Sylvie Gauthier

Research Scientist

Forest Succession

Current research and/or projects


Having been born in a village called Les Cèdres, it was my destiny to work in the forest. I have conducted forestry research ever since I completed my BSc in Biological Sciences at UQAM. While doing my Masters, I did research into deciduous forests. Since completing my Doctorate, I have conducted research relating to the boreal forest. I joined the Canadian Forestry Service in 1993. As a fire and forest ecologist, I endeavour to understand the dynamics of the boreal forest undergoing disruption, and I use the knowledge collected to develop sustainable management strategies for the forest, ie, to allow it to deal with the stress that climate change may place on it.

I have an interest in characterizing past, present and future fire regimes in Eastern Canada and in the effects of forest fires on the dynamics of forest stands in the mixed and coniferous boreal forest. I also work to develop eco-system-based management strategies.


Professional activities / interests

  • Supervision of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows
  • Communications with Media and public
  • Review of scientific texts and grant applications
  • Professional advice


Education and awards


BSc in biology (specialisation in ecology), Université du Québec à Montréal, 1983.

MSc in forest ecology, Université du Québec à Montréal, 1985.

PhD in forest ecology, Université de Montréal, 1992.


Hot Paper for a manuscript published in the Canadian Geographer, 2015.

One of the 10 Discoveries of 2009 (fire ecology), Québec Science, 2009.

Georges Préfontaine Award, Association des biologistes du Québec, 2008.

Award of Quebec Minister of Education for the best book co-authored in natural sciences, 2008.

NSERC, 1983 and 1987.

Key publications

  1. Miquelajauregui, Y.; Cumming, S.G.; Gauthier S. 2016. Modelling variable fire severity in boreal forests: effects of fire intensity and stand structure. PLoS ONE 11(2): e0150073. doi:10.1371/journal.
  2. Irulappa Pillai Vijayakumar, D.B.; Raulier, F.; Bernier, P.; Paré, D.; Gauthier, S.; Bergeron, Y.; Pothier, D. . 2016. Cover density recovery after fire disturbance controls landscape aboveground biomass carbon in the boreal forest of eastern Canada. For. Ecol. Manag. 360:170-180. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2015.10.035.
  3. Renard, S.M.; Gauthier, S.; Fenton, N.J.; Lafleur, B.; Bergeron, Y. 2016. Prescribed burning after clearcut limits paludification in black spruce boreal forest. For. Ecol. Manag. 359:147-155. doi:
  4. Jõgiste, K.; Jonsson, B.G.; Kuuluvainen, T.; Gauthier, S.; Moser, W.K. 2015. Introduction to the special issue: Forest landscape mosaics: disturbance, restoration, and management at times of global change. Can. J. For. Res., 45:v-vi. doi:10.1139/cjfr-2015-0295.
  5. Madoui, A.; Gauthier, S.; Leduc, A.; Bergeron, Y.; Valeria, O. 2015. Monitoring forest recovery following wildfire and harvest in boreal forests using satellite imagery. Forests 6(11):4105-4134. doi:doi:10.3390/f6114105 .
  6. Gauthier, S.; Bernier, P.Y.; Boulanger, Y.; Guo, X.J.; Guindon, L.; Beaudoin, A. 2015. Vulnerability of timber supply to projected changes in fire regime in Canada’s managed forests. Can. J. For. Res. 45:1439-1447. doi:10.1139/cjfr-2015-0079.
  7. Gauthier, S.; Bernier, P.; Kuuluvainen, T.; Shvidenko, A.Z.; Schepaschenko, D.G. 2015. Boreal forest health and global change. Science 349:819-822. doi:10.1126/science.aaa9092.
  8. Gauthier, S.; Raulier, F.; Ouzennou, H.; Saucier, J.-P. 2015. Strategic analysis of forest vulnerability to risk related to fire: an example from the coniferous boreal forest of Quebec. Can. J. For. Res. 45:553-565. doi:10.1139/cjfr-2014-0125.
  9. Gauthier, S.; Bernier, P.; Burton, P.J.; Edwards, J.; Isaac, K.; Isabel, N.; Jayen, K.; Le Goff, H.; Nelson, E.A. 2014. Climate change vulnerability and adaptation in the managed Canadian boreal forest. Environ. Rev. 22(3):256-285. doi:10.1139/er-2013-0064.
  10. Gauthier, S., MA. Vaillancourt, A. Leduc, L. De Grandpré, D. Kneeshaw, H. Morin, P. Drapeau, Y. Bergeron (ed.) Ecosystem management in the Boreal Forest, Presse de l’Université du Québec, 539 pages. 

For more publications by this author, consult the CFS publications database.

Research facility

1055, rue du Peps P. O. Box 3800
Sainte Foy, QC G1V 4C7


Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Forest Research

Adjunct Professor, Laval University, Dept. of Wood and Forest Sciences

Adjunct Professor, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Dept. of Applied Sciences

Adjunct Professor, Université du Québec à Montréal, Dept. of Biological Sciences and the Center for Forestry Research

Member of the International Association of Vegetation Science