Jean-Philippe Lessard

Assistant Professor,
Concordia University

Department of Biology
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  • 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

Lilian Patricia Sales

Postdoctoral fellow
(Start: 2020)
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)


(Start: 2018, End: 2022)
Biodiversity dynamics of treelines between Canada and Argentina
Personal page

Érik Plante

(Start: 2020, End: 2022)
Other QCBS (co-)supervisor: Ehab Abouheif
Élucider les facteurs environnementaux qui régissent la détermination des castes sociales à l’intérieur des colonies de fourmis

Serena Sinno

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

Previous students (since 2009)

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

Julie Arrowsmith

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

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

Isaac Eckert

Other (co-)supervisor: Martin Nuñez
(Start: 2018, End: 2020)
Unveiling the interactions between invasive Pinus contorta, mycorrhizal communities, and local ecological diversity in Patagonia, Argentina.
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Katherine Hébert

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

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

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.

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



34- Local temperature and ecological similarity drive distributional dynamics of tropical mammals worldwide
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Davidai, N, Westbrook, JK, Lessard, J-P, Hallam, TG, McCracken, GF
2015 Biological Conservation (Date Added: 2015-07-20)

21- The importance of parasite geography and spillover effects for global patterns of host-parasite associations in two invasive species
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
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
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
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"
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Sanders, NJ, Lessard, J-P, Fitzpatrick, MC, Dunn, RR
2007 Global Ecology and Biogeography (Date Added: 2014-04-25)