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Pierre Giovenazzo, PhD - researcher and professor

Pierre Giovenazzo received a PhD in veterinary sciences at the University of Montréal (Varroa IPM strategies). He is a professor at University Laval’s Biology Department and holded a Chair in Educational Leadership in apicultural science from 2016 to 2021. His recent research focuses on honey bee breeding, queen reproduction, pollination services, honeybee nutrition and varroa IPM strategies. He has published over 90 scientific research publications/reports and his communication skills are recognized not only in academia, but throughout the beekeeping community. He was vice-president of the Canadian Association of Professional Beekeepers of Canada (2014-2017) and is member of various national and international beekeeping stakeholder associations. He was president of the 46th Apimondia 2019 Congress in Montreal.


Ségolène Maucourt, PhD - Post-doctoral fellow

From a very young age I have always been interested in biology and more particularly in animal biology. I first completed a DUT in biological engineering at the University of Lorraine, during which I did an internship in Quebec, that led me to discover the fascinating world of bees and beekeeping. A passion was born! After obtaining my degree in biology in France, I decided to do a master's degree in plant biology at Laval University in the Valérie Fournier's lab, about optimizing the nuclei production in Quebec. This study allowed me to learn more about this eusocial insect, while also discover the various challenges that the beekeeping industry faces today. I also had the chance to work on queen breeding and selection, which is now a field I specialize in. I continued my postgraduate studies in 2017 when I started my PhD in Pierre Giovenazzo's lab, on the genetic selection of the honey bee in a northern climate. The aim of this doctorate was to establish a bee genetic selection program using the BLUP-animal statistical methodology in order to improve the hardiness, production and health of bee colonies. I now work as a post-doctorate in the same lab, on genetic selection to continue to develop and perfect these statistical tools but also to establish strategies for the dissemination of this improved genetics across the province of Quebec and across Canada.

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Marie-Lou Morin, MSc - Research professional

I had known for a long time that I wanted to do research in biology, but it was when I saw Pierre Gio presenting his laboratory that I had the sting for bees! It was therefore in 2017 that I had my initiation to beekeeping and research in beekeeping sciences, and since then, I have never disembarked from the team. I first worked on the melliferous potential of forage plants during an initiation to research, then I started my master's degree in 2018. For this project, I was interested in the relationship between the hygienic behaviors of the bee and resistance to the Varroa destructor parasite. During my career, I also discovered my interest in teaching, doing several auxiliary contracts for courses in Apidology, genetics and molecular biology laboratory. I am now a research professional and I work in particular on tests in crates where we verify the effect of different stressors on the expression of genes, proteins and the microbiota of bees (BeeCSI project), and I participate in the breeding of CRSAD queens.


Mireille Levesque, MSc - Research professional

During my bachelor's degree in biology at Laval University, I had the opportunity to do an internship in Belize, during which I discovered that I had a great interest for entomology. I then took Pierre Giovenazzo's apidology course, which led me to work in his lab as a research assistant. Studying the honey bee quickly fascinated me, and that is why I pursued my master's studies in this field. During my master's, I studied the overwintering of queen bank colonies, a method that aims to reduce the massive imports of queens in the early spring. The objective of this project was to assess the impacts of this overwintering technique on the reproductive quality of queens. Since the end of this master's degree, I have been working as a research professional in Pierre's lab. Among others things, I am working on an agroeconomic study, which aims to determine how the density of commercial pollinators affects the productivity of lowbush blueberries in the Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean region. I am also taking part in a new study on the overwintering of queen bank colonies at the CRSAD research center, and in several other projects such as the creation of this website. 

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Maggie Lamothe-Boudreau - MSc student (since 2020)

Maggie is committed to the well-being of Canada's honeybees. She knows that Canadian agriculture is so dependent on this humble and hard-working insect. With over 11 years of beekeeping experience as the sole owner of her 400 hive operation, she is a dedicated agronomist to this crucial industry. Because of her passion for this industry, she has been elected for the past 5 years as vice-president of the Quebec Beekeepers Association (Association des Apiculteurs du Québec) and also represents the Quebec Beekeeper (Apiculteur du Québec) as 3rd vice-president of the CCM (Canadian Honey Council). She is also working on her master's degree on "Queen Banking" which will allow the supply of queens early in the spring to help Canadian beekeeping towards its ultimate goal of self-sufficiency.


Kim Ménard - MSc student (since 2022)

co-directed by Valérie Fournier (UL)

I am a student from Reunion Island and have just finished my bachelor's degree in Biology at Laval University. During this time, I completed the research profile and mainly focused on courses related to ecology. Currently, I am starting a master's degree under the direction of Pierre Giovenazzo and Valérie Fournier. I am studying the dynamics of honey bee populations during the lowbush blueberry pollination period. It is especially the apidology couse which pushed me to continue in this field. I do indeed have a lot of interest in biology, but they are always linked to communities, either from an ecological or an evolutionary point of view.

