Dr. Christopher Gaston
Dr. Christopher Gaston
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.
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)
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.
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.
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/
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.
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).
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)
Current Graduate Students
Post Doctoral Fellows and Research Assistants
Previous Students, Post Doctoral Fellows and Research Assistants
Vilbert Vabi, PhD. Understanding smallholder participation in contract farming: the case of oil palm in Ghana (Co-Supervisor)
Yu Li, Ph.D. Optimization Modeling for Wood Material Flow and Value Chain Analysis in Forest Products Industry (Co-Supervisor)
Shashi Shahi, Ph.D. Real-time Planning and Management of Two-way Materials and Information Flow Throughout the Supply Chain in the Canadian Forest Products Industry
Mehdi Piltan, Ph.D. Developing a Decision Making Model for Evaluating Potential Partnerships in Forest Products Value Chains.
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
WOOD465 Wood Industry Business Management Sections
Business management concepts common in the forest products industry including marketing, customer research, product development and design.
One fine body…
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.
One fine body…
FRST534 Natural Resources Economics Sections
One fine body…