People and trees: intimately connected by a shared microbiome in an urban world

AIM: Identify the direct and indirect impacts of urban tree diversity on public health to help city-planners reduce the incidence of autoimmune diseases in at-risk populations.

Because this aim is considerable, we seek to constitute a team of members with complementary interests and skills. The specific tasks of each member will be determined at hiring.

OBJECTIVES: Over a gradient of social inequalities in two Canadian cities, we will: (1) compile tree diversity indicators using advanced ground-based and 3D remote sensing approaches; (2) identify and quantify airborne microorganisms, pollen, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by urban trees; (3) measure relationships between tree diversity, microbial diversity, pollen, VOCs, and public health (i.e., prevalence of asthma and allergies). Finally, we will (4) disseminate our results through an application that will allow end-users to estimate the health value of city-planning scenarios at the neighborhood level.

Prospective candidates should contact me with the following information:

  • Letter of interest* (1 page)
  • CV
  • Unofficial transcripts
  • Contact information of 3 references

*Please include in your letter of interest any career interruption or factor that may have influenced academic performance such as maternity leaves, family responsibilities, medical leaves, etc.

Review of applications will begin on September 1st 2021, and will continue until the positions are filled. We will give priority to candidates at the PhD or postdoc level, but we will also consider potential MSc students. We encourage applications from women, racialized/visible minorities, Indigenous/Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQ2+ persons. The positions are based at Université de Sherbrooke or at Université de Québec à Montréal; both francophone universities, but knowledge of French is not mandatory. Co-directions will be organized with our team members: Prs. I. Laforest-Lapointe (UdeS), A. Paquette (UQAM), C. Girard (UQAC), C. Laprise (UQAC), C. Ziter (Concordia), F. Camirand Lemyre (UdeS), J. Houle (UQÀM) et S. Kembel (UQÀM). Our team offers a work environment that is inclusive, respectful, healthy, and open to differences. The PhD scholarship will amount to 21,000$/year for 4 years and the postdoctoral fellowship to 50,000$/year for a first 1-year contract.

Join a young, dynamic, and welcoming research group!

Send us an email at Isabelle.laforest-lapointe(at)

Application deadline: Open until filled
Start date: Flexible
Location: Université de Sherbrooke