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
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
photo courtesy of Les Prix
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
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
(Naturaliste Can. 111 (3): 329).
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.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Pomerleau accessed on 16 November 2016.
Ralph H. 1994. Essays on the Early History of Plant
Pathology and Mycology in Canada.
University Press. Page 213.
Prize” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9o-Pariseau_Prize accessed on 16 November 2016.
4. “Prix Marie-Victorin” Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prix_Marie-Victorin accessed on 16 November 2016.
5. Duchesne, Raymond (25 March 2008) “Rene
Pomerleau.” The Canadian Encyclopedia.
http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/rene-pomerleau/ accessed on 16 November 2016.
6. Laurentian Forestry Center,
Canadian Forest Service. Index Herbariorum. http://sweetgum.nybg.org/science/ih/herbarium_details.php?irn=125132 accessed on 16 November 2016.