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Isabelle Lavoie

Areas of expertise

Biomonitoring of freshwater ecosystems , Biofilms , Diatoms , Ecotoxicology , Paleolimnology , Urban limnology

  • Associate Professor

Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre

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

See the research centre

Research interests

Professor Lavoie’s work focuses on the use of biological descriptors to monitor the health of aquatic ecosystems. She is particularly interested in river biofilm responses to human disturbances (e.g., urbanization, agriculture, mining).

The Eastern Canada Diatom Index, a water biological integrity assessment tool developed with colleagues in 2005, is now part of the water quality indicators used by numerous water management organizations (Quebec and Ontario environment ministries, Government of Canada, watershed organizations, private companies).

Her research objectives are to develop stress bioindicators and biomarkers by studying the effects of human disturbances on the nutritional quality of biofilms (e.g., fatty acids) and the consequences for the food chain.


Banks, L. K., Lavoie, Isabelle, Robinson, C. E., Roy, James W. & Yates, Adam G. (2023). Effects of groundwater inputs on algal assemblages and cellulose decomposition differ based on habitat type in an agricultural stream. Hydrobiologia, 10: 3517-3537.
DOI: 10.1007/s10750-023-05251-1

Malbezin, Laura, Morin, Soizic & Lavoie, Isabelle (2023). Effects of atrazine and S-metolachlor on stream periphyton taxonomic and fatty acid composition. Ecotoxicology, ONLINE.
DOI: 10.21203/

Mazzella, Nicolas, Vrba, Romain, Moreira, Aurélie, Creusot, Nicolas, Eon, Mélissa, Millán Navaro, Débora, Lavoie, Isabelle & Morin, Soizic (2023). Mixed light photoperiod and biocide pollution affect lipid profiles of periphyton communities in freshwater ecosystems. Journal of Hazardous Materials Advances, 12: Art. 100378.
DOI: 10.1016/j.hazadv.2023.100378

Saulnier-Talbot, Émilie, Duchesne, Eliane, Antoniades, Dermot, Arseneault, Dominique, Barnard, Christine, Berteaux, Dominique, Bhiry, Najat, Boudreau, Stéphane, Cazelles, Kevin, Comte, Jérôme, Corbeil-Robitaille, Madeline-Zoé, Côté, Steeve, Couture, Raoul-Marie, de la Fontaine, Guillaume, Dominé, Florent, Fauteux, Dominique, Fortier, Daniel, Garneau, Michelle, Gauthier, Gilles, Gravel, Dominique, Laurion, Isabelle, Lavoie, Martin, Lecomte, Nicolas, Legagneux, Pierre, Lévesque, Esther, Naud, Marie-José, Paquette, Michel, Payette, Serge, Pienitz, Reinhard, Rautio, Milla, Roy, Alexandre, Royer, Alain, Simard, Martin, Vincent, Warwick F. & Bety, Joël (2023). State shifts and divergent sensitivities to climate warming across northern ecosystems. Nature Portfolio, ONLINE.
DOI: 10.21203/

Guasch, Helena, Bernal, Susana, Bruno, Daniel, Carney Almroth, Bethanie, Cochero, Joaquin, Corcoll, Natàlia, Cornejo, Delfina, Gacia, Esperança, Kroll, Alexandra, Lavoie, Isabelle, Ledesma, José L. J., Lupon, Anna, Margenat, Henar, Morin, Soizic, Navarro, Enrique, Ribot, Miquel, Riis, Tenna, Schmitt-Jansen, Mechthild, Tlili, Ahmed & Martí, Eugènia (2022). Interactions between microplastics and benthic biofilms in fluvial ecosystems: Knowledge gaps and future trends. Freshwater Science, 41 (3): 442-458.
DOI: 10.1086/721472

Khalert, Maria, Rühland, Kathleen M., Lavoie, Isabelle, Keck, François, Saulnier-Talbot, Émilie, Bogan, Daniel, Brua, Robert B., Campeau, Stéphane, Christoffersen, Kirsten S., Culp, Joseph M., Karjalainen, Satu Maaria, Lento, Jennifer, Schneider, Susanne C., Shaftel, Rebecca & Smol, John P. (2022). Biodiversity patterns of Arctic diatom assemblages in lakes and streams: Current reference conditions and historical context for biomonitoring. Freshwater Biology, 67 (1): 116-140.
DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13490

