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Martin Simard


Regular member

Department of geography, Université Laval

Abitibi-Price Building
2405 rue de la Terrasse
Université Laval
Quebec, Canada
G1V 0A6

418 656.2131 extension 408400




I am a professor in the Department of Geography at Laval University and my main field of research is landscape ecology. I am interested in forest dynamics and natural disturbances in boreal and subalpine forests. I obtained my undergraduate and masters degrees from Laval University and my Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I was also a postdoctoral fellow. My current research focuses on the causes and consequences of insect outbreaks and fires, using dendrochronology, GIS, and field studies.


Research Themes

  • Biogeography
  • Causes and consequences of natural and anthropogenic forest disturbances
  • Dendroecology
  • Ecosystem forest management
  • Environmental change and ecosystem resilience
  • Landscape ecology


CEN Students / Postdoctoral fellows

Baby-Bouchard, Emmanuelle (Master). Contemporary dynamics of the afforestation of an ombrotrophic peatland in the St. Lawrence Lowlands.

Deschênes, Lucas (Master - Codirector). Paleoecological reconstruction of the Lake Joncas peatland in Montmorency Forest.

Fortin, Stelsa (Doctorate). Seasonality of forest fires in a boreal context: past and present perspective.

Gaspard, Anna (Doctorate - Codirector). Characterization and evolution of major plant formations in Nunavik under climate change.

Labrecque-Foy, Julie-Pascale (Master - Codirector). Processes involved in the heterogeneity of the greening at the Nunavik treeline.

Shakeri, Zahed (Doctorate - Codirector). The natural variability of fire activity in the La Grande region in the context of global warming.


Recent CEN theses

Beaupré, Claudia , 2021 (Master - Codirection). Evolution of the structure and productivity of subarctic ecosystems in Nunavik in the 21st century.

Chagnon, Catherine , 2020 (Master - Codirection). Abundance and diversity of lichen species in Nunavik in the context of climate change.


Scientific communications

Labrecque-Foy, J.-P., Angers-Blondin, S., Ropars, P., Simard, M., Boudreau, S., 2023. The Use of Basal Area Increment to Preserve the Multi-Decadal Climatic Signal in Shrub Growth Ring Chronologies: A Case Study of Betula glandulosa in a Rapidly Warming Environment. Atmosphere, 14(2): 319, 319. DOI: 10.3390/atmos14020319.

Chagnon, C., Simard, M., Boudreau, S., 2021. Patterns and determinants of lichen abundance and diversity across a subarctic to arctic latitudinal gradient. Journal of Biogeography, 48(11): 2742–2754. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.14233.

Marquis, B., Bergeron, Y., Simard, M., Tremblay, F., 2021. Disentangling the effect of topography and microtopography on near-ground growing-season frosts at the boreal-temperate forest ecotone (Québec, Canada). New Forests, 52: 1079-1098. DOI: 10.1007/s11056-021-09840-7.

Marquis, B., Duval, P., Bergeron, Y., Simard, M., Thiffault, N., Tremblay, F., 2021. Height growth stagnation of planted spruce in boreal mixedwoods: Importance of landscape, microsite, and growing-season frosts. Forest Ecology and Management, 479, 118533. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2020.118533.

Marquis, B., Bergeron, Y., Simard, M., Tremblay, F., 2020. Growing‐season frost is a better predictor of tree growth than mean annual temperature in boreal mixedwood forest plantations. Global Change Biology, 26(11): 6537-6554. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.15327.

Marquis, B., Bergeron, Y., Simard, M., Tremblay, F., 2020. Probability of spring frosts, not growing degree-days, drives onset of spruce bud burst in plantations at the boreal-temperate forest ecotone. Frontiers in Plant Science, 11, 1031. DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2020.01031.

Ropars, P., Simard, M., Boudreau, S., 2020. Le rôle des herbivores vertébrés sur la dynamique des communautés végétales au Nunavik. Le Naturaliste Canadien, 144(1): 24-36. DOI: 10.7202/1068216ar.

Cotton-Gagnon, A., Simard, M., De Grandpré, L., Kneeshaw, D., 2018. Salvage logging during spruce budworm outbreaks increases defoliation of black spruce regeneration. Forest Ecology and Management, 430: 421-430. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2018.08.011.

Germain, D., Dagenais Du Fort, É., Lajeunesse, P., Simard, M., 2018. Dendrogeomorphic reconstruction of the seasonal timing and rainfall threshold for debris slide occurrence in eastern Canada. Dendrochronologia, 52: 57-66. DOI: 10.1016/j.dendro.2018.09.007.

Lafleur, B., Fenton, N.J., Simard, M., Leduc, A., Paré, D., Valeria, O., Bergeron, Y., 2018. Ecosystem management in paludified boreal forests: enhancing wood production, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration at the landscape level. Forest Ecosystems, 5, 27. DOI: 10.1186/s40663-018-0145-z.

Simard, M., Dorion, H., 2018. Feux de forêt: agent de régénération. Pages 36-37 in Brousseau, Y., Mercier, G. (Editors). Le Québec d'une carte à l'autre. Géographie, Presses de l’Université du Québec. Quebec, Canada.

Simard, M., Monteil, L., 2018. Tordeuse des bourgeons de l'épinette: des épidémies cycliques. Pages 34-35 in Brousseau, Y., Mercier, G. (Editors). Le Québec d'une carte à l'autre. Géographie, Presses de l’Université du Québec. Quebec, Canada.

Preston, C.M., Simard, M., Bergeron, Y., Bernard, G., Wasylishen, R.E., 2017. Charcoal in organic horizon and surface mineral soil in a boreal forest fire chronosequence of western Quebec: Stocks, depth distribution, chemical properties and a synthesis of related studies. Frontiers in Earth Science, 5: Article 98. DOI: 10.3389/feart.2017.00098.

Turner, M., Simard, M., 2017. Using spatial statistics and landscape metrics to compare disturbance mosaics. Pages 175-190 in Gergel, S., Turner, M. (Editors). Learning Landscape Ecology - A Practical Guide to Concepts and Techniques. Springer-Verlag. New York, United States.

Lafleur, B., Renard, S., Leroy, C., Fenton, N.J., Simard, M., Gauthier, S., Paré, D., Leduc, A., Thiffault, N., Bergeron, Y., 2016. Silviculture to sustain productivity in black spruce paludified forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 375: 172-181. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2016.05.037.

Simard, M., Lajeunesse, P., 2015. The interaction between insect outbreaks and debris slides in a glacial valley of the eastern Canadian Shield. Ecosystems, 18(7): 1281-1289. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-015-9897-2.

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