Terrestrial Research on Ecosystems & World-wide Education & Broadcast || An Innovative Graduate Training Program

TerreWEB Seminar: Matthew Zustovic (TerreWEB Scholar)

March 9, 2015

Matthew Zustovic: TerreWEB Scholar Research

 Thursday, March 12th

 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm

 Room MCML 258

 Everyone welcome!


There is concern about the long term productivity of forests in British Columbia. Interior Douglas-fir, an economically valuable conifer tree, has had little regeneration success in recent years as high summer temperatures can cause fatal drought stress to new recruits and low winter temperatures can cause frost damage to roots. Seeds of Interior Douglas-fir are able to establish after natural and man-made disturbances where resources such as light and water become more available, but the size of these disturbances, which affects the abundance of resources for growth, may determine the survival of the seedling. I planted Interior Douglas-fir seed in different sized natural and man-made gaps within the IDF biogeoclimatic zone near Kamloops, BC, Canada.  Above ground canopy gap factors such as light and temperature were monitored for 2 years until the seedlings were destructively harvested and measured for above ground biomass as well as below ground factors such as nutrient concentrations, drought stress, and access to mycorrhizal networks. I chose to create a board game illustrating the symbiosis between trees and fungus. It is aimed to teach young adults about the functions of mycorrhiza and the importance of nutrient use.


Matthew Zustovic has diploma in theatre as well as a BSc in natural resource conservation science. He is finishing his masters in Forest Sciences at the University of British Columbia. After his TerreWEB exchange to Spain last year, Matt has been eager to continue working with the Spanish language and in dry ecosystems. He plans to present this work in Mexico in June as well as explore the West coast of North America on a 3 month bike tour. He has a website dedicated to his work on his thesis (www.mattzustovic.com) and a blog about his travel experience (www.mattzustovic.blogspot.com). Matt would like to continue exploring different avenues of science communication as well as collaborations with disciplines outside of the scientific realm including arts and entertainment.

The Spring Seminar Series Schedule can be found here.

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