Liette Vasseur

Department of Biological Sciences Member of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre Associate Faculty of the Women and Gender Studies program

Liette Vasseur

Office: F218
Phone: 905-688-5550 x4023


As a biologist, my research integrates various aspects of ecology from individual phenotypic or genetic responses to environmental changes to ecosystem response to more global issues. As an interdisciplinary researcher, my research program includes issues related to sustainable agriculture, climate change adaptation and resilience, sustainable development, community-based ecosystem management (including ecological restoration and biodiversity assessment) and environmental health. Although I started as a plant ecologist and continue to do basic and applied research on environmental responses of plants to changes in the ecosystems including issues of invasiveness, agricultural management and climate change, I currently use an interdisciplinary approach to research at the ecosystem level. I have an extensive experience in aspects related to community based-ecosystem management, decision making, and sustainable development. This is why I am also a member of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre at Brock University, as well as an assicate faculty of the Women and Gender Studies program.

While my main area of research has been on the environment and its link to communities, my work on sustainable development has allowed me to significantly contribute to policy development. My strong research program is mainly in ecosystem responses in terms of biodiversity, composition and structure to environmental variation and changes that can be triggered by human management, climate change and other human activities, especially in rural communities focusing mainly on agriculture, coastal and forest ecosystems.

At the graduate level, I am interested in research in the previously described areas. Projects can be done in Canada or in China. IN fact, we currently welcome students interested to complete their studies completely or in pact in China. At the undergraduate level, I am interested in students who would like to do research experiments (starting preferably this summer or under control conditions in the fall/winter) or literature review in some of the aspects related to  invasive plants, plant responses to alternative agriculture, conservation ecology and climate change impacts and adaptations.

I am also involved in many scholarly and professional activities related to environmental issues, such as a member of the Commission in Ecosystem Management of IUCN. I recently was appointed as the Chair of the thematic group on Ecosystem based Adaptation to Climate change at IUCN. I am associate editor of Botany and associate editor-in-chief of Journal of Biosafety.


I am currently involved in various organizations or activities, such as:

·         Expert reviewer for First‑Order Draft of the IPCC Working Group II Fifth Assessment – Chapters 1, 6, 14. Summer 2012. And Second-order draft, March-May 2013

·         Vice-President (October 2012--) and Secretary General (July 2011 –October 2012) and Board member, International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists (INWES), UNESCO Consultative Status in NGO program.

·         Chair of the thematic group on Climate Change Adaptation of IUCN, March 2013-present; Member of the Commission in Ecosystem Management of IUCN. February 2003- to present

 ·         Vice President of Canadian Coalition of Women in Engineering, Sciences, Trade and Technology (CCWESTT). May 2012 –

·         Member of the research funding selection committee of CNFS (Consortium national de formation en santé), 2009 – 2013

·         President (June 2011-) and Member of the Board of Directors (June 2010-) of AFFESTIM (Association de la francophonie à propos des femmes en sciences, technologies, ingénierie et mathématiques).

·         Member of the Science Committee of the Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Foundation. May 2009 –

·         Member of the AUCC/ CIDA African-Canadian peer review committee, for the new Strengthening Higher Education Stakeholder Relation in Africa program. August 2010—August 2012

·         Canadian Botanical Association: Chair of Ecology and Conservation section (2008-present)

·         Member of the Science and Stewardship committee of the Niagara Land Trust. March 2012—

·         Member / science advisor of the Climate Change Adaptation Consortium for the City of Greater Sudbury. Endorsed by municipal council in November 2009. November 2009 –

I hold a BSc in Ecology from the Université de Sherbrooke, a MSc in Biology at Univ. du Québec à Montréal, and a Ph.D. in Biology at Queen’s University and PDF at McGill.


Recent peer-reviewed publications

  • Vasseur, L. Special issue Editor. 2013. Transplantations and relocation of species at risk. Special issue in Botany. (in press, coming May 2013).

