Dr. Terri Lacourse

Dr. Terri Lacourse
Office: CUN 155a

Areas of research focus

  • Palynology and paleoecology
  • Late Quaternary vegetation dynamics of western North America
  • Wetland succession and peatland carbon accumulation
  • Temperate rainforest ecology
  • Life history theory and biogeography
  • Multivariate statistics

My main area of research is the development and dynamics of temperate forest in coastal British Columbia 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 the development and dynamics of plant populations and communities, using techniques such as high-resolution pollen analysis of radiocarbon-dated lake sediment and peat, and
  2. identifies the ecological (e.g., life history) and environmental (e.g., climate change) factors that drive species abundance, species interactions, and community distributions.

Recent research in my lab has focussed on wetland development and succession, and links between peatland carbon accumulation and past climate change.

The Paleoecology Lab at UVic

UVic Herbarium

  • BIOL 330: Study Design and Data Analysis
  • BIOL 457: Paleoecology and Environmental Change
  • BIOL 557: Advanced Paleoecology
Loisel, et al., 2021. Expert assessment of future vulnerability of the global peatland carbon sink. Nature Clilmate Change 11:70-77
Magnan, G., Lacourse, T., Garneau, M. 2021. A comparison of Holocene testate amoeba assemblages and paleohydrological records from pollen slides and we-sieved peat. The Holocene 31: 73-82
Lacourse, T. Gajewski, K. 2020. Current practices in building and reporting age-depth models. Quaternary Research 96:28-38
Chevalier, et al., 2020. Pollen-basen climate reconstruction techniques for late Quaternary studies. Earth-Science Reviews 210: 103384 
Lacourse, T., Adeleye, M.A., Stewart, J.R. 2019. Peatland formation, succession and carbon accumulation at a mid-elevation poor fen in Pacific Canada. The Holocene 29: 16941707.
Treat, et al., 2019. Widespread global peatland establishment and persistence over the last 130,000 years. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 116: 48224827.
Neil, K., Lacourse, T. 2019. Diatom responses to long-term changes in climate and sea level rise at a low elevation lake in coastal British Columbia, Canada. Ecosphere 10(9): e02868.    
Gallego-Sala, et al., 2018. Latitudinal limits to the predicted increase of the peatland carbon sink with warming. Nature Climate Change 8: 907–913.

Lemmen, J., Lacourse, T. 2018. Fossil chironomid assemblages and inferred summer temperature for the last 14,000 years from a low-elevation lake in Pacific Canada. Journal of Paleolimnology 59: 427–442.

Lacourse, T., Beer, K.W., Hoffman, E.H. 2016. Identification of conifer stomata in pollen samples from western North America. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 232: 140–150.

Lacourse, T., Davies, M.A. 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, J.D., 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.

Goring, S., Lacourse, T., Pellatt, M.G., Mathewes, R.W. 2013. Pollen assemblage richness does not reflect regional plant species richness. Journal of Ecology 101: 1137–1145.

Lacourse, T., Delepine, J.M., Hoffman, E.H., Mathewes, R.W. 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.

Lacourse, T., 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.

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

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

Wohlfarth, et al.., 2008. Rapid ecosystem response to abrupt climate changes during the last glacial period in western Europe, 40-16 ka. Geology 36: 407–410.