About Allen Larocque:
I'm a forest ecologist and data analyst.
Forestry/ Ecology/ Soils:
2015-2021: PHD Candidate. Project on the interconnections between salmon and forest soils. In collaboration with the Heiltsuk Integrated Research Management Department (HIRMD) and the Heiltsuk Nation. Project highlights:
- Field work: conducted vegetation plots and transects, and soil cores and soil characterization in remote, boat-access only locations.
- Experimental design: designed and implemented scientifically-sound natural and manipulative experiments.
- Molecular ecology: used PCR and next-generation environmental sequencing to characterize soil fungal and bacterial communities.
- Bioinformatics: cleaned, classified, and compared soil communities along environmental gradients.
- Stable isotopes: conducted stable-isotope natural abundance study to quantify how salmon change forest nutrient cycling between soil, mushroom, vegetation, and litter.
- Statistics: ANOVA and regression; linear and nonlinear generalized mixed models; multivariate ordinations (PCA, CCA, etc); machine learning (random forest models); data manipulation, management, and visualization.
- Communication: wrote thesis and associated papers, and created visualizations (figures and tables). Delivered Powerpoint talks on thesis components to technical audiences.
- Funding: successfully applied for, attained, and project-managed multiple grants.
2020: Collaborator with University of Washington PhD candidate Anne Polyakov in Bristol Bay, Alaska, on the effects of salmon on Alaskan soils. Project involved funding and coordinating a $17,000 collaboration between UBC and UW to set up a fungal network theory workshop and fund a field project. Field work components included experimental design and set up of long-term soil, vegetation, and fungal plots along salmon streams.
2013: Volunteer, Heiltsuk territory, Bella Bella, British Columbia (April- August). Salmon and Songbirds project out of Dr. John Reynold’s lab at Simon Fraser University in conjunction with Heiltsuk First Nation.
2009-2011: Master’s Student, Theoretical Ecology, McGill University. Dissertation and associated publications involved applying simulations and theoretical models to data from four different long-term ecological experiments in order to elucidate the mechanisms behind stability-diversity relationships.
2010: Analyst and Author, Québec Centre for Biodiversity Studies, Montreal, Québec. Literature review and report on the utilization of green corridors in climate change mitigation with the Québec Centre for Biodiversity Science. Contract for the Québec Ministry of Sustainable Development, the Environment, and Parks (MDDEP).
2009: Visiting Scientist, Dr. David Tilman, University of Minnesota, Cedar Creek, Minnesota. Collaborated on the Long-Term Biodiversity Project and learned the experimental design that I later used my Master’s.
2021-2022 (seasonal): Primary Instructor and curriculum designer for ‘Budding Scientists: An Introduction to Biological Science’, a hybrid summer laboratory/field course for high school students.
2018: Primary Instructor for UBC FRST 411/522c (Complex Adaptive Systems, Global Change Science and Ecological Sustainability). Class focusing on applications of complex systems theory to forestry and conservation applications.
2015 - 2022: TA at UBC. Courses taught: FRST 201 (Forest Ecology), CONS 330 (Conservation Science and Sustainability), FRST 411/532C (Complex Adaptive Systems and Forest Management), FRST 495 (Biological Diversity and Forest Management).
2016: Lead Instructor for two courses in China – at Zhejiang and Fujian Agriculture and Forestry Universities (Topics in Natural Resources Conservation and English Communication).
2011 - 2014: Curriculum director and teacher at Epsilon Learning Centre, Toronto, ON. I taught English as a Second Language, Mathematics, Science, and French to children and adults of all ages in this small start-up company. I designed curricula, managed staff and worked closely with the owner on advertising, web design, and strategic decisions.
2010-2011: High School Teacher, Kutaisi, Republic of Georgia.
English language teacher in Georgian public high school. Taught courses of 10-25 students, prepared course materials, trained local teachers and provided feedback to program coordinators.
2008-2010: Teaching Assistant, McGill University, Montreal, QC.
Courses taught: Organismal Biology, Molecular Biology, Behavioural Ecology. Directed classes of 15-25 students, created course and lecture material, and edited papers.
Statistics: Over a decade experience with R and other programs. Knowledge and experience with a diverse set of statistical analysis techniques: generation and interpretation of summary statistics, ANOVA and regression, generalized linear mixed-effects models; nonlinear modelling; general additive models (GAMs); multivariate statistics including PCA and other ordination procedures and associated hypothesis testing; machine learning (random forest models); differential abundance analysis (DA); structural equation modelling (SEM); time series analysis (ARIMA etc); and variance partitioning (VP).
Communication: comfortable teaching and public speaking. Many years experience with curriculum design.
Science: Experimental design, field work, molecular biological laboratory techniques.
In press/ prep:
Larocque, A. & Simard, S. “Salmon-derived nutrients increase the fertility and change the chemistry of riparian forest soils”. In press, Frontiers of Forestry and Global Change.
