Dr. Barbara Hawkins

Dr. Barbara Hawkins
Centre for Forest Biology, Biology

BScF (UBC), PhD (Canterbury)



  • stress tolerance of trees

My research interests are in the field of tree physiology. I am particularly interested in how temperate and boreal trees adapt and acclimate to the stresses of low temperature and low levels of available nitrogen. To distinguish between adaptation and acclimation, I explore the interaction of genetic and environmental components of tree response to nutrient stress and cold stress. I study the association of trees with ectomycorrhizae and how ectomycorrhizal diversity allows trees to access various pools of nutrients in forest soils.

Recent projects

  • Studies of net fluxes of ammonium, nitrate and protons along the length of conifer seedling roots; and how these fluxes are affected by species, genotype, nutrient status of the plant, and pH and nutrient concentration of the root medium.
  • Co-adaptation of conifers and their mycorrhizal partners to soil nutrients
  • Assessment of the phenology and cold hardiness of shoots and roots of yellow cypress seedlings from the provincial tree improvement program.

Research group

Lise Nehring (MSc), Dr. Kennedy Boateng (Research Associate), Samantha Robbins (Research Technician), Frida Vick (Undergrad)


Lerstrup-Pedersen, E., Pedersen, O., De Luca, S., Hawkins, BJ. (2019). Implications of an exceptional autumn bud flush on subsequent cold tolerance of Garry oak (Quercus garryana Douglas ex Hook). Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 49: 942-948. DOI: 10.1139/cjfr-2018-0394

Hawkins, BJ. (2018). A Tribute: Robert John van den Driessche, Tree Physiologist, 1933–2018. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 48: v-vii. doi: 10.1139/cjfr-2018-0351.  

Kranabetter, JM, Harman-Denhoed, R and Hawkins, BJ. (2018) Saprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal fungal sporocarp stoichiometry (C:N:P) across temperate rainforests as evidence of shared nutrient constraints among symbionts. New Phytologist. dos: 10.1111/nph.15380. 11 p

Lerstrup-Pedersen E, Hawkins BJ (2018) Late autumn bud burst in Garry oak (Quercus garryana Douglas ex Hook) affects subsequent cold tolerance and deacclimation. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. Submitted

Hawkins BJ, May E, Robbins S (2018) Nitrate and ammonium uptake in twenty-one common moss species from Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Botany doi: 10.1139/cjb-2017-0154

Hawkins BJ, Kranabetter M (2017) Quantifying inorganic nitrogen uptake capacity among ectomycorrhizal fungal species using MIFE microelectrode ion flux measurements: theory and applications. Botany 95(10): 963-969

Arora V, Peng Y, Kurz WA, Fyfe JC, Hawkins BJ, Werner AT. (2016)  Potential near-future carbon uptake overcomes losses from a large insect outbreak in British Columbia, Canada. Geophysical Research Letters 43: 2590–2598.

Kranabetter J, Hawkins BJ, Jones M, Robbins S, Dyer T, Li T. (2015) Species turnover (β diversity) in ectomycorrhizal fungi linked to NH4+ uptake capacity. Molec. Ecol. doi: 10.1111/mec.13435

Hawkins BJ, Jones MD, Kranabetter JM. (2015)  Ectomycorrhizae and tree seedling nitrogen nutrition in forest restoration. New Forests PART OF AN INVITED ISSUE ON FOREST RESTORATION. DOI 10.1007/s11056-015-9488-2

Boczulak S, Roy R, Maynard D, Hawkins BJ. (2015).  Long- and short-term temperature differences affect organic and inorganic nitrogen availability in forest soils. Can. J. Soil Sci. 95: 77-86.

von Wittgenstein NJJB, Cuong HL, Hawkins BJ, Ehlting J. (2014) Evolutionary classification of ammonium, nitrate and peptide transporters in land plants. BMC Evol. Biol. 14: 11. doi:10.1186/1471-2148-14-11.