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Isabelle Laurion

Areas of expertise

Aquatic ecology and bio-optics

Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre

490 de la Couronne Street
Québec City, Quebec  G1K 9A9

See the research centre

Research interests

Professor Laurion is particularly interested in the effects of climate change on mixing dynamics and water transparency in lakes and in their interaction with the microbial food chain. Dissolved organic matter (DOM) has a strong effect on water transparency and also influences mixing dynamics in lakes. Professor Laurion studies DOM bio- and photodegradation processes and how these processes affect greenhouse gas production and the carbon cycle.

Her current work focuses on the impact of permafrost thawing on the carbon cycle in northern environments. Permafrost thawing creates ponds where biological activity and solar radiation can cause the carbon stored for millennia in the tundra to be released into the atmosphere in the form of CO2 and CH4. This transfer could represent a positive climate feedback mechanism, as these systems are natural carbon reactors. Professor Laurion also studies the greenhouse gas emissions from small eutrophying lakes and sewage treatment ponds.

She is also interested in the development of optical tools for the detection of algal and cyanobacterial blooms in lakes in Quebec, including hyperspectral detection (visible and near IR), which can be applied to remote sensing with satellites and drones. This work is done in close collaboration with Professor Karem Chokmani’s team.


Mazoyer, Flora, Laurion, Isabelle & Rautio, Milla (2022). The dominant role of sunlight in degrading winter dissolved organic matter from a thermokarst lake in a subarctic peatland. Biogeosciences Discuss., ONLINE.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-2022-26

Bartosiewicz, Maciej, Coggins, Liah X., Glaz, Patricia, Cortes, Alicia, Bourget, Sébastien, Reichwaldt, Elke S., MacIntyre, Sally, Ghadouani, Anas & Laurion, Isabelle (2021). Integrated approach towards quantifying carbon dioxide and methane release from waste stabilization pondsWater Res., 202: Art. 117389.
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2021.117389

Bartosiewicz, Maciej; Maranger, Roxanne; Przytulska, Anna & Laurion, Isabelle (2021). Effects of phytoplankton blooms on fluxes and emissions of greenhouse gases in a eutrophic lakeWater Res., 196: Art. 116985.
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2021.116985

Bégin, Paschale Noël; Tanabe, Yukiko; Rautio, Milla; Wauthy, Maxime; Laurion, Isabelle; Uchida, Madaki; Culley, Alexander I. & Vincent, Warwick F. (2021). Water column gradients beneath the summer ice of a High Arctic freshwater lake as indicators of sensitivity to climate changeScientific Reports, 11: Art. 2868.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-021-82234-z

Coulombe, Stéphanie, Fortier, Daniel, Bouchard, Frédéric, Paquette, Michel, Lacelle, Denis & Laurion, Isabelle (2021). Thermokarst lakes formed in buried glacier ice: Observations from Bylot Island, eastern Canadian Arctic. Cryosphere Discuss.,  ONLINE.
DOI: 10.5194/tc-2021-302

Hughes-Allen, Lara; Bouchard, Frédéric; Laurion, Isabelle; Séjourné, Antoine; Marlin, Christelle; Hatté, Christine; Costard, François; Fedorov, Alexander & Desyatkin, Alexey (2021). Seasonal patterns in greenhouse gas emissions from thermokarst lakes in Central Yakutia (Eastern Siberia)Limnol. Oceanogr., 66 (S1): S98-S116.
DOI: 10.1002/lno.11665

Laurion, Isabelle; Massicotte, Philippe; Mazoyer, Flora; Negandhi, Karita & Mladenov, Nathalie (2021). Weak mineralization despite strong processing of dissolved organic matter in Eastern Arctic tundra pondsLimnol. Oceanogr., 66 (S1): S47-S63.
DOI: 10.1002/lno.11634

Preskienis, Vilmantas; Laurion, Isabelle; Bouchard, Frédéric; Douglas, Peter M. J.; Billet, Michael F.; Fortier, Daniel & Xu, Xiaomei (2021). Seasonal patterns in greenhouse gas emissions from lakes and ponds in a High Arctic polygonal landscapeLimnol. Oceanogr., 66 (S1): S117-S141.
DOI: 10.1002/lno.11660

