Dr. Cindy Prescott

Could forestry be regenerative?

Recognition of the severe environmental degradation caused by industrial agricultural practices has provoked a movement for regenerative agriculture. The primary focus of regenerative agriculture is soil health, and it promotes practices that boost levels of soil organic matter and foster a diverse and active soil biota. Could forest management be regenerative? The current plethora of tree-planting and forest landscape restoration programs aiming to reverse land degradation provide a strong impetus to consider which forest management practices may be particularly effective at restoring soil health. In this talk I will discuss the three main pathways through which trees influence the soil biota and the formation of soil organic matter, and suggest forest management practices that could assist in regenerating healthy soils.

Dr. Prescott is Professor of Forest Ecology in Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia. Her area of ‚Äč‚Äčexpertise includes nutrient cycling, decomposition, forest soils, forest nutrition, soil and forest restoration. She has more than 150 refereed papers on topics related to forest nutrition and nutrient cycling, including: litter decomposition, influences of tree species on soils, effects of forestry practices on soil processes, linking soil organisms and nutrient cycling processes, and restoration of soils and forests.

She was editor of Canadian Journal of Forest Research from 2000 to 2008 and since 2012 she is editor of Forest Ecology and Management.

She is the recipient of several awards including the Canadian Forestry Scientific Achievement Award (2005) and a Honourary Doctorate from the University of Helsinki (2014). She was also appointed honourary professor at the Jiangxi Agricultural University (2019).

She teaches with passion Soil Processes, Forest Ecology, Agroforestry, Ecological Restoration.