Isabelle Aubin

Forest Vegetation Ecologist

Current research and/or projects


I discovered my career both late and early on. I began to learn about botany when I learned to walk, but I never thought I would work in ecology or biology. I thought ecology was a way of life, not a profession! The revelation came to me by accident, when I was helping a friend doing a Master's degree in Forest Ecology who needed a fieldwork assistant. That's when I realized that working in an office is not for me!

My mother led me to discover botany. She was greatly influenced by Gisèle Lamoureux and the publisher Fleurbec, who started to produce books for the general public, to get to know Quebec flora. These were not botanical volumes for the type of person with botanical knowledge, but rather targeted ordinary people. And that made all the difference. I think there are many people who learned about botany, thanks to those books!

I am now research Scientist in vegetation ecology. The central questions behind my research are the impacts of human-mediated disturbances on forest ecosystems, with a focus on the application of ecological theory to practical problems in forest management.

Research and/or project statements

Research projects on forest ecosystem responses to human-induced chages:

  • understory vegetation response to disturbance
  • multi-trophic assessment of ecosystem response to forest management
  • impact of climate change on biodiversity
  • development of a Canada-wide plant trait database relevant to biodiversity and climate change adaptation issues
  • restoration ecology


Traits of Plants in Canada (TOPIC)

Professional activities / interests

  • Attend and present at mutiple conferences
  • Supervision of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and professionals


Education and awards

Postdoctoral studies in Forest Ecology, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 2008

Ph.D. in Biology with specialization in Forest Ecology, Université de Montréal, 2008

M.Sc. in Biology with specialization in Forest Ecology, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), 1999

B.A. in History and Communication, UQAM, 1994

Key publications

  1. Bourgeois, B., Gonzàlez, E., Vanasse, A., Aubin, I. & M. Poulin. 2016. Integrating spatial patterns in restoration by eigenvector maps: insights from riparian plant communities in agrosystems. Accepted. Ecological Applications.
  2. Aubin, I., Munson, A.D, Cardou, F., Burton, P.J., Isabel, N., Pedlar, J.H., Paquette, A., Taylor, A.R., Delagrange, S., Kebli, H., Messier, C., Shipley, B., Valladares, F., Kattge, J., Boisvert-Marsh, L., McKenney, D. 2016. Traits to stay, traits to move: a review of functional traits to assess sensitivity and adaptive capacity of temperate and boreal trees to climate change. Accepted. Environmental Reviews. doi:10.1139/er-2015-0072.
  3. Talluto, M., Boulangeat, I., Casajus, N., Vissault, S., Messier, C., Paquette, A., Aubin, I., Bergeron, Y., Valeria, O., Doyon, F., Fortin, M.J., McKenney, D., Colombon, S. Berteaux, D. & D. Gravel. 2015. Cross-scale integration of knowledge for predicting species ranges: a metamodeling framework. Global Ecology and Biogeography 25(2): 238-249.
  4. Aubin, I., Cardou, F., Ryall, K., Kreutzweiser, K. and T. Scarr. 2015. Ash regeneration dynamics after EAB outbreaks: any hope?. Forestry Chronicle 91 (3):280-290.
  5. Boiffin, J.; Aubin, I.; Munson, A. 2015. Ecological controls on post-fire vegetation assembly at multiple spatial scales. Journal of Vegetation Science 26:360-272. doi:10.1111/jvs.12245

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

Research facility

1219 Queen Street East
Sault Ste. Marie, ON P6A 2E5


Adjunct Professor, Department of geography, Université du Québec à Rimouski

Associate member, Centre for Forest Research

Curator and scientific responsible, TOPIC Canadian network

Member of the Canada-Ontario Forest Climate Change/Carbon Technical Working Group