Bouchard, Frédéric; Fortin, Daniel; Paquette, Michel; Boucher, Vincent; Pienitz, Reinhard & Laurion, Isabelle (2020). Thermokarst lake inception and development in syngenetic ice-wedge polygon terrain during a cooling climatic trend, Bylot Island (Nunavut), eastern Canadian Arctic. Cryosphere, 14 (8): 2607-2627.
DOI: 10.5194/tc-14-2607-2020

Narancic, Biljana; Laurion, Isabelle; Wolff, Brent B.; Behmel, Sonja & Rousseau, Alain N. (2020). Seasonal contributions of water and pollutants to Lake St. Charles, a drinking water reservoir. Can. Water Resour. J. / Rev. Can. Ressour. Hydr., 45 (2): 125-143.
DOI: 10.1080/07011784.2019.1706641

Ratté-Fortin, Claudie; Chokmani, Karem & Laurion, Isabelle (2020). Spatiotemporal variability in phytoplankton bloom phenology in Eastern Canadian Lakes related to physiographic, morphologic, and climatic drivers. Environments, 7 (10): Art. 77.
DOI: 10.3390/environments7100077

Tank, Suzanne E.; Vonk, Jorien E.; Walvoord, Michelle A.; McClelland, James W.; Laurion, Isabelle & Abbott, Benjamin W. (2020). Landscape matters: Predicting the biogeochemical effects of permafrost thaw on aquatic networks with a state factor approach. Permafrost Periglac. Process., 31 (3): 358-370.
DOI: 10.1002/ppp.2057

Bartosiewicz, Maciej; Przytulska, Anna; Deshpande, Bethany N.; Antoniades, Dermot; Cortes, Alicia; MacIntyre, Sally; Lehmann, Moritz F. & Laurion, Isabelle (2019). Effects of climate change and episodic heat events on cyanobacteria in a eutrophic polymictic lakeSci. Total Environ., 693: Art. 133414.
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.07.220

Bartosiewicz, Maciej; Przytulska, Anna; Lapierre, Jean-François; Laurion, Isabelle; Lehmann, Moritz F. & Maranger, Roxanne (2019). Hot tops, cold bottoms: Synergistic climate warming and shielding effects increase carbon burial in lakesLimnol. Oceanogr. Letters, 4 (5): 132-144.
DOI: 10.1002/lol2.10117

El Alem, Anas; Chokmani, Karem; Laurion, Isabelle; El Adlouni, Salah-Eddine; Raymond, Sébastien & Ratté-Fortin, Claudie (2019). Ensemble-based systems to monitor algal bloom with remote sensingIEEE Trans. Geosci. Remote Sens., 57 (10): 7955-7971.
DOI: 10.1109/TGRS.2019.2917636

Huot, Yannick; Brown, Catherine A.; Potvin, Geneviève; Antoniades, Dermot; Baulch, Helen M.; Beisner, Beatrix E.; Bélanger, Simon; Brazeau, Stéphanie; Cabana, Hubert; Cardille, Jeffrey A.; Del Gregorio, Paul A.; Gregory-Eaves, Irene; Fortin, Marie-Josée; Lang, Andrew S.; Laurion, Isabelle; Maranger, Roxanne; Prairie, Yves T.; Rusak, James A.; Segura, Pedro A.; Siron, Robert; Smol, John P.; Vinebrooke, Rolf D. & Walsh, David A. (2019). The NSERC Canadian Lake Pulse Network: A national assessment of lake health providing science for water management in a changing climateSci. Total Environ., 695: Art. 133668.
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133668

Matveev, Alex; Laurion, Isabelle & Vincent, Warwick F. (2019). Winter accumulation of methane and its variable timing of release from thermokarst lakes in subarctic peatlandsJ. Geophys. Res. – Biogeosci., 124 (11): 3521-3535.
DOI: 10.1029/2019JG005078

Narancic, Biljana; Laurion, Isabelle; Wolff, Brent B.; Behmel, Sonja & Rousseau, Alain N. (2019). Seasonal contributions of water and pollutants to Lake St. Charles, a drinking water reservoirCan. Water Resour. J. / Rev. Can. Ressour. Hydr., ONLINE.
DOI: 10.1080/07011784.2019.1706641

