Taiga Forest Health

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Dr. Richard Hamelin (Project Leader)



Faculty of Forestry
Forest Sciences Centre
University of British Columbia
2424 Main Mall,
Vancouver, BC
V6T 1Z4

Dr. Richard Hamelin is a Professor in the department of Forest Sciences at the University of British Columbia and a senior scientist at Natural Resources Canada. His main research interest is in forest health genomics. He has been co-investigator or leader of several large-scale genomics projects funded by Genome Canada, Genome BC, Genome Alberta, the Ontario Genomics Institute, and NSERC, including the Barcode of Life Network, Tria, Popcan and GREAT. His main research focus is in forest pathology, fungal genomics and population genetics of tree pathogens. He has developed genetic and genomic resources and concepts to advance knowledge of forest disease epidemiology. Dr. Hamelin’s work has involved the development of understanding of source and patterns of epidemics, host specificity, recombination,hybridization and infection and colonization patterns in native and invasive forest pathogens. These approaches are used to characterize genes involved in pathogenicity and host pathogen recognition. The information derived from these results can then be integrated into developing diagnostic and monitoring tools for forest diseases.

Dr. Hamelin has been involved in a management capacity on the Barcode of Life project (the largest biodiversity genomics initiative ever undertaken; the Tria Project, the Defence Research and Development Canada Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear and Explosives Research and Technology Initiative (CRTI) and the Biocontrol Network. He holds a US Patent (#5792611 ) for a set of Root rot species specific PCR probes.

Role in the project

As the Project Leader, Dr. Hamelin participates in all aspects of the project. In particular, he oversees the activities on pathogen genome sequencing and comparisons, and re-sequencing and mapping of pathogen routes of introduction, and translating these results into diagnostic tools to monitor and detect forest pathogens.