Céline Boutin

Research Scientist - Ecotoxicology and biodiversity of habitats
Environment and Climate Change Canada

Current research and/or projects

Natural habitats are known to contribute positively to biodiversity, especially in areas of intensive agriculture where agrochemicals are commonly used. In other ecosystems, anthropogenic factors related to mining and oil extraction affect terrestrial and aquatic primary producers of natural environments. It is therefore critical to determine the impact of various stressors on native vegetation and other trophic levels.

  • Investigating factors, mostly pesticides, that alter biodiversity with an emphasis on plant species found in wetlands, riparian strips, woodlots, and hedgerows. With conservation of natural habitats in mind, studies are conducted in order to describe and explain richness and assemblages of vegetation within farming areas. Other trophic levels are also considered.
  • Improving methodologies currently used in phytotoxicity testing and risk assessment, especially for regulatory purposes at national and international levels. Herbicides are used extensively in Canadian agriculture with more than 26 million hectares sprayed at least once in any given year. Studies are conducted to upgrade phytotoxicity testing.
  • Studying impacts of contaminants such as Rare Earth Elements, other metals and contaminants on plants and invertebrates.

Professional activities / interests

nvited member of the External Scientific Expert Working Group to review the quality of a number of scientific risk assessments conducted by the European Food and Safety Authority(EFSA). EFSA's main work is to provide risk assessments associated with food and feed safety (including genetically modified organisms), nutrition, animal health and welfare, plant health and pesticides. EFSA provides science-based advice to the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Member States.

Collaboration in developing test methodologies for phytotoxicity testing at the national and international levels (e.g., OECD, USEPA, NAFTA)

Supervisor or co-supervisor of graduate (Ph.D. and M.Sc.) and Honour's students with the Department of Biology, Carleton University

Journal associate editor Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment (since 2012) / Peer-review of manuscripts for several journals

Research collaboration with the University of Ottawa

Education and awards

Post-doctoral study in wetland ecology, University of Ottawa

Ph.D. Plant Science, University of Wales / M.SC. Biology, Université Laval / B.Sc. Biology, Université de Sherbrooke

Canadian Wildlife Service Who's Who Award, recognizing contributions to the protection of plant biodiversity from herbicidal pest control products

Key publications

Rotchés-Ribalta, R., Boutin, C., Blanco-Moreno, J.M., Carpenter, D., Sans, F.X. 2015. Herbicide impact on the growth and reproduction of characteristic and rare arable weeds. Ecotoxicology 24: 991-1003.

Dalton, R.L., Boutin, C., Pick, F.R. 2015. Determining periphyton community responses to experimental and empirical gradients of nutrients and atrazine via pigment analysis. Science of the Total Environment 515-516:70-82.

Carpenter, D., Boutin, C., Allison, J.E., Parsons, J.L., Ellis, D.M. 2015. Uptake and effects of six rare earth elements (REEs) on selected native and crop species growing in contaminated soils. PLOS one , Published June 15, 2015, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129936.

Allison, J.E., Boutin, C., Carpenter, D., Ellis, D., Parsons, J. 2015. Cerium chloride heptahydrate (CeCl3·7H2O) induces neurological effects on the generalist herbivore, Melanoplus sanguinipes (Fabricius) (Orthoptera: Acrididae), fed contaminated plant tissues. Chemosphere 120: 674–679.

Dalton, R.L., Pick, F.R. Boutin, C. and Saleem, A. 2014. Atrazine contamination at the watershed scale and environmental factors affecting sampling rates of the polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS). Environ. Poll. 189: 134-142.

Jobin B, Latendresse C, Baril A, Maisonneuve C, Boutin C, Côté D. 2014. A half-century analysis of landscape dynamics in southern Québec, Canada. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment. 186:2215-2229. DOI 10.1007/s10661-013-3531-6

Boutin C., Strandberg, B., Carpenter, D., Mathiassen, S.K., Thomas, P. 2014. Herbicide impact on native plant reproduction: what are the ecological and toxicological implications? Environmental Pollution. 185: 1-12.

Thomas, P. Carpenter, D. Boutin, C. 2014. Effects of Rare Earth Elements (lanthanum, cerium and yttrium) on Canadian native plants. Chemosphere 96: 57-66.

