Lael Parrott


Biology, Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences
Other Titles: Dean, Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science
Office: ASC 401
Phone: 250.807.8122

Research Summary

Understanding ecosystems and landscapes as complex systems in which human and biophysical processes are coupled across multiple scales of space and time; incorporating complexity into natural resource management approaches; regional-scale landscape modelling; social-ecological networks; agent and individual-based modelling approaches; landscape science and scenario building.

Courses & Teaching

Dynamic modelling of coupled human-environment systems.


Lael Parrott is a Professor in Sustainability and Dean of the Irving K. Barber Faculty of Science at The University of British Columbia. She is cross-appointed in the Departments of Earth, Environmental and Geographic Sciences and Biology on UBC’s Okanagan Campus.  Prior to joining UBC, she was an Associate Professor in Environmental Geography and Director of the Complex Systems Laboratory at Université de Montréal (2001-2012).

Dr. Parrott leads an internationally recognized research program in modelling and characterising contemporary regional landscapes and ecosystems as complex human-environment systems.  She promotes a holistic, complex systems vision of managing land and water resources at the landscape scale. She has extensive experience in leading multipartite groups to share this vision to find sustainable management solutions that reconcile ecological, societal and economic objectives. Her innovative, complex systems approach to studying the environment earned her the honour of being named one of 25 “movers and shakers” of Quebec society with bright ideas for the future (Canadian National News Magazine, Actualité, Sept. 2009. Click here to download article).

Dr. Parrott grew up in Vancouver, BC and maintains a close connection to BC’s landscapes.  She is currently Vice-President for Access and Environment on the  National Board of Directors of the Alpine Club of Canada. She divides her time between work, family, and the mountains.


The Complex Environmental Systems Lab
Google Scholar


PhD, Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering, McGill University
MSc, Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering, McGill University
BSc, Agricultural Engineering, McGill University


Do our mountains matter?, UBC Okanagan News, May 2019

Lake Country endorses saving wildlife corridor, Lake Country Calendar, September 2017.

Appreciating the full value of farmland,  BC Fruit Growers Magazine, Summer 2017.

How to deter black bears? Educate People., The Wildlife Society, March 2017.

Oh, the Places They’ll Go, Fur Bearers Defender Radio Podcast, Episode 413: January 24, 2017

Plans for Kelowna wildlife corridor being formed, Capital News, 11-01-2017

Conserving bears with computer modelling, Whistler Pique Newsmagazine, 13-10-2016

How Canada Stopped Ships From Colliding With Whales (23-06-2016, California media report). The government, industry, and scientists worked together to devise a plan to permit shipping while protecting marine mammals.

Saving Canada’s Only Desert (12-08-2016, Deutsche Welle press).

Slowing down ships saves whales (16-06-2016, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Research News)


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