Burton, Dr. Phil

BSc, MS, PhD, RPBio Professor, Ecosystem Science and Management Northwest Regional Chair
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  • Northwest


Philip J. Burton is a botanist and plant ecologist who has been studying ecosystem dynamics for more than 35 years. With applications in ecological restoration and sustainable forestry, he has published more than 70 refereed articles and book chapters, as well as the co-authored book "Salvage Logging and its Ecological Consequences" (2008, Island Press) and the edited book "Towards Sustainable Management of the Boreal Forest" (2003, NRC Research Press). Current research addresses the adaptation of forests and forestry to a changing climate, and the recovery of forests after events such as wildfire, insect outbreaks, and mining. As Chair of UNBC’s Northwest Region, Phil oversees the delivery of professional programs in Terrace and other northwestern campuses, and is promoting new and evolving regional programs in Science and in First Nations Studies. Working with Indigenous and Settler communities in the Northwest, he matches UNBC programs to post-secondary educational needs in this unique and spectacular part of the world.

Research and Expertise

Dr. Burton is interested in disturbance ecology, plant competition, forest regeneration, stand development and succession, silvicultural systems, forest restoration, old-growth dynamics, stand edge effects, and the ecology of understory shrubs. His current work explores the disturbance ecology of northern B.C. and the dynamics of stands attacked by the mountain pine beetle.