Dean Rickey Yada

Dean Rickey Yada

We are a Faculty of superheroes. 

If you think about it, the goal of any good superhero is to save the world – which is exactly what our faculty members, staff and students set out to do every day by addressing global issues surrounding health and sustainable land and food systems.

And there is much that needs to be saved. All living things depend on the sustainability of the earth’s resources, and learning how to protect and better manage those limited resources is crucial to our survival. Critical environmental issues like water pollution, food shortages and rising temperatures could have a catastrophic effect on our ability to meet basic human needs in the near future.

Here’s the good news: experts in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems are working on solutions to many of these problems. Our researchers are studying everything from climate change and storm water management to the relationship between food, nutrition, diet and health. The research discoveries being made here have the potential to reach across borders for world-wide applications.

We’re also sharing what we’ve learned with the next generation of scientists – our students.  They come to us with a strong sense of global responsibility, passionate about creating positive and lasting change. We believe that by providing them with the opportunity to learn outside the traditional classroom – whether it’s through an internship in their chosen field, taking part in a community-based experiential learning project or studying overseas – we can enhance their education and help them develop the skills they need to make their mark.

I can personally attest to the quality of education that our students receive, having once been a student here myself. To be able to return as Dean is particularly rewarding for me and I’m looking forward to working together and helping to shape the future of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

Dr. Rickey Y. Yada, Dean
Faculty of Land and Food Systems


Grounded in science, the Faculty is a leader in integrated research and education that addresses global issues surrounding health and sustainable land and food systems.

Mission Statement

The UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems uses student-centered learning to educate new generations of scientists equipped to solve the most fundamental issues faced by society — those focused around human health, a sustainable food supply and the responsible use of finite land and water resources. To that end, Faculty initiatives foster and support: research excellence, innovative active learning environments, strong community connections, and global and local collaborations.

Key Issues

Through our research, academic programs, and community engagement, the Faculty of Land and Food Systems addresses a number of topical concerns, and seeks to develop applied, systems-based solutions in the following key areas:

The Global Context

Across the globe, we have seen:

  1. increasing demand for safe, nutritious and adequate food as a consequence of increasing population, changing demographics and increasing incomes
  2. increasing recognition of global nutrition problems, including problems of insufficient, excess and imbalanced intake
  3. increasing demand for non-food agricultural products – biofuels, fibre, phytopharmaceuticals
  4. yield growth rates are not keeping pace with these demands
  5. increasing consumer expectations that food production practices are sustainable from environmental, economic and societal perspectives
  6. increasing recognition of, and concern with, the potential contributions of molecular/genomic sciences to food production and quality
  7. seafood is the most highly traded food internationally; increasing demand, sustainability and environmental issues for both capture fisheries and aquaculture

In Canada

Here in Canada, we see:

  1. emerging interest in ―proactive health vs. disease management
  2. emerging interest in ―food security with consequences for land and water use issues
  3. emerging interest in the ―ethics of food production, including animal welfare
  4. growing urban/rural interfaces – environment issues, water management issues
  5. growing use of GMOs and their prevalence in our food system

Associate Deans

  • David Kitts, Associate Dean, Research
  • Gwen Chapman, Associate Dean, Academic
  • Marina von Keyserlingk, Associate Dean, Graduate Studies
  • Dan Weary, Associate Dean, Graduate Studies

Assistant Deans

  • Cyprien Lomas, Assistant Dean, Learning Technologies
  • Tracy London, Assistant Dean, Development and Alumni Engagement

Program Directors

  • David Fraser, Program Director, Applied Biology (B.Sc.)
  • Zhaoming Xu, Program Director, Food, Nutrition and Health (B.Sc.)
  • Brent Skura, Program Director, Global Resource Systems (B.Sc.)
  • George Kennedy, Academic Director, Master of Food and Resource Economics (MFRE)
  • Jerzy Zawistowski, Program Coordinator, Master of Food Science (MFS)
  • Les Lavkulich, Program Director, Master of Land and Water Systems (MLWS)

No matter what area of the world you call home, it’s hard to ignore the impact our actions have had on the earth. Every day, we face issues that threaten our survival – food security, water shortages and climate change, to name just a few.

In the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, we’re not just talking about these issues — we are doing something about them. Our award-winning scientists are conducting research surrounding health and sustainable land and food systems, important research that has a global reach. What we are discovering here can be applied around the world. Whether it’s making food products safer to consume, improving the lives of the animals who share our planet, or getting fresh, locally grown produce to hospital patients, we are finding practical solutions to global problems.

Learn more about the early years of the Faculty by visit our Faculty History section.

Dean: Rickey Y. Yada

Associate Dean, Academic: Gwen Chapman

Associate Dean, Research: David Kitts

Associate Dean, Graduate Studies: Marina von Keyserlingk & Daniel Weary

Students (as of 2013)

  • ~1400 undergraduate students
  • ~160 graduate students

Faculty and Staff

  • 42 Faculty
  • 91 Staff

Alumni Base

  • More than 6500 alumni all across the world
  • Vernon Brink, well known conservationist who received the Order of Canada, the Order of BC and the Lieutenant-Governor’s Conservation Award
  • Wendy Holm, Award-Winning Economist/Sustainability Expert
  • Arthur Laing, Canadian Politician, Arthur Laing bridge named in his honour
  • Tong Louie, Chairman and CEO of H.Y. Louie Co. and London Drugs, Vice-Chairman of IGA Canada