Jason Pither, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Biology, University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus
email: jason [dot] pither <at> ubc [dot] ca
Member of the Okanagan Institute for Biodiversity, Resilience, and Ecosystem Services
Member of UBC's Biodiversity Research Centre
Co-lead of UBC's Fostering Open Science @ UBC team
Center for Open Science: Ambassador
Associate Editor: Global Ecology & Biogeography
Associate Editor: Ecography
Board of Advisors: New Phytologist
We respectfully acknowledge that we live and work in the unceded and ancestral territory of the Syilx people.
Current Undergraduate Students
Jordan Katchen (research assistant) June 2021 -
(i) Quantifying the association between vascular plant species richness and dominance of ectomycorrhizal host plants in BC forests.
(ii) Quantifying adherence to open science practices in UBC Biology theses: a baseline assessment.
Current Graduate Students
Jef Vreys (M.Sc.) (co-supervised with Dr. Darcy Henderson, ECCC)
January 2023 -
Establishing and implementing an ecosystem integrity monitoring protocol for endangered antelope brush habitats in the Okanagan valley, British Columbia.
Sophia Kast (M.Sc.) September 2022 -
Shared compatibility among alpine plants and encroaching coniferous trees towards ectomycorrhizal fungi taxa: field tests of a-priori predictions.
María de la Paz Mañé Duarte (M.Sc.) September 2022 -
Developing a reproducible protocol for predicting co-compatibility of host plant taxa towards ectomycorrhizal fungi.
Brontë Shelton (Ph.D) (co-supervised with Dr. Miranda Hart)
September 2022 -
The effects of grazing disturbance on the composition and function of soil microbial communities in British Columbia’s grasslands
Hannah Pilat (M.Sc.) January 2022 -
Predicting the distribution of the culturally significant food plant, skwenkwínem (western spring beauty, Claytonia lanceolata), in Skeetchestn territory
Liam Johnson (M.Sc.) September 2020 -
Landscape connectivity from the perspective of obligate symbionts
Dawn Machin (M.Sc.) September 2019 -
Weaving Indigenous knowledge and wester science to understand the long-term history of salmon-bearing streams in the Okanagan Valley of B.C.
Corrina Thomsen (Ph.D.) NSERC CGS-D and Killam Scholar, September 2018 -
The biogeography of mutualisms between plants and mycorrhizal fungi
Dr. Fabio Mologni. Sept. 2022 -
(co-advised by Dr. Chandra Moffat, AAFC Summerland)
A systematic map for assessing the cumulative impacts of invasive species on riparian and foreshore ecosystems in British Columbia.
Personal website: https://fabiomologni.owlstown.net/
Former Postdocs, Graduate students, & Honours students
Dr. Amanda Liczner. BRAES Postdoctoral Fellow. Oct. 2020 - December 2021
(co-advised by Drs. Lael Parrott and Adam Ford)
Synthesizing progress in and challenges to the measurement and conservation of ecological connectivity.
Mac Repovs (M.Sc.) Sept. 2018 - Dec. 2020
Native bee diversity within urban gardens in Kelowna, B.C..
Where now: Consulting, Vancouver, BC.
Bruno Carturan (Ph.D.) May 2014 - Nov. 2020
(co-advised with Dr. Lael Parrott)
Exploring the relationship between functional diversity and resilience in coral reef communities with an agent-based model.
Where now: postdoc
Eamon Riordan-Short (undergrad) May 2019 - Dec. 2020
Opportunities to strengthen confidence in connectivity models.
Where now: consulting in Alberta
Faye Manning (M.Sc.) September 2017 - August 2019
An experimental assessment of potential freshwater diatom dispersal via waterfowl feathers.
(Winner of "Best Presentation" award at CSEE 2019!)
Where now: Field technician, Hakai Institute.
Nick Tochor (undergrad) May 2018 - Dec. 2019
Dark diversity in freshwater diatom communities
Shedding light on the understory within forest mycorrhizal research
Where now: Lab technician UBC Vancouver
Bethany Arndt (Honours) Sept. 2017 - April 2018. (co-advised with Dr. Adam Ford)
The changing geography of plant resources for large herbivores in western Canada.
Where now: FLNROD, Government of BC
Carmen Chelick (M.Sc.) December 2018
Functional and phylogenetic diversity within the Okanagan basin, British Columbia.
Where now: Founder of Biodigenous Consulting Ltd. in Kelowna, B.C..
Brian Muselle (M.Sc.) (Co-advised with Dr. Howard Thistlewood, AAFC Summerland) April 2019
Agent-based models of the impending invasion of the apple maggot in the Okanagan Valley
Where now: Inspector at Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Brittany Altwasser (M.Sc) May 2017
Thesis title: "Deriving a qualitative, continental-scale model of the species richness of tree-associated ectomycorrhizal fungi in Canada and the USA"
Taylor Weixl (Honours Ecology & Evolutionary Biology) April 2016
Thesis title: "Evaluating moderators of calibration model precision in diatom-based paleolimnological studies".
Roxanne Snook (M.Sc) (co-advisor) August 2015
Thesis title: "Modelling habitat for the Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussel (Gonidea angulata) in Okanagan Lake, BC
Where now: Environmental consultant with Pearson Ecological Inc., lower mainland BC.
Grace Watts (Honours Biology, co-advised with Dr. Miranda Hart) April 2015
Thesis title: "The occurrence and viability of fungal spores at depth within peat".
Janice Brahney, (Postdoc) February 2015 - April 2015
Where now: Assistant Professor, Utah State University
Liana Collette (M.Sc.) August 2014.
Thesis title: "An ecological assessment of Russian olive in western Canada: predicted distribution across its invaded range and insect associations in southern BC"
Where now: Research coordinator for Feedlot Health Management Services, Calgary AB
David Ensing (M.Sc.) August 2013.
Thesis title: "The influence of grazing on within-community taxonomic and phylogenetic heterogeneity in alpine meadow plant communities"
Where now: Research Scientist (Vegetation ecology), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland BC.
Chandra Moffat (M.Sc.) August 2012.
Thesis title: "Cryptic host-associated and frequency-dependent patterns of host species selection of a candidate weed biocontrol agent in its native range"
Where now: Research Scientist (Entomology/Biological Control), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Summerland, BC
Elaine Bambrick (M.Sc.) April 2013.
Thesis title: "Stochastic and deterministic assembly within forest plant communities of British Columbia"
Where now: Forest practitioner, Mackenzie, BC. BC Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources Operations.
Laura Super (M.Sc.) May 2011.
Thesis title: "The influence of landscape-scale spatial environmental structure on the predictability of local community composition"
Where now: Ph.D. student with Robert Guy at UBC Forestry
Josephine Symonds (M.Sc.) April 2011.
Thesis title: "Patterns and ecological consequences of exotic plant invasion in Canada's endangered antelope-brush ecosystem"
Where now: Senior Ecosystems Biologist (Penticton), BC Ministry of Water, Land, and Resource Stewardship
Former undergraduate research assistants & work study students