Vincent Marmillot, PhD Candidate

Université Laval, Memorial University of Newfoundland

Bio: After BSc. graduation, I worked on french southern island as part of a research program on the king penguin. I then moved to Quebec City for a master’s degree about geese molt plasticity in the high Arctic. I finally decided to improve my skill set by starting a PhD project about the effects of environmental conditions on the oceanic food web’s lower-level organisms.

Supervisors: Dr. Jean-Éric Tremblay (Laval University) and Dr. Chris Parrish (MUN)

Institution: Laval University

Start to finish: from 06/2016 to 08/2020

CHONe project: 2.2.1 Biogeochemical signatures of ecosystem stress and resilience: Nutrient cycles and lipid flow

Project title: Synthesis and transfer of lipids at basis of the food chains: responses and plasticity of primary producers and consumers facing environmental conditions.


Project description: Lipids represent the densest form of energy transferred through trophic interactions from primary producers to vertebrates. The effectiveness of these transfers greatly contributes to the maintenance of biodiversity and the sustainability of ecosystems. Thus, my project aims to further understand mechanisms conditioning synthesis and lipid transfer at the lower trophic levels. Indeed, we want to establish relationships between drivers of phytoplankton growth or taxonomic composition (i.e. light, nutrients, temperature, pCO2/pH) and biological composition of organic matter synthesized by primary and secondary producers within a wide variety of environments along a 3000-km latitudinal transect. Empirical and experimental approaches will be used across different spatial scales. Variations in lipid biosynthesis in Sept-Îles Bay (Gulf of St. Lawrence) will be compared to those found along the latitudinal gradient. Microcosm experiments will be realized to amplify potentially stressful environmental variables in order to complete the empirical approach and assess the evolution of energy transfer in food chains. Through this work, we hope to provide new insights into the resilience of the environment and identify some trophic indicators in order to assess the health of marine ecosystems.