Yan Boulanger

Research Scientist

Forest ecology

Current research and/or projects


I grew up in a small village of the Bas-Saint-Laurent, Québec where I spent days in the fields and forests, hunting butterflies and moths with the perfect mix of marine and forest aromas. Oddly, I was also interested to weather and climate. Freaky for a kid… That was at that time I heard a great entomologist quoting Saint-Augustine: “He who loses himself in his passion is less lost than he who loses his passion”.  So, with this motto in my head, that was quite a logical step for me to complete my graduate studies in biology at the Université du Québec à Rimouski. During this period, I became interested in natural disturbances, notably in wildland fires, as my research projects were focusing on the impact of fire on saproxylic species and on wood decomposition. Alongside, I also became interested in dendrochronology, enough to develop a private laboratory using this method to date old houses in the Quebec province. In order to kill two birds with one stone, samples from these contracts were used to reconstruct spruce budworm outbreaks. Then, as a research scientist at the Canadian Forest Service since 2013, I coupled my fire research interests with my old weather/climate hobby to project future natural disturbance regimes and their impact on forest landscapes according to climate change. Now, I’m more deeply exploring my weather interests in my work by using weather surveillance radar to characterize mass exodus spruce budworm flights. Like Raoul Duguay would say: “Tout est dans tout!”. Although I’m mostly working in front of a computer nowadays, I use to spend a lot of my spare time in the forest, running in trails.

Research and/or project statements

Current Research Projects:

  • Modelling future forest landscapes in Canada using a spatially explicit model, LANDIS-II.
  • Assessing future bird and caribou habitats in the context of climate change and anthropogenic disturbances
  • Projecting future natural disturbances (fire, spruce budworm outbreak, windthrow) in Canadian forests.
  • Characterizing spruce budworm mass exodus flights using weather surveillance radar.

Professional activities / interests

  • Administrator of Groupe de Recherche en Dendrochronologie Historique, Université de Montréal
  • President and treasurer, Dendrolab, 9204-4643 Québec Inc.
  • Guest and speaker at many conferences
  • Supervision of graduate students and staff
  • Participation in thesis and dissertation review committees
  • Review of scientific texts
  • Media and public communications

Education and awards


Degree in biologie, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 2002.

Master's degree in management of wildlife and wildlife habitats, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 2004.

Ph.D. in biologie, Université du Québec à Rimouski, 2010.


Tavel award, Entomological Society of Canada, 2007.

Entrepreneurship scholarship, Centre local de développement de Rimouski-Neigette, for the creation of the private lab DENDROLAB, 2006.

PhD scholarship, Fonds de recherche du Québec Nature et technologies, 2006.

Master's scholarship, Fonds de recherche du Québec Nature et technologies, 2004.

Key publications

  1. Sambaraju, K.; DesRochers, P.; Rioux, D.; Boulanger, Y.; Kulkarni, N.; Verma, R. K.; Pautasso, M.; Pureswaran, D.; Martel, V.; Hébert, C.; Cusson, M.; Delisle, J. 2016. Forest ecosystem health and biotic disturbances: Perspectives on indicators and management approaches. Ecological Forest Management Handbook, CRC Taylor and Francis Group.
  2. Boulanger, Y.; Gray, D.R.; Cooke, B.J.; De Grandpré, L. 2016. Model-specification uncertainty in future forest pest outbreak. Global Change Biol. (in press). doi:10.1111/gcb.13142.
  3. Bouchard, M.; Boucher, Y.; Belleau, A.; Boulanger, Y. 2015. Modélisation de la variabilité naturelle de la structure d’âge des forêts du Québec. Gouvernement du Québec, ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs, Direction de la recherche forestière. Mémoire de recherche forestière no 175, 32 p.
  4. Gauthier, S.; Bernier, P.Y.; Boulanger, Y.; Guo, J.; Guindon, L.; Beaudoin, A.; Boucher, D. 2015. Vulnerability of timber supply to projected changes in fire regime in Canada’s managed forests. Can. J. For. Res. 45:1439-1447. doi:0.1139/cjfr-2015-0079.
  5. Boulanger, Y.; Gauthier, S.; Burton, P. J. 2014. A refinement of models projecting future Canadian fire regimes using homogeneous fire regime zones. Can. J. For. Res. 44(4) : 365-376. doi:10.1139/cjfr-2013-0372.

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


Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR)