Connie Lovejoy, Département de biologie
My longstanding research interest began at UC Davis where I discovered that single celled algae were diverse, important and very attractive. Since algae are everywhere the voyage has taken me to both Polar Regions and I have explored everything from the tiniest ponds in Northern Québec to the Ocean basins. The realization that algae are protists and most eat bacteria led to my overarching interest in how microbial food webs are constructed and the interactions between protists, Bacteria and Archaea and how such interactions influence global carbon and nutrient cycling.
Technology has largely driven this field and the application of molecular tools to microbial ecology means that it is now possible to examine when and where species of the three domains of life co-occur and even to elucidate the diversity of key genes involved in for example carbon and nitrogen cycles. The impact of global climate change on physical biological interactions provides the lattice of my most recent research directions and is strongly influenced by the philosophy of integrative and systems biology.
Our research is mainly focused on integrative biology using genomics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics, applied to environmental microbiology. The goal is to understand where and how the microbial communities of oceans and smaller bodies of water interact with global energy and nutrient cycles. A recent major emphasis has been describing the biogeography of microbial communities and eventually we will infer rules of assembly.
We have specific oceanic projects in the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic, our freshwater research has been focused on ponds and lakes of Northern Québec and Ellesmere Island. This research is possible because of affiliations with ArcticNet, Québec Ocean, Centre d’Études Nordiques and the CNRS Unité Mixte Internationale- Takuvik.
Other international projects led by my lab include genomic and transcriptomics of five chromist algae from the Arctic Ocean.