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Thematic Project 3

Microbiomes: sentinels of the northern environment and human health

Microbiomes are predominant in the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, soils, fauna and humans.

The main objective of this thematic project is to determine the roles of microbiomes in the northern human-environment ecosystem by focusing on ecosystems (land, freshwater, seawater), food quality (marine and terrestrial products) and human health (cardiometabolic, respiratory and mental). This broad transdisciplinary collaboration between the fields of physics, chemistry, biology, medicine and engineering will design, develop and deploy new compact instruments for microbiological monitoring in the environment, animal models and humans. The project will also help develop models to assess how important nutritional components such as ω-3 fatty acids are channelled through the Arctic food web.

Specifically, the project will deliver:

1) new photonic sensors for the monitoring of ecosystems, nutrition and health in the North;

2) a better understanding of the coupled human-environment system in the North;

3) new sampling and analysis methods for a wide range of microbiological data in the North, and

4) the training of a new generation of scientists with transdisciplinary expertise to design and apply new photonic technologies for environmental and biomedical applications.

This effort brings together nearly 75 Université Laval professors from 6 faculties, 18 departments and 21 research centers working with numerous international, northern and industrial partners within 8 subprojects.

Steering Committee for Thematic Project 3

Members of the steering committee

André Marette, co-director
Department of medicine

Warwick Vincent, co-director
Department of biology

Pierre Ayotte
Department of social and preventive medicine

Denis Boudreault
Department of chemistry


Philippe St-Pierre
418 656-8711, extension 3776