Research Staff

Ran Bi

Postdoctoral Researcher

Ran achieved her MSc in Biotechnology and PhD in fibre and polymer technology, KTH, Stockholm, Sweden. She is am now a post-doc working on modifications of lignocellulosic materials. The work includes defibrillation of thermo-mechanical pulp (TMP) to repurpose the traditional thermal-mechanical mill for the production of high value-added bio-based nanomaterials, to overcome the declining demand for newsprint and expand the product portfolio that could be derived from TMP. Ran also works on repurposing Kraft pulping mill as front end for producing dissolving pulp and a biorefinery.

Mahmood Ebadian

Research Associate / IEA Bioenergy Task 39 Coordinator

Dr. Mahmood Ebadian is an industrial engineer with an international reputation (Canada, the USA, South America, as well as Europe) in the areas of biomass, bioenergy and biofuel supply chain and logistics modeling, analysis and optimization. He is currently a research associate at the University of British Columbia and the coordinator of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Bioenergy Task 39, a groups of 16 countries collaborating to advance the commercialization of sustainable, lower-carbon intensive biofuels to decarbonise the transport sector, particularly long-distance transport.

Susan van Dyk

Research Associate, Policy / IEA Bioenergy Task 39

Susan van Dyk has a master’s degree in law and a PhD in Biochemistry and works as a Research Associate at the University of British Columbia. She was the Coordinator of IEA Bioenergy Task 39 (Liquid Biofuels) for four and a half years. Her PhD work was in bioconversion of lignocellulose to sugars, but her current work encompasses all aspects of biofuels, including conversion technologies and policy. Her main focus over the last few years has been on aviation biofuels.

Nuwan Kapu

Research Scientist

Nuwan Kapu manages the operations of the BC-SMART Low-Carbon Fuels Consortium/Secretariat, a 16-member coalition of industry, government, and academic stakeholders committed to decarbonising long-distance transport. Nuwan’s R&D expertise ranges from plant biochemistry to bio-products, and he has over a decade of experience in the industry, academia, and entrepreneurial enterprises.


Gladys Tecson

Group Manager

Gladys Tecson has been the Group Manager for the FPBB Group since 2011 and is also the Research Administrator for the Grizzly PAW and AWARE Research Projects (since 2019). Prior to joining the Faculty of Forestry, Gladys worked in UBC Central Finance in Payroll and Research Finance. As the Group Manager and Research Administrator, Gladys oversees the human resources, finance and administration aspects of the research groups as well as coordinating with research collaborators, agencies and industry. She has a primary role in helping coordinate the finances of the IEA Bioenergy Task 39 activities.

Graduate Students

Jianping Su

PhD Candidate

Jianping Su is a PhD candidate in the Forest Products Biotechnology/Bioenergy research group at University of British Columbia. His PhD is focused on the potential to integrate drop-in biofuel upgrading in the oil refineries. He has a master degree from Texas A&M University and a bachelor degree from China University of Petroleum – Beijing, both in Petroleum Engineering.


Adam Wu

PhD Candidate

Adam Wu is a PhD Candidate from the Forest Products Biotechnology/Bioenergy group. Before joining the group, Adam Wu obtained a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in forestry and a Master of Engineering Leadership (MEL) degree in green bio-products, both at UBC. His current research focuses on repurposing the mechanical pulping technique, which was predominantly used for the production of newsprint, into a pretreatment/front-end for an enzyme-based Biorefinery process.

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Drake Mboowa

Graduate Research Assistant / FPBB Research Group

Mr. Drake Mboowa is a biosystems engineer, researcher and academic with international research experience (Canada, India, and Uganda) in the areas of waste-to-bioenergy, Forest biomass-to- biofuels, and lignocellulosic-to-biomaterials. He is currently a Graduate Research Assistant with the Forest Products Forest Products Bioenergy/Biotechnology Research Group at the University of British Columbia. Drake was the First recipient of the prestigious Canadian Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship (2016), and more recently The Four-Year Doctoral Fellowship (2020) at the University of British Columbia. His research focus areas are in the field of bio-chemical conversion of forest biomass to renewable biofuels and materials, specifically working on Quantification of Enzyme Mediated Amorphogenesis and its role in cellulose hydrolysis and fibre modification.

Google Scholar

Hui (Shirley) Zhu

MASc Student

Shirley first joined the group as a MITACS research intern in 2018. After receiving her Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in Energy Chemical Engineering from South China University of Technology, she is currently an MASc student in Chemical Engineering at UBC. Her research interest mainly focuses on environmental and techno-economic assessment of biomass conversion.


Past Members

Lead by Professor Jack Saddler, FPB is one of the world’s leading research groups involved in the development and promotion of bioenergy and bio-products. The group has been able to attract international expertise and 20 researchers from more than 15 countries. The international makeup of our group provides our members with exposure to energy issues of international relevance.
Where are they now?