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Anne-Charlie Robert - MSc student (since 2023)

co-directed by Valérie Fournier (UL)

As a Bachelor's student in biology since fall 2019, I am particularly interested in anything remotely related to animal ecology. This interest combined with my decision to complete the research profile of my program is what led me to take an introductory research course with the beekeeping team of the Deschambault Animal Science Research Center (CRSAD), under the direction of Pierre Giovenazzo. My project focuses on the activity of commercial bumblebees (Bombus impatiens) outside their nest according to the temperature and the protection mode of the colonies. As a pioneer in the study of bumblebees in our team, I am also trying to determine the effect that nest manipulation has on colony development. This study is part of a larger project to maximize blueberry pollination by domestic pollinator species, which includes commercial bumblebees.


Ana Maria Quiroga Arcila - Co-supervised PhD student (since 2021)

directed by Valérie Fournier

I have always had a great interest in bees, social and environmental causes. During my bachelor's degree, I developed multidisciplinary skills including agroecology, beekeeping, meliponiculture (a specific term for stingless bee culture), and rural extension in Colombia. I am convinced that beekeeping and agroecology are an effective way to reduce the deep inequalities that exist especially in rural areas of Colombia and to actively contribute to the building of peace. For this reason, I worked with peasant associations, Pijao indigenous peoples and beekeeping associations, where I became a beekeeper and found one of my greatest passions. For this reason, I started a PhD in plant biology, under the direction of Valérie Fournier and the co-direction of Pierre Giovenazzo. My doctoral project focuses on the optimization of pollination of lowbush blueberries by honey bees and bumblebees. With this doctorate, I not only want to considerably broaden my knowledge about bees, but I hope to continue to contribute to the sustainable development of rural Quebec and to the construction of a more just and equitable society.


Joy Gaubert - Co-supervised PhD student (since 2021)

directed by Nicolas Derome

After a license in biology, I started a master's degree in Ecotoxicology and Environmental Chemistry at the University of Bordeaux (France) in order to understand and find solutions for the anthropic pollution of ecosystems. My last internship led me to Quebec, where I realized the potential that microbiology has to counter the effects of pollution and to preserve biodiversity. I chose the honey bee as the model of my Ph.D because I wanted my work to have a concrete impact. I started this Ph.D in January 2021, directed by the professors Nicolas Derome and Pierre Giovenazzo. My project aims to determine the potential benefits of an artificial modification of the honey bee’s microbiota, specifically when contaminated by stressors (pesticides, antibiotics, parasites). I will also study the effects of stressors on bees’ health,  and on bee’s microbiota and their genetic expression. My first objective is to understand the impacts of those stressors alone or combined on honey bees and their microbiota. My second objective is to improve the resilience and/or resistance of bees against those stressors by restoring the beneficial properties of their gut microbiota with a probiotic supplementation.

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Mahsa Abdollahi - Co-supervised PhD student (since 2021)

directed by Tiago H. Falk

After a bachelor's in electrical engineering, I started my master’s in Telecommunications at Amirkabir University of Technology in Tehran, Iran, with a focus on machine learning and deep learning. Fascinated by the applications of machine learning in apiculture, I joined MuSAE lab at the Energy, Materials and Telecommunications Center at INRS (Institut national de la recherche scientifique) in 2021 and started my PhD in telecommunications under the co-supervision of Professors Tiago H. Falk and Pierre Giovenazzo. In my PhD, I will use the collected data from inside the honeybee hives such as temperature, humidity and audio to design a monitoring system for hive strength. The main part of my project is focused on honeybees' acoustics and how it can help us to predict the number of frames of bees in a beehive, a metric for hive population and strength.


Former members of the laboratory (since 2016)

Directed graduate students


Plamondon, Laurence (2020-2023) - Master's degree in biology - Effects of summer treatment in an integrated pest management of Varroa destructor on virology and winter mortality of Apis mellifera) colonies in eastern Canada.

Maucourt, Ségolène (2017-2022) - PhD in biology - Genetic selection of the honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) in a northern climate 

Morin, Marie-Lou (2018-2022) - Master's degree in biology - Study of the environmental effect on the expression of VSH (Varroa Sensitive Hygiene) behavior selected in Apis mellifera

Levesque, Mireille (2019-2021) - Masters in biology - Effects of overwintering in banks on the survival and reproductive quality of honey bee queens (Apis mellifera L.)

