Comfortable in a university lab, a corporate boardroom or a woodlot owner’s kitchen, Graham Forbes is a gifted all-around naturalist working across disciplines and sectors.
Admired and respected by peers, students and community members alike, Graham is a Professor at the University of New Brunswick and the Director of both the New Brunswick Cooperatives Research Unit and the Sir James Dunn Wildlife Research Centre.
After completing a Master’s degree and PhD at the University of Waterloo, Graham was soon hired to coordinate the Greater Fundy Ecosystem Project, a multi-disciplinary approach to sustainable landscape management focused on forest management and the protection of native biodiversity. The resulting guidelines were used as a benchmark for many years by the Department of Natural Resources. Graham excelled at this leadership role and was subsequently offered a position by one of the project partners, the Faculty of Forestry at the University of New Brunswick (UNB).
At UNB, Graham quickly established himself as a science and conservation leader and a very popular professor, earning the UNB Merit Award for exceptional contributions in teaching and research three times and the NSERC Canada Council Synergy Award for Cooperative Research between Industry and University. A successful academic with a prolific publication record and many notable graduate students, Graham leverages his knowledge to advise the national and provincial governments on a wide range of conservation issues. His research involves acquiring scientific information for use by resource managers in maintaining wildlife and biodiversity, focusing on mammals, birds, and herpetofauna. He works collaboratively with management agencies such as Parks Canada, provincial departments of natural resources and wildlife, and industry. He is recognized as a scientific expert by the CBC and is often asked for interviews and scientific opinion. He is currently appointed by the Federal Minister of Environment as the Co-Chair of the Terrestrial Mammal Sub-Committee for the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.
Outside of academia, Graham volunteers his time with the Harvest Jazz and Music Festival and is President of the Fredericton Nature Club. He promotes environmental education in his community and regularly gives talks and nature outings to Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, and school groups.
Graham was nominated for the 2014 Alumni Achievement Award.