The Centre for Forest Research

The Centre for Forest Research (CFR, CEF in French) is a university-based research centre that draws together scientific expertise in forestry from across the province.

This centre brings together 72 scientists from 11 Quebec universities (Concordia, McGill, UQAC, UQAM, UQAT, UQO, UQAR, TELUQ, University of Montreal, University of Sherbrooke and Laval University), and nearly 40 associate scientists, who are distributed among universities and various governmental institutions within Quebec, throughout Canada and internationally. With the inclusion of 370-plus doctoral and master's students, CFR is the largest forest ecology research group in Canada and one of the most important in the world.

The strength of CFR lies in its ability to integrate appropriate scientific knowledge that is required to conceive new strategies and practices which will allow a shift in current management approaches to the ecosystem-based management of provincial forest lands, a key recommendation of the 2004 Coulombe Commission Report, Commission d’étude sur la gestion de la forêt publique québécoise  (Rapport Coulombe, December 2004).

The Centre is currently under the codirection of Professors Louis Bernier and Pierre Drapeau.


CFR arose from the merger of the CRBF (In English, the Centre for Research in Forest Biology) and GREFi (In English, the Inter-University Forest Ecology Research Group).

Members of the CRBF*

  • 22 regular researchers
  • 11 associate researchers
  • 150 graduate students
  • more than 50 other members

*Data from 2004

The two centres that preceded CFR were originally created more than 25 years ago.

The CRBF was founded in 1985 by researchers at Laval University, and from its inception, was devoted to research and advanced training in forest biology. Between 1986 and 2004, the Centre was recognised by FQRNT (The Fund for Research on Nature and Technologies), a provincial agency with a unique recognition of forestry research. Professor J. André Fortin was the first director of the CRBF, and was succeeded in the post by professors Maurice Lalonde, André P. Plamondon, Jean Bousquet, Louis Bernier and André Desrochers. At the beginning, the CRBF included 7 professors and some 30-plus students.

Members of the GREFi*

  • 33 regular researchers
  • 27 associate researchers
  • 150 graduate students
  • more than 40 other members

*Data from 2005

GREFi was founded in 1987 by 3 professors in the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM). In 1997, the Centre (GREF) truly became a inter-universitary group, as GREFi now included researchers and their students from UQAM, McGill University, Concordia University, the University of Montreal, the National Institute of Scientific Research (INRS - Armand Frappier Institute), the University of Quebec at Chicoutimi (UQAC) and the University of Quebec in Abitibi-Temiscamingue (UQAT), together with a number of scientists from 8 other institutions. GREFi facilitated the gathering of specialists in various disciplines, who concentrated their efforts on forging a better understanding of forest ecosystems. In 2005, GREFi was headed by Christian Messier.


The strength of the CFR lies in its integration of scientific information in conceiving strategies and providing practical knowledge that will permit a shift in current forestry management practices to ecosystem-based management of provincial forest lands. Forest management in the 21st century must also take into account numerous emerging phenomena (biological invasions, climate change, habitat fragmentation).

In response to these challenges, the scientific mission of CFR is to better understand the functioning and dynamics of forest ecosystems, the interactions between their components, as well as their distinctive biologies, within a perspective that reconciles conservation of biodiversity with increasing basic commercial productivity.

The CFR mission encompasses 4 research themes:

The principal social mission of CFR is to produce highly qualified personnel in the fields associated with the 4 research themes and to contribute vigorously to the transfer of knowledge to partners and the public through close collaboration with organisations of information transfer. The CFR is anxious to increase its international profile in terms of its capability in meeting the new challenges to forest management and conservation in a manner that is both scientifically credible and multidisciplinary.

With this intention in mind, the CFR is financially supporting international internships, visits by well-known scientists, thematic courses and annual conferences. Also, it has set in place an integrated network of research professionals , who are specialists in the service of scientists and students in all our member institutions.

Regional poles of CFR

Participating universities are grouped into 4 regional centers providing logistical and administrative support to members. Each pole is represented by a regular member on the executive committee. Research professionals  of CFR are also divided into the 4 poles to allow direct access to students in each of them.

Pole of Montreal

  • U. du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
  • McGill University
  • U. de Montréal
  • Concordia University
  • U. du Québec en Outaouais (UQO)

Pole of Quebec

  • U. Laval
  • U. du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)
  • U. du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR)

Pole of Rouyn-Noranda

  • U. du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT)

Pole of Sherbrooke

  • U. de Sherbrooke

Executive committee


Louis Bernier

Pierre Drapeau

Representatives of the poles and associate members

Frédéric Raulier
Representative for the Quebec Pole

Nicolas Bélanger
Representative for the Montreal Pole

Suzanne Brais
Representative for the Rouyn-Noranda Pole

Marc Bélisle
Representative for the Sherbrooke Pole

Nelson Thiffault
Associate members representative

Guillaume Sainte-Marie
Représentant des membres étudiants

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25-26 mai | Université Laval

********************************************************** ***************** Cours du CEF **************************** **********************************************************

Cours du CEF

8e Semaine de Dendroécologie de la FERLD 
16–21 mai 2017 | FERLD
Cours d'été: Terrain avancé en environnement (GÉO 6041) 
Cours aux cycles supérieurs de 3 crédits offert par François Girard, du 2 au 7 juillet 2017 à la Forêt Montmorency non loin de Québec.
Cours d’été en statistiques bayésiennes – Summer school in Bayesian statistics 
École d’été en statistiques bayésiennes. Maximum de 20 participants.
14 au 18 août | Orford Musique (à 30 minutes de Sherbrooke)
Aménagement des écosystèmes forestiers (ENV7010) 
14 au 25 août 2017, FERLD, Abitibi
Cours sur la complexité 
24-29 septembre 2017, Toscane, Italie

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********************************************************** ********** Maudite pub 6 - Au coeur de l'arbre *********** **********************************************************

...Une exposition
virtuelle sur l'arbre!

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La référence vedette !

Jérémie Alluard (2016) Les statistiques au moments de la rédaction 

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