Julia Charlebois, Ph.D. student

Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Toronto
25 Willcocks Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5S 3B2

Office: Earth Science Building 2065
E-mail: julia.charlesbois@mail.utoronto.ca
Twitter: @JACharlebois

Julia Charlebois


M.Sc. University of Ottawa, Ottawa ON
  Thesis title: Spatial relationships between plants and pollinator behaviour. (2017)

Current Position

Ph.D. student Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto
Project: Inflorescence architecture, pollinator behaviour and plant mating.
Co-supervisors: Spencer C.H. Barrett & James D. Thomson.

Research Interests

I am broadly interested in plant-pollinator interactions, bee behavior, and floral evolution. In my M.Sc. work, I examined the effect of spatial relationships between plants and resulting plant-pollinator interactions. I presented the results of this work at CSEE 2017 and published it in Ecology Letters in 2017.

During my M.Sc., I also began a long-term research project examining the pollination system and population dynamics of the rare orchid Cypripedium arietinum, in collaboration with Cory Barker (University of Ottawa) and Peter Nosko (Nipissing University). I presented preliminary results of this work at CSEE 2018 and this project is ongoing.

My Ph.D. research at the University of Toronto, in the Barrett and Thomson labs, focuses on the effect of inflorescence architecture on pollinator behavior and consequent plant mating outcomes. I am particularly interested in tracking the effect of inflorescence architecture on pollen export. My work so far involves experiments testing the effect of floral spacing within inflorescences on the foraging behavior of Bombus impatiens in the flight cage, and the consequent autogamous, geitonogamous, and allogamous pollen deposition of real pollen. I am also investigating the question of how inflorescence architecture influences plant mating via a meta-analysis examining the influence of inflorescence architecture on mating patterns using a large data set on marker-based estimates of outcrossing rate among numerous angiosperm species. During my time at the University of Toronto, I hope to illuminate the relationship between inflorescence architecture, pollinator behavior, and plant mating to understand the evolutionary forces driving the amazing diversity of inflorescence architectures seen in angiosperms.


Charlesbois J.A., & Sargent, R.D. (2017). No consistent pollinator-mediated impacts of alien plants on natives. Ecology Letters, 20: 1479-1490.