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Jean-Philippe Lessard


Collaborating member

Department of Biology, Université Concordia

Department of Biology, 7141 Sherbrooke St. West
Université Concordia
Quebec, Canada

514.848.2424 #5184



Our lab works toward elucidating the ecological and evolutionary drivers of biological diversity on planet Earth. We borrow concepts and tools from community ecology and biogeography to try and gain a better understanding of the mechanisms governing the emergence, distribution and maintenance of diversity. To accomplish this, we conduct observational and experimental field studies, and compile comprehensive databases on the distributions, ecological traits and evolutionary history of species.


Research themes

  • Biodiversity gradients
  • Biogeography
  • Community ecology
  • Entomology
  • Phylogenetic ecology

Scientific communications

Lessard, J.-P., Weinstein, B.G., Borregaard, M.K., Marske, K.A., Martin, D.R., McGuire, J.A., Parra, J.L., Rahbek, C., Graham, C.H., 2016. Process-based species pools reveal the hidden signature of biotic interactions amid the influence of temperature filtering. The American Naturalist, 187(1). DOI: 10.1086/684128.

Blonder, B., Nogués-Bravo, D., Borregaard, M.K., Donoghue II, J.C., Jørgensen, P.M., Kraft, N.J.B., Lessard, J.-P., Morueta-Holme, N., Sandel, B., Svenning, J.-C., Violle, C., Rahbek, C., Enquist, B.J., 2015. Linking environmental filtering and disequilibrium to biogeography with a community climate framework. Ecology, 96(4): 972-985. DOI: 10.1890/14-0589.1.

Gibb, H., Sanders, N.J., Dunn, R.R., Watson, S., Photakis, M., Abril, S., Andersen, A.N., Angulo, E., Ambrecht, I., Arnan, X., Baccaro, F.B., Bishop, T.R., Boulay, R., Castracani, C., Del Toro, I., Delsinne, T., Diaz, M., Donoso, D.A., Enríquez, M.L., Fayle, T.M., Feener Jr., D.H., Fitzpatrick, M.C., Gómez, C., Grasso, D.A., Groc, S., Heterick, B., Hoffmann, B.D., Lach, L., Lattke, J., Leponce, M., Lessard, J.-P., Longino, J., Lucky, A., Majer, J., Menke, S.B., Mezger, D., Mori, A., Munyai, T.C., Paknia, O., Pearce-Duvet, J., Pfeiffer, M., Philpott, S.M., de Souza, J.L.P., Tista, M., Vasconcelos, H.L., Vonshak, M., Parr, C.L., 2015. Climate mediates the effects of disturbance on ant assemblage structure. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282: 20150418. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0418.

Jønsson, K.A., Lessard, J.-P., Ricklefs, R.E., 2015. The evolution of morphological diversity in continental assemblages of passerine birds. Evolution, 69(4): 879-889. DOI: 10.1111/evo.12622.

Wells, K., O’Hara, R.B., Morand, S., Lessard, J.-P., Ribas, A., 2015. The importance of parasite geography and spillover effects for global patterns of host-parasite associations in two invasive species. Diversity and Distributions, 21(4): 477-486. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12297.

Bewick, S., Stuble, K.L., Lessard, J.-P., Dunn, R.R., Adler, F.R., Sanders, N.J., 2014. Predicting future coexistence in a North American ant community. Ecology and Evolution, 4(10): 1804-1819. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.1048.

Fowler, D., Lessard, J.-P., Sanders, N.J., 2014. Niche filtering rather than partitioning shapes the structure of temperate forest ant communities. Journal of Animal Ecology, 83(4): 943-952. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2656.12188.

Carstensen, D.W., Lessard, J.-P., Holt, B.G., Borregaard, M.K., Rahbek, C., 2013. Introducing the biogeographic species pool. Ecography, 36(12): 1310-1318. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0587.2013.00329.x.

