fb pixel

Jean-Pierre Desforges

Jean-Pierre Desforges Title: Assistant Professor
Phone: (204) 786-9290
Office: RC046
Building: 515 Portage Ave, Winnipeg MB, Canada
Email: j.desforges@uwinnipeg.ca


Personal Website : https://desforgeslab.weebly.com

 Dr. Jean-Pierre Desforges recently joined the DESS as a new Assistant Professor specializing in environmental and wildlife toxicology. His research combines laboratory, fieldwork, and computer modeling to study how contaminants and other stressors influence the health of large marine and terrestrial mammals.

Human-Environmental Interactions (ENV 1600)
Environmental Impact Assessment (ENV 4611)
Environmental Toxicology (ENV-3611)

Research Interests:

As an environmental and wildlife toxicologist, I am interested in how ecological and anthropogenic factors influence how pollutants move in the environment and their potential impacts on the physiology, health, and fitness of wildlife. I study pollutant accumulation and health effects across biological scales (from cells to populations) to improve chemical management and wildlife risk assessment. My research approach incorporates a broad spectrum of tools and scientific fields to garner mechanistic understandings wildlife-environment interactions: genomics, molecular biology, invitro experimentation, dietary tracers, field biology, ecophysiology, biologging, bioenergetics, population biology, and ecological modeling. Dynamic energy budget modeling is used as a tool to incorporate animal physiology into predictions of individual and population impacts to multiple stressors. My research is focused largely on marine and terrestrial mammals.


  • Remili A, Letcher RJ, Samarra FIP, Dietz R, Sonne C, Desforges JPW, Víkingsson G, Blair D, McKinney MA. 2021. Individual Prey Specialization Drives PCBs in Icelandic Killer Whales. Environ Sci Technol. 55(8):4923–4931. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.0c08563. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.0c08563
  • Desforges JPW, Marques GM, Beumer LT, Chimienti M, Hansen LH, Pedersen SH, Schmidt NM, Beest FM. 2021. Environment and physiology shape Arctic ungulate population dynamics. Glob Chang Biol. 27(9):1755–1771. doi:10.1111/gcb.15484. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/gcb.15484
  • Bourque J, Desforges JPW, Levin M, Atwood TC, Sonne C, Dietz R, Jensen TH, Curry E, McKinney MA. 2020. Climate-associated drivers of plasma cytokines and contaminant concentrations in Beaufort Sea polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Sci Total Environ. 745:140978. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.140978. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969720345071?via%3Dihub
  • Desforges JPW, Hall A, McConnell B, Rosing-Asvid A, Barber JL, Brownlow A, De Guise S, Eulaers I, Jepson PD, Letcher RJ, et al. 2018. Predicting global killer whale population collapse from PCB pollution. Science (80- ). 361(6409):1373–1376. doi:1L12. https://www.science.org/doi/1L12
  • Desforges JPW, Bandoro C, Shehata L, Sonne C, Dietz R, Puryear WB, Runstadler JA. 2018. Environmental contaminant mixtures modulate in vitro influenza infection. Sci Total Environ. 634:20–28. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.03.321. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969718310817?via%3Dihub
  • Desforges JPW, Levin M, Jasperse L, De Guise S, Eulaers I, Letcher RJ, Acquarone M, Nordøy E, Folkow LP, Hammer Jensen T, et al. 2017. Effects of Polar Bear and Killer Whale Derived Contaminant Cocktails on Marine Mammal Immunity. Environ Sci Technol. 51(19):11431– 11439. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b03532. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.7b03532