John MacKay

Affiliation : Université Laval
Organization : Université Laval
E-mail :

About John MacKay

Professor, Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics, Université Laval, Québec City, Canada


Wood Professor of Forest Science, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK


A native of Québec City, Professor John MacKay is a research scientist specializing in forest genomics. His work deals with the genetics of forest trees, focusing, among other things, on their pest resistance and properties with economic value. He is concentrating on the tangible of applications of his research results, such as genetic marker systems that can be used for reforesting and preserving genetic diversity.   


Since 2011, he has spearheaded a major research project known as SMarTForests (, which aims to sequence the white spruce genome and develop genetic markers for forest regeneration. He holds a doctorate in genetics from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, US, and worked as a research scientist for the Institute of Paper Science and Technology in Atlanta, US. He joined the faculty of Université Laval in 2001 and of Oxford University in 2013. He is a member of the Institute for Integrative Systems Biology at Université Laval and the Centre for Forest Research, and has previously co-headed the Québec Intensive Silviculture Network. In addition to his teaching and research activities, Professor MacKay served as Vice Dean of the Faculty of Forestry, Geography and Geomatics of Université Laval (2012-2014). He has authored nearly 80 scientific papers, supervised more than 50 researchers in training and participated in many scientific conferences around the world. His work on the budworm resistance of the white spruce was ranked as one of the top 10 discoveries of 2014 by the magazine Québec Science.

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