Forest Sciences Centre 4615
2424 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4
Canada
work phone: 6048271417
mobile: 7782273962

My main areas of research are markets and economics, particularly in their application to new product/market development for Canadian wood products, both in North America and internationally.  This includes primary and secondary wood products, and end-uses spanning residential and non residential construction, repair and renovation, and industrial applications.   Product and market focus also includes engagement with Aboriginal communities, small-medium enterprises, emerging engineered wood products / systems, and further value-adding products.


Research Areas

Market research
Economics
International trade
New poduct development
Aboriginal / community development

Projects

Matching Market Signals to the Canadian Wood Products Value Chain Completed
April, 2013December, 2015

A two-year project under the NSERC Strategic Research Network on Value Chain Optimization.

This is a partial-equilibrium global trade model development. Focusing on logs, lumber and bio-mass bi-products, the uniqueness of this model is that it utilizes disaggregated production and trade date (for example, lumber by grade class)

Global Hardwood Trends and Impacts: a Focus on India (2012 and 2016) Completed
May, 2012December, 2012

This study investigated global hardwood log and lumber trade, with a focus on current and projected supply and demand balances in India. The study projection shows that by 2030 there will be at least a 25% to 30% annual deficit of the imported hardwood log supply in the Indian wood products industry. The cumulative volume of wood deficit between 2013 and 2030 is estimated to be approximately 50 million m3 of wood. Now that Indian importers have accepted radiata pine as a substitute for lower quality hardwoods, the opportunity exists to promote high quality softwoods for use in higher quality applications.

Architectural Element Trends in North American Non-residential Construction Completed
September, 2011August, 2012

This report presents the results of web survey that was completed by 250 architects in North America that specialize in non-residential building design. Over a third of the respondents were chosen because they have utilized architectural elements in their designs. Architectural elements are defined here as solid wood heavy timbers, glue-laminated and other engineered beams or posts, which are visually exposed. These members can be structural or non-structural.

Results showed that these visual wood products are used in virtually all types on non-residential buildings, and are growing in popularity. This coincides with an overall growth in popularity for wood interior finish in these buildings. It was also found that there is a link between the two in terms of a desire to match species, color and character. For BC Coastal species, the popularity of Douglas fir was confirmed, and opportunities for Hemlock and Amabilis fir were explored. This included the fact that these species lend themselves to stain, and have desirable strength characteristics. For the latter, if was discovered that there may be an opportunity for developing and promoting timber strength ratings, much like what is presently done for Japan.

Forestry Resources on the Web Completed
September, 2012May, 2013

This is a web resource that was developed to be a repository for information for anyone involved or interested in the forest products industry. The primary goal of the website is the offer an one-stop resource for most everything an entrepreneur needs for exploring new forest products and markets opportunities. This includes valuable sources of statistics, market trends and an extensive listing of product, market and competition research studies. This include supporting industry associations, government agencies and First Nations specific resources.

The site: http://forresweb.com/

Opening Doors—Aboriginal Capacity Building on the BC Coast Completed
January, 2015December, 2017
https://vimeo.com/144395100

Co-led by Chris Gaston, Opening Doors started early in 2015 through the recruitment of 10 young Aboriginal artists, representing their individual community’s traditions and culture, to take part in q four-week carving wood carving course in either Vancouver or Terrace. This project is a collaboration between FPInnovations, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art, the Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP) at UBC, Mountainview Design—Wood Windows and Doors, the Heiltsuk Economic Development Corporation, and Teal Jones Group.

Ten magnificent doors were created and exhibited at the Roundhouse Community Centre in Vancouver from October 05-10. In addition to the originals, a number of the artists took part in the creation of “limited edition reproductions”, utilizing computer-numerical-control (CNC) router technology at CAWP. Next stages of this project include working with the artists and their communities to explore market opportunities for the door reproductions (and other Aboriginal branded value-adding wood products) through direct sales and joint ventures.

