Simon Fraser University

Ken Lertzman

Professor and Hakai Professor
Forest Ecology
B.Sc. (Zoology, University of Manitoba)
M.Sc. (Zoology, University of British Columbia)
Ph.D. (Zoology, University of British Columbia)

Dr. Ken Lertzman is interested in a broad range of topics related to ecosystem dynamics, conservation, and management. His research has focused on how natural disturbance regimes and management interact to produce pattern and dynamics in forest stands and landscapes. Dr. Lertzman has an ongoing interest in how changing climate drives ecosystems and the landscapes and resources available to people who live in them—and how people respond to those changes. Increasingly Ken’s work focuses on trying to understand the complex dynamics and resilience of coupled social-ecological systems. This is being applied in his collaborative, multi-disciplinary work as part of the Hakai Research Network. The Hakai Network works in partnership with First Nations and others to conduct and apply research about ecosystem-based management and sustainability on the British Columbia Coast. Ken’s current research examines climate change impacts, adaptation, and mitigation, alternative silvicultural systems, analysis of forest light environments, ecological restoration, forest fire risk analysis, analysis of forest tenures and stewardship, and First Nations’ forestry and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Dr. Lertzman and his students work closely with researchers from other disciplines, as well as representatives of government agencies, First Nations, industries, and other non-governmental groups in applying their research to problems in ecosystem conservation, restoration, and management.

Representative recent publications:

  • Tutsch, M. R. Walker, K.P. Lertzman, A. Cooper, and W. Haider. In Press. Estimating the Consequences of Wildfire for Wildfire Risk Assessment. Canadian Journal of Forest Research.
  • Lertzman, K.P. 2009. The paradigm of management, management systems, and resource stewardship. Journal of Ethnobiology 29(2): 339–358
  • Lepofsky, D.S. and K.P. Lertzman. 2008. Documenting ancient plant management in the Northwest of North America. Botony 86:129-145.
  • Jordan, G.J., Fortin, M.-J., and Lertzman, K.P. 2008. Spatial pattern and persistence of historical fire boundaries in southern interior British Columbia. Environmental and Ecological Statistics 15:523-535.
  • Gavin D.G., D.J. Hallett, F.S. Hu, K.P. Lertzman, S.J. Prichard, K.J. Brown, J.A. Lynch, P. Bartlein, D.L. Peterson. 2007. Forest fire and climate change: Insights from sediment charcoal records. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 5:499-506.
  • Heyerdahl, E.K., K. Lertzman, S. Karpuk. 2007. Local-scale controls of a low-severity fire regime (1750-1950), southern British Columbia, Canada. Ecoscience 14:40-47
  • Gavin, D.G., F.S. Hu, K. Lertzman, and P. Corbett. 2006. Weak climatic control of stand-scale fire history during the late Holocene. Ecology 87:1722-1732
  • Lepofsky, D., K. Lertzman, D. Hallett, and R. Mathewes. 2005. Climate Change and Culture Change on the Southern Coast of British Columbia 2400-1200 B.P.: An Hypothesis. American Antiquity 70: 267-293.
  • Lepofsky, D., E. K. Heyerdahl, K. Lertzman, D. Schaepe, and B. Mierendorf. 2003. Historical meadow dynamics in southwest British Columbia: a multidisciplinary analysis. Conservation Ecology 7(3): 5.
  • Hallett, D., D. Lepofsky, R. Mathewes and K. Lertzman. 2003. 11,000 years of fire history and climate in the mountain hemlock rain-forests of southwestern British Columbia based on sedimentary charcoal. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 32(2): 292-312.
  • Gavin, D.G., Brubaker, L.B. and Lertzman, K.P. 2003. Holocene fire history of a coastal temperate rain forest based on soil charcoal radiocarbon dates. Ecology 84(1): 186-201.
  • Drever C.R. and K.P. Lertzman. 2003. Effects of a wide gradient of retained tree structure on understory light in coastal Douglas-fir forests. Can. J. For. Res. 33(1): 137-146
  • Dorner, B., K.P Lertzman, and J. Fall. 2002. Landscape pattern in topographically complex landscapes: issues and techniques for analysis. Landscape Ecology 17(8): 729-743
  • Lertzman, K.P., D.G. Gavin, D.J. Hallett, L.B. Brubaker, D. Lepofsky and R.W. Mathewes. 2002. Long-term fire regime from soil charcoal in coastal temperate rainforest. Conservation Ecology 6(2): 5.
  • Gavin, D.G., L.B. Brubaker and K.P. Lertzman. 2002. Holocene fire history of a coastal temperate rain forest based on soil charcoal radiocarbon dates. Ecology 84(1): 186-201.
  • Sandmann, H. and K. Lertzman. 2002. Combining large-scale aerial photography with gradient-directed transects to improve forest mapping and field sampling. Forest Science 19(3): 429-443.
  • Drever, C.R. and K.P. Lertzman. 2002. Effects of partial cutting on understory light. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 33(1): 137-146.
  • Drever, C.R. and K.P. Lertzman. 2001. Light-growth responses of coastal Douglas-fir and western red cedar saplings under different regimes of soil moisture and nutrients. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 31: 2124-2133.
  • Wong, C.M. and K.P. Lertzman. 2001. Errors in estimating tree age: Implications for studies of stand dynamics. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 31: 1262-1271.
  • Frazer, G., A.T. Trofymow, and K.P. Lertzman. 2000. The dynamics of canopy structure in chronosequences of coastal temperate rainforests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 30(2):239-256.
  • Sutherland, G. D., A. S. Harestad, K. Price, and K. P. Lertzman. 2000. Scaling of natal dispersal distances in terrestrial birds and mammals. Conservation Ecology 4(1): 16.

Dr. Lertzman is Co-Director of the Hakai Network for Coastal People, Ecosystems, and Management. He teaches Introduction to Forestry (REM 670), Research Approaches for REM Ph.D. Students (REM 802) and Forest Ecosystem Management (REM 471).