FPB researchers, Post-Doctoral fellows and graduate students are part of a growing network of highly successful scientists. Some of the FPB alumni are the following:

  • Dr. Emmanuel Ackom, Senior Scientist (Technical University of Denmark)
  • Dr. Valdeir Arantes, Assistant Professor (University of Sao Paolo, Brazil)
  • Dr. Alex Berlin – VP of Research & Development (Novozymes)
  • Dr. Renata Bura – Associate Professor (University of Washington, USA)
  • Dr. Richard Chandra – Director of Research Services (Trinity Western University, Canada)
  • Dr. Mina Chu – Assistant Professor (Jiangsu University, China)
  • Dr. Xiaoli Dou – Product Development Scientist (Domtar, Canada)
  • Dr. Luis Del Rio – Research Scientist (FPInnovations, Canada)
  • Dr. Ali Esteghlalian – Principal Scientist and Product Manager (Verenium Corp)
  • Dr. Keith Gourlay – Research Scientist (Performance Biofilaments Inc., Canada)
  • Dr. Young Hoon Jung – Assistant Professor (Kyungpook National University, S.Korea)
  • Dr. Deborah Farias – Lecturer (UBC)
  • Dr. Jinguang Hu – Assistant Professor (University of Calgary, Canada)
  • Dr. Nuwan Kapu – Research Scientist, Lecturer (UBC)
  • Dr. Sergios Karatzos – Senior Manager, Project Development (Steeper Energy, Canada)
  • Dr. Linoj Kumar – Research Program Manager (Herty Advanced Materials, USA)
  • Dr. Warren Mabee – Director of Institute for Energy and Envir. Policy (Queen’s University)
  • Dr. Shawn Mansfield – Professor & Canada Research Chair (UBC)
  • Dr. Seiji Nakagame – Associate Professor (Kanagawa Institute. of Technology, Japan)
  • Dr. Xuejun Pan – Professor (University of Wisconsin, USA)
  • Dr. Ioannis Panagiotopoulos – Business Development Manager (Elin Biofuels, Greece)
  • Dr. Amadeus Pribowo – Program Manager, Biotechnology (Indonesia International Institute for Life Sciences (i3L)
  • Dr. Luis Ramos – Professor (University of Sao Paolo, Brazil)
  • Dr. James Stephen – Research Associate (Queen’s University)
  • Dr. Fubao Sun – Associate Professor (Jiangnan University, China)
  • Dr. Masatsugo Takada, Assistant Professor (Kyoto University, Japan)
  • Dr. Maobing Tu – Associate Professor (Auburn University, USA)
  • Dr. Bin Yang – Associate Professor (Washington State University, USA)
  • Dr. Tang Yong – Research Scientist (Concordia University, Canada)
  • Dr. Rui Zhai – Assistant Professor (Nanjing University of Science and Technology, China)
  • Dr. Timo van der Zwan – Molecular Biologist (Acadian Plant Health, Canada)
  • Dr. Xiao Zhang – Assistant Professor (Washington State University, USA)
  • Dr. Joanna (Na) Zhong – Postdoc (UBC)
  • Ms. Sabrina Burkhardt – Director of Chemical Development (Sustainable Fiber Technologies, USA)
  • Mr. William Cadham – Logistics Director (Skiis and Biikes, Canada)
  • Ms. Seena Kumar – USA
  • Mr. Fraser Larock – USA
  • Ms. Ling Li – Project Development Coordinator (Steeper Energy, Canada)
  • Ms. Mandy Lin – Product Support Associate (bioLytical Canada)
  • Ms. Carolina Chanis Morales – Business Development Director (Sustainability Innovations Services)
  • Mr. Colin Olsen – Process Engineer (Neucel)
  • Ms. Anna Ringsred – Policy Analyst (BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources)
  • Ms. Daniela Vargas Figueroa – Research Scientist (UBC)
  • Ms. Rou Yi Yeap
  • Dr. Kevin Aissa

Past Visiting Scholars

  • Dr. Ana Flavia Carvalho, Postdoc, Campinas University, Brazil
  • Dr. Qiulu Chu, Nanjing Forestry University, China
  • Dr. Yue Hua, China
  • Dr. Henning Jørgensen, Professor, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Dr. Hung Lee, Professor, University of Guelph, Canada
  • Dr. Teresita Marzialetti, Assistant Professor, University of Concepcion, Chile
  • Dr. Claudio Muñoz, University of Concepción, Chile
  • Dr. Karin Olgren, Lund University, Sweden
  • Dr. Lisbeth Olsson, Professor, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
  • Dr. Fei Shen, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
  • Dr. Lorena Soler, Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Valparaiso, Chile
  • Dr. Anna Teghammar, Chalmers Technical University, Sweden
  • Dr. Kin-Sing Wong, Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • Dr. Tang Yong, Beijing Forestry University, China
  • Dr. Dong Tian, PhD Candidate, Sichuan University, China
  • Ms. Daniela Martino, PhD Candidate, Federal University of Viçosa, Brazil
  • Mr. Germano Siqueira, PhD Candidate, University of Sao Paolo, Brazil
  • Mr. Antti Tikkanen, MSc Candidate, Aalto University, Finland
  • Ms. Linfeng Long, PhD Candidate, Nanjing Forestry University, China
  • Ms. Chaoran Meng, PhD Candidate, Donghua University, China
  • Ms. Florencia Cebreiros, PhD Candidate, Universidad de Uruguay, Uruguay
  • Mr. Joaquin Encina Seguel, Universidad de Concepcion, Chile
  • Mr. Xushen Han, PhD Candidate, East China University of Science and Technology, China
  • Ms. Emmanuelle de FreitasVisiting PhD student from Sao Paulo University, Brazil
  • Mr. Pablo Garcia del RioVisiting PhD student from Universidad de Vigo, Spain
  • Mr. Hao ZhouVisiting Master student from Qilu University of Technology, Jinan China

We are currently in the process of compiling the list of all our alumni.

If you would like us to include your name, please email us