Seedlings (a.k.a. students)

Lina Aragón – PhD Candidate
(2020 – present)

Lina works on the relationship between functional traits, productivity and resilience in temperate trees. She is based at the University of Waterloo and co-supervised by Christian Messier at Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO).

Leila Forsyth – Lab Manager
(2021 – present) or

Leila is currently finishing her PhD at the University of Toronto with Dr. Benjamin Gilbert and will be joining the lab as a Post-Doctoral Researcher. The overarching goal of her research is to better understand the drivers of community assembly and how they influence patterns of plant diversity across environments. To this end, she employs multi-year field experiments to isolate and quantify the ecological mechanisms of assembly as they change through space and time. You can find her on Google scholarLinkedIn, or twitter.

Émilie Seyer-Lamontagne – MSc Candidate
(2019 – present)

Émilie studies functional trait variation in ectomycorrhizae. She is based at the Université de Montréal with Pierre-Luc Chagnon.

Christina Rossi – Lab Technician
(2019 – present)

For her honour’s thesis, Christina tested the best methods for measuring tree growth from rings in eccentric tree cross-sections. She is currently writing up her research for publication. As a lab technician, Christina the Arabidopsis pilot projects and day-to-day lab activities.

Arunemathi Shanmugam – Research Assistant
(2021 – present)

Arunemathi Shanmugam is a student at the University of Waterloo studying Environmental Sciences with a specialization in Ecology. As a research assistant, she helps with projects in the greenhouse.

Natalie Vuong – Lab Technician
(2019 – present)

For her honour’s thesis, Natalie explored the relationship between tree ecophysiology and hosted communities of epiphytic bryophytes and lichens and is currently continuing further analysis. As a lab technician, she oversees the Messier Lab garden (ask us about visiting!), Green Labs Initiative, and assists with daily activities. On her off time, Natalie enjoys climbing, chicken nuggets, and general chaos.

Feb 13th 2020. Christina, Natalie, Julie and Lina thoroughly enjoying our first lab meeting 🙂

Mutualists (a.k.a. collaborators)


Dr. Mark Vellend, Université de Sherbrooke, Canada
Dr. Cyrille Violle, CNRS, France
Dr. Brian J. Enquist, University of Arizona, USA
Dr. Martin J. Lechowicz, McGill University, Canada
Dr. Brian J. McGill, University of Maine, USA


Dr. Sam Wuest, Agroscope Switzerland

Dr. Bob Muscarella, Upsalla University, Sweden
Dr. François Vasseur, CEFE CNRS, France
Dr. Adrien Taudière, CEFE CNRS, France
Dr. Andrew Siefert, UC Davis, USA
Dr. Cécille Albert, CNRS, France
Dr. Daniel D. Kneeshaw, Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada
Dr. Daniel Laughlin, University of Wyoming, USA
Dr. Jens Kattge, Max-Planck-Institute, TRY database, Germany
Dr. Kechang Niu, Nanjing University, China


Dr. Louise Comas, USDA – my root traits resource
Dr. John Sperry – my plant hydraulics resource
Dr. Melvin Tyree – my plant physiology resource
Dr. David Killick – my microscopy resource


Field Assistants:
Florencia Cappiello (2018), Nikola Tutic (2016), Anke Roth (2014), Émilie Lavoie (2012), Natasha Salter (2012), Andréanne Ferland (2011), Carol Mordy (2011), Ricardo Cossio (2008)

Lab Assistants:
Christina Rossi (2019), Natalie Vuong (2019), Mariette Laumond (2018), Gabriel Bergeron (2017), Sarah Gaignard (2016), Sierra Kaszubinski (2014), Sanga Shir (2014), Surbhi Patel (2013), Margretta Murphy  (2012-2013), John Lacson (2012-2013), Kevin Wang (2012-2013), Sarah Schwenck (2011-2012), Anjeanette McKay (2012), Casey Knoks (2012),  Meghan Iacuelli (2011-2012), Shahrzad Badie (2012), Irene Liang (2011), Jordyn Celaya (2011), Mélisanne Loiselle-Gascon (2008)

All of you make my research possible. Thanks for inspiring and motivating me.