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Louise Hénault-Ethier

Areas of expertise

Entotechnologies , Adaptation to climate change , Circular economy , Composting , Pesticides , Phytotechnologies , Sustainable agriculture



Eau Terre Environnement Research Centre

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

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Research interests

Louise Hénault-Ethier’s research interests revolve around solutions inspired by nature aimed at adapting to climate change and sustainable agricultural practices, in particular through the circular economy of organic waste. Her postdoctoral research at Laval University focused on the upcycling of agrifood by-products using insects (entotechnologies). Edible insects such as mealworms or the black soldier fly represent innovative solutions for managing organic matter in a circular economy and generating quality products for human or animal food. She conducted surveys on the acceptability of insects in human food and documented the development of the entomophagic industry in Quebec. She has carried out numerous technology transfer activities as part of the Vitrine Entotechnologique, in partnership with TriCycle, CRETAU and Laval University. Her master’s degree from Concordia University (2007) focused on the composting of organic material using earthworms (vermicomposting) and combined molecular biology, microbiology, organic chemistry and environmental engineering.

She is particularly interested in phytotechnologies, technological uses of plants such as riparian strips, bioretentions, phytoremediation, green roofs or walls, to solve environmental issues. She is very active in popularizing these issues, particularly with the Société Québécoise de Phytotechnologie. While holding the position of David Suzuki Foundation chief of science in Québec, she contributed to several research and report projects on adaptation to climate change and the use of natural infrastructure or phytotechnologies to deliver ecological services in urban areas. These projects focused in particular on the forces and constraints in the deployment of phytotechnologies, the financing of natural infrastructures, urban revegetation, the ecological services delivered by urban trees and more.

Her research on pesticides began during her doctorate in 2010. Her doctoral thesis, completed in 2016, focuses on the effectiveness of vegetated riparian strips to limit runoff and diffuse pollution from agricultural sources, including fertilizers and glyphosate-based herbicides. She has done several reviews of the literature on various pesticide active ingredients, in particular on pyrethroids. She has also written numerous briefs for the attention of the federal and provincial governments concerning the approval and regulation of various active ingredients, in particular neonicotinoids, as well as several popular works concerning the risks associated with the use of pesticides, including a series for the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment and Équiterre. She is a co-founding member of the Ecohealth Research Collective on Pesticides, Public Policies and Alternatives (CREPPA).

University education

  • Postdoc, Animal Sciences, Université Laval
  • Ph. D. Environmental Sciences, Université du Québec à Montreal
  • M. Sc. Special Individualized Program (microbiology, organic geochemistry, environmental engineering), Concordia University
  • B. Sc. Biology, Concordia University


Hénault-Ethier, Louise, Reid, Béatrice, Hotte, Noémie, Paris, Nicolas, Quinche, Melissa, Lachance, Chloé, Fortin, Alexis, Normandin, Étienne, Laderrière, Vincent & Vandenberg, Grant W. (2023). Growth trials on vegetables, herbs and flowers using mealworm frass, chicken manure and municipal compost. ACS agricultural science & technology, 3 (3): 249-259.
DOI: 10.1021/acsagscitech.2c00217

Larouche, Jennifer, Campbell, Barbara, Hénault-Ethier, Louise, Banks, Ian, Tomberlin, Jeffery K, Preyer, Cheryl, Deschamps, Marie-Hélène & Vandenberg, Grant (2023). The edible insect sector in Canada and the United-States. Animal Frontiers. 13(4): 16-25.
DOI: 10.1093/af/vfad047

Hénault-Ethier L, D Marquis, M Dussault, MH Deschamps, G Vandenberg (2020). Entomophagy knowledge, behaviours and motivations: the case of French Quebeckers. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, 6(3): 245-259.
DOI: 10.3920/JIFF2018.0039

Marquis D, L Hénault-Ethier, J LeBel (2020). Edible insect marketing in Western countries: wisely weighing the foodstuff, the foodie, and the foodscape. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, 6 (4): 341-354.
DOI: 10.3920/JIFF2018.0037

Hénault‐Ethier L, M Lucotte, É Smedbol, MP Gomes, S Maccario, ME Lamoureux Laprise, R Perron, M Larocque, L Lepage, P Juneau, M Labrecque (2019). Potential efficiency of grassy or shrub willow buffer strips against nutrient runoff from soybean and corn fields in southern Quebec, Canada. Journal of Environmental Quality, 48(2): 352-361.
DOI: 10.2134/jeq2016.10.0391

Lähteenmäki-Uutela A, L Hénault-Ethier, SB Marimuthu, S Talibov,  R.N. Allen, V. Nemane, G.W. Vandenberg, D. Józefiak (2018). The impact of the insect regulatory system on the insect marketing system. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed, 4(3): 187-198.
DOI: 10.3920/JIFF2017.0073

Gomes MP, SG Le Manac’h, L Henault-Ethier, M Labrecque, M Lucotte, P Juneau (2017). Glyphosate-dependent inhibition of photosynthesis in willow. Frontiers in Plant Science, 8: 207.
DOI:  10.3389/fpls.2017.00207

Hénault-Ethier L, M Dussault, P Cabrera, B Lefebvre, S Taillefer, M-H Deschamps, g VanDenBerg (2017). Les insectes au service de l’humain pour la gestion des résidus organiques. Vecteur Environnement, 50 (2): 46-53.

Hénault-Ethier L, MP Gomes, M Lucotte, É Smedbol, S Maccario, L Lepage, P Juneau, M Labrecque (2017). High yields of riparian buffer strips planted with Salix miyabena ‘SX64’along field crops in Québec, Canada. Biomass and Bioenergy, 105: 219-229.
DOI : 10.1016/j.biombioe.2017.06.017

Hénault-Ethier L, M Larocque, R Perron, N Wiseman, M Labrecque (2017). Hydrological heterogeneity in agricultural riparian buffer strips. Journal of Hydrology, 546: 276-288.
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2017.01.001

Hénault-Ethier L, M Lucotte, M Moingt, S Paquet, S Maccario, É Smedbol,  MP Gomes, L Lepage, P Juneau, M Labrecque (2017). Herbaceous or Salix miyabeana ‘SX64’ narrow buffer strips as a means to minimize glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid leaching from row crop fields. Science of the Total Environment, 598: 1177-1186.
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.04.104

Hénault-Ethier L, JP Martin, J Housset (2017). A dynamic model for organic waste management in Quebec (D-MOWIQ) as a tool to review environmental, societal and economic perspectives of a waste management policy. Waste Management, 66: 196-209.
DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2017.04.021

Lahteenmaki-Uutela A, N Grmelová, L Hénault-Ethier, MH Deschamps, GW Vandenberg, A Zhao, Y Zhang, B Yang, V Nemane (2017). Insects as food and feed: laws of the European Union, United States, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and China. Eur. European Food and Feed Law Review, 12(1): 22-36.

Hénault-Ethier L, TH Bell, VJJ Martin, Y Gélinas (2106). Dynamics of physicochemical variables and cultivable bacteria in vermicompost during steady food waste addition and upon feed interruption. Compost Science & Utilization, 24 (2) : 117-135.
DOI: 10.1080/1065657X.2015.1087895

Hénault-Ethier L, VJJ Martin, Y Gélinas (2016). Persistence of Escherichia coli in batch and continuous vermicomposting systems. Waste Management, 56: 88-99.
DOI: 10.1016/j.wasman.2016.07.033