Liriodendron tulipifera flower

The University of North Carolina
A Department of the North Carolina Botanical Garden



Collectors of the UNC Herbarium
Information compiled by Carol Ann McCormick,
Curator of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium

Rene Pomerleau
(27 April 1904 – 11 October 1993)


The University of North Carolina Herbarium has found a single specimen collected by Rene Pomerleau. 


Pomerleau was born in Saint-Ferdinand, Quebec in 1904.  He received a Bachelor of Agricultural Science from Laval University in 1925 and a Master of Science from McGill University in 1927.5  He studied further at the Sorbonne and at the Ecole des Eaux et Forets in Nancy from 1927-1930, then returned to Canada to earn a Ph.D. at the University of Montreal.  In 1972 he received an honorary doctorate from Sir George William University (Concordia University) in Montreal.1

In 1940, Laval’s School of Surveying and Forest Engineering adopted a new curriculum, and Rene Pomerleau (b. 1904) was appointed professor of forest pathology.  Pomerleau had been teaching forest pathology at the Forest Rangers’ School at Duchesnay, and he continued to do so, on a part-time basis, until 1950.  At Laval, he gave the course previously taught by Georges Maheux (1889-1977), who was the provincial entomologist and professor of entomology…When the School of Surveying and Forest Engineering became Laval’s Faculty of Forest Engineering in 1945, Pomerleau continued to teach forest pathology there, and, as he had been doing since 1942, also in the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science until 1965.2

Rene Pomerleau
ca. 1981
photo courtesy of Les Prix du Quebec


Rene Pomerleau’s principal research was devoted to tree diseases and their agents, and he authored 250 scientific articles and seven books.  He studied a number of parasitic infections, notably that which caused Dutch elm disease, whose presence he diagnosed in Canada in 1944.  He was also distinguished by his work on decay in coniferous trees, a field in which he was acknowledged as an authority.  A gifted popularizer, he published Champignons de l’est du Canada et des Etats-Unis  (1951) a work surpassed only by his Flore des champignons sauvages du Quebec in 1980, and he founded several mycology clubs.5

Pomerleau was awarded the Leo-Pariseau Prize, a “Quebecois prize which is awarded annually to a distinguished individual working in the field of biological or health sciences” in 1955.3  In 1981 Pomerleau was awarded the Prix Marie-Victorin, “an award by the Government of Quebec that is part of the Prix du Quebec, which goes to researchers in the pure and applied sciences whose work lies outside biomedicine.  These fields include the natural and physical sciences, engineering and technology, and the agricultural sciences.”4

In 1980 Pomerleau described Amanita umbonata Pomerl. in Fl. Champ. Quebec (Ottawa): page 516, but since 1984 it has been recognized as Amanita jacksonii Pomerl. (Naturaliste Can. 111 (3):  329). 

Rene Pomerleau died in Quebec City on 11 October 1993. 

The Rene Pomerleau Herbarium (QFB), located at the Canadian Forest Services’ Laurentian Forestry Centre, 1055 rue de P.E.P.S., P.O. Box 3800, Succ. Sainte-Foy in Quebec City, contains ca. 25,000 mycological specimens, and specializes in fungi which cause forest-tree diseases and saprophytes on wood.6  



1. “Rene Pomerleau.”  Wikipedia.  accessed on 16 November 2016.
2.  Estey, Ralph H.  1994.  Essays on the Early History of Plant Pathology and Mycology in Canada.  Montreal:  McGill-Queen’s University Press.  Page 213.
3.  “Leo-Pariseau Prize  Wikipedia.  accessed on 16 November 2016.
4.  “Prix Marie-Victorin  Wikipedia.  accessed on 16 November 2016.
5.  Duchesne, Raymond (25 March 2008) “Rene Pomerleau.”  The Canadian Encyclopedia.  accessed on 16 November 2016.
6.  Laurentian Forestry Center, Canadian Forest Service.  Index Herbariorum.  accessed on 16 November 2016.




University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium
CB# 3280, Coker Hall
South Road
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3280
phone: (919) 962-6931

Last Updated: 14 November 2016