M.Sc. in Biology (summa cum laude), 2014 – Department of Biology, Laval University
Supervisors: Louis Fortier and Dominique Robert (Memorial University)
B.Sc. in Biology, 2011 – Department of Biology, Laval University
Ph. D. Candidate (September 2014 - present)
Thesis title: The Arctic Ocean under multiple pressures: linking impacts on marine ecosystem function, services and Inuit wellbeing
The Arctic represents something unique in each of our minds. This frozen world, crucial habitat of emblematic species, feeds the imagination of kids, and still constitutes a mystic place for many adults. But most people are so far removed from North Pole that they are uninformed of the major issues reshaping its face. The Arctic is a bellwether of climate change, where the effects of global warming are at their most intense. The ice cover is rapidly diminishing and might completely disappear in summer within the next decade, with cascading effects on the ecosystem. Moreover, oil and gas industries are shifting their focus towards the Arctic Ocean that contains more than 20% of the planet’s remaining hydrocarbons. Mining industry is also growing rapidly all around the Arctic Circle, while shipping is increasing due to these proliferating industries and the opening of the Northwest Passage.
The Arctic has long fascinated me, and I am interested in understanding how increasing pressures may trigger various and potentially synergistic impacts on marine ecosystem services. The arctic marine ecosystem plays an important role in maintaining human wellbeing. For instance, it provides food to Native communities who depend directly upon the marine wildlife for subsistence and economic activities, while its cooling effect on the Earth’s climate benefit all societies.
In my Masters thesis, I showed that climate-related invasions of boreal fish species in Arctic waters could lead to dramatic changes in the marine food web. These findings raised many questions to my mind, so that for my PhD I will study how the impacts of climate change and industrial activities will affect arctic marine food webs and human wellbeing. Because anthropogenic pressures will have ecological, social and economic consequences, an integrated socio-ecological approach is required to fully understand the magnitude of the impacts and to guide management and adaption. Therefore, my first objective is to describe the predicted and observed climate-induced changes in the arctic marine food web based on both scientific and traditional knowledge (TK). Next, I will assess the resulting impacts on the provisioning of ecosystem services, especially high quality food, and the consequences on Native communities that depend upon them. Finally, I will suggest ecosystem management solutions that could alleviate the consequences of climate change and anthropogenic activities on arctic fauna and Inuit communities.
In addition to communicating with other scientists, I frequently engage the public on these issues because I believe that public awareness is a powerful tool for pushing policy-makers to take action on climate change. I want to contribute in increasing public and stakeholder’s awareness of the great issues surrounding the Arctic, with the hope to preserve its natural and somehow mystical wealth.
Selected Awards and Scholarships
· In the Top 30 leaders in sustainability under 30 of Canada, Magazine Corporate Knights in partnership with IMPACT! Youth Program
for Sustainability Leadership (2016)
· Excellence Award, Quebec Center for Biodiversity Science (2015)
· Graduate scholarship, NSERC CREATE in Environmental Innovation (2015)
· Graduate Excellence Fellowship, McGill University (2014, 2015)
· Doctoral scholarship, FRQNT (2014-2017)
· Excellence grant, Anne Vallee Ecological Fund (2014)
· Finalist of the scientific outreach contest Cogito, AELIÉS, Laval University (2013). Video here.
· Graduate scholarship, Quebec-Ocean (2012, 2013)
· Young Scientist Forum Funding, University of Tromsø, Norway (2013)
· Northern Scientific Training Program, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (2013, 2015)
· Student Involvement Distinction (scientific journalism), Student Life Office, Laval University (2011)
Ford J. D., Bell T., Couture N. J., Atkinson D. E., Champalle C., Willox A. C., Dawson J., Falardeau M., Flynn M., Harper S., James T. S., Labbe J., Lanz T., Mauro I., Myers E., Ogden N., Parewick K., Pearce T., Radosavljevic B., Riedlsperger R., Sayles J., Tremblay M. (2016) Chapter 5 – Perspectives on Canada’s North Coast region. In Canada’s Marine Coasts in a Changing Climate, (ed.) D.S. Lemmen, F.J. Warren, T.S. James and C.S.L. Mercer Clarke; Government of Canada, Ottawa, ON, pp. 153-206.
Pepin P., Robert D., Bouchard C., F. Dower J., Falardeau M., Fortier L., P. Jenkins G., Levesque K., K. Llopiz J., G. Meekan M., M. Murphy H., Ringuette M., Sirois P., Sponaugle S. (2015). Once upon a larva: Revisiting the relationship between feeding success and growth in fish larvae. ICES Journal of Marine Science.
Fortier L., Ferguson S. H., Archambault P., Matley J., Robert D., Darnis G., Geoffroy M., Suzuki K., Falardeau M., Harwood L. A., Slavik D., Grant C., Link H. (2015). Chapter 4 - Arctic Change: Impacts on Marine Ecosystems. In The Integrated Regional Assessment of the Canadian Western and Central Arctic (IRIS), pp. 161-185. Ed. by G. Stern and A. Gaden
Falardeau M., Robert D., Fortier L. (2014) Could the planktonic stages of polar cod and Pacific sand lance compete for food in the warming Beaufort Sea? ICES Journal of Marine Science, 71: 00-00.
Falardeau M., Bennett E. (2015) On the connections between ecosystem processes, services and Inuit wellbeing in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut. Conference of the Association of Canadian Universities for Northern Studies (ACUNS) in Calgary, Canada. Oral Presentation (National).
Falardeau M., Bennett E. (2015) Impacts of climate change and industrial activities on arctic marine food web and ecosystem services supply. Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution in Saskatoon, Canada. Poster Presentation (National).
Falardeau M., Robert D., Fortier L. (2014) Are the larval stages of arctic cod and Pacific sand lance competing for food in the Beaufort Sea? Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) in Quebec city, Canada. Oral Presentation (International).
Falardeau M., Robert D., Fortier L. (2013) Trophic interactions between the planktonic stages of arctic cod and Pacific sand lance in the rapidly-warming Beaufort Sea. ArcticNet Conference in Halifax, Canada. Oral Presentation (National).
Falardeau M., Robert D., Fortier L. (2013) Larval polar cod and sand lance trophodynamics in the warming Beaufort Sea. Arctic Frontiers Conference in Tromsø, Norway. Oral Presentation (International).
Research Professional, ArcticNet (2014)
Research Professional, Takuvik Joint Program and French Polar Institute IPEV (2013-2014)
Teaching Assistant in Invertebrate Zoology and Physical Oceanography, Laval University (2013)
Young Scientist Forum Workshop, ARCTOS, University of Tromsø (2013)
Naturalist, Group of Research and Education on Marine Mammals, GREMM (2012)
Research Assistant, Quebec-Ocean (2009-2011)
Arctic char monitoring program, Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Nunavut, Canadian Arctic (2015)
R/V Martin Bergmann scientific cruise, Queen Maud Gulf and Dease Strait, Canadian Arctic (2015)
CCGS Amundsen, ArcticNet, Canadian Arctic and Greenland (2014)
Astrolabe icebreaker and Dumont d’Urville Station, French Polar Institute, Antarctica (2014)
CCGS Amundsen, ArcticNet, Canadian Arctic and Greenland (2013)
CCGS Amundsen, ArcticNet, Hudson Bay and Canadian Arctic (2010)
Selected other activities
Science communication (Videos and Articles)
Scientific adviser for SEDNA Epic Expedition
Board member of the Association for Early Polar Career Scientists Canada (APECS)
Scuba diving, trekking, yoga, jogging, music, science communication, photography, filmmaking and traveling.