Modelling the Economic Impact of Resilient Planting Stocks and Wood Quality Current
January, 2017January, 2021

With Julie Cool (Assistant Professor) and Wei-Yew Chang (Post-doctoral Fellow). This is a part of a multi-year project with Genome Canada and Genome Alberta (led by Barb Thomas and Nadir Erbilgin from the University of Alberta and Yousry El-Kassaby from the University of BC), “Resilient Forests (RES-FOR): Climate, Pests & Policy – Genomic Applications”. The focus is on Genomic tree improvement vis-à-vis the 1) economics of silviculture (growth & yield modeling including GYPSY); and 2) modeling the effect of improved wood attributes (Optitek and Sawsim).

Achieving aspirations of Canadian Aboriginal communities through participatory cultural mapping and dynamic decisions modelling Current
April, 2016April, 2019

Led by Stefania Pizzirani (Post-doctoral Fellow). This is a three-year Mitacs/FPInnovations project, with a participatory research focus with a selected BC Coastal community.

“The Aboriginal housing situation in Canada is in crisis with a lack of culturally and environmentally appropriate housing. A Participatory Approach towards Housing Solutions (PATHS) Framework has been developed that recognizes and visualizes the strengths and limitations of communities, and assesses pathways with which they may achieve their housing goals. Communities are actively engaged in order to identify their aspirations and translate them into measurable indicators and associated capitals.

The PATHS Framework methodology includes: 1) identification and development of aspirations, indicators, and capitals using participatory techniques; 2) visualization of past and present trends using GIS; 3) co-development and interpretation of scenarios to reflect a pathway towards achieving said aspirations and goals; 4) identification of achievable scenarios from collaboratively developed strategies; and 5) evaluation of each strategies’ viability and capability to meet the aspirations of the community.” (Mitacs proposal abstract, 2015)


Professional Affiliations

International Union of Forest Research Organizations, Member, Division 5.10.00 – Forest products marketing and business management
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, Forestry and Timber Section, Memeber and past Chair, Timber Committee and Team of Specialists on Forest Products Marketing, October 2001
Forest Products Society, Member and past Section Executive, September 1992
Western Forest Economists, Member and past executive, September 1992
Ontario & BC Institute of Agrologists, P.Ag., past division executive, September 1980

Current Graduate Students

Antje Wahl, PhD
An Exploration of Aboriginal Regional Branding in Coastal British Columbia (Co-Supervisor)
Mehdi Piltan, PhD
Developing a Decision Making Model for Evaluatiing Potential Partnerships in Forest Products Value Chains (Committee Member)
Shashi Shahi, PhD
Real-time Planning and Management of Two-way Materials and Information Flow Throughout the Supply Chain in the Canadian Forest Products Industry (Committee Member)
Felix Bock, PhD
Development of Structural Bamboo Elements (Committee Member)
Alice Palmer, PhD
Developing Strategic Planning Tools to Support Forest Industry Transformation (Committee Member)
Jennifer Deboer, PhD
The Potential Role of Environmental Initiatives in the US Pulp and Paper Industry (Co-Supervisor)
Vilbert Vabi, PhD
Understanding smallholder participation in contract farming: the case of oil palm in Ghana (Co-Supervisor)
Maria Jose Murcia, PhD
TBD (Committee Member)
Yu Li, PhD
Optimization Modeling for Wood Material Flow and Value Chain Analysis in Forest Products Industry (Co-Supervisor)

Post Doctoral Fellows and Research Assistants

Wei-Yew Chang, Ph.D. (Supervisor)
Stefania Pizzirani, Ph.D. (Co-supervisor)

Previous Students, Post Doctoral Fellows and Research Assistants

Mahsa Mojahednia, M.Sc.   Assessing the Impact of Policies and Regulations on Log Supply: A British Columbia Case Study

Haris Gilani, Ph.D.   US Housing Projection: Perspectives from Population Growth and Demographic Factors

Steve Northway, Ph.D.   Improvements to the Standard Forest Products Trade Model

Jorge Rodriguez. Ph.D.  Japanese Market for Certified and/or Legal Wood Products

Sarah Saddler, M.Sc.   Echo Boomer Demographics: Housing in Japan and Environmental Perceptions of Consumers

Yan Xiaoqian, M.Sc.  Exploratory Research on Branding of Canadian Wood Products in China.

