Jean-Philippe Lessard

Concordia University

Department of Biology
Institution page
Personal page


  • PhD Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. University of Tennessee (2006-2010)
  • BSc Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (Zoology). McGill University (2001-2004)


Our lab works toward elucidating the ecological and evolutionary drivers of biological diversity on planet Earth. We borrow concepts and tools from community ecology and biogeography to try and gain a a better understanding of the mechanisms governing the emergence, distribution and maintenance of diversity. To accomplish this, we conduct observational and experimental field studies, and compile comprehensive databases on the distributions, ecological traits and evolutionary history of species.

QCBS students

Pierre-Marc Brousseau

Postdoctoral fellow
Other (co-)supervisor: Maxim Larrivée, Insectarium de Montréal
(Start: 2023)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Geneviève Lajoie
Arthropods as indicators of climate changes in the province of Québec

Paul Savary

Postdoctoral fellow
(Start: 2022, End: 2024)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Pedro Peres-Neto
Analyzing metacommunity diversity patterns using graph-theoretic methods
Personal page

Mohammad Reza Mohseni

(Start: 2023)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Ehab Abouheif
Investigation of the historical biogeography and macroevolution of developmental pathways leading to morphological variation within ant colonies.
Personal page

Érik Plante

(Start: 2022)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Ehab Abouheif
Unraveling the evo-devo mechanisms underlying an environmental gradient in ants

Previous students (since 2009)

Lilian Patricia Sales

Postdoctoral fellow
(Start: 2020, End: 2023)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Pedro Peres-Neto
Climate-based models to assist the preservation of biodiversity (in all its complexity)
Personal page

Shaun Turney

Postdoctoral fellow
(Start: 2019, End: 2020)
Examining geographic patterns of functional niche occupancy to assess determinants of community structure in ants (Formicidae)

Javier Ibarra Isassi

(Start: 2016, End: 2018)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Ira Tanya Handa
Ant functional diversity across broad-scale gradients and its influence on ecosystem processes
Personal page

Gabriel Munoz

(Start: 2018, End: 2024)
The functional ecology of multispecies interactions
Personal page

Julie Arrowsmith

(Start: 2014, End: 2016)
Community Ecology and Biogeography of Dragonflies in Quebec
Personal page

François Brassard

(Start: 2016, End: 2018)
Intraspecific variation of the morphological traits of the ants of Quebec along a latitudinal gradient.

Katherine Hébert

(Start: 2015, End: 2017)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Virginie Millien
Community assembly of island mammals: The role of the regional species pool

Dana Martin

(Start: 2021, End: 2023)
The interactive effects of plant herbivory and diversity on pollinator communities

Sarah Ouimette

(Start: 2016, End: 2018)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Piero Calosi
Integrating Life Stage-Related Differences in Odonates’ Physiology into Predictions of their Geographic Distributions

Érik Plante

(Start: 2020, End: 2022)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Ehab Abouheif
Climate drives geographic variation in worker polymorphism among populations of the carpenter ant Camponotus herculeanus
Link to thesis (pdf)

Victor Renaud

(Start: 2018, End: 2020)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Anouk Simard
L'impact des changements climatiques sur la composition des communautés d'arthropode en tourbières et en forêts selon un gradient nord-sud au Québec.

Serena Sinno

(Start: 2019, End: 2022)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Carly Ziter
Assessing the floral resource preference for native bees in urban ecosystems

Sergio Vega

(Start: 2016, End: 2018)
Native bee community assemblages based on land-use and its effect on distribution and taxonomy across Quebec
Personal page

Daniella LoScerbo

(Start: 2016, End: 2017)
Spatial and temporal patterns of odonate community composition and the effect of parasitism on community structure

Examples of species studied



59- Marine fishes experiencing high-velocity range shifts may not be climate change winners
Journal Article
Chaikin S , Riva F , Marshall K E , Lessard J , Belmaker J ,
2024 Nature Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2024-03-13)

57- Heterogeneous dispersal networks to improve biodiversity science
Journal Article
Savary P , Lessard J , Peres-Neto P R ,
2023 Trends in Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2023-10-31)

56- A single range-expanding species reshapes alpine ecosystems and their belowground diversity
Journal Article
Eckert I , De Bellis T , Muñoz G , Kembel S W , Lessard J , Nuñez M A ,
2023 Oikos (Date Added: 2023-10-19)

