Dr. Barbara Hawkins

Dr. Barbara Hawkins
Centre for Forest Biology, Biology

BScF (UBC), PhD (Canterbury)

Area of expertise

Mineral nutrition and cold tolerance of tree seedlings


  • 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

Yudel Huberman (PhD), Claire McPolin (MSc), Daisuke Yamakawa (MSc), Bethany Robson (Undergrad), Robyn Swartman (Undergrad), Samantha Robbins (Research Technician)


YearJournal titleTitleAuthors
2021Plant, Cell & EnvironmentCondensed tannins as antioxidants that protect poplar against oxidative stress from drought and UV‐BGourlay G., Hawkins B.J., Albert A., Schnitzler J-P., Constabel C.P
2023MycorrhizaHost population effects on ectomycorrhizal fungi vary between low and high phosphorus soils of temperate rainforestsKranabetter J.M., Robbins S., Hawkins B.J.
2023Canadian Journal of Plant PathologyWestern redcedar - natural history and pathosystems, with emphasis on cedar leaf blightAldana J.A., Kope H.H., Hawkins B.J.
2022Canadian Journal of Forest ResearchComparison of ammonium, nitrate, and proton fluxes in mycorrhizal and nonmycorrhizal roots of lodgepole pine in contrasting nitrogen treatmentsHawkins Barbara J., and Robbins Samantha
2021Journal of Forensic SciencesFatal ingestion of Taxus baccata: English yewBrooks-Lim E., Mérette S., Hawkins B.J., Maxwell C., Washbrook B.A., and Shapiro A.
2021Canadian Journal of Forest ResearchContrasting root and shoot cold tolerance of a conifer with indeterminate growthHawkins B.J., McKeown K., Bayne J., van der Merwe L., and Robbins S.
2021Journal of Chemical EcologyFactors Affecting Foliar Oregonin and Condensed Tannin in Red Alder (Alnus rubra Bong.): Phytochemicals Implicated In Defense Against Western Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma californicum Packard)Boateng, K., Hawkins, B.J., Yanchuk, A. Fellenberg, C., Constabel, C.P.
2020Canadian Journal of Forest ResearchRed alder defense mechanisms against western tent caterpillar defoliationBoateng K, Hawkins BJ, Constabel CP, Yanchuk AD, Fellenberg C
2020Journal of EcologyPost‐disturbance conifer tree‐ring δ15N reflects openness of the nitrogen cycle across temperate coastal rainforestsKranabetter JM, McKeown K, Hawkins BJ
2018Canadian Journal of Forest ResearchA Tribute: Robert John van den Driessche, Tree Physiologist, 1933–2018Hawkins, B
2019Canadian Journal of Forest ResearchImplications of an exceptional autumn bud flush on subsequent cold tolerance of Garry oak (Quercus garryana Douglas ex Hook)Lerstrup-Pedersen E, Pedersen O, De Luca S, Hawkins BJ
2018New PhytologistSaprotrophic and ectomycorrhizal fungal sporocarp stoichiometry (C:N:P) across temperate rainforests as evidence of shared nutrient constraints among symbionts. Kranabetter, JM, Harman-Denhoed, R and Hawkins, BJ.
2018BotanyQuantifying inorganic nitrogen uptake capacity among ectomycorrhizal fungal species using MIFE microelectrode ion flux measurements: theory and applicationsHawkins BJ, Kranabetter M
2018Canadian Journal of Forest ResearchImplications of an exceptional autumn bud flush on subsequent cold tolerance of Garry oak (Quercus garryana)Lerstrup-Pedersen E, Hawkins BJ
2016Geophysical Research LettersPotential near-future carbon uptake overcomes losses from a large insect outbreak in British Columbia, Canada.Arora V, Peng Y, Kurz WA, Fyfe JC, Hawkins B, Werner AT.
2015Canadian Journal of Soil ScienceLong- and short-term temperature differences affect organic and inorganic nitrogen availability in forest soils.Boczulak S, Roy R, Maynard D, Hawkins BJ
2015New ForestsEctomycorrhizae and tree seedling nitrogen nutrition in forest restoration.Hawkins BJ, Jones MD, Kranabetter JM
2015Molecular EcologySpecies turnover (β diversity) in ectomycorrhizal fungi linked to NH4+ uptake capacity.Kranabetter J, Hawkins B, Jones M, Robbins S, Dyer T, Li T.
2014Tree PhysiologyTemperature effects on nitrogen form uptake by seedling roots of three contrasting conifers.Boczulak S, Roy R, Hawkins BJ
2014Plant and SoilContrasts in growth and nitrogen nutrition of species in the Cupressaceae and Pinaceae in response to calcium.Hawkins BJ, Robbins S.
2014Tree PhysiologyNitrogen uptake over entire root systems of tree seedlings.Hawkins BJ, Robbins S, Porter B.
2014BMC Evolutionary BiologyEvolutionary classification of ammonium, nitrate, and peptide transporters in land plants.von Wittgenstein NJB, Le CH, Hawkins BJ, Ehlting J
2013Forest Ecology and ManagementAdaptive variation in growth, phenology, cold tolerance and nitrogen fixation of red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.)Porter RB, Lacourse T, Hawkins BJ and Yanchuk M
2013Agricultural and Forest MeteorologyPredicting the risk of cedar leaf blight (Didymascella thujina) in British Columbia under future climate change.Gray LK, Russell JH, Yanchuk AD, Hawkins BJ
2013BiogeosciencesClimate and atmospheric drivers of historical terrestrial carbon uptake in the province of British Columbia, CanadaPeng Y, Arora VK, Kurz WA, Hember RA, Hawkins B, Fyfe JC and Werner AT
2012TreesNet NH4+ and NO3- flux, and expression of NH4+ and NO3- transporters in roots of Picea glauca.Alber A, Ehlting B, Ehlting J, Hawkins BJ and Rennenberg H
2012The Canadian Journal of Forest ResearchTrade-offs between growth and cold and drought hardiness in submaritime Douglas-fir.Darychuk N, Hawkins BJ and Stoehr M
2012Journal of Plant PhysiologyShoot excision has no effect on net flux of protons, ammonium or nitrate in seedling roots of a conifer and three crop speciesHawkins BJ, Robbins S and Beinhauer E
2011New ForestsOrganic amendment and inorganic fertilization affect soil properties and quality of Larix olgensis bareroot stock.Wei H, Xu C, Hawkins BJ, Ma L and Jiang L.
2011Canadian Journal of Forest ResearchAdaptations to nitrogen form: comparing inorganic nitrogen and amino acid availability and uptake by four temperate forest plants.Metcalfe RJ, Nault J and Hawkins BJ
2018BotanyNitrate and ammonium uptake in twenty-one common moss species from Vancouver Island, British Columbia.Hawkins BJ, May E, Robbins S