Student Awards

It is the objective of the CFGA to promote the use of scientifically and technically sound genetic practices in forestry. What better way to foster and encourage this by sponsoring students to attend meetings? The aim is to provide students who have an interest in tree improvement, forest genetics, etc. an opportunity to attend a meeting so they may meet scientists and practitioners and be exposed to various aspects of this area of specialization. It is hoped that this experience will lead some of the students towards furthering their education in this area. Students enrolled in forestry at the seven Canadian universities with accredited forestry programs are eligible. It is the role of a university’s faculty or school to select a student. The organizing committee of each CFGA meeting is responsible for raising funds to cover transportation, accommodation, and registration costs for each student.

The Carl Heimburger Award of $1000 CDN is given to the student who presents the best oral presentation at a CFGA meeting.
The Gene Namkoong Award of $500 CDN is given to the student who presents the best poster at a CFGA meeting.

  • University of Northern British Columbia
  • University of British Columbia
  • University of Alberta
  • Lakehead University
  • University of New Brunswick
  • Université Laval
  • University of Moncton
  • Dr. Heimburger has been described by Fowler and Meagher in 2002* as the ‘‘father of forest genetics and tree improvement’’ in Canada. He was born in Russia in 1899, and studied forestry in Denmark, before coming to Canada in 1925.
  • He received degrees at University of Toronto and Cornell University before joining the Dominion Forest Service, at the Petawawa Forest Experiment Station near Ottawa in 1934, where he initiated breeding and studies on pine, spruce, poplar and maple.
  • He was one of five persons present at the First Conference of Forest Tree Breeding held in 1937 – the precursor to the CFGA, where he advocated for keeping careful records, and reported on the use of hormones to to root basswood cuttings.
  • Fowler, D.P., and Meagher, M.D. 2002. Carl C. Heimburger 1899-1990. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Canada, Series 7, Vol. 1. pp. 129-130. – as referenced in Richardson et al (2017).  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233523647_Poplar_research_in_Canada_-_A_historical_perspective_with_a_view_to_the_future
  • Gene Namkoong was born in New York where he received his bachelor and masters degrees at Syracuse, before obtaining his PhD in at N Carolina State U in in forestry and quantitative genetics in 1963. He subsequently worked for the US Forest Service from 1958 to 1993. He subsequently served as Head of the Forest Sciences Department at UBC’s Faculty of Forestry until 1999 – where he was instrumental in establishing the Centre for Forest Conservation Genetics.
  • Gene was recognized as the world’s leading authority in forest genetics and received prestigious Marcus Wallenberg prize in 1994. He published broadly in theoretical and empirical population and quantitative genetics, breeding theory and strategies, gene conservation, extension, and disease resistance – and ethics.
  • His last work “The Misunderstood Forest” was published posthumously in 2005, thanks to Alvin Yanchuk: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hfd/library/documents/bib108790.pdf

Five students were sponsored to attend the 2019 CFGA-ACGF meeting in Lac Delage, Quebec (left to right): Kiera Stewart-Shepherd (University of Alberta), Lyne Touchette (Université Laval), Rafael Candido Ribeirio (University of British Columbia), Alicja Muir (University of Northern British Columbia), Dreama Galbraith (University of New Brunswick). Not pictured, Brelynn Howard (Lakehead University, regrets).

Carl Heimburger and Gene Namkoong CFGA Award Winners

Award Winners

2021 Virtual CFGA-WFGA Symposium Award Winners

Additional awards were presented by CFGA, WFGA and Forest Genome BC. Thank you to our sponsors and attendees for supporting these additional students in this virtual format.