  •  Vasseur, L. 2012. Restoration of Deciduous Forests. Nature Education Knowledge 3(12):1

  • You, M., Z. Yue, W. He, X. Yang, G. Yang, M. Xie, D. Zhan, S.W. Baxter, L. Vasseur, G.M. Gurr, C.J. Douglas, J. Bai, P. Wang, K. Cui, S. Huang, X. Li, Q. Zhou, Z. Wu, Q. Chen, C. Liu, B. Wang, X. Li, X. Xu, C. Lu, M. Hu, J.W. Davey, S.M. Smith, M. Chen, X. Xia, W. Tang, F. Ke, D. Zheng, Y. Hu, F. Song, Y. You, Y. Liang, Y. Chen, L. Yu, Y. Liu, G. Li, L. Fang, J. Li, X. Zhou, Y. Luo, C. Gou, J. Wang, J. Wang, H. Yang, and J. Wang. 2013. The diamondback moth genome reveals the adaptive capacity of a destructive pest. Nature Genetics 42(2): 220-225.

  • He, W., M. You, Liette Vasseur, Guang Yang, Miao Xie, Kai Cui, Jianlin Bai, Chunhui Liu, Xiaojing Li, Xiufeng Xu, Shiguo Huang. 2012. De novo assembly and annotation of transcriptomes of the diamondback moth, Plutella xylostella. Genomics 99: 169–177.

  • Yao. F.-L., M. You, L. Vasseur, G. Yang and Y.-K. Zheng. 2012. Polycultural manipulation for better regulation of planthopper populations in irrigated rice-based ecosystems. Crop Protection 34: 104-111.

  • Chen, L.L., S. Lin, M. You, S. Chen & L. Vasseur. 2011. Effects of cover crops on mite communities in tea plantations. Biodiv. Sci. 19: 353-362.

  • Lai, R., M. You, L.A.P. Lotz & L. Vasseur. 2011. Responses of green peach aphid and other arthropods to garlic intercropped with tobacco. Agronomy Journal 103: 856-863.

  • Vasseur, L. 2011. Moving from research into action on issues of climate change for a Canadian community: integration of sciences into decision making. Intern. J. Clim. Change: Impacts and Responses 2:  115-136.

  • Xie, M., M. You, J. Cheng & L. Vasseur. 2011. A proteomic analysis of short term exposure to fipronil in larvea of Plutella xylostella. Afr. J. Biotechn. 10: 17599-17609.

  • McMillan, E. & L. Vasseur. 2010. Environmental education: Interdisciplinarity in action. Intern. J. Interdis. Soc. Sci. 5: 435-445.

  • Vasseur, L. 2010. The establishment of a consortium on climate change in Greater Sudbury: a case study of a community based approach to the development of adaptations. In  Ángela Andrade Pérez, Bernal Herrera Fernández and Roberto Cazzolla Gatti  (Eds.) Climate change and ecosystems: case-studies of impacts and Ecosystem-based Adaptation. IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM), Climate Change Adaptation Group: 151-159.

  • Vasseur, L. 2009. Interdsiciplinarité ... ou va-t-on se perdre dans le bois? Revue de l'Université de Moncton 40: 121-131 (published in April 2011).

  • Carole C. Tranchant, Ibrahim Ouattara, Adjima Thiombiano, and Liette Vasseur. 2009. De la nutrition à l’écologie nutritionnelle: essai de mise en perspective. Revue de l’Université de Moncton 40: 9-27 (published in April 2011).

  • Vasseur, L. 2010. Invasive plant species: silent threats to biodiversity and ecological integrity in national parks. In National Parks: Vegetation, Wildlife and Threats. Nova Publishers, Hauppauge, NY: 131-153.

  • Minsheng You, Liette Vasseur, Jacques Régnière and Yunkai Zheng. 2009. The three dimensions of species diversity. The Open Conservation Biology Journal 3: 65-71.

