Patrick Lenz

Research Scientist

Quantitative Genetics and forest genomics

Current research and/or projects


I have always been interested in trees and wood, which, in my opinion, is a remarkable material. My studies at the University of Hamburg in Germany gave me the opportunity to acquire extensive knowledge on forestry, tree growth and the mechanical and chemical properties of wood, as well as processing. I learned that the quality of the wood is influenced by both genetics and the environment. During my PhD studies at Laval University, I specialized in the quantitative genetics of wood properties and tree growth.

Research and/or project statements

Current Research Projects:

  • Spruce-Up project: Accelerate the development and deployment of genomics-improved spruce seedlings that could be more resistant to insects and drought, has enhanced nutrient use efficiency and results in improved wood quality and productivity. (Genome Canada supported project).
  • FastTRAC: fast tests for rating and amelioration of conifers (Genome Canada supported project).
  • Genomic selection tools to support marker aided selection in breeding for wood and adaptive traits.
  • Study of provenance variation in tree and wood characteristics in plantation grown white and black spruce

Professional activities / interests


  • Université Laval
  • Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP; only in French)
  • New Brunswick Tree Improvement Council (NBTIC)


  • Supervision of graduate students.
  • Review of scientific texts.


  • Quantitative genetics and forest genomics.
  • Genetic improvement of trees.
  • Quality of wood.

Education and awards


  • Diploma in Wood Science, Hambourg University, Hambourg, Germany, 2005.
  • Ph.D. in Foresty, Université Laval, Québec, 2011.


  • Gene Namkoong Award, Canadian Forest Genetics Association Conference, 2011.
  • Best presentation award, Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics Colloquium, Université Laval.

Key publications

10. Méndez Espinoza, C.; Parent, G.; Lenz, P.R.N.; Rainville, A.; Tremblay, L.; Adams, G.; McCartney, A.; Bauce, É.; MacKay, J.J. 2018. Genetic control and evolutionary potential of a constitutive resistance mechanism against the spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) in white spruce (Picea glauca). Heredity. doi:10.1038/s41437-018-0061-6.  

9. Housset, J.M.; Nadeau, S.; Isabel, N.; Depardieu, C.; Duchesne, I.; Lenz, P.R.N.; Girardin, M.P. 2018. Tree rings provide a new class of phenotypes for genetic associations that foster insights into adaptation of conifers to climate change. New Phytologist, 218(2), 630-645. S doi:10.1111/nph.14968.  

8. Lenz, P.; Beaulieu, J.; Mansfield, S.; Clément, S.; Desponts, M.; Bousquet, J. 2017. Factors affecting the accuracy of genomic selection for growth and wood quality traits in an advanced-breeding population of black spruce (Picea mariana). BMC Genomics 18:335. S doi:10.1186/s12864-017-3715-5.  

7. Lamara, M.; Raherison, E.; Lenz, P.; Beaulieu, J.; Bousquet, J.; MacKay, J. 2016. Genetic architecture of wood properties based on association analysis and co-expression networks in white spruce. New Phytol. 210(1): 240-255. S doi:10.1111/nph.13762.  

6. Lenz, P.; Deslauriers, M.; Ung, C.-H.; MacKay, J.; Beaulieu, J. 2014. What do ecological regions tell us about wood quality? A case study in eastern Canadian white spruce. Can. J. For. Res. 44:1383-1393.  

5. Lenz, P.; Auty, D.; Achim, A.; Beaulieu, J.; MacKay, J. 2013. Genetic improvement of white spruce mechanical wood traits – early screening by means of acoustic velocity. Forests 4:575-594.  

4. Lenz, P.; Bernier-Cardou, M.; MacKay, J.; Beaulieu, J. 2012. Can wood properties be predicted from the morphological traits of a tree? - A canonical correlation study of plantation-grown white spruce. Can. J. For. Res. 42:1518-1529.  

3. Beaulieu, J.; Doerksen, T.; Boyle, B.; Clément, S.; Deslauriers, M.; Beauseigle, S.; Blais, S.; Poulin, P.-L.; Lenz, P.; Caron, S. et al. 2011. Association genetics of wood physical traits in the conifer white spruce and relationships with gene expression. Genetics 188:197-214.  

2. Lenz, P.; MacKay, J.; Rainville, A.; Cloutier, A.; Beaulieu, J. 2011. The influence of cambial age on breeding for wood properties in Picea glauca. Tree Genet. Genomes 7:641-653.  

1. Lenz, P.; Cloutier, A.; MacKay, J.; Beaulieu, J. 2010. Genetic control of wood properties in Picea glauca - an analysis of trends with cambial age. Can. J. For. Res. 40:703-715.

Research facility

580 Booth St.
Ottawa, ON K1A 0E4


Canada research Chair Forest and Environmental Genomics

Laval University, Québec, Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics



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