Laura Pollock

I’m an Assistant Professor in quantitative ecology at McGill University. My research addresses various topics in ecology, biogeography, and conservation, but I’m increasingly drawn to the pursuit of making sense of large-scale biodiversity patterns via statistical models. I’ve worked in a variety of places and continents- most recently in France with Wilfried Thuiller on a Marie Curie project CLEF ‘Conserving the Legacy of Evolution into the Future’. Before that in Australia at the University of Melbourne as part of the National Environmental Research Program (NERP Environmental Decisions Hub). And before that doing a PhD with Pete Vesk studying the coolest trees known to man (eucalypts, in case you weren’t aware of that fact), and before that in lowland swamps and marshes of the Gulf of Mexico with Loretta Battaglia, and before that in my own backyard- the mountains of Wyoming with Kate Dwire.

Janaína Serrano

Janaína is doing a PhD in conservation biogeography. She’s interested in how threats impact species distributions across the landscape, especially those related to climate and land-use change. She is currently comparing threat based on trait vulnerability assessments to climate change risk and population trends to identify species likely at risk but not currently listed. That and trying to survive her first Canadian winter!

Isaac Eckert

Isaac is doing a PhD on the biogeography of Canadian species and is interested in the implications of the northern biodiversity paradox- climate projections indicate large increases in the diversity of many northern communities, but how realistic are these projections? which species might track their climate niche and why? How does a static reserve system match with the dynamic nature of expected climate change shifts?

Dominique Caron

Dominique is doing a PhD on species interactions and trying to understand the set of circumstances that lead to different types of interactions, particularly those in food webs. He is building models that are able to predict interactions for species that don’t currently have empirical data available (most of them), and is interested in how species interactions might vary between clades or regions. Dom is also our resident expert on all things Montréal. Dom’s website.

Louise O’Connor


Louise is doing a PhD project (co-supervised with W. Thuiller) on the biogeography and conservation of food webs. She is working with a a fantastic dataset of species interactions for vertebrates across Europe and is using a bunch of cool methods- stochastic block models, species distribution models, and spatial conservation planning tools.

Julia McDowell

Julia is PhD student (co-supervised by David Mouillot) working on ecological and socio-economic networks in marine systems. She is using hydrodynamic networks and cultural and political considerations to understand connectivity in marine reserves and plan for their future.

Abbie Jones


Abbie is a PhD student (co-supervised with Brian Leung) working on advances in species distribution models that correct for spatial and taxonomic biases and that combine presence-only with presence-absence datasets.. and she’s doing lots of them (for tens of thousands of plant species!).

Noah Wightman

Noah is a PhD student (co-supervised with Brian Leung) working on integrative models that use different input data sources (presence-only, survey data, reserve species lists) to account for different types of bias in distribution and occupancy models. Currently, he is using survey data and simulations to figure out how to deal with correlated probabilities and the discrepancy between the scale at which we sample versus the scale at which we would like to make predictions.

Andrea Brown

Andrea is a MSc student interested in the ecology and conservation of birds in Canada. She’s quantifying the threats posed by climate and land-use change for all Canadian bird species by combining species distribution models, functional trait ecology and conservation risk assessments. Andrea is particularly interested in arctic birds and previously worked on the migratory behaviour of the Snowy Owl. She’s also a Montréal local and source of invaluable information like the best cabane à sucre and apple orchards.

Joey Burant

Joey is a postdoctoral researcher and teaching fellow with the Living Data Project. Along with the other LDP postdocs, Joey is developing and teaching in all of the modules associated with the project, including open science principles, reproducible research, data management, synthesis statistics, and collaboration. Joey’s also a population ecologist and studies how habitat loss leads to population decline in experiments and wild populations of Drosophila. See more on his research page and twitter.

Darren Li

Darren is an undergraduate Research Assistant in the lab. He expertly cleans and builds databases, and is gaining the important skill of deciphering badly annotated code! Darren has taken an interest in functional diversity, and is mapping functional diversity for Canadian vertebrates according to various metrics.

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