Vincent Fugère, PhD Candidate

Supervisor: Dr. Lauren Chapman

Bienque ce site soit en anglais, vous pouvez communiquer avec moi en français.
Aunque este sitio está en inglés, usted se puede comunicar conmigo en español

RESEARCH INTERESTS: River Ecology & Conservation; Biodiversity Science; Fish Physiology and Evolutionary Ecology; Analysis of Ecological Data in R; Tropical Ecology

Current Research
My Ph.D. research in the laboratory of Lauren Chapman at McGill looks at the effects of deforestation on the ecology of streams around Kibale National Park, western Uganda. At the community/ecosystem level, I compare the habitat quality, biodiversity, species/trait assemblages, food web structure, and ecosystem processes of rainforest streams with streams flowing through agricultural land outside of the park. At the organismal/population level, I study how deforestation-associated alterations of the stream environment triggered rapid phenotypic changes in a species of cyprinid fish (Barbus neumayeri) present in both forested and deforested streams, for morphological, behavioral, and physiological traits. I am also interested in understanding how this deforestation-associated trait change in B. neumayeri, a dominant predatory species occurring at very high densities in Kibale streams, can in turn affect lower trophic levels in the stream food web (eco-evolutionary dynamics). Finally, to put my thesis in context, I am exploring the relationships between the research effort devoted to terrestrial-aquatic linkages in different regions of the world and the ecosystem services, freshwater biodiversity, and current deforestation rates of those regions.

(Click photos to enlarge)


Past Research  

I completed two undergraduate honours theses and two NSERC-funded summer internships in behavioral neuroscience in the Laboratory of Edward Ruthazer (Montreal Neurological Institute), during which time I studied neural and glial plasticity during the development of the visual system in Xenopus laevis tadpoles. I then went on to do a Masters degree in biology in the laboratory of Rüdiger Krahe at McGill in which I studied the role of electric signals in dominance signaling and species recognition among South American weakly electric fish. I combined lab behavioral experiments at McGill with field observations in Peru and Ecuador. After graduation, I spent one year working on short-term projects in Ecuador and Panama. I first obtained a traveling fellowship from the Journal of Experimental Biology to perform additional work on the sensory ecology of gymnotiform electric fish in Ecuador, under the supervision of Eric Fortune from Johns Hopkins University. Then, I joined the laboratory of Olivier Dangles, who was then visiting the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, to complete a project on inter-specific interactions among leaf-shredding aquatic macroinvertebrates from high-altitude streams in the Andes (in collaboration with Dean Jacobsen from the university of Copenhagen). Finally, I obtained a short-term research fellowship from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama to work with Rachel Page on the acoustic basis of the preference of frog-eating bats for certain variants of anuran mating calls (tungará frogs). I then came back to McGill in September 2010 to begin a Ph.D. with Lauren Chapman. For more information, download my CV.


Visit my Google scholar page
  Fugère, V. O'Mara, M.T. and Page, R (in review). Can sensory biases explain the preference of a tropical frog-eating bat for adorned prey calls?
Fugère, V., Andino, P., Espinosa, R., Anthelme, F., Jacobsen, D. and Dangles, O. (2012). Testing the stress-gradient hypothesis with aquatic detritivorous invertebrates: Insights for biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research. Journal of Animal Ecology, 81, 1259-1267.
+Featured in: “In focus”, Journal of Animal Ecology 81, 1143-1145 (2012).
Fugère, V., Ortega, H. and Krahe, R. (2011). Electrical signaling of dominance in a wild population of electric fish. Biology Letters, 7, 197-200.
+ Featured in: “Editor’s Choice”, Science 330, 1156 (2010).
+ Highlighted in the McGill Reporter, November 2010.
Fugère, V. and Krahe, R. (2010). Electric signals and species recognition in the wave-type gymnotiform fish, Apteronotus leptorhynchus. Journal of Experimental Biology, 213, 225-236.
Stamper, S. A., Carrera, E., Tan, E. W., Fugère, V., Krahe, R. and Fortune, E. S. (2010). Species differences in group size and electrosensory interference in weakly electric fishes: Implications for electrosensory processing. Behavioral Brain Research, 207, 368-376.
Tremblay, M., Fugère, V., Tsui, J., Schohl, A., Tavakoli, A., Travençolo, B. A. N., Costa, L. d. F. and Ruthazer, E. S. (2009). Regulation of radial glia motility in vivo by neural activity. Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 14066 –14076.
+ Featured in: “Research Highlight”, Nature Reviews Neuroscience 11: 6 (2010).
+ Featured in: “Comments”, The Neuroscientist 16: 6 (2010).


Ph.D. Biology. McGill University.
M.Sc. Biology. McGill University.
B.A. Honours Psychology (Neurobiology), Minor in Anthropology, coursework in Biology. McGill University.
DEC (Diplôme d’Études Collégiales). Arts & Humanities. CEGEP Sainte-Foy.

Grants, fellowships & awards

2013 Quebec Center for Biodiversity Science (QCBS), Award for intensive graduate course.
2013 Graduate International Research Travel Award, McGill Biology.
2013 QCBS, Excellence travel award.
2013 Graduate Research Enhancement and Travel award, McGill Biology.
QCBS & Fonds Québécois de Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies (FQRNT) – International internship award.
National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement.
Thesis Improvement Award, “Conservation, Ecology, Evolution & Behaviour Research Group”, McGill Biology.
NSERC, Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, Doctoral (V-CGS-D); 2011-2014.
NSERC, Alexander Graham Bell CGS-D; 2011-2014, declined.
Graduate Research Enhancement and Travel award, McGill Biology.
QCBS, Excellence travel award.
Principal’s Graduate Award.
Lorne Trottier Science Accelerator Award.
Provost Graduate Fellowship.
FQRNT, Doctoral Fellowship; 2010-2013 Declined for 2nd and 3rd years.
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama, short-term research fellowship.
Journal of Experimental Biology, traveling fellowship.
Graduate Travel Award, McGill Biology.
FQRNT - Masters Fellowship ; 2008-2009.
Graduate Admission “Top-up” Award, McGill Biology.
NSERC CGS, Masters (CGS-M); 2007-2008.
NSERC, Undergraduate Summer Research Award (USRA).
Sigma Xi society, award for best undergraduate research in psychology.
Governor general’s medal – Best CGPA of the Faculty of Arts at graduation.
Pelletier Prize.
First Class Honours at graduation.
Dean’s Honour List, every year 2004-2007.
J.W. McConnell Award.
Best Honours Thesis in Psychology - Boris Muskatov Prize in Psychology.
Dow-Hickson Scholarship.
Sir William Macdonald Scholarship.
Sceptre Investment Scholarship.
McConnell Excellence Award.
McGill Certificate of Merit for high achievement in CEGEP.
Provincial “Projection’’ contest for best CEGEP-level Psychology paper.



Last update: Jan. 7, 2014
Webmistress: Carole Verdone-Smith, Department of Biology