Invited Speakers

The IUFC Programme Committee is pleased to announce the following Invited Speakers who will be presenting at the Congress:



Kelsey Copes-Gerbitz 


Kelsey Copes-Gerbitz is a PhD student in the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences at the University of British Columbia, where she studies the historical role of fire in an ecological and cultural context. Kelsey uses an interdisciplinary, mixed-methods approach to explore changes in forest landscapes through time and the natural and anthropogenic drivers of that change. Her work centers on a collaborative approach that incorporates community engagement with Indigenous Elders and wildfire policy experts, and forest history sampling through dendrochronology (tree-ring dating). This approach provides an important foundation for supporting community resilience to wildfire through a better understanding of the historical importance of fire in a multi-value Community Forest setting. 

Dr. Christian Messier

Christian Messier is professor of Forest Ecology and Urban Forestry and scientific director at ISFORT at the University of Quebec, in Canada (UQO and UQAM). He obtained his PhD from the University of British Columbia (UBC) in 1991 and then went to the University of Helsinki in Finland for a Post-doctoral training. He started his professorship at UQAM in 1992. His research interests are wide, ranging from the basic understanding of tree growth and death, forest community and ecosystem functioning to decision-making tools to better manage and conserve natural and urban forests. In 2005, he started an ambitious research project to manage a large forest unit (850 000 ha) based on the principle of functional zoning (TRIAD) in central Quebec, Canada. He has established a world-wide network of diversity experimental tree plantation (IDENT) to study the relationships between tree diversity and ecosystem functioning with sites in Canada, USA, Germany and Italy. His research has brought him to study various biomes across the world. He has published more than 250 referee journal papers and recently co-edited a book for the general public on basic ecological concept that can be observed in the city titled “Nature all around us”. He is also co-author of a book titled « a critique of silviculture: managing for complexity » and a more recent one titled “Managing forests as complex adaptive systems: building resilience to the challenge of global change”. He holds an industrial-NSERC research Chair on tree growth since 2010 and a Canada Research Chair on the resilience of managed forest to global change since 2017. He received a Humboldt research award from Germany in 2016.