55- Editorial
Journal Article
Lessard J , Sobral M , Schleuning M , Rodriguez‐Cabal M A ,
2023 Ecological Monographs (Date Added: 2023-07-07)

54- The evolution of plasticity at geographic range edges
Journal Article
Usui T , Lerner D , Eckert I , Angert A L , Garroway C J , Hargreaves A , Lancaster L T , Lessard J , Riva F , Schmidt C , van der Burg K , Marshall K E ,
2023 Trends in Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2023-05-24)

53- Partner supply mediates elevational gradients in the outcome of ant-hemipteran mutualistic associations
Journal Article
Camacho L F , Lessard J , Avilés L ,
2022 Journal of Biogeography (Date Added: 2023-07-07)

52- Editorial
Journal Article
Lessard J , Inouye B ,
2022 Ecological Monographs (Date Added: 2023-07-07)

51- Community-wide trait adaptation, but not plasticity, explains ant community structure in extreme environments
Journal Article
Ibarra‐Isassi J , Handa I T , Lessard J ,
2022 Functional Ecology (Date Added: 2022-10-05)

50- Ecological strategies of (pl)ants: Towards a world-wide worker economic spectrum for ants
Journal Article
Gibb H , Bishop T R , Leahy L , Parr C L , Lessard J , Sanders N J , Shik J Z , Ibarra‐Isassi J , Narendra A , Dunn R R , Wright I J ,
2022 Functional Ecology (Date Added: 2022-08-01)

49- Urbanisation dampens the latitude-diversity cline in ants
Journal Article
Perez A , Chick L , Menke S , Lessard J , Sanders N , Del Toro I , Meldgaard N S , Diamond S ,
2022 Insect Conservation and Diversity (Date Added: 2022-08-01)

48- The importance of eco-evolutionary dynamics for predicting and managing insect range shifts
Journal Article
Wellenreuther M , Dudaniec R Y , Neu A , Lessard J , Bridle J , Carbonell J A , Diamond S E , Marshall K E , Parmesan C , Singer M C , Swaegers J , Thomas C D , Lancaster L T ,
2022 Current Opinion in Insect Science (Date Added: 2022-07-09)

47- Population demography maintains biogeographic boundaries
Journal Article
Schmidt C , Muñoz G , Lancaster L T , Lessard J , Marske K A , Marshall K E , Garroway C J ,
2022 Ecology Letters (Date Added: 2022-07-09)

46- Trait-based inference of ecological network assembly: A conceptual framework and methodological toolbox
Journal Article
Marjakangas E , Muñoz G , Turney S , Albrecht J , Neuschulz E L , Schleuning M , Lessard J ,
2022 Ecological Monographs (Date Added: 2022-05-18)

45- Warm and arid regions of the world are hotspots of superorganism complexity
Journal Article
La Richelière F , Muñoz G , Guénard B , Dunn R R , Economo E P , Powell S , Sanders N J , Weiser M D , Abouheif E , Lessard J ,
2022 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2022-02-21)

44- Social predation by ants as a mortality source for an arboreal gregarious forest pest
Journal Article
Despland E , Lessard J ,
2022 Basic and Applied Ecology (Date Added: 2022-02-04)

43- Source pool diversity and proximity shape the compositional uniqueness of insular mammal assemblages worldwide
Journal Article
Hébert K , Millien V , Lessard J , Masters J ,
2021 Journal of Biogeography (Date Added: 2021-06-27)

42- Plasticity in the trophic niche of an invasive ant explains establishment success and long-term coexistence
Journal Article
Balzani P , Vizzini S , Frizzi F , Masoni A , Lessard J , Bernasconi C , Francoeur A , Ibarra‐Isassi J , Brassard F , Cherix D , Santini G ,
2021 Oikos (Date Added: 2021-03-30)

41- Shade-growing practices lessen the impact of coffee plantations on multiple dimensions of ant diversity
Journal Article
Ibarra‐Isassi J , Handa I T , Arenas‐Clavijo A , Escobar‐Ramírez S , Armbrecht I , Lessard J ,
2021 Journal of Applied Ecology (Date Added: 2021-02-23)

40- The coupled influence of thermal physiology and biotic interactions on the distribution and density of ant species along an elevational gradient
Journal Article
Chick L D , Lessard J , Dunn R R , Sanders N J ,
2020 Diversity (Date Added: 2020-12-17)

