People

Faculty lead

Keunhyun Park, Ph.D. (He/Him)

Assistant Professor, Department of Forest Resources Management

Dr. Keunhyun (Keun) Park completed bachelor’s and master’s degrees in landscape architecture at Seoul National University and a Ph.D. degree in urban planning and design at the University of Utah. Before joining UBC, he was an assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at Utah State University. 

With an interdisciplinary background in urban planning and design and landscape architecture, Keun conducts behavioural research in urban nature through the use of spatial data analytics and digital technologies. Ultimately, his research aims to understand how to design healthy, just, and resilient cities through urban nature. He spends much of his leisure time with his family, enjoying running, hiking, camping, and playing board games and video games.

Website | CV (updated June 2024) | Google Scholar | keun.park@ubc.ca |

Current members (graduate students)

Everly Jazi (She/Her)

Ph.D. Candidate in Forestry

Everly holds an M.S. in Environmental Social Science and a B.A. in Psychology. She is interested in the intersection between disparities in use and access to natural spaces and disparities in health, particularly mental health. She has developed a framework and novel method for use in experimental and quasi-experimental research designs, and continues to learn alongside experts in the nature and health realm as part of various professional organizations. She is the founder and convener of the International Association of People-Environment Studies (IAPS) Early Career Researchers Network. 

ejazi@student.ubc.ca

Asim Khanal (He/Him)

Ph.D. Student in Forestry

Asim completed his Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh, India and a M.Sc. in Sustainable Critical Infrastructure from the Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi which was opened in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). His Masters’ thesis explored the housing landscape of Dubai and identified distinct urban typologies and also pointed out the rental affordability issues especially for the middle class. Currently, his proposed research aims to define the concept of park vitality and analyze the factors that lead to vibrancy or underutilization of urban parks. 

In my leisure time, I like to go on hiking trips, swim in natural bodies of water, play guitar or paint/sketch. Occasionally, I also write blogs on Medium and publish political satire on other social media platforms. 

Google Scholarakhanal7@ubc.ca | |

Mingze Chen (He/Him)

Ph.D. Student in Forestry

Mingze is a Ph.D. student at UBC. He completed master’s degree in urban design at University College London, UK. He used to work as a researcher at UCL and as a landscape architect in Shanghai for the past three years. His research focuses on data-driven landscape and urban analytics, computational design and data visualization, and Environment-human interaction in natural areas. Mingze enjoys working with academics and urban enthusiasts from diverse backgrounds. 

Outside work, Mingze is an avid fan of poems, exhibitions, symphony concerts, traveling, and photography. 

Personal WebsiteGoogle Scholar | Research Gate | mingzec@student.ubc.ca | |

Yiyang Wang (She/Her)

Master of Science in Forestry (2022-2024) | incoming Ph.D. Student in Forestry

Yiyang has completed her Master of Science (MSc) in UBC, with a thesis titled “Promoting sustainable and equitable access to parks: a study of transit-to-parks initiatives and user perceptions.” She holds a Bachelor of Urban Forestry and is deeply passionate about urban planning, spatial analysis, and environmental justice. In 2023, Yiyang worked as a UBC Sustainability Scholar for Metro Vancouver, the regional government authority.

In addition to her academic achievements, Yiyang is an accomplished landscape and portrait photographer. She enjoys travelling, going to concerts and movies, and maintaining an active lifestyle through gymming and yoga.

Google Scholar | yiyang.wang@ubc.ca |

Current members (research assistants)

Elissa Leduc (She/Her)

Bachelor of Urban Forestry student; Work Learn Research Assistant (2023-2024)

Elissa is in her second year at UBC pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Urban Forestry with a minor in Landscape and Recreation Planning. Elissa is working as a Project Assistant for Natural Space and Health Equity and is excited to be working at the UNDER Lab. She is very passionate about creating greenspaces that positively influence communities mental and physical health.

In her free time, Elissa loves reading, taking her dog (Lulu) for walks and going to movies & café hopping with friends.

eleduc03@student.ubc.ca

Kai Hei Mau (He/Him)

Master of Community and Regional Planning graduate; Work Learn Research Assistant (2023-2024)

Ken is currently a second-year student in the Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) Program at UBC. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). His planning interests are in urban transportation networks, equity and GIS. Equipped with the knowledge of transport planning theories and the practical skills gained from internships, Ken is experienced in geospatial research and communications.

In his leisure time, he enjoys hiking, orienteering, and playing mahjong. 

Wacey Shijing Wu

Master of Geomatics for Environmental Management graduate; Work Learn Research Assistant (2024)

Wacey recently graduated with a Master of Geomatics for Environmental Management from UBC. During her master’s program, she developed her skills in remote sensing, GIS applications, and analysis. Wacey is especially passionate about urban resilience and climate adaptability.

In her free time, Wacey enjoys hiking and exploring diverse landscapes. She also loves spending time with her cat, Shushu.

Uii547@student.ubc.ca |

Xiaofan Shen

Bachelor of Urban Forestry; Work Learn Research Assistant (2024)

Xiaofan recently graduated with a Bachelor of Urban Forestry from UBC and a Bachelor of Forestry from Zhejiang Agriculture & Forestry University. During her undergraduate studies, she developed a strong passion for addressing the environmental challenges facing contemporary cities and contributing to the sustainable management of urban landscapes. Her academic journey has equipped her with the knowledge and spatial analysis skills to foster greener, more resilient urban communities.

In her free time, Xiaofan enjoys exploring various musical instruments, immersing herself in diverse genres of music, and watching movies. She also loves swimming and cooking with friends, finding joy and relaxation in these activities.

Shen0613@student.ubc.ca |

Past members

  • Daniella Zhang, Undergraduate Research Assistant (2024)
  • Tony Xiutong Jiang (He/Him), Undergraduate Research Assistant (Work Learn) (2023-2024)
  • Sophia Collins (She/Her), Undergraduate Research Assistant (Work Learn) (2023-2024)
  • Skyler Li (She/Her), Graduate Research Assistant (Work Learn) (2023-2024)
  • Paul Liu, Undergraduate Research Assistant (Work Learn) (2022-2023)
  • Lily Du, Undergraduate Research Assistant (Work Learn) (2022-2023)
  • Wendi Zhang, Undergraduate Research Assistant (Work Learn) (2022)