Debra Delong, M.Sc.  Clustering in Canadian Secondary Wood Product Manufacturing

Mineral Ding, M.Sc.  Benchmarking Architect and Engineer Awareness and Specification Patterns in Structural and Non-structural Building Applications in China

Olaf Schwab, M.Sc.   Supply Chain Management in Wood Products: a Comparison of Scandinavia and British Columbia

Noboyuki Muto, M.Sc.   Impact of the Canada é US Softwood Lumber Agreement on the Western Canadian Wood Products Industry

Rafael Ide, M.Sc.   Housing Performance Indicators in Japan

Erfan Tabarsi, M.Sc.  Use of Oriented Strand Board in Office Furniture and Doors

Antje Wahl, M.Sc.   The Japanese Market for Wood Flooring and Wood Windows

 


Current Courses

Winter 2017

FRST319 Principles of Forestry Economics Sections

Introduction to the economics of production, distribution and consumption of goods and services produced by, and dependent on, the forest resource. Available only through Distance Education.

Winter 2017

WOOD465 Wood Industry Business Management Sections

Business management concepts common in the forest products industry including marketing, customer research, product development and design.

Selected Publications


Shahi, S., R. Pulkki, M. Leitch and C. Gaston (2017). Integrating operational planning decisions throughout the forest products industry supply chain under supply and demand uncertainty International Journal of Forest Engineering DOI:10.1080/14942119.2017.1371544
Shashi Shahi, Reino Pulkki, Mathew Leitch and Christopher Gaston (2017). Optimal production-inventory model for forest products industry supply chain under demand and supply uncertainty: Case study of a pulp mill in Ontario Cogent Business & Management 4: 1370765
Shahi, S., R. Pulkki, C. Gaston and M. Leitch (2016). Integrating production planning and inventory management with stochastic supply and stochastic market demand with supply chain decisions in a multi-level forest products industry Canadian Journal of Forest Research Under Review
Gaston, C. and F. Robichaud (2016). Overview of Wood Product Markets, Distribution and Market Research in North America: Implications for Value Chain Optimization CRC Press Forest Value Chain Optimization and Sustainability (- 344 Pages – ISBN 9781498704861)
Piltan, M., Sowlati, T. Cohen, D., Gaston, C., Kozak, R. (2016). Analysis of the drivers and factors influencing partnership performance in the British Columbia’s forest products supply chain J-FOR: The Journal of Science and Technology for Forest Products and Processes. 5(5): 65-76.
Chang, Wei-Yew and Chris Gaston (2015). A trade-flow analysis of the global softwood log market: implications of Russian timber export tax reduction and New Zealand’s timber production restriction. Forestry: An International Journal of Forest Research 89 (20–35) doi:10.1093/forestry/cpv038
Gaston, Chris (2014). Matching Market Signals to the Canadian Wood Products Value Chain Branchlines. Faculty of Forestry, University of B.C. 25(2):16-17
Chang, Wei-Yew and Chris Gaston (2014). The Competitiveness of Canadian Softwood Lumber: A Disaggregated Trade Flow Analysis Canadian Journal of Forest Research 44(12): 1494-1506
Gaston, Christopher (2014). Visual Wood Product Trends in North American Non-Residential Buildings Forest Products Journal 64(3/4):107-115
Aurenhammer, P., O. Bartlomé, A. Eder, C. Gaston and P. Moonen (2013). Innovative wood-based products; Chapter 3 in Forest Products Annual Market Review: 2012-2013 Edition UNECE / FAO pp 23-32
Reeb, D., C.W. Gaston, I. Navoselov, H. Resch and R. Vlosky (2012). Policy Developments; Chapter 3 in Forest Products Annual Market Review: 2011-2012 Edition UNECE / FAO 25-36