39- Do dominant ants affect secondary productivity, behavior and diversity in a guild of woodland ants?
Journal Article
Lessard J , Stuble K L , Sanders N J ,
2020 Diversity (Date Added: 2020-12-12)

38- Phylogenetically conserved host traits and local abiotic conditions jointly drive the geography of parasite intensity
Journal Article
LoScerbo D , Farrell M J , Arrowsmith J , Mlynarek J , Lessard J ,
2020 Functional Ecology (Date Added: 2020-11-02)

37- Evolutionary diversification in the marine realm: A global case study with marine mammals
Journal Article
Holt B G , Marx F G , Fritz S A , Lessard J , Rahbek C ,
2020 Frontiers of Biogeography (Date Added: 2020-10-22)

36- Temperature drives caste-specific morphological clines in ants
Journal Article
Brassard F , Francoeur A , Lessard J ,
2020 Journal of Animal Ecology (Date Added: 2020-10-05)

34- Local temperature and ecological similarity drive distributional dynamics of tropical mammals worldwide
Journal Article
Beaudrot L , Acevedo M A , Lessard J , Zvoleff A , Jansen P A , Sheil D , Rovero F , O’Brien T , Larney E , Fletcher C , Andelman S , Ahumada J ,
2019 Global Ecology and Biogeography (Date Added: 2019-04-23)

33- Ant community response to disturbance: A global synthesis
Journal Article
Lessard J ,
2019 Journal of Animal Ecology (Date Added: 2019-03-21)

32- Environmental filtering along a broad-scale acidity gradient shapes the structure of odonate communities
Journal Article
Arrowsmith J , Shivaprakash K N , Larrivée M , Turgeon J , Lessard J ,
2018 Ecosphere (Date Added: 2019-01-05)

31- Distributional shifts in a biodiversity hotspot
Journal Article
Beaudrot L , Acevedo M , Lessard J , Sheil D , Larney E , Wright P , Ahumada J ,
2018 Biological Conservation (Date Added: 2018-11-28)

30- A global database of ant species abundances
Journal Article
Gibb H , Dunn R R , Sanders N J , Grossman B F , Photakis M , Abril S , Agosti D , Andersen A N , Angulo E , Armbrecht I , Arnan X , Baccaro F B , Bishop T R , Boulay R , Brühl C , Castracani C , Cerda X , Del Toro I , Delsinne T , Diaz M , Donoso D A , Ellison A M , Enriquez M L , Fayle T M , Feener D H , Fisher B L , Fisher R N , Fitzpatrick M C , Gómez C , Gotelli N J , Gove A , Grasso D A , Groc S , Guenard B , Gunawardene N , Heterick B , Hoffmann B , Janda M , Jenkins C , Kaspari M , Klimes P , Lach L , Laeger T , Lattke J , Leponce M , Lessard J , Longino J , Lucky A , Luke S H , Majer J , McGlynn T P , Menke S , Mezger D , Mori A , Moses J , Munyai T C , Pacheco R , Paknia O , Pearce-Duvet J , Pfeiffer M , Philpott S M , Resasco J , Retana J , Silva R R , Sorger M D , Souza J , Suarez A , Tista M , Vasconcelos H L , Vonshak M , Weiser M D , Yates M , Parr C L ,
2017 Ecology (Date Added: 2018-11-28)

29- Environmental variation is a major predictor of global trait turnover in mammals
Journal Article
Holt B G , Costa G C , Penone C , Lessard J , Brooks T M , Davidson A D , Blair Hedges S , Radeloff V C , Rahbek C , Rondinini C , Graham C H ,
2017 Journal of Biogeography (Date Added: 2017-12-10)

28- Global patterns of β-diversity along the phylogenetic time-scale: The role of climate and plate tectonics
Journal Article
Mazel F , Wüest R O , Lessard J , Renaud J , Ficetola G F , Lavergne S , Thuiller W ,
2017 Global Ecology and Biogeography (Date Added: 2017-12-10)

27- Phylogenetic regionalization of marine plants reveals close evolutionary affinities among disjunct temperate assemblages
Journal Article
Daru, BH, Holt, BG, Lessard, J-P, Yessoufou, K, Davies, TJ
2017 Biological Conservation (Date Added: 2017-08-15)

