Research Areas

Plant Scientists are instrumental in helping the world tackle global food security and other pressing environmental challenges

Our understanding of biological systems has advanced exponentially during the 20th century and technological developments have allowed us to answer questions that simply could not be a few decades ago. We are now able to model complex entities such as agroecosystems, and the development of molecular biology and phenomics techniques has given us new tools with which to study plants and the environment with which they interact.

While these progresses are very positive, we also live at a time of great challenges: the human population continues to grow at an alarming rate, the climate is changing, access to energy is decreasing worldwide, quality freshwater is getting scarce, biodiversity is reduced, and resources are threatened by human activities. Our research aims to find solutions to these issues and create positive change.

Sustainable agriculture and climate resilience

Farming equipment

Research in this field explores crop production techniques that help agricultural producers cope with biotic and abiotic stresses associated with climate change, leading to developments and breakthroughs in crop and nutrient management among others.

Plant biotic interactions


Plant with insects on it

Research in this field explores interactions between plants and their surroundings, leading to breakthroughs in pest management, our understating of the plant microbiome and ultimately to the development of new biofertilizers and forecast systems among others.

Cell biology, development and imaging

Research in this field explores plant growth and development from the cell to whole plants, leading to breakthroughs in our fundamental understanding of plants.

Biotechnology and molecular genetics

plant cultures in a petrie dish

Research in this field explores plant genomes leading to breakthroughs in our understanding of gene regulation, plant response to their environment and to the development and use of new techniques which includes gene editing among others.

Crop improvement and genomics

Research in this field explores genomic and phenomic variation in crop plants, leading to the development of new cultivars, the identification of genes associated with important traits, and the development of molecular markers used in crop improvement among others.

Extension and community engagement

Our researchers are actively engaged with stakeholders, industrial leaders, agricultural producers, and the general public, ensuring research uptake and translation by users. They also play an active role in providing research-based data that can be used in policy development.

The Eastern Canadian Plant Phenotyping Platform (ECP3)

The ECP3 Platform is a collaborative initiative between McGill University and Université de Sherbrooke funded by the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and Quebec's Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES). The platform allows researchers to phenotype a broad range of crop plants under diverse growth conditions and provides a vast array of infrastructure with advanced phenomics and phenotyping technologies.

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