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Département de Biologie /
Pavillon Alexandre-Vachon
1045, av. de la Médecine, local 2064
Université Laval
Québec (Québec) G1V 0A6
Phone : +1 418 656 2131 ext. 404880


Johann Lavaud

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Research scientist (CNRS) - Adjunct Professor (ULaval) Ecophysiology of microalgae

Phone : 418-656-2131 #408176
Fax : 418-656-2339


Habilitation (French HDR) in Marine Biology and Ecology (2015)
Université La Rochelle, France.

Ph.D. in Marine Biology (2002)
Université P. et M. Curie-Paris 6, France.

Master in Oceanography and Marine Biology (1998)
Université P. et M. Curie-Paris 6, France.

Research interests:

  • Arctic marine ecosystems (floe and water column) and costal estuarine ecosystems (intertidal flats).
  • Ecophysiology of microalgae (sea-ice algae, phytoplankton, microphytobenthos) : functional and ecological diversity vs. environment, focus on diatoms.
  • Physiology of photosynthetic productivity : regulation of photosynthesis vs. environment, focus on light response.
  • Methodology of chlorophyll fluorescence : improvement of the in situ and lab photosynthetic activity measurement.


After completing my Ph.D. at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris in 2002, I went on with a post-doc in the lab of Plant Ecophysiology at the University of Konstanz (Germany) where I got an Assistant Professor position in 2004. In 2008, I went back to France on a CNRS Chargé de Recherche position at the Institut du Littoral et de l’Environnement-Université de La Rochelle until I moved to the Takuvik lab-Université Laval end of 2015. Since my master studies I have been mainly working on diatoms, both planktonic and benthic forms, and more specifically on the response of their photosynthetic activity to the environment (light, temperature, salinity). I use a coupled lab-field approach at different scales: from the gene to the ecosystem via the cell and the community. Progressively, I got interested in understanding how photosynthetic regulatory processes influence the diversity of diatom growth forms/species among marine habitats. In parallel, I enjoy developing and improving technics for a better assessment of microalgal photosynthetic productivity. In Takuvik, I use lab and field approaches to study the regulation of photosynthesis of sea-ice and planktonic diatoms in the framework of the on-going climate change in the Arctic.

Selected Publications:

Full list here :

Massicotte P., Amiraux R., Lavaud J., & Babin M. Green Edge ice camp campaigns: understanding the processes controlling the under-ice Arctic phytoplankton spring bloom. Earth System Science Data,

Morin P.-I., Lacour T., Grondin P.-L., Bruyant F., Ferland J., Forget M.-H., Donaher N., Campbell D.A., Lavaud J. & Babin M. (2019) Response of the sea-ice diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus to simulated polar winter darkness and spring-like return to light. Limnology & Oceanography, doi: 10.1002/lno.11368.

Lacour T., Babin M. & Lavaud J. (2019) Diversity of xanthophyll cycle pigments content and related non-photochemical quenching (NPQ) among microalgae: implications for growth strategy and ecology. J. Phycology, doi: 10.1111/JPY.12944-19-004.

Buck J., Sherman J., Rio Bartulos C., Serif M., Halder M., Henkel J., Falciatore A., Lavaud J., Gorbunov M., Kroth P.G., Falkowski P.G. & Lepetit B. (2019) Lhcx proteins provide photoprotection via thermal dissipation of absorbed light in the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Nature Communications, 10:4167.

Lacour T., Larivière J., Ferland J., Bruyant F., Lavaud J. & Babin M. (2018) The role of sustained photoprotective non-photochemical quenching in low temperature and high light acclimation in the bloom-forming Arctic diatom Thalassiosira gravida. Frontiers in Marine Science, 5:354.

Galindo V., Gosselin M., Lavaud J., Mundy C.J., Brent E., Ehn J., Babin M. & Rysgaard S. (2017) Pigment composition and photoprotection of Arctic sea ice algae during spring. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 585:49-69.

Lepetit B., Gélin G., Lepetit M., Sturm S., Vugrinec S., Rogato A., Kroth P.G., Falciatore A. & Lavaud J. (2017) The diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum adjusts NPQ capacity in response to dynamic light via fine-tuned Lhcx and xanthophyll cycle pigment synthesis. New Phytologist, 214:205-2018.

Lavaud J., Six C. & Campbell D.C. 2016. Photosystem II repair in marine diatoms with contrasting photophysiologies. Photosynthesis Research, 127:189-199.

Laviale M., Barnett A., Ezequiel J., Lepetit B., Frankenbach S., Méléder V., Serodio J. & Lavaud J. 2015. Response of intertidal benthic microalgal biofilms to a coupled ligh-temperature stress: evidence for latitudinal adaptation along the Atlantic coast of Southern Europe. Environmental Microbiology, 17:3662-3677.

Barnett A., Méléder V., Blommaert L., Lepetit B., Gaudin P., Vyverman W., Sabbe K., Dupuy C. & Lavaud J. 2015. Growth form defines physiological photoprotective capacity in intertidal benthic diatoms. ISME Journal, 9:39-45.