About my work
Driven from my early years by a great thirst for knowledge and by a passion and commitment where the environment is concerned, I started at the Biodôme as a clinical veterinarian in 2003. Since 2018 I’ve served as division head for living collections, research and scientific development. I orchestrate the broad guidelines of the division and manage the different aspects of its projects (organization, workforce, budget, and so on) with the aim of successfully fulfilling our missions. My work is done in collaboration with Québec government departments, peer researchers or with external partners. At the conclusion of our respective experiments and based on the scientific literature, we exchange ideas on the best practices for reaching our goals with respect to animal welfare and conservation. In effect, above and beyond its educational mission, the Biodôme is a conservation center developing the expertise needed for the protection of certain species at risk.
That, for example, is the case of the wood turtle, a species endemic to Québec, and which is found only in the region. It is currently threatened by the destruction of its habitat, and is heavily poached. In association with the Québec Ministère des forêts, de la faune et des parcs (Department of Forests, Wildlife and Parks), a “head start” program has been established for the species. What’s involved, after collecting and incubating the turtles’ eggs, is taking care of the babies for one to two years before releasing them into the natural environment. Highly vulnerable at birth to predators, their chances of survival are improved during this rearing period.
Why I love research
I consider myself an eternal student; I learn every day, and I do that through everything that connects me with nature, from Mount Royal to the St. Lawrence River, from the coastline all the way inland. Direct contact with animals is a privilege for me, and in the possibilities for learning that it offers, I feel humbled. I know beyond doubt that many solutions are to be found in nature. I hope that by way of the Biodôme and our work, the general public can appreciate the beauty and the fragility of what surrounds us, and will seek to commit to better protecting their environment.