Boutin, C. 2014 Understanding the effects of herbicides on non-target species. In: Encyclopedia of Environmental Management, Taylor & Francis, New York.

Allison, J.E., Boutin C., Carpenter, D. 2013. Influence of soil organic matter on the sensitivity of selected wild and crop species to common herbicides. Ecotoxicology 22(8): 1289-1302. DOI 10.1007/s10646-013-1116-3

Dalton, R.L., Nussbaumer, C., Pick, F.R. and Boutin, C. 2013. Comparing the sensitivity of geographically distinct Lemna minor populations to atrazine. Ecotoxicology, 22(4): 718-730

Smith, P.G., Boutin, C. Knopper, L. 2013. Vanadium pentoxide phytotoxicity: effects of species selection and nutrient concentration. Archives of Environmental Contamination Toxicology 64(1): 87-96.

Carpenter, D., Boutin, C. Allison, J. 2013. Effects of chlorimuron ethyl on terrestrial and wetland plants: Levels of, and time to recovery following sublethal exposure. Environmental Pollution 172:275-282.

Boutin, C., Aya, K.L., Carpenter, D., Thomas, P.J. and O Rowland. 2012. Phytotoxicity testing for pesticide regulation: shortcomings in relation to biodiversity and ecosystem services in agrarian systems. Science of the Total Environment. 415: 79-92.

Bassa M., Boutin C, Chamorro L, Sans F.X. 2011. The effect of farming management, boundary structure, and landscape heterogeneity on plant species composition in field boundaries in the Mediterranean region. Agricult. Ecosys. Environ. 141:455-460.

Boutin, C., Dobbie, T., Carpenter, D. 2011. Effects of cormorants on island vegetation, soil seedbank and soil chemistry: evaluating island restoration potential. Restoration Ecology 19(6): 720-727.

Boutin, C., Baril, A., McCabe, S.K., Martin, P.A., Guy, M. 2011. The value of woody hedgerows for moth diversity on organic and conventional farms. Environmental Entomology, 40(3):560-569.

Carpenter, D. and Boutin, C. 2010. Sublethal effects of herbicides on crops and wild plants: short-term effects compared to vegetative recovery and plant reproduction. Ecotoxicology 19:1322-1336.

Dalton, R.L., Boutin, C. 2010. Evaluation of phytotoxicty testing: Comparing the effects of herbicides on non-target plants grown singly and in microcosms. Environ. Toxicol. Chem.29(10): 2304-2315.

Boutin, C. and Carpenter, D. 2010. Evaluating current methods for determining the effects of herbicides on biodiversity. Society for Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry meeting. Seville, Spain. pp1-2.

Boutin, C., White, A.L., Carpenter, D. 2010. Measuring sources of variability in phytotoxicity testing with crop and wild plant species. Environ. Toxicol. Chem., 29(2): 237-242.

Boutin, C, Martin, P.A., Baril, 2009. A. Effects of plant diversity and landscape features on arthropods in organic and conventional farming systems. Ecoscience, 16(4): 492-501.

Boutin, C., Baril, A. Martin, P.A. 2009. Impact of agricultural practices on plants and arthropods in organic and conventional farms. Society for Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry meeting. Goteborg, Sweden. pp1-2.

Brown, C.D. and C. Boutin. 2009. Linking past land use, recent disturbance, and dispersal mechanism to forest composition. Biological Conservation, 142:1647-1656.

White, A.L., C. Boutin, R.L. Dalton, B. Henkelman and D. Carpenter. 2009. Germination requirements for 29 terrestrial and wetland wild plant species appropriate for phytotoxicity testing. Pest Management Science, 65: 19-26.

Bowers, K. and C. Boutin. 2008. Evaluating the relationship between floristic quality and measures of plant diversity along stream bank habitats. Ecological Indicators, 8:466-475.

Boutin, C., A. Baril and P.A. Martin. 2008. Plant diversity in crop fields and woody hedgerows of organic and conventional farms in contrasting landscapes. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 123: 185-193. [doi:10.1016/j.agee.2007.05.010]

White, A.L. and C. Boutin. 2007. Herbicidal effects on non-target vegetation: investigating the limitations of current pesticide registration guidelines. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry 26(12): 2634-2643.