Ganguly, Indroneil, Ivan Eastin and Chris Gaston (2012). Global Hardwood Trends and Impacts: a Focus on India. Forestry Innovation Investment 100 pp
Gaston, C.W. and D. Fell (2012). Architectural Element Trends in North American Non-residential Construct FPInnovations 41 pp
Aguilar, F., C.W. Gaston, R. Hartkamp, W. Mabee and K. Skog (2011). Wood Energy Markets; Chapter 9 in Forest Products Annual Market Review: 2010-2011 Edition UNECE / FAO 85-97
Gaston, C.W., D. Cohen and I. Eastin (2010). Wood Market Trends in Japan–2010 Edition FPInnovations 38 pp
Gaston. C., F. Robichaud, D. Fell, and P. Crespell (2010). North America Bio-Materials: a Synthesis Report (Bio-Pathways II) Forest Products Association of Canada 28 pp
Robichaud, F., P. Lavoie, C. Gaston and C. Adair (2010). Builder Perceptions of Wood and Non-Wood Products in the U.S. Top-20 Metro Housing Areas Journal of Forest Products Business Research Vol. 07
Gaston, C.W. and I. Eastin (2010). A Tale of Two Markets: Opportunities for Cedars in Japan and the U.S. USDA Forest Service. Keynote for “A Tale of Two Cedars: International Symposium on Western Redcedar and Yellow-Cedar”, Victoria, B.C.
Ganguly, Indroneil, Ivan Eastin, Pablo Crespell, and Chris Gaston (2010). Exploring the Market Potential of Pacific Silver Fir in the US Residential Decking Market CINTRAFOR Working Paper WP 118 46pp.
Ganguly, Indroneil, Ivan Eastin, Pablo Crespell, and Chris Gaston (2010). Positioning and Market Analysis of the US Decking Materials Market: A Perceptual Mapping Approach CINTRAFOR Working Paper WP 117 74pp.
Mathey, A., Nelson, H., and C. Gaston (2009). The Economics of Timber Supply: does it pay to reduce harvest levels? Forest Policy and Economics 11(7):491-497
Robichaud, Francois, Patrick Lavoie and Christopher Gaston (2009). Demands on Lumber Suppliers Within the U.S. Pro-dealers Channel Forest Products Journal 59(11/12):83–92
Lavoie, P., F. Robichaud and C. Gaston (2009). Market Trends in Top 20 U.S. Metropolitan Areas—Homeowners’ Material Preferences in Decking, Floor and Wall Applications FPInnovations 182 pp
Robichaud, F., P. Lavoie, and C. Gaston (2009). Market Trends in Top 20 U.S. Metropolitan Areas—Homebuilders’ Profile FPInnovations 153 pp
Lavoie, P., F. Robichaud and C. Gaston (2009). Home Owner Perceptions of Wood and Non-wood Products Wood Products Council 60 pp
Robichaud, F., P. Lavoie and C. Gaston (2009). U.S. Home Builder Perceptions of Wood and Non-Wood Products Wood Products Council 68 pp
Robichaud, F., P. Lavoie and C.W. Gaston (2008). Wood Product Attributes Demanded by North American Prodealers FPInnovations 49 pp
Lavoie, P, F. Robichaud and C. Gaston (2008). Attributes Demanded in the North American Structural Components Industry FPInnovations 50 pp
Crespell, P., M. Vidal, C.W. Gaston, and R. Knudson (2008). Market and Technical Review of the Fibre Polymer Composite Industry FPInnovations 89 pp
Cohen, D., I. Eastin, C.W. Gaston, and R. Braden (2008). Wood Market Trends in China—2007 Edition FPInnovations 40 pp
Gaston, C.W., D. Cohen and I. Eastin (2007). Wood Market Trends in Japan—2006 Edition Forintek Canada Corp. 34 pp
Gaston, C.W. and D. Fell (2006). Treated Wood Product Opportunities in the Southern United States Forintek Canada Corp, Value to Wood 26 pp
Gaston, C.W. and M. Marinescu (2006). The Competitiveness of Canadian Softwood Lumber–A Trade Flow Analysis Forintek Canada Corp 87 pp
Gibson, R. and C.W. Gaston (2006). Alberta Fibre Roadmap—Forestry Situation Analysis. Background report for “Getting Value from Every Fibre: Making the Most of Alberta’s Lignocellulose Resource” FPInnovations and Alberta Research Council 37 pp.
