Spatio-temporal evolution population genetics of spruce budworm outbreak
The spruce budworm (SBW; Choristoneura fumiferana) is a lepidopteran forest pest that devastates huge areas of spruce and fir forest. This defoliator undergoes population oscillations of 30-35 years, which typically include 5-10 years at high outbreak levels causing extensive forest mortality, reducing tree growth and influencing timber and fibre production. SBW outbreak dynamics are shaped by the complex interactions among climate, forest structure, communities of natural enemies, and dispersal.
Despite the significance of movement to the spatial dynamics of SBW outbreaks, little is known about SBW dispersal, how it varies with spatial context and over course of an outbreak, and how it affects spatial synchrony in outbreak dynamics. Using >1000 SBW larvae sampled over several years and genotyped at >190000 SNP loci, we apply tools and methods from spatial population genetics to characterize genetic connectivity among outbreak patches in the current outbreak in eastern north America. Using this information on genetic connectivity, and how it varies within and among years, we will infer patterns of gene flow and dispersal.
(co-advised with Marc-Andre Villard and Dan Kneeshaw)
Efficient and effective protection of forest resources against the current SBW outbreak requires the development of new early intervention approaches. My project examines how insectivorous birds can be used as outbreak sentinels at local scales to guide such early intervention. Indeed, it is well known that the abundance of several bird species increases well before defoliation becomes visible. I am developing statistically models to link the presence/absence of defoliation to the abundance of three species of SBW-specialized warblers (Chestnut-sided warbler, Tennessee Warbler, and the Cape May warbler), as well as to that of Evening Grosbeak using over 2000 listening points. In these models, we will test different temporal delays (1 to 3 years) between bird counts and defoliation while also accounting for the influence of forest structure (composition, age, configuration) and annual variation in bird phenology. Our study area is located in Eastern Québec (Côte-Nord, Bas-St- Laurent and Gaspésie). Our models will aim to identify (1) landscape characteristics associated with the propagation of the outbreak and (2) time lags between avian numerical response and SBW defoliation.
Co-supervised by Marc-André Villard and Dan Kneeshaw (UQAM).
My research project focuses on characterizing the spatial dynamics and estimating the dispersal abilities of key species of SBW parasitoid using landscape ecology and landscape genetic approaches.
My research examines spatial patterns of neutral and adaptive genetic variation in systems undergoing geographic expansion. My research is particularly focused on developing a better understanding of the genetic and genomic dynamics of range expansion in the mountain pine beetle. I use simulation modelling approaches (e.g. CDMetaPop) and analysis of empirical data to answer questions about movement, local adaptation, and future outbreak risk. I am fond of R and I am always keen on discussing way to improve landscape genetics and landscape genomics methods.
Projet : Modélisation de l’effet du changement de la phénologie de l’espèce hôte sur les épidémies de tordeuse des bourgeons de l’épinette.
Co-dirigée avec Liliana Perez; UdeM; Géographie
Je m’intéresse à la compréhension des processus naturels complexes des écosystèmes pour aborder la complexité des défis actuels liés à l’environnement. Mon projet de recherche vise à développer un modèle dynamique de simulation afin d’examiner dans quelles conditions climatiques les changements de la phénologie de l’espèce hôte (épinette noire), en particulier l’incrément de la synchronie phénologique entre les espèces, peuvent affecter les épidémies de tordeuse des bourgeons de l’épinette.
Ryan is investigating the consequences of outbreaking population dynamics on the temporal development of spatial genetic structure. Using an individual-based simulation modelling approach (CDMetaPop), he is specifically examining how outbreak frequency, dispersal capacity, and population size affect the creation and maintenance of genetic structure through time. This work will provide a baseline for expected spatial and temporal neutral genetic dynamics in outbreaking species such as the mountain pine beetle and spruce budworm and will improve genetic estimates of demography and effective connectivity in these systems.
(Co-supervised with Steven Kembel; UQAM)
Mathieu is interested in spatial and temporal dynamics of the gut microbial community associated with C. fumiferana. He is also investigating how the microbial community benefits the budworm and what effect it may have on budworm parasitism.
Louis-Etienne Robert - Post-doc @ UQAM
Colin Garroway - Assistant Professor @ University of Manitoba - Web site
Ronan Marrec - Assistant Professor @ University of Picardie Jules Verne - Web Site
Dominique Caron (M.Sc.)
Paul Mayrand (M.Sc.)
Olivier Pontbriand-Paré (M.Sc.)
Daiana Tourne (PhD student; Brazil) - 2018
Helena Ruiz Carbayo (PhD Student; CREAF, Spain) - 2017
Arnald Marcer (Researcher - CREAF, Spain) - 2016
Patricia Sanae Suji (PhD Student; Brazil) - 2015
Initiation to Research (BIO2050 / BIO3050)
Xiao Ju - 2017-2018
Cheng Ji - 2017
Antoine Asselin-Nguyen - 2015
Alexandrine Larson-Dupuis - 2015
Roger-Micheal Deschènes - 2015
Chloé Frédette - 2015
Olivier Pontbriand-Paré - 2014, 2013
Emmanuelle Batisse - 2013
Karyna Alexeyeva - 2012
Laurent Alflalo - 2012
Axelle Bono - 2012
Melissa Goepfert - 2012
Xiao Ju - 2016
David Touchette - 2015
Elsa Le - 2014
Sandrine Harrison - 2014
Cheng Ji (NSERC UGRA) - 2017
Raphaëlle Grondin (Research assistant) - 2017
Anais Boa (NSERC UGRA) - 2016
Roger-Micheal Deschènes (Research assistant) - 2015
Chloé Fredette (Research assistant) - 2015
Marie-Line Buteau (NSERC UGRA) - 2015
Soufiane Tahir (NSERC UGRA) - 2014
Camille Marier-Desroches (NSERC UGRA) - 2014
Élise St.-Pierrre (Lab assistant) - 2014
Elsa Le (Intern) - 2014
Paul Mayrand (MFC summer student) - 2014
Olivier Pontbriand-Paré (field assistant) - 2014
Guillaume Beaulieu-Pelletier (field assistant) - 2014
Stéphanie Berthiaume (field assistant) - 2014
Félix Massé (field assistant) - 2013
Student Funding Information