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

Jalene LaMontagne

  • Associate Professor, Ecology
  • ​PhD ​​
  • Biological Sciences
  • (773) 325-7272
  • ​McGowan North, Room 116       

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 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.

Select Publications

Bovyn, R.A., M.C. Lordon, A.E. Grecco, A.C. Leeper, and J.M. LaMontagne. 2019. Tree cavity availability in cemeteries and urban parks. Journal of Urban Ecology 5:  juy030.

Bovyn, R.A.,  E. McCauley, and J.M. LaMontagne. 2018. Offspring size-number tradeoffs and food quality feedbacks impact population dynamics in a Daphnia-algae system. Oikos 127: 1152-1162. 

Pearse, I., J.M. LaMontagne, and W.D. Koenig. 2017. Interannual variation in mast seeding has increased over time (1900-2014). Proceedings of the Royal Society B 284.

Wang, Y, J. Zhang, J.M. LaMontagne, F. Lin, B. Li, J. Ye, and Z. Hao. 2017. Variation and synchrony of tree species mast seeding in an old-growth temperate forest. Journal of Vegetation Science 28: 413–423.​
Anderson, E.C., and J.M. LaMontagne. 2016. Nest selection by Red-headed Woodpeckers across three spatial scales in an urban environment. Urban Ecosystems 19: 297-314.​​

Link to full publication list​

Professional Activities
  • 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
  • Faculty Advisor, DePaul Ecology, Evolution & Physiology (DEEP) student group
Professional Society Memberships
  • Canadian Society for Ecology & Evolution