- Botanist, Jardin botanique de Montréal
- Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, Université de Montréal
- [email protected]
Areas of research and expertise
- Wetland ecology
- Ecosystem dynamics
- Historical ecology and paleoecology
- Rare plant conservation
- Plant-herbivore relations
- Urban ecology
Ph.D.Land Use Planning, 2003
About my work
In my research, I try to understand how different disturbances, past and present, either manmade or natural, influence plant communities. I specialize in wetland ecology and urban ecology, and study plant communities in cities and in peat bogs. The aim of my work is to come up with management plans adapted to these habitats and to help preserve plant biodiversity.
How has the human transformation of a given landscape affected the vegetation in the ecosystems that are still there? What positive or negative influences does growing urbanization have on biodiversity? That’s the kind of questions I ask in my work. To answer them, I conduct flora inventories in the field. I also use satellite images, maps and paleoecological analyses to understand landscape dynamics over time and interpret their evolution. My field is multidisciplinary. In addition to using these different tools, I also collaborate with people like hydrogeologists and geographers. Conservation is another aspect of my work. I work on projects to protect and restore populations of rare Quebec plants. I’m involved in both federal and provincial processes to designate species at risk, for instance.
Why I love research
I’m really interested in starting with a question and using different means to try to find the answer. I like being able to interpret how our actions affect other organisms, both plants and animals. I’m sociable and dynamic and like working as part of a team. I enjoy my relationships with my students and working together on research projects. I hope they’ll be able to take up the torch in future, and manage to train other people in turn. Finally, it’s tremendously satisfying to see government authorities get on board with my work.