CSEE 2018!

Ryan, Jennifer, Julian, Jeremy, and Patrick all participate in the 2018 CSEE meeting in Guelph! Great talks and discussions all around. 

Spruce Budworm Early Intervention Funding Approved!

Phase II of the Spruce Budworm Early Intervention Strategy project was funded by the federal government! This means we will be looking for new graduate students to join our team in the near future.


The sustainable management of our natural resources leads to long term economic opportunity. Research on the spruce budworm, one of the most damaging pests to spruce trees in Canada, has identified ways to protect forests against its cyclical outbreaks. This is critical to support the forest industry and, in turn, jobs in parts of the country—such as Atlantic Canada—where the forestry sector is an important part of the economy. Through Budget 2018, the Government proposes to take action alongside Atlantic provinces and the forest industry, by making available up to $74.75 million over five years, starting in 2018–19, based on a 60:40 federal to provincial and industry cost sharing basis, to prevent the spread of spruce budworm. Federal contributions will come from Natural Resources Canada. This will allow government, academia, industry and other stakeholders to continue to work together to protect our forests and support the economy.

Some details here : http://business.financialpost.com/news/federal-budget-fine-print-a-look-at-some-details-that-might-have-slipped-under-the-radar


Catching up...

It's been a while since there has been an update - so here is a summary of the what has been going on in the James lab for the past few months!

November 2017

  • Jade Canape joins the team as resident lab wizard and DNA wrangler. Welcome Jade!
  • Jeremy travelled to Quebec City for bioinformatics training at IBIS!
  • Patrick gave an invited talk at McGill

December 2017

  • Jennifer, Julian, and Jeremy presented their projects at the 2017 QCBS Symposium!

January 2018

  • Patrick starts his sabbatical year!
  • Patrick gave invited talks at the University of Toronto at Mississauga and Trent University / OMNRF!
  • Patrick spent two weeks with Marie-Josee Fortin at the University of Toronto working on spatial statistics questions

February 2018

  • Jennifer Sauri won best student poster at the UdeM Forum Environnement 2018!
Jennifer presenting her excellent poster

Jennifer presenting her excellent poster

March 2018

  • Jeremy and Marion presented their projects at the Spruce Budworm Early Intervention Science Workshop in Fredericton, NB.
  • Julian was awarded a bourse de la réussite étudiante!
  • Paul Mayrand (former Msc student) was nominated for the Governor General’s gold medal for this thesis!
  • Dominique Caron presented his project on modelling the spatial scale of mountain pine beetle genetic connectivity at the Annual Symposium du Département de Sciences Biologiques
  • Dominique was also accepted as a stagiaire at Ouranos for the summer!
  • Diana has finished her stage with us and has returned to Brazil! Until next time Daiana!
Marion explains the complex relationships between birds and spruce budworm in Fredericton ...

Marion explains the complex relationships between birds and spruce budworm in Fredericton ...

Julian presents in France!

Julian Wittische recently took part in a data challenge and summer school on software and statistical methods for population genetics, in Aussois, France. Participants analyzed simulated and empirical datasets with the objective of finding adaptive loci using the different state-of-the-art software introduced by the authors of the packages themselves.

Julian teamed up with Florian Privé (@privefl - https://twitter.com/privefl) and they made it to the data challenge podium as the top student team! A well-organized, challenging and instructive summer school!


Jeremy goes to ConGen

Thanks to the generous support of the QCBS, Jeremy travelled to beautiful Montana to participate in the 2017 edition of the Conservation Genetics Course: ConGenApplications of Next Gen Sequencing to Understand Population Structure, Adaptation, and Environmental Influences on Genomic Variation. 


Field Season

Warmer weather is here and the budworm are doing ... budworm things. In an effort to continue monitoring the spatial and temporal connectivity of geographically separate, yet synchronous, patches of SBW defoliation, we are collecting late instar larvae and pupae from multiple site across Quebec. These larvae will be reared to adult moths and then genotyped.

Welcome Jennifer

Jennifer Suari has joined the lab as a new MSc student co-supervised between Patrick and Lillian Perez in the Department of Geography. Jennifer will work on developing an individual-based simulation model of spruce budworm - black spruce phenology to investigate the risk of budworm range expansion in response to climate change. Welcome Jennifer!

Conference Season

Congratulations to everyone who presented talks and posters during this spring. Julian Wittische, Simon Legault, and Simon Landry presented at the annual CEF meeting and our organized ACFAS session on spruce budworm dynamics. Paul Mayrand, Louis-Etienne Robert and Patrick presented talks at the CEF meeting as well.

Here's picture of the proud lads with their posters. Great work!

We're looking for a PopGen / GBS / landscape genetics Post Doc!

Are you a motivated and talented researcher in molecular ecology and population genetics? Are you also looking for a challenging and rewarding post-doctoral research project in a great lab in a great University in a great city? 

If this is you, we are currently seeking a motivated and highly qualified post-doctoral researcher for a 1 year contract to study dispersal and population dynamics in the spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) using landscape genetics. This work is part of a large inter-disciplinary and multi-institutional research program dedicated to better understanding the fundamental ecology of the budworm outbreak system. The specific project will investigate how dispersal, landscape connectivity, and climate affect spatial-temporal population dynamics and how this information can be used to improve estimates of outbreak risk in forest areas not yet affected.

The successful candidate is expected to have experience in molecular ecology (e.g., GBS), landscape genetics, and strong skills in statistical analysis (e.g., R). Additional skills and/or curiosity in landscape ecology, forest entomology, GIS, and management of large data sets are desired. Some experience in forestry and forest management issues in Canada would also be useful.

To apply please send me (patrick.ma.james@umontreal.ca) your  current CV, contact information for three references, a writing sample (i.e., a published paper), and a precise cover letter outlining your research experience and interests  by April 1, 2016.

The expected starting date is September 2016; earlier may be possible. Note that applicants are expected to have completed their PhD at the time the contract begins.

Session spéciale sur le TBE à l'ACFAS 2016

Patrick et autres organisent une session spéciale à l'ACFAS le 9 mai 2016 à l'UQAM (Montreal) intitulé : Vers la nouvelle épidémie de tordeuse des bourgeons de l'épinette: évaluation des impacts et élaboration des interventions. Cette session a pour but de regrouper les experts sur les divers sujets touchant la tordeuse. La première partie de la journée sera dédiée à des présentations des plus récents travaux et sera suivi vers la fin de la journée d’une discussion sur les enjeux importants, les besoins de recherche et les collaborations potentielles. Si vous êtes intéressés à participer à la session, vous pouvez contacter Patrick!

Colin's new adventure

Dr. Colin Garroway, popgen whiz and resident spruce bduworm  genomics expert, is heading west to take up a new and exciting position as Assistant Professor of Population Genetics at the University of Manitoba. Best of luck Colin!


ESC / SEQ Joint Meeting

This year, the Entomological Society of Canada held its annual meeting in Montreal in combination with the Quebec Entomological Society. Patrick, Colin, Olivier, Simon, and uundergraduate lab member Chloé all presented research.  Great conference, great talks, and great plenary speakers including May Berenbaum, Marcel Dicke, Jessica Hellman, and Jessica Forrest. On the lab side of things I was very proud to see many awards given to presenting lab members! Olivier was awarded the President's Prize in Forest Ecology for his talk, Simon was awarded the Prix Melville-Duporte for his presentation, and Chloe won second place for her poster.  Congrats everyone!