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Business Management of Natural Resources, hamish.vanderven@ubc.ca