Girona lab avatar, GREMA. ©Elise Imbeau

Research Interests/Specializations: Mycology, Integrative taxonomy, Molecular systematics, Ecology and evolution, Forest ecology and management, Science communication, Art and literature

Research Description: FUNGAL INTEGRATIVE TAXONOMY: I’m interested in investigating the taxonomy of several fungal groups via the combination of morphological and molecular data. I’m currently working on the description of new fungal species from New-Caledonia, taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships among the Exornatae section (Mycenaceae), and integrative description of new records from South of France. I’m also currently building a research program to start documenting the morphological and molecular diversity of Tahitian macrofungi. FUNGAL ECOLOGY: I use environmental DNA metabarcoding to unravel the soil fungal diversity of esker forests in the Abitibi region, in northern Quebec. Precisely, I’m interested in the spatial patterns of soil fungi in fluvioglacial deposits with a special focus on the distribution of ecological niches on a vertical axis. I’m contributing to the inclusion of all soil horizons in soil fungal diversity surveys and the importance of the heterogeneity of biotic and abiotic environmental factors (not per se horizons) in shaping soil fungal communities. In addition, I also study the ecology of some edible and non-edible macrofungi in Quebec esker forests and in the Aveyron department. FUNGAL DIVERSITY AND TAXA INVENTORIES: I’m involved in many mycological inventories from France to Northern America. I’m currently carrying on a large mycological inventory of macrofungi occurring in esker forest throughout Quebec. Through my inventories and species records, and with collaborators we are trying to promote the importance of fungal species checklists in the scientific community. FOREST MANAGEMENT: Many of my projects have an direct or indirect application to forest and broadly ecosystem managements. By providing ecological, taxonomic and molecular evidences of the importance and abundance of micro- and macrofungi in studied ecosystems, I try to give arguments for the integration of all fungi in management policy to move toward a more fungi-focused and molecular-based forest management perspective. ETHNOMYCOLOGY: This is a topic I’m trying to develop and integrate in my research projects. It is somewhat linked with ecosystem management issues as ethnomycological knowledge are highly threatened with the exploitation of ecosystems, notably forested ones. I’m willing to study the relationships between autochtone communities and fungi, and try to emphasize on the importance of these traditional knowledges in ecosystem managements. SCIENTIFIC POPULARIZATION: I make a point of communicating my research and make it accessible and intelligible to everyone, notably via public conferences, popularization workshops and by attending popularization contests. MYCOLOGY AND LITERATURE: I’m part of a brand new initiative/collaboration/research group between UQAT and the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) that combines forest ecology and literature research. We try to develop the literature potential of forest ecology research and deconstruct the barriers that have been created between natural and literature sciences. These two domains are different but complementary approaches of a same subject, such as mycology. I’m contributing to a new way of writing science and research results, by promoting the inclusion of an appropriate balanced use of literary styles (e.g., adverbs, connection markers, anecdotes, et cetera) in scientific papers. I’m especially writing some literature thoughts about the place of anthropocentrism and anthropomorphism in mycology.