Jean Bousquet, Département des sciences du bois et de la forêt
Jean Bousquet obtained a B.Sc. in forest sciences in 1984 from Univ. Laval. From 1982 to 1984, his first research work focused on the quantitative genetics of juvenile growth and phenology of white spruce with Armand Corriveau, at the Laurentian Forestry Centre of the Canadian Forest Service. He then moved to the Petawawa National Forestry Institute until 1987 where he conducted research on the population genetics of nitrogen-fixing alders with Bill Cheliak. While DNA markers were still in their infancy in human genetics, Jean used mendelian allozyme markers to infer neutral genetic diversity and population structure among several species of this genus. He then obtained his Ph.D. in 1989 from Univ. Laval and the Univ. of Alberta (joint) with the co-supervision of Maurice Lalonde and Bruce Dancik, studying the molecular biosystematics and population genetics of alders and birches. He completed his postdoctoral studies at Oregon State University in 1990 on the phylogenetics and rates of molecular evolution of chloroplast gene sequences in angiosperm and gymnosperm seed plants, under the supervision of Steven Strauss. Since then, he has become an established researcher in plant population genetics and evolutionary biology. He is professor of forest genetics at the Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics of Univ. Laval. He has served on the committee for building the Pavillon Charles-Eugène-Marchand of research in health and life sciences of Univ. Laval at the beginning of the ‘90. He has also been director of the Québec Forest Biology Research Centre (currently Quebec Centre for Forest Research) from 1994 to 2001, and scientific director of the Centre for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at Laval University until 2007. Since 2001, he has been director of the senior Canada Research Chair in Forest and Environmental Genomics (renewed until 2022) and has been director or co-director of several large-scale projects, such as ARBOREA, SMarTForests, FastTRAC, Spruce-Up, or the Phylogeographic Atlas of North American conifers. He has also acted as interim head of the Department of Wood and Forest Sciences and vice-dean for research and graduate studies at the Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics, and has helped put in place Ligniculture Québec at the beginning of years 2000 and IBIS at the end of years 2000.
Jean’s research program is centered around the comprehension of genetic diversity and its evolutionary implications at the population and genome structure levels in trees. As part of the Phylogeographic Atlas of Canadian Conifers, his current work involves investigations of the effects of Pleistocene glaciations and Holocene climate change on the geographical structure of North American conifers at the range-wide level, in collaboration with colleagues from Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. He is also pursuing the search for molecular selection signatures of adaptation at the landscape and range-wide levels, as well as within their hybrid zones, and studying their relationships with climatic factors. He is also participating to the sequencing, mapping and analysis of structural variation of conifer genomes, transcriptomes, and gene families, in collaboration with colleagues from Natural Resources Canada and other Canadian universities and at the international level. As part of his leadership of the FastTRAC and Spruce-Up projects, supported by Génome Québec and Genome Canada, he has been recently involved in association genomics work and has devoted much effort in developing spruce genomic resources in spruces. These resources include SNP catalogs and large-scale genotyping arrays devoted to various genome scan applications, such as genomic selection for improved resilience of trees to climate change. In collaboration with numerous end-users of the private and public sectors, he is leading the operational integration of genomic selection in spruce breeding programs of various jurisdictions in Canada in order to hasten the selection of better adapted and productive reforestation stocks. In line with its early career interests in phylogenetic analysis, he has also been collaborating actively to the estimation of molecular phylogenies of angiosperm tree and conifer genera, and studying their paleo-biogeographical implications, in collaboration with Mexican and European colleagues.