Larocque, A. & Simard, S. “Salmon density gradients change soil fungal microbiome abundance, diversity and community composition”.
Larocque, A. & Simard, S. “Salmon density gradients change soil bacterial microbiome abundance, diversity and community composition”.
Larocque, A. & Simard, S. “Mushroom sporocarp 15N natural abundance along a gradient of salmon density”.
Larocque, Allen. “Fish, Forests, Fungi: Soils of the ‘Salmon Forests’ of British Columbia”. PhD Thesis, University of British Columbia, 2022.
de Mazancourt, C., Isbell, F., Larocque, A., Berendse, F., De Luca, E., Grace, J.B et al. "Predicting ecosystem stability from community composition and biodiversity". Ecology Letters, DOI: 10.1111/ele.12088, May 2013.
Larocque, Allen. “Untangling mechanisms behind the stability-diversity relationship in experimental grasslands”. Master’s Thesis, McGill University, 2011.
Solomon, Sponarski, Larocque & Aviles. “Social organization of the colonial spider Leucauge sp. in the neotropics: vertical stratification within colonies”. J. Arachnology. 38, 3, pp. 446-451, 2010.
Matthew Mitchell, Jonathan Whiteley, Allen Larocque, Andrew Gonzalez. “Impact of climate change on corridors and ecological services”. Report for Quebec’s Ministry of the environment (MDDEP), 2010.
Claudio H. Slamovits, Juan F. Saldarriaga, Allen Larocque, Patrick J Keeling. “The Highly Reduced and Fragmented Mitochondrial Genome of the Early-branching Dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina Shares Characteristics with both Apicomplexan and Dinoflagellate Mitochondrial Genomes”. J. Mol. Biol. July 2007.
2021: “Mycorrhizal Networks in Salmon Forests”. Fungal Modelling Conference, University of Washington, WA (international; online).
2015: “Salmon and the Soil”. Pacific Evolution and Ecology Conference, Bamfield, BC(regional; also presented poster).
2015: “Soil metabolism and marine-derived nutrients”. CONFORWEST, Friday Harbour, WA.
2015: “Theoretical Ecology of Mycorrhiza”. Western Mycorrhizal Gathering, Cowitchan Lake, BC.
2012: “History in Georgian and Canadian Culture”. A presentation to the students of school 12F, Gelati Monastery, Kutaisi, Republic of Georgia (local, foreign)
2010: "Mechanisms behind stability-diversity relationships in grasslands: a cross-system comparison". Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution, Laval University, Québec City, Québec (national).
2009: “How is Social Spider behaviour shaped by colony structure?” CEEB symposium, McGill University (departmental).
Communications for general public and stakeholders::
2019: “Insights to the Wood Wide Web”, Pacific Horticulture Society Webinar (online).
2022: “Salmon in the Soil”. Project TEACH webinar, Raincoast Conservation Foundation. YouTube
2020: “The Salmon Forest”. Film with Suzanne Simard and Bill Heath. YouTube.
2015-Present: Gave professional advice to three books and two film projects.
AWARDS, GRANTS, SCHOLARSHIPS:
2020: University of British Columbia – University of Washington Collaborative Research Mobility Grant ($17,000)
2017: Canadian Donner Foundation Grant ($150,000)
2014-2017: MITACS Accelerate Grant($105,000). Partnered with Brinkman Associates Inc.
2015-2018: TerreWeb Scholar, UBC ($45,000).
2015: Mary and David Macaree Fellowship ($1,000).
2008-2009: McGill University Provost Graduate Fellowship ($1,500).
2008-2009: McGill University Principal Graduate Fellowship ($2,500).
2003: Janusz J. Klawe Science One Award, UBC ($1,000).
CERTIFICATES, TRAINING, AND STATUS:
Eligible to join the BC college of applied biology and Association of BC Forest Professionals (RPBio and RPF designations)
First Aid: Red Cross Wilderness First Aid
Marine certifications: Pleasure Craft Operator’s Card (SPOC); Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP); Marine Emergency Duties (MED A3); Restricted Operator’s Certificate (Maritime radio).
BC Driver’s License, perfect driving record.
Registered Project Management Course, 2016
PRSSS Soil Course 2015
English (mother tongue)
2021: PHD in Forestry, University of British Columbia, Department of Conservation and Forest Sciences. Dissertation: “Fish, Forests, Fungi: Soils of the ‘Salmon Forests’ of British Columbia”. Advisor: Dr. Suzanne Simard.
2012: MSc, Theoretical Ecology, McGill University, Montreal, QC. Dissertation: “Untangling the mechanisms behind the stability-diversity relationship in experimental grasslands”. Advisors: Dr. Michel Loreau & Dr. Claire de Mazancourt (co-supervised)
2006: BSc, Ecology and Environmental Science, University of British Columbia. Undergraduate projects on protozoan imaging, protozoan molecular evolution, and social spider ecology supervised by Dr. Brian Leander, Dr. Patrick Keeling, and Dr. Leticia Aviles.
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