Dr. Terri Lacourse

Dr. Terri Lacourse
Associate Professor
Centre for Forest Biology, Biology


My forest-related research focusses on the development and dynamics of temperate forest in coastal British Columbia over the past 15,000 years i.e., since the last glaciation. This research concerns temporal and spatial patterns in the distribution of plant populations and communities, and the processes responsible for those patterns. I conduct research that 1) reconstructs past changes in forest composition and fire frequency, using techniques such as high-resolution pollen and charcoal analyses of radiocarbon-dated lake sediments, and 2) identifies the ecological (e.g., life history) and environmental (e.g., climate change) factors that drive changes in species abundance, species interactions, community distributions, and disturbance regimes on long ecological timescales.


  • BIOL 330: Study Design and Data Analysis
  • BIOL 457: Paleoecology & Environmental Change

Selected Publications

Lacourse T, Beer KW and Hoffman EH (2016) Identification of conifer stomata in pollen samples from western North America. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 232: 140-150.

Lacourse T and Davies MA (2015) A multi-proxy peat study of Holocene vegetation history, bog development and carbon accumulation on northern Vancouver Island, Pacific coast of Canada. The Holocene 35: 1165-1178.

Lucas JD and Lacourse T (2013) Holocene vegetation history and fire regimes of Pseudotsuga menziesii forests in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, southwestern British Columbia, Canada. Quaternary Research 79: 366-376.

Lacourse T, Delepine JM, Hoffman EH and Mathewes RW (2012) A 14,000 year vegetation history of a hypermaritime island on the outer Pacific coast of Canada based on fossil pollen, spores and conifer stomata. Quaternary Research 78: 572-582.

May L and Lacourse T(2012) Morphological differentiation of Alnus (alder) pollen from western North America. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 180: 15-24.

Lacourse T and May L (2012) Increasing taxonomic resolution in pollen identification: Sample size, spatial sampling bias and implications for palaeoecology. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 182: 55-64.

Lacourse T (2009) Environmental change controls postglacial forest dynamics through interspecific differences in life-history traits. Ecology 90: 2149-2160.