Sarah Tardif

PhD Student

Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Alain Paquette, Isabelle Laforest-Lapointe and Rita Sousa-Silva mail_outline

Interests and Expertise

I am interested in the role of biodiversity in the functioning of forest and agroforestry ecosystems in the natural environment as well as in the urban environment.

Short description of Project

Urban pollens: sampling, identification, modeling

Exposure to allergenic pollen is a risk factor for respiratory allergies, and of great public health concern. The types and concentrations of pollen vary in space and time, and therefore pollen monitoring is an important tool for research and health care. However, we know little about how pollen levels vary in cities and whether this variation affects the development or exacerbation of allergic reactions. Pollen concentrations are often obtained from a single station used to represent exposure over a huge geographic area. In addition, due to negligible morphological differences between related species, pollen grains are rarely identified at the species level.

The objectives of the project are: (1) to develop and set up a vast pollen monitoring network to accurately represent the variability of pollen concentrations in Montreal; and (2) using molecular tools, identify types of pollen in trees, grasses and grasses at the species level. This information will allow us (3) to model and predict the concentration of different pollen species and to explore the links with human health.

Short description of internship with partner

During my doctoral project, I will be working with Pierre Gosselin and Mélanie Beaudoin from the Ministry of Health and Social Services of Quebec and
Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) as well as with Maryse Barrette and Marieke Cloutier from the Office of the ecological transition of the City of Montreal.


I am also planning to take a training course on the identification of pollens under the microscope with the company Aerobiology Research Laboratories.
In addition, I will plan an internship with the INSPQ on public health aspects in order to fully understand the issues in order to better orient the modeling (details are yet to come).

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