Dawson, M.N., Algar, A.C., Antonelli, A., Dávalos, L.M., Davis, E., Early, R., Guisan, A., Jansson, R., Lessard, J.-P., Marske, K.A., McGuire, J.L., Stigall, A.L., Swenson, N.G., Zimmermann, N.E., Gavin, D.G., 2013. An horizon scan of biogeography. Frontiers of Biogeography, 5(2): 130-157.

Fabre, P.-H., Moltensen, M., Fjeldså, J., Irestedt, M., Lessard, J.-P., Jønsson, K.A., 2013. Multiple waves of colonization by monarch flycatchers (Myiagra, Monarchidae) across the Indo-Pacific and their implications for coexistence and speciation. Journal of Biogeography, 41(2): 274-286. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12202.

Holt, B.G., Lessard, J.-P., Borregaard, M.K., Fritz, S.A., Araújo, M.B., Dimitrov, D., Fabre, P.-H., Graham, C.H., Graves, G.R., Jønsson, K.A., Nogués-Bravo, D., Wang, Z., Whittaker, R.J., Fjeldså, J., Rahbek, C., 2013. An update of Wallace’s zoogeographic regions of the world. Science, 339(6115): 74-78. DOI: 10.1126/science.1228282.

Holt, B.G., Lessard, J.-P., Borregaard, M.K., Fritz, S.A., Araújo, M.B., Dimitrov, D., Fabre, P.-H., Graham, C.H., Graves, G.R., Jønsson, K.A., Nogués-Bravo, D., Wang, Z., Whittaker, R.J., Fjeldså, J., Rahbek, C., 2013. Response to Comment on “An Update of Wallace’s Zoogeographic Regions of the World”. Science, 341(6144): 343. DOI: 10.1126/science.1237541.

Stuble, K.L., Chick, L.D., Rodriguez-Cabal, M.A., Lessard, J.-P., Sanders, N.J., 2013. Fire ants are drivers of biodiversity loss: a reply to King and Tschinkel (2013). Ecological Entomology, 38(6): 540-542. DOI: 10.1111/een.12050.

Xu, X., Wang, Z., Rahbek, C., Lessard, J.-P., Fang, J., 2013. Evolutionary history influences the effects of water–energy dynamics on oak diversity in Asia. Journal of Biogeography, 40(11): 2146-2155. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12149.

Lessard, J.-P., Belmaker, J., Myers, J.A., Chase, J.M., Rahbek, C., 2012. Inferring local ecological processes amid species pool influences. Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 27(11): 600-607. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2012.07.006.

Lessard, J.-P., Borregaard, M.K., Fordyce, J.A., Rahbek, C., Weiser, M.D., Dunn, R.R., Sanders, N.J., 2012. Strong influence of regional species pools on continent-wide structuring of local communities. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279: 266-274. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2011.0552.

Lessard, J.-P., Reynolds, W.N., Bunn, W.A., Genung, M.A., Cregger, M.A., Felker-Quinn, E., Barrios-Garcia, N.M., Stevenson, M.L., Lawton, M.R., Brown, C.B., Patrick, M., Rock, J.H., Jenkins, M.A., Bailey, J.K., Schweitzer, J.A., 2012. Equivalence in the strength of deer herbivory on above and below ground communities. Basic and Applied Ecology, 13(1): 59-66. DOI: 10.1016/j.baae.2011.11.001.

Jenkins, C.N., Sanders, N.J., Andersen, A.N., Arnan, X., Brühl, C.A., Cerda, X., Ellison, A.M., Fisher, B.L., Fitzpatrick, M.C., Gotelli, N.J., Gove, A.D., Guénard, B., Lattke, J.E., Lessard, J.-P., McGlynn, T.P., Menke, S.B., Parr, C.L., Philpott, S.M., Vasconcelos, H.L., Weiser, M.D., Dunn, R.R., 2011. Global diversity in light of climate change: the case of ants. Diversity and Distributions, 17(4): 652-662. DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00770.x.

Lessard, J.-P., Sackett, T.E., Reynolds, W.N., Fowler, D.A., Sanders, N.J., 2011. Determinants of the detrital arthropod community structure: the effects of temperature and resources along an environmental gradient. Oikos, 120: 333-343. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0706.2010.18772.x .

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