InitiaSciences was founded in June 2021 by Caroline Piaulet, with the help of Léa Delesalle, Mélanie Le Berre, Thomas Vandal and Karelle Contant, 5 master's or doctoral students in scientific research. On October 1, 2021, InitiaSciences, the first student-founded scientific mentoring organization in Quebec, officially became a non-profit organization (NPO). Subsequently, in late October and early November, 3 new people joined the team: Marie-Eve Naud, Léo Guiramand and Amy McMackin. Since then, a dozen new people have joined our mission. Find out more about each member of this fabulous team!

Caroline Piaulet - President, Board member

Fascinated by science, the mysteries of the Universe and passionate about science communication, I decided to work in the field of astrophysics. I am a doctoral student at the University of Montreal in the Exoplanet Research Institute, where I study the internal structure, formation and composition of the atmosphere of planets outside our solar system. I am very enthusiastic about my field of study and am therefore involved in many projects aimed at sharing and discovering the latest discoveries with various audiences through conferences, workshops, video capsules or interviews in various media. With InitiaSciences, my mission is to communicate this passion by making young people actors of cutting edge university research!

- Caroline is also the facilitator of our workshop on the scientific process.

Léo Guiramand - Vice-Chairman, Board member

I am a PhD student in physics at the École de Technologie Supérieure. I am interested in light and more particularly terahertz light. The goal of my research is to develop devices using this invisible light to take images. Rather experimenter, I like to transmit and diffuse scientific knowledge by experiment and demonstration. Thus, to participate in the InitiaSciences project is to encourage the opening of the doors of laboratories to the general public, an important aspect for me.

Mélanie Le Berre - Secretary, Mentee coordinator, Board member

A graduate of the Physical Therapy program at McGill University, I am now a PhD student in Rehabilitation Sciences at UdeM since 2019. My work takes place in the laboratory of the Canada Research Chair in Urogynecological Health and Aging. I am interested in issues surrounding the health and access to care of older women and various issues related to the pelvic floor.

- Melanie is also the facilitator of our workshop on documentary research & source credibility.

Kim Morel - Treasurer, Board member

I am currently doing my master's degree in astrophysics at the Université de Montréal. Being affiliated with the Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx), I am focusing my research on the atmosphere of exoplanets. To do so, I analyze data collected by the James Webb Space Telescope, recently launched into space as a successor to Hubble. My passion for the Universe has been with me as long as I can remember, but my lack of knowledge in the field of astrophysical research led me to follow an atypical academic path. This is one of the reasons why InitiaSciences is particularly close to me, namely the desire to transmit to young people the pleasure and the importance of doing scientific research.

Simon Desrosiers - Advisor, Board Member

I graduated in Operations and Logistics Engineering in 2009 and have been working in various roles in project management, product management and process improvement ever since. Involved in student clubs and committees while I was at ÉTS, I continued my involvement with the Alumni Association where I served as an administrator for 5 years. Since August 2020, I have been the Executive Director of Technoscience Région métropolitaine, a non-profit organization that works in the field of science-based activities and events for young people aged 4 to 20.

Marie-Eve Naud - Consultant

D. in astrophysics from the University of Montreal, my interests focus on exoplanets and the search for life elsewhere in the universe. Since the end of my graduate studies in 2016, I have dedicated myself to education and science communication within the iREx (exoplanet research institute) and the Discovering the Universe program. As I am committed to contributing to the democratization of science, the development of scientific culture and opportunities to awaken the wonder of nature in children and adults alike, I am delighted to be able to contribute to the InitiaSciences project. This student initiative, a first in Quebec, seems to me a golden opportunity to allow young people to "do" science!

Clémence Hauduc - Partnership Coordinator

D. in organic chemistry, I started my career in the pharmaceutical industry and in fine chemistry. I recently chose to move into the environmental field, which is one of our most important issues. I am motivated by projects that can have a positive impact on people's lives.

Léa Delesalle - Mentor Coordinator

As a veterinarian and doctoral student in epidemiology, I am very interested in the issues at the interface between humans and their environment. New diseases coming from wildlife, such as avian flu; farm animal health and food safety; human-animal conflicts and species conservation... All these issues are becoming more and more important under the influence of global changes. I want to contribute to prevent them and to find sustainable solutions. This is why I specialize in theOne Health and Ecohealth approaches, which recognize this interconnection between human, animal and environmental health. For my PhD I am using these approaches to address health issues at the human-dog interface in northern communities in Quebec. I am also passionate about science communication, and am always excited to disseminate knowledge in podcasts, videos... or with InitiaSciences!