26- Process-Based Species Pools Reveal the Hidden Signature of Biotic Interactions Amid the Influence of Temperature Filtering
Journal Article
Lessard, J-P, Weinstein, BG, Borregaard, MK, Marske, KA, Martin, DR, McGuire, JA, Parra, JL, Rahbek, C, Graham, CH
2015 The American Naturalist (Date Added: 2016-01-14)

25- Linking environmental filtering and disequilibrium to biogeography with a community climate framework
Journal Article
Blonder, B, Nogués-Bravo, D, Borregaard, MK, Donoghue, JC, Jørgensen, PM, Kraft, NJB, Lessard, J-P, Morueta-Holme, N, Sandel, B, Svenning, J-C, Violle, C, Rahbek, C, Enquist, BJ
2015 Ecology (Date Added: 2015-07-24)

24- Climate mediates the effects of disturbance on ant assemblage structure
Journal Article
Gibb, H, Sanders, NJ, Dunn, RR, Watson, S, Photakis, M, Abril, S, Andersen, AN, Angulo, E, Armbrecht, I, Arnan, X, Baccaro, FB, Bishop, TR, Boulay, R, Castracani, C, Del Toro, I, Delsinne, T, Diaz, M, Donoso, DA, Enriquez, ML, Fayle, TM, Feener, DHJ, Fitzpatrick, MC, Gomez, C, Grasso, DA, Groc, S, Heterick, B, Hoffmann, BD, Lach, L, Lattke, J, Leponce, M, Lessard, J-P, Longino, J, Lucky, A, Majer, J, Menke, SB, Mezger, D, Mori, A, Munyai, TC, Paknia, O, Pearce-Duvet, J, Pfeiffer, M, Philpott, SM, de Souza, JLP, Tista, M, Vasconcelos, HL, Vonshak, M, Parr, CL
2015 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2015-07-24)

23- The importance of natural habitats to Brazilian free-tailed bats in intensive agricultural landscapes in the Winter Garden region of Texas, United States
Journal Article
Davidai, N, Westbrook, JK, Lessard, J-P, Hallam, TG, McCracken, GF
2015 Biological Conservation (Date Added: 2015-07-20)

22- The evolution of morphological diversity in continental assemblages of passerine birds: EVOLUTION OF MORPHOLOGICAL DIVERSITY IN BIRDS
Journal Article
Jønsson, KA, Lessard, J-P, Ricklefs, RE
2015 Evolution (Date Added: 2015-05-04)

21- The importance of parasite geography and spillover effects for global patterns of host-parasite associations in two invasive species
Journal Article
Wells, K, O'Hara, RB, Morand, S, Lessard, J-P, Ribas, A
2015 Diversity and Distributions (Date Added: 2015-04-07)

20- Predicting future coexistence in a North American ant community
Journal Article
Bewick, S, Stuble, KL, Lessard, J-P, Dunn, RR, Adler, FR, Sanders, NJ
2014 Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2015-07-24)

19- Niche filtering rather than partitioning shapes the structure of temperate forest ant communities
Journal Article
Fowler, D, Lessard, J-P, Sanders, NJ
2014 Journal of Animal Ecology (Date Added: 2014-07-08)

18- Multiple waves of colonization by monarch flycatchers (Myiagra, Monarchidae) across the Indo-Pacific and their implications for coexistence and speciation
Journal Article
Fabre, P-H, Moltensen, M, Fjeldså, J, Irestedt, M, Lessard, J-P, Jønsson, KA
2014 Journal of Biogeography (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

17- Response to comment on "An update of Wallace's zoogeographic regions of the world"
Journal Article
Holt, BG, Lessard, J-P, Borregaard, MK, Fritz, SA, Araújo, MB, Dimitrov, D, Fabre, P-H, Graham, CH, Graves, GR, Jønsson, KA, Nogués-Bravo, D, Wang, Z, Whittaker, RJ, Fjeldså, J, Rahbek, C
2013 Science (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

16- Introducing the biogeographic species pool
Journal Article
Carstensen, DW, Lessard, J-P, Holt, BG, Krabbe Borregaard, M, Rahbek, C
2013 Ecography (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

15- An update of Wallace's zoogeographic regions of the world
Journal Article
Holt, BG, Lessard, J-P, Borregaard, MK, Fritz, SA, Araújo, MB, Dimitrov, D, Fabre, P-H, Graham, CH, Graves, GR, Jønsson, KA, Nogués-Bravo, D, Wang, Z, Whittaker, RJ, Fjeldså, J, Rahbek, C
2013 Science (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