Award
Prize
Winner
Title
University / Affiliation
2021 WFGA Critchfield Award
Best Student Poster
$300 USD Kaylee Rosenberger Creating practical sampling guidelines for endangered  IUCN Red List Oak species through simulation Northern Illinois University/Morton Arboretum
2021 WFGA Critchfield Award
Runner-up Student Poster
$150 USD Aaron Onufrak Variation in Juglans nigra phytobiome driven by geographic and host genotypic variation has implications on Thousand Cankers Disease severity University of Tennessee
2021 WFGA Critchfield Award
Best Student Oral Presentation
$700 USD Francois Du Toit Use of Remote Sensing Technology for Phenotyping in Tree Improvement Programs in British Columbia, Canada University of British Columbia
2021 WFGA Critchfield Award
Runner-up Student Oral Presentation
$350 USD Eddie Lauer Broad-spectrum resistance genes in the co-evolved fusiform rust-Pinus taeda pathosystem North Carolina State University
2021 CFGA Gene Namkoong Award
Best Student Poster
$500 CDN Lorinda Bullington Above and belowground fungal symbionts alter tree defenses, with potential consequences on resistance to fungal pathogens and disease University of Montana/ MPG Ranch
2021 CFGA Gene Namkoong Award
Runner-up Student Poster
$250 CDN Bronwyn Moore Economic return of planting improved coastal Douglas-fir at four initial planting densities University of BC/Natural Resources Canada
2021 CFGA Carl Heimburger Award
Best Student Oral Presentation
$1000 CDN Susan Mcevoy Genomic characterization of two maples highlights genes involved in the stress response to acidic soils across seasons University of Connecticut
2021 CFGA Carl Heimburger Award
Runner-up Student Oral Presentation
$500 CDN Heather Dun Sudden larch death – variation in host response to infection University of Oxford
2021 Forest Genetics Postdoc Award
Best Poster
$500 CDN Sam Belton GeneNet: mapping the genetics of Ireland’s native forests in a European context National Botanic Gardens, Dublin, Ireland
2021 Forest Genetics Postdoc Award
Best Oral Presentation
$1000 CDN Antonio Castilla Genetic rescue by distant trees mitigates qualitative pollen limitation imposed by fine-scale spatial genetic structure Michigan State University
2021 Forest Genetics Postdoc Award
Runner-up Oral Presentation
$500 CDN Claire Depardieu Integrating dendroecology and genomics approaches to identify genes underlying drought adaptation in white spruce Laval University
2021 Forest Genetics Genome BC Award
Best Student Genomics Poster
$300 CDN Cynthia Webster Comparative Transcriptomic Analysis of Juvenile and Adult Leaf Morphologies in Conifers University of Connecticut

Previous Award Winners

Award
Prize
Winner
Title
University / Affiliation
2019 CFGA Carl Heimburger Award
Best Oral Presentation
$500 CDN Hughes La Vigne The DeLeaves Drone, A Device for Efficient Tree Canopy Sampling Université de Sherbrooke
2019 CFGA Gene Namkoong Award
Best Student Poster
$300 CDN Rafael Candido Ribeiro Drought Tolerance in Douglas-fir: Are Populations Locally Adapted? The University of British Columbia
2017 CFGA Carl Heimburger Award
Best Oral Presentation
$500 CDN Ian MacLachlan Selective Breeding for Growth in the Interior
Spruce Hybrid Zone Maintains Adaptation to Climate
University of British Columbia
2017 CFGA Gene Namkoong Award
Best Student Poster
$300 CDN Bianca Sacchi In situ Quantification of Blue Stain Fungi in Jack,
Lodgepole and Hybrid Pine
University of Alberta
2015 CFGA Carl Heimburger Award
Best Oral Presentation
$500 CDN Adriana Suarez-Gonzalez Evidence that allelic
introgression from Populus balsamifera (balsam poplar) underlies local adaptation in P. trichocarpa (black
cottonwood)
University of British Columbia
2015 CFGA Gene Namkoong Award
Best Student Poster
$300 CDN Juliana Senda Adjusting to Water Stress: Dehydrins Genes in White
Spruce
Université Laval
2013 CFGA Carl Heimburger Award
Best Oral Presentation
$500 CDN Adriana Suarez-Gonzalez Population genomics in Populus trichocarpa (black cottonwood) reveals a
candidate gene for local adaptation
University of British Columbia
2013 CFGA Gene Namkoong Award
Best Student Poster
$300 CDN Mebarek Lamara Coexpression network
analysis of candidate genes related to wood physical traits in white spruce
Laval University
2011 CFGA Carl Heimburger Award
Best Oral Presentation
$500 CDN Ashley Thomson Comparative phylogeography of Betula alleghaniensis, B. Lenta, and B. papyrifera in eastern North America:
influence of introgression, niche breadth, and glacial history
Concordia University
2011 CFGA Gene Namkoong Award
Best Student Poster
$300 CDN Patrick Lenz Radial variation of wood traits – pathways for their genetic interpretation Université Laval.
2008 CFGA Carl Heimburger Award
Best Oral Presentation
$500 CDN Karolyn R. Keir Beautiful, charismatic but lacking diversity: The story of Pacific Dogwood (Cornus nuttallii) as told through
microsatellite and chloroplast sequence data
University of British Columbia
2008 CFGA Gene Namkoong Award
Best Student Poster
$300 CDN Julie Gravel-Grenier Utilization of family genetic
variability of white spruce (Picea glauca) to improve rooting of plant cutting root systems
Université Laval
2006 CTIA Carl Heimburger Award
Best Oral Presentation
$500 CDN Marianela Ramirez Assessing genetic resistance of American beech to the beech scale insect University of New Brunswick
2006 CTIA Gene Namkoong Award
Best Student Poster
$300 CDN Erin Hamanishi The accumulation of anthocyanins in juvenile Pinus contorta dougl. ssp. latifolia seedlings: Are phenotypic
differences among provenances due to an adaptation to local environments?”
University of British Columbia