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Groundwater microbial communities in the shallow subsurface

Projects led by  Karine Villeneuve

                      Benjamin Groult

Collaboration:  Prof. Marie Larocque (UQAM )

                       Prof. Benoit Barbeau (UQAM)


Sessile and endolithic microbial communities in the shallow subsurface

Projects led by  Divya Patel

                                      Samuel Beauregard

                              Nicolas Ortiz

Collaboration:  Prof. Marie Larocque (UQAM )

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Microbial communities in discharge areas

Projects led by Karine Villeneuve

                   Benjamin Groult

Microbial communities in the deep subsurface

Projects led by  Jean-Christophe Gagnon

     Julia Meyer

Collaboration:  Prof. Kai Uwe Totsche  (FSU, Germany)

                     Derena Geosciences  (consulting firm)

            Utica Resources (oil exploration)


The terrestrial subsurface is composed of sediment and a rock matrix often deeper. In the saturated zone, water flows from the surface in recharge zones, into the subsurface at aquifer level (groundwater), then rises to the surface at discharge or resurgent zones. In underground habitats, there are planktonic microorganisms that live in water, sessile organisms that live attached to particles or on rock surfaces, and endolithic organisms that live in rock pores. These populations colonize both saturated and unsaturated areas in subsurface habitats, ranging from a few meters (shallow) to a few kilometers (deep).

The underground world contains natural habitats such as caves, mainly formed by water erosion, or man-made environments such as abandoned mines. These subsurface habitats contain a large number of microbial populations yet to be discovered.

Thus, we are studying the microbial communities in groundwater (Laurentides and Lanaudière regions, Quebec), sediments and rocks of the superficial subsurface (<50m), in the groundwater surface discharge zones, and in the deep subsurface (Canada and Germany).

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Microbial communities in abandoned and flooded mines

Projects led by  Elise Lhoste

                         Lucine Gonnet

Collaboration: PTO Exploration (diving team)

                       Prof. Violaine Ponsin (UQAM)

​                                      Prof. David Jaclin (University of Ottawa)

                       Prof. Maikel Rosabal  (UQAM)

                 Prof. Alison Derry (UQAM)


Microbial communities in natural caves

Project led by Jocelyn Lauzon

Collaboration: Daniel Caron (Quebec Speleological Society)

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