Academic Background

From late 2013 until my retirement in late 2016, I held the university¹s Liber Ero Chair in Conservation Biology.

From 1995 to 2011 I was Director of the university's Gault Nature Reserve, the core of the Mont St. Hilaire Biosphere Reserve. The reserve protects an old growth forest near Montreal that provides an important base for teaching, research and regional outreach on conservation issues. As Director, I managed the university partnership with the Mont St. Hilaire Nature Centre, which is a community-based organization dedicated to conservation in the region. In the late 1990s I also was President of the Mont St-Hilaire Biosphere Reserve ( and a founding member of the Board of the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association ( In 2001 I received a Distinguished Service Award from the Nature Centre in recognition of my support for community conservation efforts, and in 2006 the Prix Michel-Jurdant, which is given each year to a person ³dont les travaux et le rayonnement scientifique ont eu un effet dans la société en ce qui a trait à la mise en valeur et à la protection de l'environnement». In the last few years before retiring, I centered my research on regional conservation issues. This work began with the Montérégie Connection, a broad-based investigation of how patterns of land use influence ecosystem services and biodiversity. As holder of the Liber Ero Chair in Conservation Biology, I opened related lines of research and outreach concerning development of a green belt around greater Montreal. I now have a post-retirement appointment at McGill and carry on research from my home on Vancouver Island.

Download article on sustainable landscapes at the edge of greater Montréal

"Leaf longevity is a fundamental process underlying patterns of variation in foliar phenology and determining the distinction between deciduous and evergreen plant species. Variation in leaf longevity is associated with a wide array of differences in the physiology, anatomy, morphology and ecology of plants."

>> Read More