Proteau, Kelly, Binesh, Negin, Duchesne, Sophie, Pelletier, Geneviève & Lavoie, Isabelle (2022). Urban runoff quality and quantity control: a functional comparison of various types of detention basins. Urban Water Journal, 19 (10): 1080-1092.
DOI: 10.1080/1573062X.2022.2117633

Fadhlaoui, Mariem & Lavoie, Isabelle (2021). Effects of temperature and glyphosate on fatty acid composition, antioxidant capacity, and lipid peroxidation in the Gastropod Lymneae sp.. Water, 13 (8): Art. 1309.
DOI: 10.3390/w13081039

Pearce, Nolan J. T., Lavoie, Isabelle, Thomas, Kathryn E., Chambers, Patricia A. & Yates, Adam G. (2021). Nutrient enrichment effects are conditional on upstream nutrient concentrations: Implications for bioassessment in multi-use catchments. Ecological Indicators, 124: Art. 107440.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2021.107440

Fadhlaoui, Mariem; Laderriere, Vincent; Lavoie, Isabelle & Fortin, Claude (2020). Influence of temperature and nickel on algal biofilm fatty acid composition. Environ. Toxicol. Chem., 39 (8): 1566-1577.
DOI: 10.1002/etc.4741

Khalert, Maria; Rühland, Kathleen M.; Lavoie, Isabelle; Keck, François; Saulnier-Talbot, Émilie; Bogan, Daniel; Brua, Robert B.; Campeau, Stéphane; Christoffersen, Kirsten S.; Culp, Joseph M.; Karjalainen, Satu Maaria; Lento, Jennifer; Schneider, Susanne C.; Shaftel, Rebecca & Smol, John P. (2020). Biodiversity patterns of Arctic diatom assemblages in lakes and streams: Current reference conditions and historical context for biomonitoring. Freshwater Biol., ONLINE.
DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13490

Lento, Jennifer; Laske, Sarah M.; Lavoie, Isabelle; Bogan, Daniel; Brua, Robert B.; Campeau, Stéphane; Chin, Krista; Culp, Joseph M.; Levenstein, Brianna; Power, Michael; Saulnier-Talbot, Émilie; Shaftel, Rebecca; Swanson, Heidi; Whitman, Matthew & Zimmermann, Christian E. (2020). Diversity of diatoms, benthic macroinvertebrates, and fish varies in response to different environmental correlates in Arctic rivers across North America. Freshwater Biol., ONLINE.
DOI: 10.1111/fwb.13600

Pearce, Nolan J. T.; Thomas, Kathryn E.; Lavoie, Isabelle; Chambers, Patricia A. & Yates, Adam G. (2020). Episodic loadings of phosphorus influence growth and composition of benthic algae communities in artificial stream mesocosms. Water Res., 185: Art. 116139.
DOI: 10.1016/j.watres.2020.116139

Budnick, William R.; Leboucher, Thibault; Beilard, Jerome; Soininen, Janne; Lavoie, Isabelle; Pound, Katrina; Jamoneau, Aurélien; Tison-Rosebery, Juliette; Tales, Evelyne; Pajunen, Virpi; Campeau, Stephane & Passy, Sophia I. (2019). Local and regional drivers of taxonomic homogenization in stream communities along a land use gradientGlobal Ecol. Biogeogr., 28 (11): 1597-1609.
DOI: 10.1111/geb.12976

Cerisier, Angelique; Vedrenne, Jacky; Lavoie, Isabelle & Morin, Soizic (2019). Assessing the severity of diatom deformities using geometric morphometryBotany Letters, 166 (1): 32-40.
DOI: 10.1080/23818107.2018.1474800

Lavoie, Isabelle; Morin, Soizic; Laderriere, Vincent; Paris, Louise-Emmanuelle & Fortin, Claude (2019). Assessment of diatom assemblages in close proximity to mining activities in Nunavik, Northern Quebec (Canada)Environments, 6 (6): Art. 74.
DOI: 10.3390/environments6060074

Pandey, Lalit K.; Lavoie, Isabelle; Morin, Soizic; Depuydt, Stephen; Lyu, Jie; Lee, Hojun; Jung, Jinho; Yeom, Dong-Hyuk; Han, Taejun & Park, Jihae (2019). Towards a multi-bioassay-based index for toxicity assessment of fluvial watersEnviron. Monit. Assess., 19 (2): Art. 112.
DOI: 10.1007/s10661-019-7234-5

