News from the lab !

Dennis Escolástico-Ortiz successfully defended his doctoral thesis on the population genomics, genotype/microbiome interaction and functional diversity of the bacteria  associated with the moss Racomitrium lanuginosum.  Dennis started a postdoc at Natural Resources Canada. We hope the best for Dennis ! Our lab has three new members. For the summer, we have the visit of Ève […]

Fieldwork in a hyperdiverse Neotropical rainforest

The Chocó-Darién region is one of the 25 global biodiversity hotspots.  Our lab was invited to do fieldwork in a remote area in Río Balsas, Darién. The project, spearheaded by Dr. Catherine Potvin (Mcgill University), aims at documenting this important biodiversity hotspot while sharing and exchanging knowledge with local Emberá communities. Dr. Potvin’s team has […]

Panama dice no a la minería- triunfo para los ambientalistas

El año 2023 fue un año transcendental para los panameños. Con gran preocupación por la falta de un plan detallado a largo plazo por parte de las autoridades locales, nosotros escribimos una nota al editor de la revista Nature. Nuestra nota hace eco sobre la nota escrita por el colega Iván Landires (y colaboradores) en […]

The most comprehensive bryophyte phylogeny to date

Hot off the press ! We have just published the most comprehensive phylogenomic study of bryophytes. An effort born out the collaboration between the leaders of the goflag project and several North American, Latin American, European and Australian institutions. The goflag project is spearheaded by Gordon Burleigh, Stuart McDaniel, Christine Davis (U. of Florida), and Emily […]

Loss of a giant

We lost the director of our Institute, Louis Bernatchez. Since my arrival to the IBIS in 2016, Louis showed extraordinary support.  He was also the best example of leadership I have seen so far. His intellectual contribution to science is astronomical and his passion and support for his students and staff are legendary.  We are […]

The diazotrophic bacteria have an impact on the nitrogen budget in the Canadian tundra.

Exciting news about our research regarding moss-symbiosis. Moss-bacterial communities have a core microbiome and bacteria recruited from environmental sources, and symbiotic N2-fixing bacteria contribute to the N budget in northern ecosystems through biological nitrogen fixation. This process may be affected by the abundance of diazotrophs and moss nutrient content. As part of his thesis research, […]

Lichens du Québec

Nous avons des nouvelles de notre équipe de travail. Marta et Annie St-Louis ont fait un jour de vulgarisation sur les lichens à la Maison Léon Provancher. En plus, Philip vient de publier (voir pdf) des lichens del’Archipel-de-Mingan.  Philip a fait un entrevue sur la diversité et l’importance des lichens de la Côte-Nord. Bravo !! ———— […]

Fieldwork and news from the lab

This month we did fieldwork in the Parc des Grands Jardins and collected reindeer lichens (Cladonia stellaris) for whole genome sequencing. We got also great news, Lilisbeth del Carmen Rodríguez-Castro obtained a prestigious ELAP fellowship to visit the lab from August 2023-February 2024.  Lilisbeth will be working on the metagenomic assembly of bacterial epiphytes associated […]

Lab photo 2023

From left to right:  Dennis, Alyson, JC, Marta, Philip, Chinedou, Laura, Adriel.

Guillaume’s visit and a trip to l’Assemblée Nationale du Québec

This week we have an invited speaker, Guillaume Chomicki. Guillaume has done some fantastic work on mutualism and plant-ant interactions. After his conference, we did a lab “field-trip” to the Québec National Parliament, a beautiful building with much history. We also enjoyed a sunny and warm spring day after a long gruelling winter.    

Fieldwork in Panama

During our “lecture week” or a winter break, we have a time off from the strike.  In that week, we headed to Panama to do some fieldwork. One of the young undergraduates in our lab, Mia Roy, went to assist Lilisbeth in her fieldwork. Lilisbeth is doing fantastic work on the phyllosphere microbiota of the […]

Lilisbeth was awarded a STRI short-term fellowship to study Zamia pseudoparasitica

We just got the news that Lilisbeth Rodríguez-Castro, was awarded a STRI short-term fellowship . These are highly competitive and prestigious fellowships to foster research on tropical settings, especially Panama. Lilisbeth will continue her fascinating work on the only epiphytic gymnosperm, Zamia pseudoparasitica. Her work is part of her master’s thesis in the Program of Environmental Microbiology […]

Fieldwork in Panama

As part of our Canada Research Chair on symbiosis of tropical plants, we have done fieldwork in Panama with Adriel Sierra Pinilla (doctoral student), Lilisbeth Rodríguez-Castro (master’s student in the program of Environmental Microbiology, Universidad de Panamá) and Pedro Castillo-Caballero (a talented undergraduate at the Universidad de Panamá).  Adriel is doing research on the impact […]

Cycads and climate change

Global warming is a climatic phenomenon of unprecedented impact in various ecosystems of the world. Its consequences, especially on polar regions, from ice melting to temperature records, is now well documented. Studying the responses to climate change in the tropics is of capital importance to predict the impacts of global warming at a global scale […]

Fieldwork in the Scottish Highlands

Our lab is pursuing a global study on Cladonia stellaris (and other reindeer lichens) to expand our sampling from Eastern Canada and unravel the systematics and dispersal patterns of this charismatic lichen, our national lichen. A sampling campaign has already started in Europe, beginning in the Scottish Highlands. We also collected the woolly fringe moss, Racomitrium lanuginosum, […]

Lab photo – Summer 2022

From left to right: Marta, Dennis, JC, Laura, Adriel, Benjamin, Rafael. Philip was in Kuujjuarapik during the week.

Lichen woodlands in Québec: microbiomes, soil and fire

Our lab is continuing research in the Parc National des Grands Jardins to unravel the genomic diversity of reindeer lichens (especially Cladonia stellaris), their microbiome and the complex interactions between soil chemistry and microbial diversity.  This week, Benjamin Villeneuve, Rafael Forteza and Jérémi Larue-Grondin were collecting C. stellaris and soil as part of the project. Following […]

Funding for a master student working on tropical cycads

In English and French More info on the lab:

Who’s eating the seeds of the only known epiphytic gymnosperm?

As part of our SENACYT funded grant, Claudio Monteza and Lilisbeth Rodríguez-Castro have led a project to uncover the seed dispersers of the only known epiphytic gymnosperm, the Panamanian cycad Zamia pseudoparasitica. They set  arboreal camera trapping between October 2019 and March 2020 in three sites in Central Panama, yielding an accumulated survey effort of […]

Co-dispersal of symbionts in the reindeer lichen Cladonia stellaris

Marta just published her most recent paper in collaboration with Raquel Pino Bodas, an expert on Cladonia‘s biology.  In this recent paper, they explored the genetic diversity in the proposed Canadian national lichen, Cladonia stellaris. They genotyped 122 individuals collected across a latitudinal gradient in Quebec. Using a population genomic approach for the main fungus, […]