Tim Philpott, Ph.D. student, Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, UBC


Tim Philpott is a PhD student at the University of British Columbia in the Faculty of Forestry, where he studies how alternative harvest systems (variable retention) influence belowground carbon transformations by fungi. The overall objective is to determine how variable retention harvesting alters decomposition and cycling of root carbon as well as the fungal community using this carbon as a substrate. The project is part of the Silviculture Treatments for Ecosystem Management in the Sayward (STEMS) experiment, near Campbell River, BC (http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hre/stems/). When not working on his PhD, you can usually find Tim on one of his bikes.



Zineb Bazza, B.Sc. Applied Biology, M.Sc. student in Soil Sciences, UBC

Zineb Bazza is a M.Sc. student in soil sciences at UBC with the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes IMG_6905Laboratory. She did her undergraduate in applied biology with a focus in plant and soil sciences. She became fascinated with soils after working on an organic farm in Delta, BC and decided to make it the focus of her studies. Zineb enjoys gardening and volunteers with a local urban farming company in the summers.


Kiara Jack, Potato IPM Consultant, E.S. Cropconsult Ltd.; B.Sc., Global Resource Systems, UBC; Diploma Environmental Sciences, Langara College; Ladner, BC


Kiara has always had an interest in a wide range of subjects, with environmental protection and agriculture as a foundation. She enjoyed soil studies in geography and soil management and found it interesting to learn how vital soils are to our existence. While working on an organic farm and as a potato consultant in the Lower Mainland, she has developed a further interest and appreciation for soil. Traveling and learning are important in her life and she is passionate about growing, cooking and eating food!



Jin Zhang, Graduate Student, Simon Fraser University

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Jin Zhang is a M.Sc. student in the Soil Research Lab from the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University. She grew up in the city and never understood the importance of soil. Starting out as a research assistant in 2012, she has been working in the lab under the supervision of Dr. Margaret Schmidt. The work experience made her realize the importance of soil and the environment. This subject has become so interesting to her that she decided to spend the next two years to focusing on digital soil mapping and field work. Jin shares her passion for soil with the Welsh corgi, an active dog breed that mirrors both her energy and enthusiasm.

E-mail and Membership Coordinator

Bryanna Thiel, B.Sc. Global Resource Systems; M.Sc. Soil Science, UBC

DSC04618Bryanna became interested in soil while working as an apprentice farmer in the Similkameen Valley and completing an introductory certificate course on organic soil management. She subsequently decided to complete a M.Sc. in Soil Science at UBC with the Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes Laboratory. As a student and an independent contractor, she has worked closely with the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust, Delta Farmers’ Institute, and the farmers in Delta, BC, to investigate management practices that may help farmers mitigate or adapt to changing climates, as well as maintain conservation objectives on farmland.  When not working, you will find Bryanna in her kitchen preserving BC fresh produce, or exploring in the mountains. She is happy to be a part of the PRSSS team, and looks forward to involving more members with the society.


Website Coordinator

Jenna Zukswert, M.Sc. student, Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, UBC


Jenna Zukswert is an M.Sc. student in the Belowground Ecosystem Group in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC under the supervision of Dr. Cindy Prescott. She is studying the role of functional traits in leaf litter decomposition. Originally from Vermont, Jenna earned a B.A. in Biology and Environmental Science and Policy at Smith College before relocating to Vancouver. Tutoring and internship experiences as an undergraduate helped her realize her passion for science education, and she intends to continue sharing the wonders of science, in particular forest ecology, beyond the scientific research community following her degree. In her spare time, she likes to dance, taking occasional ballet and tap dance classes.


Bookstore Director

Andy Jakoy, M.Sc. Soil Science, RPF (retired); Vancouver, BC


I was born on April 27, 1935, in Hungary in a small hamlet where my father was the resident forester. I enrolled in the Forest Engineering School of Sopron (western Hungary) in 1954. The Hungarians revolted against the Soviet occupation in October 1956. The superior Soviet army soon defeated this ill fated effort and most of the Engineering School, staff and students escaped to Austria. In early January, 1957 we were transported to Canada and finally to the West Coast. In September, 1957 we started our studies as an affiliated faculty of the Forestry Faculty of UBC. I graduated with BSF in 1959. In the early 1960-s I worked throughout BC in forest engineering. I started an MF program in silviculture in 1965 in the Forestry Faculty of UBC. My research and thesis work was in the fertilization of 2-0 planted Douglas-fir seedlings in Coastal BC. I had obtained a teaching position in the Natural Resources Department at BCIT in 1967. Soon I established valuable contacts with Drs. Karel Klinka and Nurettin Keser; through them I met Dr. Les Lavkulich and in 1975 I started my grad studies in Soil Science under the guidance of Dr. Lavkulich. In 1981, I defended my thesis, “Soils of grassland and forest transitions north of Kamloops, British Columbia”. Looking back on these years now, I feel I’d completed the best six years of my professional life at that particular time. During this period, I joined the PRSSS, which was initiated by Dr Lavkulich and have maintained my membership ever since. I was the president of our Society in 2002-03, when we celebrated our 25th Anniversary. As a retirement job I look after the report and map collection library of our Society, which we inherited from MOE in the mid 90s. I consider myself fortunate to have been able to learn from and to exchange information with such wonderful people as the earth scientists. I feel I earned the distinction as “director emeritus” of PRSSS.