Matveev, Alex; Laurion, Isabelle & Vincent, Warwick F. (2018). Methane and carbon dioxide emissions from thermokarst lakes on mineral soilsSci. Arct., 4 (4): 584-604.
DOI: 10.1139/AS-2017-0047

Wauthy, Maxime; Rautio, Milla; Christoffersen, Kirsten S.; Forsström, Laura; Laurion, Isabelle; Mariash, Heather; Peura, Sari & Vincent, Warwick F. (2018). Increasing dominance of terrigenous organic matter in circumpolar freshwaters due to permafrost thawLimnol. Oceanogr. Letters, 3 (3): 186-198.
DOI: 10.1002/lol2.10063

Glaz, Patricia; Bartosiewicz, Maciej; Laurion, Isabelle; Reichwaldt, Elke S.; Maranger, Roxanne & Ghadouani, Anas (2017). Corrigendum to “Greenhouse gas emissions from waste stabilisation ponds in Western Australia and Quebec (Canada)” [Water Res. 101 (2015) 64-74]. Water Res., 123: 853.
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2017.08.024

Abbott, Benjamin W.; Jones, Jeremy B.; Schuur, Edward A. G.; Chapin, Stuart F.; Bowden, William B.; Bret-Harte, Syndonia M.; Epstein, Howard E.; Flannigan, Michael D.; Harms, Tamara K.; Hollingsworth, Teresa N.; Mack, Michelle C.; McGuire, David A.; Natali, Susan M.; Rocha, Adrian V.; Tank, Suzanne E.; Turetsky, Merritt R.; Vonk, Jorien E.; Wickland, Kimberly P.; Aiken, George R.; Alexander, Heather D.; Amon, Rainer M. W.; Benscoter, Brian W.; Bergeron, Yves; Bishop, Kevin; Blarquez, Olivier; Bond-Lamberty, Ben; Breen, Amy L.; Buffam, Ishi; Cai, Yihua; Carcaillet, Christopher; Carey, Sean K.; Chen, Jing M.; Chen, Han Y. H.; Christensen, Torben R.; Cooper, Lee W.; Cornelissen, J. Hans C.; De Groot, William J.; DeLuca, Thomas H.; Dorrepaal, Ellen; Fetcher, Ned; Finlay, Jacques C.; Forbes, Bruce C.; French, Nancy H. F.; Gauthier, Sylvie; Girardin, Martin P.; Goetz, Scott J.; Goldammer, Johann G.; Gough, Laura; Grogan, Paul; Guo, Laodong; Higuera, Philip E.; Hinzman, Larry; Hu, Feng Sheng; Hugelius, Gustaf; Jafarov, Elchin E.; Jandt, Randi; Johnstone, Jill F.; Karlsson, Jan; Kasischke, Eric S.; Kattner, Gerhard; Kelly, Ryan; Keuper, Frida; Kling, George W.; Kortelainen, Pirkko L.; Kouki, Jari; Kuhry, Peter; Laudon, Hjalmar; Laurion, Isabelle; Macdonald, Robie W.; Mann, Paul J.; Martikainen, Pertti J.; McClelland, James W.; Molau, Ulf; Oberbauer, Steven F.; Olefeldt, David; Paré, David; Parisien, Marc-André; Payette, Serge; Peng, Changhui; Pokrovsky, Oleg; Rastetter, Edward B.; Raymond, Peter A.; Raynolds, Martha K.; Rein, Guillermo; Reynolds, James F.; Robards, Martin; Rogers, Brendan M.; Schädel, Christina; Schaefer, Kevin; Schmidt, Inger K.; Shvidenko, Anatoly; Sky, Jasper; Spencer, Robert G. M.; Starr, Gregory; Striegl, Robert G.; Teisserenc, Roman; Tranvik, Lars J.; Virtanen, Tarmo; Welker, Jeffrey M. & Zimov, Sergei (2016). Biomass offsets little or none of permafrost carbon release from soils, streams, and wildfire: an expert assessmentEnviron. Res. Lett., 11 (3): Art. 034014.
DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/3/034014

