Invited Speakers

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



Dr. Lindsay K. Campbell

Lindsay K. Campbell is a research social scientist with the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station. She is based at the New York City Urban Field Station, which is a partnership between the Forest Service and the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation.  Her current research explores the dynamics of urban politics, natural resource stewardship, and sustainability policymaking.  She is joint PI on several long-term, interdisciplinary research projects.  These include the Stewardship Mapping and Assessment Project (STEW-MAP), which maps the social networks and spatial turf of civic, government, and private actors working on environmental stewardship in New York City—and a dozen other locations nationally and globally.  She helps lead the research of the Living Memorials Project, which examines the use and stewardship of open space post-September 11, received the 2007 EDRA/Places Award for Research, and continues longitudinally to look at community stewardship over time.  She is a co-PI of the TKF-foundation funded “Landscapes of Resilience” team studying open spaces and sacred spaces in Joplin, MO and New York City.  She jointly leads the Social Assessment of NYC Parks and Natural Areas, a partnership between US Forest Service, NYC Parks, and the Natural Areas Conservancy. She was a member of the NSF-funded ULTRA-EX team examining changes in land cover, ecosystem services, and stewardship in New York City’s urban forest.  She was also a member of the MillionTreesNYC Advisory Committee and Research and Evaluation Subcommittee.  She is the author of City of Forests, City of Farms: Sustainability Planning for New York City’s Nature, published by Cornell University Press.  In 2015, Dr. Campbell won the Northern Research Station Director’s Award recognizing her accomplishments as an Early Career Scientist. In addition to her research, Lindsay helps direct the Science of the Living City program for the Urban Field Station, including fellows, seminars, and artists in residence. Dr. Campbell holds a BA in Public Policy from Princeton University, a Masters in City Planning from MIT, and a PhD in Geography from Rutgers University.


Dr. 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. 


Brian French

Brian French founded Portland-based Arboriculture International LLC in 2013. He is a climbing ISA Certified Arborist and Qualified Tree Risk Assessor. Serving as coordinator for the Oregon Champion Tree Registry and the Chair of the Portland Heritage Tree Program, he focuses on the preservation of significant, old trees and their associated flora and fauna. As an Audubon Society of Portland volunteer, Brian facilitated various ongoing wildlife habitat projects including salmon habitat restoration, snag development, red tree vole surveys, and developing urban wildlife guidelines.


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.


Dr. Stephen Sheppard

Stephen Sheppard, PhD., ASLA, is a Professor in Forest Resources Management at the University of British Columbia, teaching in landscape and climate change planning, community engagement, and visualization. He has served as Director of UBC’s Bachelor of Urban Forestry program and directs the Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning (CALP), an interdisciplinary research group which works with communities on developing climate change and energy solutions. He has over 30 years experience in environmental assessment, aesthetics, landscape planning and public involvement. He has published four books, including Visualizing Climate Change from Earthscan/Routledge. His research interests include engaging citizens in low-carbon resilient communities, sea-level rise planning, energy effects of urban forests, and videogames as an educational tool on climate change. He leads UBC’s Research Cluster of Excellence on Cool Tools: Social Mobilization on Climate Change using Digital Tools.


Prof. Cheng Wang 

Prof. Cheng Wang is the Executive deputy director of the Urban Forest Research Centre of State Forestry and Grass Administration (UFRC) at Research Institute of Forestry Chinese Academy of Forestry (CAF-RIF). He is the national leader in urban forestry research and urban forest construction in China. He has a background (MSc) in silviculture and holds a PhD degree in landscape ecology. His main interests include urban forestry, urban forest ecosystem services and disservices (e.g. planted-caused pollution, human health benefits and air condition improvement), urban forest planning and management, and landscape ecology. He has hosted seven national key science and technology programs, won five national and provincial science and technology awards. Prof. Wang has published more than 100 publications. Prof. Wang has been very active at the science-policy interface and has led urban forestry planning and design in 60 cities in China.