Current Research: I am Vanier PhD student in the UBC Faculty of Forestry supervised by Dr. Jeanine Rhemtulla. My research broadly centers around how people benefit from and value forests, and how these benefits (known as "ecosystem services") change over long timeframes. 

Specifically, My PhD investigates how forest ecosystem services, such as timber, carbon, and salmon are changing across BC over the past century as a result of forest management and natural disturbances. Over the past two decades unprecedented natural disturbances (insect outbreak and wildfire) have impacted 20 million hectares of forests across BC causing widespread impacts on community health, regulating ecosystem services (eg carbon storage) and the forest industry. Similar increases in natural disturbance rates are observed in temperate and boreal forests around the world. In this research I thus hope to help address one of the most complex and pressing questions facing forest management and conservation, which is how to adapt our forests and forest management under a changing climate? 

To accomplish this I am compiling historical datasets on disturbance, ecosystem services, and drivers of these variables at the scale of all of BC (roughly one million square km). While some historical data derives from government sources, much of it is compiled manually through historical archival maps and documents. Using this data, I will use spatial and temporal analyses to identify dynamics and complex interactions among forest management, policy, and forest responses that are indecipherable without the temporal perspective. This analysis will set the stage for regional investigations into the effects of forest management practices such as salvage logging on the resilience of forests and the ecosystem services they provide.  


Sutherland IJ et al. (in Prep) Local values for ecosystem services bridge the land sharing land sparing debate with local landscape planning needs.  

Harker KJ, Gergel SE, Richardson JS, Hanna KS, Sutherland IJ (in review) Opportunities for integrating landscape ecology and ecosystem services principles into environmental impact assessment. 

Lamothe K* and Sutherland IJ* (2018) Intermediate ecosystem services: the origins and meanings of an unsettled concept. International Journal of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Management. 14.1 (2018): 179-187.

Sutherland IJ*, Villamagna AM*, Dallaire CO, Bennett EM, Chin ATM, Yeung ACY, Lamothe KA, Tomscha SA, and Cormier C. (2018) Undervalued and under pressure: a plea for greater attention toward regulating ecosystem services. Ecological Indicators, 94:23-32

Morgan JL, Gergel SE, Ankerson C, Tomscha SA, and Sutherland IJ (2017). Historical Aerial Photographs for Landscape Analysis (Gergel SE and Turner M eds in Learning Landscape Ecology 2nd edition). Springer. New York. Pp 21-40

Sutherland IJ, Bennett EB, and Gergel SE (2016) Recovery trends for multiple ecosystem services reveal non-linear responses and long-term tradeoffs from temperate forest harvesting. Forest Ecology and Management. 374: 61-70

Sutherland IJ, Gergel SE, and Bennett EB (2016). Seeing the forest for its multiple ecosystem services: indicators for cultural services in heterogeneous forests. Ecological Indicators. 71: 123-133

Tomscha S, Sutherland IJ, Renard D, Gergel S, Rhemtulla J, Bennett, E, Daniels L, Eddy I, Clark E. (2016) A guide to historical datasets for reconstructing ecosystem services over time. Bioscience. 66.9: 747-762.

*Denotes shared first authorship

Past Research Projects

Data Consultant at the Center for International Forestry Research, Bogor, Indonesia

Field coordinator for inventory of the UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest
Over an 8-month internship, I helped coordinate and lead the field component of a comprehensive forest inventory. I developed a field sampling design to support forest cover mapping, lidar modelling, and continuous forest inventory projects. I led 11 volunteers over a six months period to measure over 3,000 trees in 67 field plots. The data set created sets the basis for high resolution forest inventory and is used in a wide variety of teaching, research, and forest management applications. 

Long-term recovery of multiple ecosystem services following forest harvesting on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama

Undergraduate assistanceship at the Below-ground Ecology Lab at UBC

Undergrad directed studies project of the UBC Urban Tree Canopy