Leslie Lavkulich

Les Lavkulich

Program Director, Global Resource Systems,

Academic Director, Master of Land and Water Systems,

Professor Emeritus



MacMillan 127, 2357 Main Mall

Cornell University, PhD

University of Alberta, MSc

University of Alberta, BSc, (Distinction);

Application of science to human welfare and policy development. Major focus on the conservation of resources and the rural landscape, mitigation of human impacts on the physical environment, mine reclamation, water resource management, sustainable communities, evaluation of management/decisions strategies for resource management, adaptation to change (climate, economic, cultural ), soil and environmental chemistry, sustainability of agriculture/forestry, adaptive management, carbon dynamics and bridging natural science and policy, communication in science.

Research Foci:

  1. Characterization, Properties and Genesis of Major Soils of B.C.,
  2. Mineral Weathering and Surface Characterization
  3. Role of Xenobiotics in Aquatic Systems; Transport and Mitigation,
  4. Land-use Dynamics and the Rural-urban Landscape, and
  5. Frameworks for Science-informed Policy

Professional Activities:

Soil processes, soil geochemistry, pedology and resource activities; land use hydrology ; reclamation of disturbed sites; energy alternatives; resource conservation, natural science information/communication and policy; resource communities in transition.

Simard, Suzanne W., Jean W. Roach, Camille E. Defrenne, Brian Pickles, Eva N. Snyder, Alyssa Robinson, Les M.. Lavkulich. 2020. Harvest intensity effects on carbon stocks and biodiversity are dependent on regional climate in Douglas-fir forests of British Columbia. Front. For. Glob. Change | doi: 10.3389/ffgc.2020.00088

Juang, Lih Jiin, Nima Mazinani, Stefanie K. Novakowski, Emily N. P. Prowse, Martin Haulena, David Gailani, Leslie M. Lavkulich and Christian J. Kastrup. 2020. Coagulation factor XII contributes to hemostasis when activated by soil in wounds. Blood Adv . 4 (8): 1737–1745.

Modi, Dixi, Suzanne Simard, Jean Bérubé, Les Lavkulich, Richard Hamelin, Sue J Grayston. 2020. Long-term effects of stump removal and tree species composition on the diversity and structure of soil fungal communities. FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Volume 96, Issue 5.

Jie Ying, Huang, T.A. Black, P. Jassal, and L.M. Lavkulich. 2017. Modelling rainfall interception by urban trees. Canadian Water Resources Journal. 42: 336–348.

Wilson, Julie, E., Junsung Zhang, Cyprien Lomas, Les M. Lavkulich and Rickey Y. Yada. 2016. Instructor’s perceptions on learning technologies in the multidisciplinary Faculty of Land and Food Systems at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Intern. J. Information Educ. Techn. 7:772-782.

Thomas, E.C. and Les M. Lavkulich. 2015. Anthropogenic effects on metal content in urban soil from different parent materials and geography locations: A Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada study. Soil Science 180:193-197.

Roussin, Rachael, Julie E. Wilson, Gregory Utzig and Les M. Lavkulich. 2015. Assessing the potential for pocket agriculture in mountainous regions: A case study in West Kootenay, British Columbia, Canada . Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development ISSN: 2152-0801 online www.AgDevJournal.com

Schreier, Hans and Les Lavkulich. 2015. Cumulative effects of the transport of asbestos-rich serpentine sediments in the trans-boundary Sumas Watershed in Washington State and British Columbia. C, Water Res. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07011784.2015.1052495

Thomas, E. C. and L. M. (Les) Lavkulich. 2015. Community considerations for quinoa production in the urban environment. Can. J. Plant Sci. 95: 397-404. doi:10.4141/CJPS-2014-228.

UBC, Killiam Teaching Award

UBC, Richards Service Award

Elected Fellow, Canadian Society Soil Science

UBC, Margaret Fulton Award

Les Lavkulich Scholarship (RMES)

Dr Leslie (Les) Lavkulich was born and raised on a farm in southern Alberta. He studied soil science at the University of Alberta where he received a BSc in 1961 and an MSc in 1963. Further graduate work at Cornell University, New York, led to the award of a PhD in 1967.

Dr Lavkulich joined the Department of Soil Science as an Assistant Professor in 1966. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1971 and to Professor in 1975. In 1980 Dr Lavkulich was appointed Head of the Department of Soil Science on the retirement of Dr Rowles in 1980.

In 1979 he established the interdisciplinary graduate program Resource Management Science in the Faculty of Graduate Studies and served as the founding chair. The program was one of the first interdisciplinary graduate programs that offered the M.A. and M.Sc. as well as the Ph.D. congruent with the approach that natural resource management required the integration of the natural and social sciences. In establishing the original program, his goal was to bridge disciplines and integrate approaches to address research resources management and environmental concerns. Later, in 1991, Dr. Lavkulich, in collaboration with colleagues focused on fisheries science, created the UBC Fisheries Centre amd he served as its founding Director until 1994. The graduate program in the new Fisheries Centre was initially available to students through the Resource Management Science program. In 1994-95 the Resource Management Science graduate program, following UBC Senate approval, became the Institute for Resource Management and Environmental Studies (RMES) with Dr. Lavkulich as the founding Director. The new Institute was established to reflect the academic success and merits of the integration of the natural and social sciences in graduate education and research. The Institute major focused on water and associated resources and served as the administrative home for the RMES graduate program. A number of research activities became integrated into theRMES program, including the Forest Economics and Policy Analysis unit. The long standing relationship with the Westwater Research Centre was formalized with Westwater’s amalgamation into the Institute. In 2002, the Sustainable Development Research Institute was incorporated into the Institute and the Institutre was renamed the Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability. In 2004, Dr. Lavkulich retired as Professor Emeritus.

An enthusiastic teacher, Dr Lavkulich has taught courses on Introductory Soil Science, a soils course for students from other disciplines; Identification, Classification and Geography of Soils; Soil Surveying; Soil Genesis and Classification; and Colloidal Properties in Soils. In 1994 he won the University Teaching Award for excellence in teaching in the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences.

His research has focused on soil resources, soil and environmental chemistry, mine reclamation and maintenance of environmental services as well as perspectives on resources and environment. His research projects have covered sustainable agricultural systems, land use hydrology, mining and the environment and, in collaboration with other IRES faculty members, land-water interactions and uncertainty in natural science and policy development.

Dr Lavkulich has served as President of the Canadian Society of Soil Science and Chairman of the BC Land Resources Steering Committee, among other professional activities.

In 2012, Les received the Jim Richards Service Award for Faculty, in recognition of his years of dedication and enegry within the Soil Science department.