Lavoie, Isabelle; Morin, Soizic; Laderrière, Vincent & Fortin, Claude (2018). Freshwater diatoms as indicators of combined long-term mining and urban stressors in Junction Creek (Ontario, Canada)Environments, 5 (2): Art. 30.
DOI: 10.3390/environments5020030

Pandey, Lalit K.; Lavoie, Isabelle; Morin, Soizic; Park, Jihae; Lyu, Jie; Choi, Soyeon; Lee, Hojun & Han, T. (2018). River water quality assessment based on a multi-descriptor approach including chemistry, diatom assemblage structure, and non-taxonomical diatom metricsEcol. Indicators, 84: 140-151.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.07.043

Saulnier-Talbot, Émilie & Lavoie, Isabelle (2018). Uncharted waters: the rise of human-made aquatic environments in the age of the “Anthropocene”Anthropocene, 23: 29-42.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ancene.2018.07.003

Tiam, Sandra Kim; Lavoie, Isabelle; Doose, Caroline; Hamilton, Paul B. & Fortin, Claude (2018). Morphological, physiological and molecular responses of Nitzschia palea under cadmium stress. Ecotoxicology, 27 (6): 675-688.

Kim Tiam, Sandra; Laderrière, Vincent; Gillis, Carole-Anne; Fortin, Claude & Lavoie, Isabelle (2017). qPCR detection versus microscopy observations for assessing presence-absence of Didymosphenia geminata in Quebec rivers (Canada)Water Qual. Res. J. Can., 52 (2): 109-120.
DOI: 10.2166/wqrj.2017.030

Lavoie, Isabelle; Hamilton, Paul B.; Morin, Soizic; Tiam, Sandra Kim; Kahlert, Maria; Gonçalves, Sara; Falasco, Eilsa; Fortin, Claude; Gontero, Brigitte; Heudre, David; Kojadinovic-Sirinelli, Mila; Manoylov, Kalina; Pandey, Lalit K. & Taylor, Jonathan C. (2017). Diatom teratologies as biomarkers of contamination: Are all deformities ecologically meaningful?Ecol. Indicators, 82: 539-550.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2017.06.048

Ponader, Karin C.; Potapova, Marina; Desianti, Nina; Hamilton, Paul B.; Lavoie, Isabelle & Campeau, Stéphane (2017). Gomphonema caperatum sp. nov., G. obstipum sp. nov. and similar taxa from rivers of North AmericaDiatom Res., 30 (1): 59-73.
DOI: 10.1080/0269249X.2016.1272496

Hamilton, P. B. & Lavoie, I. (2016). Changing environmental conditions due to anthropogenic activities in the Lac Dasserat watershed over the recent past using diatoms as a biological proxy: Preliminary results. In: Alpay, S., (Ed.). Multidisciplinary environmental science investigations surrounding the former Aldermac mine, Abitibi, Quebec: The Lac Dasserat study workshop summarized. (Chapitre 4.6): 47-55. Ressources naturelles Canada / Natural Resources Canada.
DOI: 10.4095/297747

Lavoie, I.; Levy, J.; Lavoie, M. & Fortin, C. (2016). Development of a bio-monitoring tool for metal contamination assessment in lotic systems. In: Alpay, S., (Ed.). Multidisciplinary environmental science investigations surrounding the former Aldermac mine, Abitibi, Quebec: The Lac Dasserat study workshop summarized. (Chapitre 4.9): 76-81. Natural Resources Canada / Ressources naturelles Canada.
DOI: 10.4095/297747

Lavoie, Isabelle & Campeau, Stéphane (2016). Assemblage diversity, cell density and within-slide variability: Implications for quality assurance/quality control and uncertainty assessment in diatom-based monitoringEcol. Indicators, 69: 415-421.
DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.05.001

Leguay, Sébastien; Lavoie, Isabelle; Levy, Jacqueline L. & Fortin, Claude (2016). Using biofilms for monitoring metal contamination in lotic ecosystems: The protective effects of hardness and pH on metal bioaccumulationEnviron. Toxicol. Chem., 35 (6): 1489-1501.
DOI: 10.1002/etc.3292

Hamilton, Paul B.; Lavoie, Isabelle; Alpay, Sam & Ponader, Karin (2015). Using diatom assemblages and sulfur in sediments to uncover the effects of historical mining on Lake Arnoux (Quebec, Canada): a retrospective of economic benefits vs. environmental debtFront. Ecol. Evol., 3: Art. 99.
DOI: 10.3389/fevo.2015.00099