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WSP Partnering in Innovative Research into Spruce Budworm Detection

WSP Canada is collaborating as a strategic partner with three universities (Université du Québec à Rimouski, Université du Québec à Montréal and Université de Montréal), Natural Resources Canada and FPInnovations to advance an innovative new research study into the early detection of spruce budworm infestations.


The National Sciences and Research Council of Canada (NSERC) has selected the research proposal from a field of more than 300 submissions, and granted a two-year, $188,782 research grant to further exploration of the novel hypothesis that the increase in abundance of certain insectivorous species of birds are indicators of future defoliation by the spruce budworm.  Annually, the mortality of trees attributable to this insect cost the Canadian forest industry millions of dollars.

WSP’s participation in the ground-breaking study, led by Dr. Marion Germain, a post-doctorate fellow with a Ph.D. in behavioural and evolutionary ecology, involves the sharing of large sampling datasets gathered on behalf of clients in the study area (mainly on the North Shore of the St Lawrence River), as well as the contribution of expert oversight from Jean-Francois Poulin, WSP’s Assistant Team Leader | Environmental Studies. The results will then be applied to a broader area using the Québec Breeding Bird Atlas database.

Jean-Francois Poulin comments, “WSP is pleased to be partnering with the research team on this important investigation, which will be employing remote satellite sensing technology and other advanced tools to further the protection of Canadian forests.”

Dr. Marion Germain added, “The ability to collaborate at this level while making use of comprehensive data sets is an exciting scientific opportunity and I am very much looking forward to spending the next two years advancing this study.”