Agriculture Centre of Excellence


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Jonathan Hughes

Jonathan Hughes, PhD

Associate Professor

Geography and the Environment

Abbotsford campus, A406e

Phone: 604-864-4687

email Jonathan


My training in natural sciences began with undergraduate work at the University of the South (Sewanee, Tennessee; BS, 1989) in Forestry and Geology. I continued with research and teaching in Botany at the University of Wyoming (MS 1995), where I investigated a natural hybrid zone using field mapping, morphology, and genetics.

For my PhD in Biological Sciences at Simon Fraser University (2002), I used vascular plant ecology and pollen of tidal-marsh sediments to quantify relative sea-level change from the 1700 Cascadia earthquake.

Following my PhD I joined the US Geological Survey at the University of Washington as a Mendenhall Postdoctoral Fellow. During my tenure there I used peat and lake-sediment stratigraphy, plant fossils, and tree-ring measures to document earth-quake-induced hydroseral succession in earthquake-formed lakes and wetlands.


PhD, Simon Fraser University, 2002

MS, University of Wyoming, 1995

BS, University of the South, 1989

Teaching Interests


GEOG 102: Evolution of the Earth's Surface

GEOG 315: Soil Process and Function

GEOG 317: Biogeography

GEOG 400 (IS): Dendrochronology

GEOG 410: Plant Ecology

GEOG 417: Wetlands Ecology

GEOG 419: Paleoecology

Research Interests

Most of my research has focused on wetland environments as recorders of late Holocene earthquakes in Cascadia. To quantify hydrological change accompanying these earthquakes I use pollen and plant macrofossil assemblages preserved in wetland sediments. These fossil assemblages are calibrated to known environmental gradients, which enables detection of abrupt, hydrological change that may have accompanied the earthquakes.

Recently I began to use tree-ring measures from trees killed by earthquakes to determine earthquake chronology among different faults. In addition to paleoseismology, I am interested in wetland ecology, biogeochemistry, and restoration. For more details about my research program and current projects, click here.

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