Dr. Jessica Forrest
Associate Professor
Office: DRO 207
E-mail: jforrest “at”
Vous pouvez me contacter en français ou en anglais.

I am interested in the causes and consequences of variation in species’ life histories and seasonal phenologies—particularly as these traits relate to species interactions. A primary application of my research is in understanding ways that global change affects pollinators (especially native solitary bees) and pollination.

Cécile Antoine
Doctoral student since 2017
E-mail: cecile.antoine.31 “at”

Cécile is interested in the factors that limit populations of wild bees and hence the pollination service provided by these bees, in an agricultural environment. She is working more specifically on populations of solitary ground-nesting bees in the margins of farms fields that differ in farm management.


Sébastien Rivest
Doctoral student since 2018
E-mail: srive028 “at”

Sébastien is interested in the defense mechanisms used by plants to protect their pollen. He is examining the causes of the presence of plant defense compounds in pollen by comparing their effect on pollinators, pollen thieves, and pollen microorganisms, and evaluating their consequences by looking at their role in the evolution of the genus Osmia.

Sebastien Rivest

Michelle Hotchkiss
Doctoral student, co-supervised by Prof. Alex Poulain, since 2018
E-mail: mhotc015 “at”

Michelle is interested in bumble bees and the microbes that call their guts home. Her Ph.D. research investigates how pesticides alter the structure of bumble bee gut microbiomes, how a pesticide-exposed gut microbiome affects bumble bee fitness, and if pesticide-exposed microbiomes can recover after pesticide exposure.


Lydia Wong
Doctoral student since 2018
E-mail: lwong014 “at”

Lydia is investigating the effects of drought on Colorado bees. In the past, she has worked on figuring out why solitary bee species nest when they do, and on which native and non-native plants are favoured by native bees in the city of Toronto.

Evelyn Bragion
Doctoral student, co-supervised by Prof. Risa Sargent, since 2019
E-mail: evelyn.alecrim “at”

Evelyn is interested in how climate change can affect spring ephemerals by altering their interaction with pollinators and overstorey plants. She is working in Gatineau Park.

Tovah Kashetsky
Doctoral student since 2022, co-supervised by Nigel Raine at Guelph
E-mail: tkash084 “at”

Tovah is studying learning, memory, and decision-making in wild bees, and how these cognitive abilities vary across species and environments. She is interested in applying a cognitive perspective to conservation.

Madhupreeta Muralidhar
MSc student since 2020
E-mail: mmura051 “at”

Madhupreeta is interested in the evolution of diet strategies in bees. Her research investigates factors that determine floral host selection by cavity-nesting solitary bees.

Roisin Kierstead
MSc student since 2022, co-supervised by Dr. Ilona Naujokaitis-Lewis at ECCC
E-mail: TBD

Roisin is studying the effect of forest cover loss on thermal variation, and the implications for native bees. She is focusing on cavity-nesting bees in agricultural land around Ottawa. In the long term, Roisin wants to learn more about bee habitat and nesting, and how humans can provide sufficient habitat to conserve native bee populations.

Lori Fernandez
Co-op and honours student, 2022-2023

Lori is investigating the effects of mulch on the nesting preferences of solitary ground-nesting bees and wasps in Ottawa. She hopes to add to the limited, but growing, knowledge of this field, informing the conservation strategies of organizations and garden-owners alike.

Alysha Wenghofer
Honours student, 2022-2023

Alysha is a fourth-year Biology co-op student. For her honours project, she’ll be looking at functional traits of wild bees and their associations with habitat use.

Pareesa Lashani
Lab volunteer, autumn 2022

Pareesa is a second year Health Science student. She is interested in learning more about different species of pollinators as well as learning about the effects of climate change on our ecosystem.

Anissa Sahouli
Lab volunteer, autumn 2022

Anissa is a fourth-year Biology student with an interest in animal behaviour and welfare. She intends to pursue studies in conservation biology abroad.

Lab dog

Oscar helps carry equipment to field sites and alerts us to any bicycles or livestock that may be threatening the lab vehicle.