Kallioranta, S.M., R.P. Vlosky and C.W. Gaston (2006). Perception Drivers for Treated Wood by U.S. South Homebuilders and Remodelers Louisiana Forest Products Development Center 16 pp
Gaston, C.W. (2006). Global Wood Product Trade Flows: 2005/06 Edition Forintek Canada Corp. 113 pp
Robichaud, F., P. Lavoie, and C.W. Gaston (2005). Wood opportunities for manufactured housing and structural components Forintek Canada Corp. 27 pp
Fell, D., C.W. Gaston and D. Brooks (2005). US Gap Analysis II Forintek Canada Corp. 88 pp
Gaston, C.W., R.P. Vlosky, T.F. Shupe, F.X. Aguilar, S.M. Kallioranta, and B.N. Donkor (2005). Attitudes and Awareness about Treated Wood Products: The U.S. South Homeowner Perspective Louisiana Forest Products Development Center 13 pp
Vlosky, R. and C. Gaston (2004). Potential for increased treated wood products usage in U.S. south residential construction Forintek Canada Corp. 63 pp
Wahl, A. and C.W. Gaston (2004). Preliminary Competitor Analysis for Wood Products in China B.C. Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. 112 pp
O’Connor, Jennifer, Robert Kozak, Christopher Gaston, and David Fell (2004). Wood-use in Non-residential Buildings—Opportunities and Barriers Forest Products Journal 54 (3): 19-28
Kozak, R.A. and C. Gaston (2004). Life Cycle Analysis: A Wood Products Perspective. USDA Forest Service. 49-59. Published in Peterson, D.L., J.L. Innes, and K. O’Brian (editors). Climate Change, Carbon, and Forestry in Northwestern North America. Proceedings of a Workshop, November 14-15, 2001, Orcas Island, Washington. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report PNW-GTR-614. Pacific Northwest Research Station, Portland, Oregon (USA). Proceedings 49-59.
Troughton, G. and C.W. Gaston (2004). Development of Bark Board Products Forintek Canada Corp. 12 pp
Tabarsi, E., R.A. Kozak, D.H. Cohen and C. Gaston (2003). A Market Assessment of the Potential for OSB Products in the North American Office Furniture and Door Manufacturing Industries. Forest Products Journal 53(7/8):19-27.
Cohen, David H. and Christopher Gaston (2003). The Use of Engineered Wood Products in Traditional Japanese Wood House Construction Wood and Fiber Science 35(1):102-109
Tabarsi, E. and C. Gaston (2003). A Market Analysis of the United States Institutional Furniture Industry Forintek Canada Corp. 43 pp
O’Connor, J., R. Kozak, C. Gaston, and D. Fell (2003). Wood opportunities in non-residential buildings : a roadmap for the wood products industry Forintek Canada Corp. 32 pp
Gaston, C.W. and F. Maplesden (2003). A Benchmarking Study for Structural Wood Products Demand in the People’s Republic of China BC Forest Innovation Investment Ltd. 120 pp
Gaston, C. (2002). An assessment of market opportunities for western Canadian aspen in the United States, Japan and Europe Forintek Canada Corp. 68 pp
Gaston, C.W., D. McKeever and E. Tabarsi (2002). Wood-Use in Industrial Markets in the United States Forintek Canada Corp. and Wood Products Council 98 pp
Cartwright, D. and C.W. Gaston (2002). Chile’s Forests Products Market—a Plantation Success Story: Chapter 5 in the Forest Products Annual Market Review: 2001-2002 Edition UNECE / FAO 12 pp
Kozak, R. and C.W. Gaston (2002). Trends in Sawn Softwood Markets: Chapter 7 in Forest Products Annual Market Review: 2001-2002 Edition UNECE / FAO 12 pp
Wagner, E., D. Fell, E. Hansen and C.W. Gaston (2002). Forestry Resources on the Internet: Expanded Edition Forintek Canada Corp. 51 pp
Gaston, C.W., and R. Kozak (2001). Sawn Softwood – Consumption, Production and Trade: Chapter 6 in Forest Products Annual Market Review: 2000-2001 Edition UNECE / FAO 10 pp