14- Fire ants are drivers of biodiversity loss: A reply to King and Tschinkel (2013)
Journal Article
Stuble, KL, Chick, LD, Rodriguez-Cabal, MA, Lessard, J-P, Sanders, NJ
2013 Ecological Entomology (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

13- Evolutionary history influences the effects of water-energy dynamics on oak diversity in asia
Journal Article
Xu, X, Wang, Z, Rahbek, C, Lessard, J-P, Fang, J
2013 Journal of Biogeography (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

12- Strong influence of regional species pools on continent-wide structuring of local communities
Journal Article
Lessard, J-P, Borregaard, MK, Fordyce, JA, Rahbek, C, Weiser, MD, Dunn, RR, Sanders, NJ
2012 Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

11- Inferring local ecological processes amid species pool influences
Journal Article
Lessard, J-P, Belmaker, J, Myers, JA, Chase, JM, Rahbek, C
2012 Trends in Ecology and Evolution (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

10- Equivalence in the strength of deer herbivory on above and below ground communities
Journal Article
Lessard, J-P, Reynolds, WN, Bunn, WA, Genung, MA, Cregger, MA, Felker-Quinn, E, Barrios-Garcia, MN, Stevenson, ML, Lawton, RM, Brown, CB, Patrick, M, Rock, JH, Jenkins, MA, Bailey, JK, Schweitzer, JA
2012 Basic and Applied Ecology (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

9- Global diversity in light of climate change: The case of ants
Journal Article
Jenkins, CN, Sanders, NJ, Andersen, AN, Arnan, X, Brühl, CA, Cerda, X, Ellison, AM, Fisher, BL, Fitzpatrick, MC, Gotelli, NJ, Gove, AD, Guénard, B, Lattke, JE, Lessard, J-P, Mcglynn, TP, Menke, SB, Parr, CL, Philpott, SM, Vasconcelos, HL, Weiser, MD, Dunn, RR
2011 Diversity and Distributions (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

8- Determinants of the detrital arthropod community structure: The effects of temperature and resources along an environmental gradient
Journal Article
Lessard, J-P, Sackett, TE, Reynolds, WN, Fowler, DA, Sanders, NJ
2011 Oikos (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

7- Non-additive effects of genotypic diversity increase floral abundance and abundance of floral visitors
Journal Article
Genung, MA, Lessard, J-P, Brown, CB, Bunn, WA, Cregger, MA, Reynolds, WN, Felker-Quinn, E, Stevenson, ML, Hartley, AS, Crutsinger, GM, Schweitzer, JA, Bailey, JK
2010 PLoS ONE (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

6- Invasive ants alter the phylogenetic structure of ant communities
Journal Article
Lessard, J-P, Fordyce, JA, Gotelli, NJ, Sanders, NJ
2009 Ecology (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

5- Temperature-mediated coexistence in temperate forest ant communities
Journal Article
Lessard, J-P, Dunn, RR, Sanders, NJ
2009 Insectes Sociaux (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

4- Climatic drivers of hemispheric asymmetry in global patterns of ant species richness
Journal Article
Dunn, RR, Agosti, D, Andersen, AN, Arnan, X, Bruhl, CA, Cerdá, X, Ellison, AM, Fisher, BL, Fitzpatrick, MC, Gibb, H, Gotelli, NJ, Gove, AD, Guenard, B, Janda, M, Kaspari, M, Laurent, EJ, Lessard, J-P, Longino, JT, Majer, JD, Menke, SB, McGlynn, TP, Parr, CL, Philpott, SM, Pfeiffer, M, Retana, J, Suarez, AV, Vasconcelos, HL, Weiser, MD, Sanders, NJ
2009 Ecology Letters (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

3- Rarity and diversity in forest ant assemblages of Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Journal Article
Lessard, J-P, Dunn, RR, Parker, CR, Sanders, NJ
2007 Southeastern Naturalist (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

2- Temperature, but not productivity or geometry, predicts elevational diversity gradients in ants across spatial grains
Journal Article
Sanders, NJ, Lessard, J-P, Fitzpatrick, MC, Dunn, RR
2007 Global Ecology and Biogeography (Date Added: 2014-04-25)

1- The effects of urbanization on ant assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) associated with the Molson Nature Reserve, Quebec
Journal Article
Lessard, J-P, Buddle, CM
2005 Canadian Entomologist (Date Added: 2014-04-25)