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Victor J Lieffers


Agricultural Life and Environmental Sciences

Renewable Resources

About Me

Job/Research Area: Silviculture and forest biology


  • Forest Ecology and Management - Certificate of Reviewing Excellence (2014)
  • Canadian Institute of Forestry Tree of Life Award (2010)
  • Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences - Teacher of the Year (2007, 2006, 2001)
  • International Union of Forestry Research Organizations Scientific Achievement Award (2005)
  • Ed and Peggy Tyrchniewicz Award for Innovation in Teaching, awarded to the Introductory Forestry Field School Team. (2002)
  • Killam Annual Professor (1999)
  • Canadian Institute of Forestry Scientific Achievement Award (1993)


Major Responsibilities/Research Interests: My goal is to understand the dynamics of boreal and mixedwood forests and to use this information to improve forest management. Topics relate to tree recruitment, competitive relations and ecophysiology of trees, shrubs and herbs. Adaptations to cold soils, photosynthesis in low light, light transmission through mixed canopies, root growth, natural reproduction of spruce and aspen, and development of regeneration standards for public lands are some of my recent areas of research. My students, collaborators and I are also examining factors controlling crown development in northern conifers. Wind results in sway of tree crowns and in strong winds these crowns collide violently. This results in breakage of branches and twigs, especially during cold conditions. The resulting loss in leaf area and crown cover is a factor in forest decline. We are also working on the influence of stem density on the hydraulic conductivity of lodgepole pine stands and factors in the decline of aspen stands.