Chair holder: Professor Jacques Brisson, Université de Montréal


The objective of the Phytotechnology NSERC/Hydro-Québec Industrial Research Chair is to optimize phytotechnological approaches to solve environmental problems related to the operation of power grid infrastructures that generate, transport and distribute electricity. The research program of the Chair will concentrate on two issues for which phytotechnological approaches are tailor-made: i) the restoration of disturbed soil that leads to erosion and the establishment of undesirable plant species and ii) the remediation of soils or water contaminated with wood pole preservatives. The various research projects of the Chair will deepen our understanding of fundamental ecological principles, thereby facilitating the transfer and adaptation of phytotechnology to the numerous other contexts that could benefit from similar practices.

Learn more about phytotechnology, ongoing projects and our team.

News and announcements

August 2021 – Lupine versus arsenic: the work of Adrien Frémont in the media
annonce adrienThe publication of Adrien Frémont’s article in the journal Plant Cell Environment on lupine root exudates in response to arsenic garnered considerable media attention. First announced in UdeM Nouvelles, the work of Adrien, a PhD student at the Research Chair, was subsequently the subject of an article in La Presse, as well as an interview at Les Années Lumières program, on Radio-Canada Première chaîne.

Article in UdeM Nouvelles
Interview at Les Années Lumières
Article in La Presse

December 2019 – Third Chair Symposium
The Chair held its third annual symposium at the IRBV on December 12. Seven projects were presented to the members of the Chair, to representatives of Hydro-Québec as well as to IRBV researchers. It was an opportunity for Sara Yavary to make her first presentation of research within the framework of a Chair symposium, and for Chloé Frédette to present a summary of her doctoral work. Congratulations to all!

November 2019 – Doctoral defense of Chloé Frédette
Soutenance ChloeOn November 21, Chloé brilliantly defended her doctoral thesis. Three chapters of her thesis are already published in excellent scientific periodicals. Her merit is even greater when you know that she completed all her doctoral work in just over 3 years, and just after her baccalaureate! Bravo Chloé!


March 2019 – A second completed project of the Chair
Valérie Desrochers just submitted her Master’s thesis on the development of a woody plant cover to restore disturbed sites and to limit the establishment of undesirable plant species. Congratulations Valérie!

February 2019 – New postdoctoral fellow with the Chair
We are glad to welcome Dr. Sara Yavari as a postdoctoral fellow with the Chair. Dr. Yavari will work on the effects of fertilisation of plant species for phytoremediation of mixed contaminants.

December 2018 – First completed project of the Chair
Our warmest congratulations to Philippe Heine for the submission of his Master’s thesis. Philippe is the first student to graduate from the Chair. Congratulations Philippe!

November 2018 – Second annual symposium of the Chair
Symposium 2018On November 19, the Chair held its second annual symposium at the IRBV. A total of eight research projects were presented to the members of the Chair, Hydro-Québec staff and researchers from the IRBV. The audience was impressed with the overall quality of the presentations. Congratulations to all!


June 2018 – Inauguration of the phytozone
Inauguration du phytozone Many IRBV staff members and Hydro-Québec representatives were present on June 7 for the inauguration of the phytozone. The phytozone is a greenhouse facility dedicated to controlled experiments. This research infrastructure substantially increases IRBV’s capacity to lead world-class research in phytotechnology and plant sciences.


May 2018 – New Chair student
We are pleased to welcome Rolando Trejo Pérez, PhD student, to the Chair team. Rolando will be studying the impact of herbaceous plant cover on the control of undesirable species growing in rights-of-way. Welcome aboard Rolando!

April 2018 – SQP Annual Symposium
The Société québécoise de phytotechnologie will hold its annual symposium on April 26 at the Montréal Botanical Garden. This year’s theme will be: “When the sky is falling – Constraints and opportunities of phytotechnologies”. To register, please click on the following link.

February 2018 – Philippe Heine, recipient of the Pehr-Kalm award
Congratulations to Philippe Heine for receiving the Pehr-Kalm award. This was awarded to him due to his efforts to making his research project on phytoremediation publicly accessible and understandable.

January 2018 – Welcome to Vlad Parasquive, new Chair member
We are very pleased to welcome Vlad Parasquive, PhD student under the supervision of Prs. Étienne Laliberté and Jacques Brisson, as a member of the Research Chair. Vlad is starting a project on the roles of mycorrhizal fungi in the establishment of trees in powerline rights-of-way.

November 2017 – First annual symposium of the Chair

Groupe chaire 2017 On the 20th of November, the research Chair in phytotechnology held its first annual symposium at the IRBV. A total of eight research projects (ongoing or in development) were presented to the members of the Chair, Hydro-Québec staff and researchers from the IRBV. Many were impressed by the quality of the talks.
September 2017 – New Chair students
We are pleased to announce that two students were recruited as part of the research Chair in phytotechnology. Anne Lachapelle, masters student, will work on the significance of functional complementarity for phytoremediation purposes. Adrien Frémont, PhD candidate, will study root exudates and their importance for phytodegradation of organic contaminants. Welcome aboard!

July 2017 – Two experimental designs are now up and running at the IREQ site

SemencesLast June, professor Brisson’s team implemented two important experimental designs related to projects 1.1 and 1.2. These projects aim to prevent establishment of undesirable plants in powerline rights-of-way with herbaceous and shrub covers. Many thanks to the interns who helped during field work: Sabrina Demers-Thibault, Vanessa Laplante, Antoine Mathieu, Clément Robert-Bigras, Élisabeth Guillemette and Todor Minchev.


June 2017 – Chloé Frédette back from an internship on constructed wetlands in Denmark
During the month of June, Chloé Frédette completed a four-week internship with Pr. Hans Brix at the University of Aarhus. During the internship, Chloé had the opportunity to deepen her understanding of constructed wetlands and to discuss related issues with European specialists during field visits. This new knowledge will certainly be useful for her own research project on constructed wetlands.

February 21 2017 – Best poster at the 2017 Forum Environnement for Chloé Frédette
On February 9 2017, Chloé Frédette presented a poster of her masters project on a zero-effluent processing system using willows during the 2017 Forum Environnement. The annual forum, organised by students and professors of the Faculty of Arts & Sciences, aims to highlight research projects related to environmental concerns conducted at the Université de Montréal. Our warmest congratulations to Chloé who won the prize for best poster.

January 24 2017 – New Chair member
We are pleased to announce that Pr. Gérald J. Zagury is joining the Phytotechnology Research Chair. Pr. Zagury’s research interests are related to the speciation and fate of heavy metals in the environment and methods to reduce contamination in soils and water. Pr. Zagury will cosupervise Philippe Heine’s research project.

November 2 2016 – Welcome to Pierre-Luc Chagnon, new professor at the Université de Montréal

P-L_ChagnonThe research Chair in phytotechnology enabled the hiring of Pierre-Luc Chagnon as an assistant professor in biological sciences at the Université de Montréal. Professor Chagnon’s research interests are focused on the role of microorganisms on 1) plant community assembly and 2) ecosystem functioning. One of the main objectives of his lab will be to use functional traits to predict the potential of mycorrhizal fungi in providing ecosystem services related to phytotechnology (e.g. soil stabilisation, phytyoextraction of heavy metals, degradation of organic contaminants). Professor Chagnon, who will take office in January 2017, will greatly broaden the research team of the Chair.

October 17 2016 – Inauguration of the Chair
The official inauguration of the research Chair took place at the Biodiversity Centre on October 17. For more information, please consult the Forum articles (in French) on the Chair itself and on the inauguration.