Cohen, D., C.W. Gaston and R. Kozak (2001). Japan’s Demand Drivers for Wood Products: Chapter 4 in Forest Products Annual Market Review: 2000-2001 Edition UNECE / FAO 10 pp
Gaston, C.W., R. Kozak, J. O’Connor and D. Fell (2001). Potential for Increased Wood-Use In North American Nonresidential Markets Forintek Canada Corp. 128 pp
Fell, D., Gaston, C.W. (2001). Material Selection for Outdoor Projects in Western Canada Forintek Canada Corp. 42 pp
Fell, D., C.W. Gaston, E. Hansen and A. Hovgaard (2001). Attributes Demanded in Single-family Floor Systems Forintek Canada Corp. 41 pp
de la Roche, Ian and C.W. Gaston (2001). The Future of Wood Products: What is the Prognosis? The Forestry Chronicle Vol. 77, No. 6, 985-988
Gaston, C.W. and D. Fell (2000). Markets for Canadian Wood Products in the U.S. – a Gap Analysis Forintek Canada Corp. 33 pp
Fell, D., C. Gaston and D. Cohen (2000). Japan’s value added market : wood products attributes and competition. Linkage analysis Forintek Canada Corp. 109 pp
Gaston, C.W., G. Delcourt and D.Cohen (1999). Japan’s value added market : wood product attributes and competition. Competitor analysis two Forintek Canada Corp. 85 pp
Karacabeyli, E., J. Cook and C.W. Gaston (1999). Developments in the production of wood frame houses in North America Forintek Canada Corp. 16 pp
Wahl, A., D. Cohen, R.Kozak and C. Gaston (1999). The Japanese market for wood flooring and wood windows Forintek Canada Corp. 70 pp
Gaston, C., G. Delcourt and D. Cohen (1998). Japan’s value added market : wood product attributes and competition. Competitor analysis one Forintek Canada Corp. 76 pp
Cohen, D. and C.W. Gaston (1998). Japan’s Value Added Market: Wood Product Attributes and Competition. Attribute Analysis: 1) Introduction; 2) Wood Furniture; 3) Outdoor Furnishings; 4) Interior Finish; 5) Engineered Structural Products; 6) Wood Structural Members; 7) Building System Forintek Canada Corp. 249 pp
Cartwright, D., P.I. Morris and C.W. Gaston (1998). Pacific Rim markets for termite-resistant wood products. Phase I. Identification of target markets Forintek Canada Corp. 45 pp
Cartwright, D., P.I. Morris and C.W. Gaston (1998). Markets for termite-resistant wood products. Phase II. Market review of India, China and Taiwan Forintek Canada Corp. 62 pp
Gaston, C.W. and B. Wilson (1998). Canada’s fibre supply: a look toward the 21st century Forintek Canada Corp. 20 pp
Gaston, C.W., I. Vertinsky and S. Globerman (1995). Biotechnology in Forestry: Technological and Economic Perspectives Technological Forecasting and Social Change 50(1): 79-92
Gaston, C.W. (1990). Agricultural Marketing: A Risk Management Approach University of Guelph, Independent Study 295 pp
Tait, R.M., J.R. Hunt, C.W. Gaston, and G.M. Barton (1982). Utilization of Lodgepole Pine (Pinus Contorta) MUKA (Foliage) by Sheep Canadian Journal of Animal Science 62 (2): 467-471

http://www.ctvnews.ca/entertainment/aboriginal-artists-carve-out-new-market-with-high-tech-tool-1.2817434

http://news.ubc.ca/2016/02/01/first-nations-artists-using-technology-to-carve-out-new-business-model/

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/innovative-program-opens-new-doors-to-bcs-indigenous-artists-carvers/article28497891/

http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/b-c-first-nations-carving-gets-a-technological-upd

 http://www.straight.com/arts/650601/governor-general-david-johnston-visit-emily-carrs-opening-doors-project-march-3

http://www.straight.com/arts/628316/bc-aboriginal-doors-program-helps-indigenous-artists-create-prints-their-carvings

https://www.bcbusiness.ca/tech-spurs-new-business-model-for-first-nations-art