Buzzing advertisment billboards

A pilot project which will see the installation of nests for solitary bees on billboards has recently been the subject of an article on UdeM Nouvelles. The project, under the supervision of entomologist Étienne Normandin-Leclerc, was put together with the intention of gathering data on the identity and health of various species of bees and other nesting insects in urban environments.

Read online on UdeM Nouvelles (in French).

photo credit: Getty

Registration is open for the 31st Symposium of the Department of Biological Sciences

The registration period for the 31st Symposium of Biological Sciences Department of the UdeM is now open. The registration is free, but mandatory for you to be able to access the Gather Platform, hosting this virtual event.

For this 31st Symposium, the theme is The Zomb’ideas, referring to those outdated or preconceived ideas that although refuted, persist over time.

This edition will be held virtually during the 2 afternoons of 13 and 14 May. You will find other useful information on the symposium website, such as the detail program, presentation of the theme, or even the speakers and communications abstracts.

In the meantime, stay tuned for the latest event news by subscribing to our Facebook page, or do not hesitate to write to us at

Prestigious grant for Anne-Lise Routier

Congratulations to Anne-Lise Routier and her 2 collegues who have just been awarded a prestigious grant from the Human Frontier Science Program (category Research Grants, Early Career). Their highly original project, titled Coupling movement and metabolism in plant stomatal cells: a multiscale and multiphysics approach, was granted 1 095 000 USD over three years. Anne-Lise appears to be the second University of Montreal professor to receive such a grant.

The news has made it into UdeM Nouvelles, read here (in French).

Photo legend, left to right, top to bottom:
Anne-Lise Routier (IRBV, University of Montreal), Lily Cheung (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA), Michael Raissig (Heidelberg University, Germany)
Brachypodium distachyon, the model organism used in this project.

New philanthropic fund at the IRBV

The University of Montreal’s Biodiversity Centre Collection Fund was just created, thanks to the initiative and generosity of our collegue Luc Brouillet. The purpose of this new fund is to support the Marie-Victorin Herbarium, the Ouellet-Robert Entomologic Collection and the Fungarium. We are hoping that further generous donators will contribute to the fund. Huge thanks to Luc for this great gesture.

When the bloom is off

UdeM Nouvelle and Le Devoir have both just published online articles about an important study recently published in Current Biology by the IRBV’s Simon Joly and McGill University’s Daniel Schoen.

Cleistogamy is a trait of certain flower species that produce beautiful, normal flowers to attract pollinating insects as well as ‘runts’ which are able to self-pollinate. The article confirms a 150-year old theory by Darwin stating that this self-polinating trait could be associated to bilaterally symmetric flowers. In order to verify this hypothesis, Simon Joly and Daniel Schoen studied over 2500 different flowering plants.

Read the full articles in UdeM Nouvelles and Le Devoir (both in French).

The CMMF fungarium featured

The CMMF fungarium featured in a repertoire of Quebec cortinarius

An important report on Quebec cortinarius has just been published (J. Landry et al. Janv. 2021) presenting over 1000 collections of specimen of this genus, including a large portion from the CMMF Fungarium which were sequenced and submitted to a phylogenetic analysis. The results of these analyses have revealed the existence of 363 species including 263 described species and 100 previously unknown. This is a first step, but further investigations will be necessary to completely understand the species that are part of this, the largest genus of the agarics in Quebec.

The 252-page repertoire includes of a photo of every species and is available in open access on the Mycoquébec blog.

Winners of the 2020 photo contest of the IRBV

The winners of the IRBV 2020 photo competition are:

Scientists In Action category: Béatrice Gervais
Working with contaminated soil
Neither the Botanical Garden nor the members of the team who participated in recycling and mixing contaminated soil for greenhouse experiments can be recognized. From 2019, we were taking major protective measures!

Life At The IRBV category: Marion Leménager
International Day of Women in Science
On February 11, we celebrated the International Day of Women in Science with this group photo!

Field Or Laboratory category: Audréanne Loiselle
A peatland symphony
Installation of a microphone in a floating bog to record song insects. The species are then identified by audiovisual analysis of the spectrograms of the recordings.

Flora And Fauna category: Rosalie Beauchamp
Canopy puzzle
Canopy formed by Agonis flexuosa (Willd.) Sweet at d’Entrecasteaux National Park in Australia. The crown shyness phenomenon is still poorly understood and can only be observed in certain tree species. Adaptation against the spread of pathogens, abrasion of branches when they swing in the wind, fierce competition for light or, on the contrary, a peaceful agreement to share space?