College of Science and Health > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Jalene LaMontagne
Dr. LaMontagne is a population ecologist and quantitative biologist with research interests that vary across multiple groups of organisms in both urban and natural systems, including species of conservation concern. Her research has three main components: 1) Patterns and drivers of spatial synchrony, 2) Urban Ecology, and 3) Life-history and population dynamics.
1) Mast seeding is the highly synchronous and temporally variable pattern of seed production by populations of perennial plants, and is a common reproductive patterns in plants around the world. Dr. LaMontagne’s research examines synchrony in mast seeding patterns across multiple spatial scales, from neighbouring individuals to continental scales, with boreal conifers (white spruce, black spruce, and tamarack) as focal species. There are a variety of hypotheses as to why the mast seeding phenomenon occurs, from evolutionary responses to satiate seed predators or increase pollination efficiency; or it could simply be a result that matches available resources. 2) Urbanization provides both challenges and opportunities for wildlife that can impact both plant and animal populations. Dr. LaMontagne studies tree cavity availability across habitat types in the city of Chicago, spatial patterns of population dynamics in animal species across levels of urbanization, and the behaviour and problem-solving abilities of mammals and birds in urban and rural areas. 3) Life-history is the pattern of maturation, reproduction, and survival over the lifetime of individuals. Dr. LaMontagne examines how variation in resource availability and population structure affects individual growth, reproduction, and survival, and population-level dynamics using both lab experiments and fieldwork. Dr. LaMontagne’s interests overlap with conservation biology, and have included research on trumpeter swan habitat selection and behaviour, sage grouse population dynamics, land use of boreal caribou in relation to petroleum development, and habitat selection and nest use by red-headed woodpeckers.