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Our Scientists – From Coast to Coast to Coast – Nathalie Simard

Learn more about how you can help detect and monitor aquatic invasive species.


My name is Nathalie Simard, and I am a biologist at the Maurice Lamontagne Institute in Mont Joli. I work on aquatic invasive species.

An aquatic invasive species is an animal, plant, or even a micro-organism that should not be found in our waters, meaning it comes from somewhere else, and can have huge ecological, economic, and even social consequences.

As part of my work, I run the invasive species monitoring program in the Quebec Region.

Every year, we go out in the field and set up what we call collectors in various harbours and marinas to try to detect new invasive species as soon as they arrive and to monitor the progression of the invasive species that are already here.

It's really important to try to detect these species as soon as possible, because once they are here and well-established, it's almost impossible to get rid of them.

We also work a lot on improving our detection methods, and we increasingly work with genetics researchers to use molecular detection tools.

I also study means of transportation, or what we call introduction vectors, which are responsible for bringing these species to our waters.

It's important to do everything we can with means of transportation, because this is where we can act to prevent invasive species from arriving in our waters.

My role as a biologist is to help protect marine ecosystems, and I believe the research on aquatic invasive species that I contribute to helps meet this objective.

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