College of Science and Health > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Jalene LaMontagne

Jalene LaMontagne

  • ​​

  • Professor, Ecology
  • ​​PhD ​​
  • Biological Sciences
  • (773) 325-7272
  • ​McGowan South, Room 412E       

​Classes Taught
  • General Biology II (Bio 192)
  • Ecology (Bio 215)
  • Research Methods and Applied Biostatistics (Bio 306/406)
  • Population Ecology (Bio 332/432)
  • Research in Field Biology (Bio 389/489)

Research Interests
Dr. LaMontagne is a population ecologist and quantitative biologist with research interests that span a wide range of organisms. Her research program broadly focuses on questions related to: 1) Patterns and drivers of spatial synchrony, 2) Climate change, and 3) Urban ecology. Her lab conducts field research and uses large datasets to address their research questions.

1) Dr. LaMontagne studies patterns and drivers of synchrony in population dynamics in two main systems, one related to long-term fieldwork on conifer tree reproduction, and the other using big datasets on a variety of species (plants and animals). Mast seeding is the highly variable production of seed crops by a population of perennial plants, and there is a variety of hypotheses as to why this phenomenon occurs, from evolutionary responses to satiate seed predators, or increase pollination efficiency; or it could be produced because of resource-matching. Dr. LaMontagne’s lab studies the environmental factors that could drive mast seeding, and the impacts of mast seeding on population dynamics across trophic levels.

2) Climate change is altering weather patterns and increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide, which could impact a variety of species. Dr. LaMontagne uses long-term data, as well as collects data from trees at the Oak Ridge National Lab’s SPRUCE (Spruce and Peatland Responses to Changing Environments) experiment that manipulates temperature and CO2 to test for impacts on patterns of reproduction in conifer trees.

3) Spatial variation in habitat availability and use by animals has been a long-standing aspect of Dr. LaMontagne’s research. Urbanization impacts habitats and provides novel environments, where some species thrive and others do not. Dr. LaMontagne urban ecology work focuses on how the management of different land-use types influences tree cavity availability, and how animals have adapted to urbanization.

Dr. LaMontagne’s interests overlap with conservation biology, and has 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.

Select Publications      Google Scholar Link​

Hacket-Pain, A., J. Foest, I.S. Pearse, J.M. LaMontagne, et al. 2022. MASTREE+: time-series of plant reproductive effort from six continents. Global Change Biology 28: 3066-3082.

LaMontagne, J.M., M.D. Redmond, A.P. Wion, and D.F. Greene. 2021. An assessment of temporal variability in mast seeding of North American Pinaceae. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 376: 20200373.

Garcia, M. B. Zuckerberg, J.M. LaMontagne, and P.A .Townsend. 2021. Landsat-based detection of mast seeding in white spruce (Picea glauca) forests. Remote Sensing of Environment 254: 112278.​  

LaMontagne, J.M., I.S. Pearse, D. Greene, and W.D. Koenig. 2020. Mast seeding patterns are asynchronous at a continental scale. Nature Plants 6: 460-465.​ 

Zuckerberg, B., C. Strong, J.M. LaMontagne, S. St. George, J.L. Betancourt, and W.D.  Koenig. 2020. Climate dipoles as continental drivers of plant and animal populations. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 35: 440-453. ​​​
Link to full publication list​

Professional Activities
  • Research Affiliate, The Morton Arboretum​
  • Adjunct Scientist, Urban Wildlife Institute, Lincoln Park Zoo
  • Project Collaborator, Spruce and Peatland Response Under Changing Environments (SPRUCE) Project, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Department of Energy
  • Lead-PI, Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Synthesis Working Group (2021-)
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Ecology
  • Faculty Advisor, DePaul Ecology, Evolution & Physiology (DEEP) student group
Professional Society Memberships
  • Canadian Society for Ecology & Evolution (lifetime)
  • British Ecological Society
  • Ecological Society of America