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Research Highlights

Teams converging for impactful results

The Sentinel North teams are joining forces to generate knowledge and technological advances that lead to a better understanding of the changing northern environment and its impact on humans. Below are a few selected impact research results.



La tordeuse fait la vie dure au caribou forestier sentinelle nord

The budworm makes life difficult for woodland caribou

A team from Université Laval, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Montana has shown that the spruce budworm is harming the recovery efforts of woodland caribou in Quebec by increasing their risk of being preyed upon by wolves in ecosystems that have been ravaged by the insect.

Read more on Ulaval Nouvelles (in French)

sentinelle nord leader microbiome

Among leaders in microbiome research

Sentinel North teams stand out for their cutting-edge work on the Arctic environmental microbiome and its impact on human health.

Learn more

design biophilique en arctique

Bioclimatic Design in the Arctic

Master of Architecture students win two awards in the American Institute of Architects' annual competition. This interdisciplinary success combines architecture, computer vision, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, acoustics and plant science.

Read more on Ulaval Nouvelles (in French)

rôle clé des virus dans les écosystèmes arctiques

Key Role of Viruses in Northern Ecosystems

Université Laval researchers specializing in ecology and genomics, along with Anne Jungblut, a researcher at the Natural History Museum in London, have produced the first genomic portrait of cyanobacteria that play a key role in northern ecosystems, using state-of-the-art CRISPR-Cas technology.

Read the full news

interactions santé-envronnement dans le nord

Health-Environment Interactions in the North

Early results from Sentinel North are shedding light on the complex interactions between human health and the environment in the North through convergence research and the development of new approaches and innovative technologies.

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Selected results and outcomes


  • The first continuous measurements of limnological properties show significant ecological disturbance and year-to-year variability in Canada’s northernmost lake, one of the last in the High Arctic to lose its perennial ice cover.
    Bégin et al. 2021. Limnology and Oceanography

  • Decreased hunting activity during COVID: Hunting disturbance affects the behaviour and body condition of greater snow geese.
    LeTourneux et al. 2021. Biological Conservation

  • Collaboration with the Université Côte d’Azur: demonstration of the first 2.8 micron laser based on gain-switching by fibrous saturable absorbers for the monitoring of climate active gases.
    Bernier et al. 2021. Article coming soon.

  • Blood levels of perfluoroalkyl acids twice as high in pregnant women in Nunavik as elsewhere in Canada: the importance of better regulating these contaminants to protect the exceptional quality of traditional foods in Nunavik.
    Caron- Beaudoin et al. 2020. Environnement International

  • Epigenetic changes in the brains of suicide victims promote the expression of a noncoding RNA that controls the expression of impulsive and aggressive behaviour in humans and mice.
    Labonté et al. 2020. Molecular Psychiatry

  • Gut microbiota and dietary fatty acid intake determine endocannabinoidome signalling beyond the effect of body fat.
    Castonguay-Paradis et al. 2020. Scientific Reports

  • Development of an online decision support tool for the collaborative planning of sustainable and resilient northern villages in Nunavik.
    Habiter le Nord québécois.

  • A method of using spatial ecology to reduce human-wildlife conflicts.
    Fortin et al. 2020. Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems

  • Increased risk of caribou mortality due to indirect effects of spruce budworm outbreaks: forest defoliation and salvage logging affect trophic interactions in large mammals.
    Labadie et al. 2021. PNAS