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Colin Mahony

Name: Colin Mahony                      Degree:  PhD Candidate

Colin Mahoney

I am an MSc student in the Faculty of Forestry at UBC. I am a Registered Professional Forester and have worked for the past ten years as a consultant in ecology, silviculture, and forest policy. Whenever I get the chance, I explore British Columbia’s incredible coast in boats, kayaks, and diving gear. My career goal is to help our society to continue to benefit from our forests by understanding and adapting to the dynamics of our forest ecosystems. I think that the central challenge of forestry today is to adapt our practices to unstable ecosystems in a changing climate. My research at UBC will focus incorporating a dynamic understanding of climate into the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification system, which has been the basis for ecological knowledge in BC since the 1980s. During my TerreWEB fellowship, I aim to learn a variety of communication methods to bridge the research and practitioner communities and facilitate leadership and advocacy on climate change issues.  I believe that field ecology practitioners such as foresters and professional biologists are important witnesses of climate change for the rest of society. Despite the importance of academic research to understanding the big picture on climate change, field practitioners are best able to identify the specific manifestations of climate change due to their exposure to individual ecosystems over many years. This detailed ecological knowledge also makes field practitioners essential partners in designing climate change adaptation strategies.

Thesis Topic: Incorporating interannual climatic variability into ecosystem climate envelope models used for climate change adaptation.

Supervisor: Dr. Sally N.Aitken


Refereed Journal Articles, Submitted

  • Lee-Yaw, J.A, H.M. Kharouba, C. Mahony, M. Bontrager, A.M. Csergő, A.M.E. Noreen, R. Schuster, Q. Li, and A.L. Angert. Submitted. A synthesis of transplant experiments and ecological niche models suggests that range limits are often niche limits. Ecological Letters. Submitted August 20th, 2015.
  • Hotte, N., C. Mahony, and H. Nelson. Unpublished. Using cost-benefit analysis to analyze public investment in natural resources management under climate change: an example in forestry.  Global Environmental Change. Submitted July 20, 2015.
  • Nelson, H., T.B. Williamson, C. Macauley, and C. Mahony. Unpublished. Assessing the potential for forest management practitioner participation in climate change adaptation. Forest Ecology and Management. Submitted June 11, 2015.

Conferences Presentations and Posters

  • Mahony, C. 2015. Susceptibility to novel climates: Trajectories of climate change beyond North Americas’ climatic boundaries. Poster presentation at the International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses. Vancouver, BC. April 10-11, 2015.
  • Mahony, C. 2013. Climate change and the future of the Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification. Panel presentation. Southern Interior Silviculture Committee Spring Conference. Kamloops, BC. March 3, 2013.


  • Mahony, C. 2015 Forest Climates. Webpage abour climatic variation responsible for British Columbia http://colinmahony.wix.com/forestclimates 
  • Mahony, C. 2014. Cost-Benefit Analysis of Assisted Migration Using Climate-Based Seed Transfer. In Nelson, H. and N. Hotte (Eds.), Economic Instruments for Adaptation to Climate Change. Report to Natural Resources Canada.
  • Mackillop, D., W. MacKenzie, and Mahony, C. 2014. Leveraging BEC for Climate Change Adaptation. BC Forest Professional Magazine. November/December  2014.
  • Mahony, C. 2013. Adapting BEC to a changing climate. Branchlines. Volume 24#4 Winter 2013.
  • Mahony, C. 2013. Attitudes towards climate change adaptation in BC’s forestry profession: personal reflections on the Spring 2013 ABCFP Climate Change Survey. BC Forest Professional, Nov/Dec 2013.
  • Mahony, C. 2013. Analysis of the 2013 ABCFP Climate Change Survey. Volunteer Report for the Association of BC Forest Professionals, Climate Change Task Force. May 20th, 2013.


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