Sustainable municipal wastewater treatment using fast-growing willow

A study recently published in ScienceDirect by a team of IRBV researchers (Frédéric Pitre, Michel Labrecque) and students (Eszter Sas, Adrien Frémont, Ahmed Jerbi, etc.) has shown that millions of liters of used wastewater could be treated through the use of fast growing willows while producing bioenergy and “green” chemical products. The publication of this study was the object of an article in UdeM Nouvelles, read here (in French). The ScienceDirect article can be downloaded here.

Photo: Eszter Sas (Ph.D. student) and Frédéric Pitre (researcher).

FRQ-Esplanade grant for Marie-Anne Viau

A project initiated by Marie-Anne Viau from Michel Labrecque’s research lab, in collaboration with Miel Montréal, was just awarded a 5000$ grant by FRQ-Esplanade. The purpose of the project is the study of the risk of bioamplification of pollutants by pollinating insects through honey-yielding plants around a contaminated lot in Montreal East. The team wishes to thank Esplanade and the FRQ for financially supporting this innovative green project.

M.Sc. project in viticulture

Understanding the impact of climate on the physiology and metabolism of cultures is crucial. Therefore, the team of Frédéric Pitre is looking for a motivated M.Sc candidate for a project in biological science, specifically in viticulture and plant biochemistry. The purpose of the project is the study of the impact of temperature on the metabolism of grapes and will integrate various aspects of the science of plant biology such as experimental design, the collection of physiological data, the analysis of primary and secondary metabolites as well as the modelisation of data.

For further information, see this PDF document.

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.