Bartosiewicz, Maciej; Laurion, Isabelle; Clayer, François & Maranger, Roxanne (2016). Heat-wave effects on oxygen, nutrients, and phytoplankton can alter global warming potential of gases emitted from a small shallow lakeEnviron. Sci. Technol., 50 (12): 6267-6275.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b06312

Glaz, Patricia; Bartosiewicz, Maciej; Laurion, Isabelle; Reichwaldt, Elke S.; Maranger, Roxanne & Ghadouani, Anas (2016). Greenhouse gas emissions from waste stabilisation ponds in Western Australia and Quebec (Canada)Water Res., 101: 64-74.
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2016.05.060

Matveev, Alex; Laurion, Isabelle; Deshpande, Bethany N.; Bhiry, Najat & Vincent, Warwick F. (2016). High methane emissions from thermokarst lakes in subarctic peatlandsLimnol. Oceanogr., 61 (S1): S150-S164.
DOI: 10.1002/lno.10311

Negandhi, Karita; Laurion, Isabelle & Lovejoy, Connie (2016). Temperature effects on net greenhouse gas production and bacterial communities in Arctic thaw pondsFEMS Microbiol. Ecol., 92 (8): Art. fiw117.
DOI: 10.1093/femsec/fiw117

Przytulska, Anna; Comte, Jérôme; Crevecoeur, Sophie; Lovejoy, Connie; Laurion, Isabelle & Vincent, Warwick F. (2016). Phototrophic pigment diversity and picophytoplankton in permafrost thaw lakesBiogeosciences, 13 (1): 13-26.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-13-13-2016

Bartosiewicz, M.; Laurion, I. & MacIntyre, S. (2015). Greenhouse gas emission and storage in a small shallow lakeHydrobiologia, 757 (1): 101-115.
DOI: 10.1007/s10750-015-2240-2

Bouchard, F.; Laurion, I.; Preskienis, V.; Fortier, D.; Xu, X. & Whiticar, M. J. (2015). Modern to millennium-old greenhouse gases emitted from ponds and lakes of the Eastern Canadian Arctic (Bylot Island, Nunavut)Biogeosciences, 12 (23): 7279-7298.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-12-7279-2015

Darroch, L. J.; Lavoie, M.; Levasseur, M.; Laurion, I.; Sunda, W. G.; Michaud, S.; Scarratt, M.; Gosselin, M. & Caron, G. (2015). Effect of short-term light- and UV-stress on DMSP, DMS, and DMSP lyase activity in Emiliania huxleyiAquat. Microb. Ecol., 74 (2): 173-185.
DOI: 10.3354/ame01735

MacMillan, G. A.; Girard, C.; Chételat, J.; Laurion, I. & Amyot, M. (2015). High methylmercury in Arctic and Subarctic ponds is related to nutrient levels in the warming Eastern Canadian ArcticEnviron. Sci. Technol., 49 (13): 7743-7753.
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b00763

Roiha, T.; Rautio, M. & Laurion, I. (2015). Carbon dynamics in highly net heterotrophic subarctic thaw pondsBiogeosciences, 12 (23): 7223-7237.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-12-7223-2015

Vonk, J. E.; Tank, S. E.; Bowden, W. B.; Laurion, I.; Vincent, W. F.; Alekseychik, P.; Amyot, M.; Billet, M. F.; Canário, J.; Cory, R. M.; Deshpande, B. N.; Helbig, M.; Jammet, M.; Karlsson, J.; Larouche, J.; MacMillan, G.; Rautio, M.; Walter Anthony, K. M. & Wickland, K. P. (2015). Reviews and Syntheses: Effects of permafrost thaw on Arctic aquatic ecosystemsBiogeosciences, 12 (23): 7129-7167.
DOI: 10.5194/bg-12-7129-2015

Watanabe, S.; Laurion, I.; Markager, S. & Vincent, W. F. (2015). Abiotic control of underwater light in a drinking water reservoir: Photon budget analysis and implications for water quality monitoringWater Resour. Res., 51 (8): 6290-6310.
DOI: 10.1002/2014WR015617