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Maxim Larrivée

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Maxim Larrivée

About my work…

As Section Head, Entomological Collections and Research, I work with a team of enthusiastic colleagues. They share their love of insects with the general public, help people get over their fears and introduce them to the wonders of insects. From day to day, I take care of the mounted and live collections at the Insectarium, valuable indicators of worldwide biodiversity.

I’m a great believer in citizen science: science is all about collegiality and co-operation. That’s why I co-direct eButterfly, a project based on public input that tracks the distribution of butterflies in Quebec and other parts of Canada and in the United States, and Mission Monarch, which focuses on monarch butterfly breeding grounds in Canada. Thanks to help from the public, these projects tell us where butterflies are found in real time. They give researchers all kinds of extra eyes to improve our conservation efforts.

I’m also putting together a network to track insects in Quebec’s Far North, in co-operation with young people in Inuit communities. Our goal is to gather baseline data and use it for long-term studies. This is essential for identifying the type and pace of changes in the microfauna there. Even today, we don’t know enough about the rich biodiversity of the North.

Why I like research

Research lets me contribute to our collective knowledge and make people aware of the beauty around us and the importance of preserving it. But what really motivates me is the pure pleasure of discovery: when I find something new for me, for instance an insect I have never seen before somewhere or at a certain time of year. This new knowledge allows me to understand and predict where I can find it the next time.

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