Eveline Wolterson, M.Sc. Soil Science, EvEco President; Vancouver, BC


Eveline is the President of EvEco consultants. She earned both her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees at UBC and worked as a chemist for an oil refinery before finding her future in the field of soil science.


Director (Advocacy)

Emme Lee, Undergraduate Student, Global Resource Systems, UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems


Emme is a student at UBC, where her studies are focused on Sustainable Food Production. Her main interests include soil science, decomposing organisms, nutrition, community psychology, social entrepreneurship, and food/environmental policy. She is currently working to integrate large-scale vermicomposting into UBC’s waste management operations. Other projects include campus sustainability engagement and integration, food sovereignty assessment through community-based research, and mushroom-growing. She is currently a member of the City of Vancouver’s Food Policy Council, and a Sustainability Advisor on the committee for the UBC student society’s New Student Union Building Project. She is passionate about local/regional food systems, and the seeding of a ‘sense of place’, where the happiness, health, and productivity of people co-exist with clean energy systems, and living with reduced ecological impact. Prior to her studies, Emme was a film/television costume designer, and an active member of the broader arts community. She produced festivals, and fashion/music/arts events designed to build social networks, enhance awareness around local issues, and support civil society organizations.


Director (Advocacy)

Art Bomke


Art was raised on a small farm in Illinois, did his university education in that state at Southern Illinois University (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) and the University of Illinois (Ph.D.), and immigrated to British Columbia four decades ago. Art’s educational background is in Agronomy, specifically soil and crop management, and he taught courses and conducted research on soil fertility and management throughout his UBC career. Art has also had opportunities to explore social dimensions of agricultural systems through his teaching in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems’ Land, Food and Community core curriculum. Since coming to UBC, he has conducted research on both inorganic and organic fertilization, nitrogen cycling, on-farm composting, agroecology and cropping systems.  Art officially retired to Professor Emeritus status in 2011 and continues to pursue interests in sustainable soil management and supporting farmers and farm communities. He was a charter member of the PRSSS and past director and is enthusiastic  about helping the Society to engage with the broader public in advocating for policies based in sound soil science.

Director (Advocacy)

Matthew Unger

IMG_5478 Matthew grew up working with soil on the family farm in the harsh Manitoba climate. After moving to BC, Matthew founded an organics recycling business using edible funghi and biochar systems to compost food waste. Living in Vancouver, Matthew works as an organizational development consultant and advises on extreme climate and agri-technology commercialization for Yukon College’s Cold Climate Innovation program. His work with agricultural, energy and health ministries and funding bodies has helped increase the capacity of innovative, resilient and community based agriculture systems across Western Canada. He has been a member of PRSSS since 2013 and as a new director is excited to help the Society create policies on soil science advocacy.

Director (Provincial Soils)

Jacynthe Masse, PhD student, Faculty of Forestry, UBC


Jacynthe Masse is a PhD student with the Belowground Ecosystem group in the Faculty of Forestry (UBC) under the supervision of Dr. Sue Grayston. She is studying the rebound of the nitrogen cycle and role of nitrifying microorganisms communities in reclaimed oil sands soils in Northern Alberta. Jacynthe is amazed by the uniqueness of soils as a source of life on this planet and she believes that soil management and conservation represent huge challenges that our societies will have to face in order to survive. For fun, Jacynthe enjoys running along the beaches in Vancouver, exploring BC, brewing her own beer and having friends over for good food and board games.


Director (Outreach)

Alisha Hackinen, M.Sc. Student, Soil Science, UBC; Vancouver, BC


Alisha Hackinen is a long time student at UBC having completed her BSc in Global Resource Systems there in May 2009. While in her undergraduate years, Alisha had the opportunity to intern with several small local scale organic farms which drove home the message that soil management is foundational to the health of our community and our planet. She is currently pursuing her M.Sc. in Soil Science in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, under the supervision of Dr. Maja Krzic. Alisha’s research will combine two fields which she is passionate about, soils and education, by examining teaching methods in sustainable soils management. Born and raised on the west coast, Alisha enjoys getting outside and into nature. She balances her academic life with yoga, gardening, and cooking for friends.


Director (Outreach)

Anya Reid, Ph.D. student, Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, UBC

Anya did her undergraduate degree at UBC in Environmental Science. She went to York University for her Master’s degree, after which she worked at the Ministry of Forests in Williams Lake as the Forest Health Technician. Her work at the Ministry lead to the creation of a PhD research project on the effects of disturbance on the soil’s ability to maintain long-term productivity (growth and health). This project uses the BC Ministry of Forests’ long-term soil productivity (LTSP) sites in the interior of British Columbia.

For more information visit www.anyareid.ca

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