A fellow of Queen's University Centre for International and Defense Policy, Brister's research interests include Canadian and American Foreign and Security Policy, Asia-Pacific security issues, non-traditional security issues, and the study of strategy at the individual, domestic, interstate, and global levels. He also conducts research in the fields of asymmetric warfare including terrorism, the use of Special Forces, and guerrilla and revolutionary war.
Brister holds a PhD from the Royal Military College of Canada and applies over 30 years of military experience and operations to his research, publication, and teaching responsibilities. He has lectured and conducted primary source research across Canada and the United States as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Vietnam, China, and South Korea. Over the course of his research and lecturing he has established relationships with faculty at the Universities of Toronto, Alberta, and British Columbia, the National University and Nanyang Technical University in Singapore, Ho Chi Minh University in Vietnam, the China University of Petroleum, Renmin University, and the China Association for Military Science in China, and the International Council on Korean Studies, The Korea Institute for Maritime Strategy and the Sejong Institute in South Korea.
Brister consults regularly with policy and analytical staff within the Department of National Defence and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. He also contributes analysis and perspective in the national media regarding contemporary events that fall within his areas of subject matter expertise. His publications include a book on contemporary Canada-United States security relations and a number of book chapters and scholarly articles on his other research interests.