  • Moola, F.M. & L. Vasseur. 2009. The importance of clonal growth to the recovery of Gaultheria procumbens (L.) (Wintergreen checkerberry) after clearcutting. Plant Ecology 201: 319-337.

  • Gallant, d., L. Vasseur, M. Dumond, E. Tremblay and C. Bérubé. 2009. Habitat selection by river otters (Lontra canadensis) under contrasting land use regimes. Can. J. Zool. 87: 422-432.

  • Cavallin, N. and L. Vasseur. 2009. Red spruce forest regeneration dynamics across a gradient from Acadian forest to old field in Greenwich, Prince Edward Island National Park. Plant Ecology 201 (1): 169-180.

  • Vasseur, L. 2009. Recovery of forested ecosystems after management. In Greipsson, S. Restoration Ecology. Jones and Bartlett Publishers (invited writer, submitted June 2006, in press 2009).

  • Vasseur, L. and N. Catto. 2008. Chapter 4 – Atlantic Region. In Lemmen, D. and (Ed.). National Climate Change Assessment. NRCan. Ottawa. 52 pages.

  • Cavallin, N. and L. Vasseur. 2008. Potential for red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) establishment from natural seed dispersal in old fields adjacent to forest stands. Plant Ecology 199: 33-41.

  • Délusca, K., L. Vasseur et O. Chouinard, 2008. Marées de tempête et communautés à risques dans le sud-est du Nouveau-Brunswick: Cas de la communauté de pointe-du-Chêne. Revue Canadienne des Sciences Régionales 23 (1):19-38.

  • Gallant, D., L. Vasseur & C.H. Bérubé. 2008. Evaluating bridge survey ability to detect river otter presence: a comparative study. Wildlife Biology 14: 61-69.

  • Moola, F.M. & L. Vasseur. 2008. The influence of canopy gap disturbance on genotypic variation in understory clonal forest species: a short review. Environmental Reviews 16: 141-155.

  • Leblanc, F., D. Gallant, L. Vasseur & L. Léger. 2007. Unequal summer use of beaver ponds by river otters: influence of beaver activity, pond size, and vegetation cover. Can. J. Zool. 85: 774-782 (accelerated publication).

  • Gallant, D., L. Vasseur & C.H. Bérubé. 2007. Unveiling the adequacy of scat surveys to monitor social species, a case study on river otters. Journal of Wildlife Management 71: 258-265.

  • Bertrand, A.S., S. Kenn, E. Tremblay, L. Vasseur, D. Gallant,R. Wissink, & J. Bridgland. 2006. Are cougars back in Eastern Canada? Canadian Field Naturalist 120: 438-442.

  • Pruneau, D., A. Doyon, J. Langis, L. Vasseur, E. Ouellet, G. Martin, E. McLaughlin & G. Boudreau. 2006. The process of change experimented by teachers and students when voluntarily trying environmental behaviors. Applied Environ. Educ. Commun. 5(1) : 33-40.

  • Pruneau, D., Doyon, A., Langis, J., Vasseur, L., Ouellet, E., McLaughlin, E., Boudreau, G. & Martin, G. 2006. When teachers adopt environmental behaviors in the aim of protecting the climate. The Journal of Environmental Education, 37(3), 3-14.

  • Dallaire, R., L. Vasseur, LeBlanc, D. I., Tranchant, C. C. & Delaquis, P. 2006. A methodological approach for monitoring the microbial contamination of fresh produce from harvest to retail. Food Protection Trends 26 (4): 218-225 (accepted without revisions).

  • Vasseur, L., O. Chouinard, K. Delusca, L. Debaie and K. Murphy. 2006. Chapter 4.9. Building adaptive capacity. In. Daigle, R., Forbes, D., Parkes, G., Ritchie, H., Webster, T., Bérubé, D., Hanson, A., DeBaie, L., Nichols, S. and Vasseur, L. (2006): Impacts of sea level rise and climate change on the coastal zone of southeastern New Brunswick; Environment Canada, 613 p. [Jan. 17, 2007].