Bleau, Naomie (2017-2019) - Masters in biology - Effects of probiotics on overwintering and spring development of honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera) in northern climate 

Rouleau-Breton, Stéphanie (2017-2019) - Masters in Biology - Controlling the Varroa destructor parasite by selection of the Varroa Sensitive Hygiene behavioral trait

Dufour, Claude (2016-2019) - Masters in Biology - Development and nutrition of honey bee colonies during blueberry pollination services  


Co-directed graduate students 

El Khoury, Sarah (2016-2022; Direction: Nicolas Derome) - PhD in biology - Use of probiotics to sustainably combat the exposure of bees to imidacloprid pesticides

Grenier, Émilie (2018-2020; Direction: Isabelle Goupil-Sormany) - Master's degree in public health - Gradients of exposure to certain atmospheric pollutants by biomonitoring of bees as an indicator of socio-environmental inequalities in Quebec

Auger, Laurence (2016-2018; Direction: Nicolas Derome) - Masters in biology - Genetic bases and heritability of Varroa Sensitive Hygiene behavior in Apis mellifera

Bouslama, Sidki (2016-2020; Direction: Nicolas Derome) - Master's in Biology - Genomic profiling of gut microbiota in honey bees in Canada 

Lamontagne-Drolet, Marianne (2016-2018; Direction: Valérie Fournier) - Master's degree in plant biology - Food supplements to maximize the development of honeybee colonies

Rondeau, Sabrina (2016-2018; Direction: Valérie Fournier) - Master's degree in plant biology - Biological control of Varroa destructor with the predator Stratiolaelaps scimitus

Paillard, Marilène (2015-2017; Direction: Janice Bailey) - Masters in Animal Sciences - Protecting the Genetic Diversity of the Honey Bee: Preservation Methods of Drone Semen

Maucourt, Ségolène (2015-2017; Direction: Valérie Fournier) - Master's degree in plant biology - Optimizing the production of honeybee nuclei



Undergraduate students

L'Écuyer, Phillipe (2021-2022) - Course Introduction to research - Study of the effect of mass storage and overwintering on the survival and performance of Apis mellifera queens


Sénéchal, Justine (2021-2022) - Course Introduction to research - Morphological analysis of the honey bee (Apis mellifera) for the identification and characterization of genetic lines

Brière, Marianne (2022) - Course Documentary research - Integrated control methods for varroa mites in organic beekeeping

Giroux, Béatrice (2020-2021) -Course Introduction to research - Relationship between hygienic behaviour and infection of bee colonies by Acosphera apis


Pellerin, Sarah (2021) - Course Documentary research - Parasites and nutrition: preparing colonies for the cold Quebec winter

Hunter-Lafont, Ély (2020) - Course Documentary research - The potential of RNA interference treatment against the Varroa destructor parasite

Lampron, Noémie (2018-2019) - Course Introduction to research - Effect of temperature variations measured during transport on the quality of Apis mellifera queens


BIgot, Ivan (2019) - Course Documentary research - What factors initiate hygienic behavior in the honey bee?

Morin, Marie-Lou (2017-2018) - Course Introduction to research - Development of a method to evaluate nectar production and melliferous potential of forage plants

Giguère, Anthony (2017-2018) - Course Introduction to research - Reproductive success of Varroa destructor in Apis mellifera bee colonies

Tremblay, Stephanie (2018) - Course Documentary research - Solitary bees VS social bees: collaboration makes all the difference!

Beaupré, Joëlle (2018) - Course Documentary research - The royal fountain of Youth: aging in the female castes of Apis mellifera

Grenier, Émilie (2018) - Course Documentary research - The honeybee and its products: a tool for air quality biomonitoring in Quebec? Case study in the Limoilou area of Quebec City

Main collaborators of the laboratory

Researcher in bee science

Deschambault Animal Science Research Center (CRSAD)

Researcher and professor

Institute of Integrative and Systems Biology, Laval University

Researcher and professor

Agricultural entomology, Laval University

Researcher and professor

Department of Animal Sciences, Laval University

Researcher and professor

Food Sciences and Agricultural Chemistry, McGill University

Researcher and professor

Department of Chemistry, University of Sherbrooke

Researcher and professor

Honey Bee Research Center

University of Guelph

Researcher and professor

Biology Department

York University

Researcher and professor

Entomology Department

University of Manitoba

Researcher and professor

Biological Sciences

University of Lethbridge

Researcher and professor

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

The University of British Columbia

Researcher and professor

Swiss Bee Research Center


Researcher and professor

Energy, Materials and Telecommunications Research Center, INRS

Honorary Professor

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

Montreal university

Researcher and professor

Bees and Environment Research Unit, INRAE Avignon

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