Lab Alumni, and What They Are Doing Now


  • Dr. Emily Austen, post-doc 2015-2018 – Assistant Professor, Mount Allison University
  • Dr. Colleen Smith, post-doc 2020-2022 – Postdoctoral Scholar, Big-Bee Project, UC Santa Barbara


  • Shang-Yao (Peter) Lin, Ph.D. 2019 – Ecology instructor, Aurora College, Northwest Territories
  • Gail MacInnis, Ph.D. 2019 (McGill, cosupervised by Chris Buddle) – Research Scientist at GPRC – CRI National Bee Diagnostic Centre – Technology Access Centre (NBDC-TAC)


  • Adam Groulx, M.Sc. 2015
  • Charlotte Walinga, M.Sc. 2016 – Industry Analyst, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Stephanie Haas, M.Sc. 2016 – Ph.D. student at York U.
  • Jessica Guezen, M.Sc. 2017 – Ph.D. student with Madhur Anand, University of Guelph
  • Megan McAulay, M.Sc. 2018 – Biologist, Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Manuel Sevenello, M.Sc. 2018 – Ph.D. student with Margaret Mayfield at the University of Melbourne
  • Gabriel Gauthier, M.Sc. 2019 – Seminarian, Companions of the Cross
  • Amanda Davidson, M.E.S. 2021
  • Batoule Hyjazie, M.Sc. 2022 – Ph.D. student with Risa Sargent, University of British Columbia


  • Gareth Watt, B.Sc. 2014 – High School Science Teacher (French Immersion) and M.Ed. student at Mount St. Vincent University
  • Sarah Silverman, B.Sc. 2014 (McGill; co-supervised by Chris Buddle) – Instructional Designer, University of Michigan-Dearborn
  • Camille Roberge, B.Sc. 2015 (Carleton) – M.Sc. student with Karl Larsen at Thompson Rivers University
  • Ramie Qaisar, B.Sc. 2015 – Supervisor, Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Brett Culbert, UROP student 2014–15 – Ph.D. student with Nick Bernier at University of Guelph
  • Sarah Chisholm, B.Sc. 2016 – Spatial ecologist at Apex Resource Management Solutions
  • Vinko Culjak Mathieu, UROP student 2014 and B.Sc. 2016 – Course coordinator, McGill University
  • Stephanie Rivest, B.Sc. 2016 – Ph.D. student in Heather Kharouba‘s lab at uOttawa
  • Thuong (Anna) Tran Nguyen, B.Sc. 2016 – M.Sc. student with Charles Francis and Lenore Fahrig at Carleton University
  • Regan Cross, B.Sc. 2016 – Ph.D. student with Chris Eckert at Queen’s
  • Katie Baillie-David, B.Sc. 2017 – M.Sc. student with Jason Fisher at University of Victoria
  • Natalie Litwinska, B.Sc. 2017 – Project data analyst, CDM Smith
  • Madison Marshall, B.Sc. 2017 – Graduate assistant and TA coordinator, University of Toronto
  • Philippe Tremblay, B.Sc. 2017 – completed his M.Sc. with Heather Kharouba at uOttawa
  • Rebecca Janacek, UROP 2017-18 – continuing her B.Sc. at uOttawa
  • Miriam Grenon, B.Sc. 2018 – J.D. candidate, uOttawa
  • Abbie Hudson, B.Sc. 2018 – Biologist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada
  • Genevieve George, B.Sc. 2019 – M.Sc. student in Geography, University of Ottawa
  • Marie-Ève Corbin, B.Sc. 2019 – Master of Environmental Sustainability student, University of Ottawa, and Science Support Student, Environment and Climate Change Canada
  • Leo Gutierrez, B.Sc. 2019 – M.Sc. student with Andrew Simons, Carleton University
  • Charlotte Cahill, UROP 2016-2017, B.Sc. 2019, Mitacs 2019 – J.D. candidate, Dalhousie University
  • Sherry (Xiaoyue) Wu, B.Sc. 2020
  • Daniel Pelletier, B.Sc. 2021 – starting an M.Sc. with Arne Mooers at UBC
  • Sarah Knoerr, B.Sc. 2021 – starting an M.Sc. with Risa Sargent at UBC
  • Erin Francispillai, B.Sc. 2021 – starting an M.Sc. with Lauren Chapman at McGill
  • Ben Aubrey, B.Sc. 2022
  • Sarah Leppinen, B.Sc. 2022 – completing her B.Sc. at uOttawa
  • Lauren Loada, B.Sc. 2022

Lab dog:

  • Roscoe (2008-2018) helped keep our field sites free of motorcycles and mammalian herbivores from 2010 to 2018. He was a happy dog.
Roscoe at VB 21Aug2018
Roscoe at Virginia Basin, Colorado, 21 August 2018