- Lea is also the facilitator of our science communication workshop.

Érika Le Bourdais - Financing Coordinator

Freshly graduated from the Bachelor of Physics program at the University of Montreal, I am currently doing a Master's degree in Astrophysics at the same university in the Exoplanet Research Institute. My focus is on meteorite and exoplanet debris rings around dead stars. Since Les Débrouillards ignited my passion for science and innovation as a child, I am taking advantage of my career as a scientist to give back to youth by being involved in many projects related to science communication and popularization.

Liliana Potes - Research Project Coordinator

As a microbiologist with experience in analysis, supervision and training of personnel in the environmental and pharmaceutical fields, I am particularly interested in the issues and challenges of the human-animal-environment interface. This interest led me to pursue my studies and complete a master's degree in veterinary public health, through which I participated in the evaluation of the pilot project on the evaluation of the Quebec Integrated Animal Health Program (PISAQ). Afterwards, I completed a second master's degree in epidemiology at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in the project of an integrated intervention "One Health" to reduce the risk of Lyme disease in the territory of the city of Bromont. Science is exciting. For me, the Initiasciences project is a great way to share this passion and to allow others to discover the world of science!

Amy McMackin - Communications Coordinator

Recently graduated from the Master of Science in Chemistry at the Université du Québec à Rimouski, my research project focused on the development of new ways to valorize the residual biomass of the brewing industry. In addition to research, I am passionate about scientific communication and teaching. I wish to share my interests in research and science journalism with others, which is why I am so happy to contribute to InitiaSciences! As an English speaker and a proud Quebecer by adoption, I hope to help make this program accessible to all young Quebecers in the years to come.

Tara Akhound-Sadegh - Events coordinator

I am a PhD candidate at the Institut québécois d'intelligence artificielle (MILA) at McGill University.

Antoine Boudreau LeBlanc - Partnerships

Interested in the issues of biodiversity and vulnerability, I have undertaken interdisciplinary studies aimed at reconciling science and society. As a doctoral candidate in bioethics at theUniversity of Montreal's School of Public Health (EPSUM), I'm interested in the ethics of governance of data systems that are sophisticating communications in society, particularly between the medical, agricultural and ecological sectors. Immersed in this "ecosystem" of technology and ideas, my intention is to "bring philosophy back down to earth" and deepen the critical perspective of practical environments to energize exchanges between knowledge and action.

Thomas Vandal - Partnerships

I am a PhD student in astrophysics at the University of Montreal and I am part of the Exoplanet Research Institute. I study planets outside the solar system. My research activities cover different subjects such as the detection of planets, the calculation of their mass and the study of their atmosphere. In these different projects, I have the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art instruments such as the James Webb Space Telescope and the high-resolution spectrographs SPIRou and NIRPS at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope and La Silla Observatory in Chile. I really enjoy sharing the results of my work and discussing the topics surrounding it. So I am very happy to participate in InitiaSciences, as it is a new way to spread the word about research and astronomy.

Laurie Dauplaise - Partnerships & financing

I am a graduate student in physics at Laval University. Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of becoming an astrophysicist. Curious by nature, I like to try to understand the world around me and most of all, I like to share this curiosity with others. That's why I'm so excited to be part of the InitiaSciences team!

Ariane Deslières - Financing

I began my studies in physics in the Physics-Mathematics undergraduate program at the University of Ottawa. During the summer of 2019, I did a summer internship with the Institute for Research on Exoplanets (iREx), part of which was at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope. I then decided to start graduate studies in astronomy at the University of Montreal.

Karelle Contant - Communications

After obtaining my bachelor's degree in microbiology and immunology, I enrolled in a master's degree in applied microbiology at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique. For the past 8 years, I have been working in the field of biotechnology, first in the field of probiotics, and then in the field of the inhibitory effects of several compounds on the viral replication of coronaviruses. I am passionate about science and love sharing my knowledge with others. For me, getting involved in InitiaSciences was the right thing to do to promote and demystify scientific research among young people. I am very passionate about the interactions between microorganisms and humans and I believe that this is a whole universe to discover and share!

Roxanne Plante - Merch & visual identity

Recently graduated from the Bachelor of Science in Microbiology & Immunology at the University of Montreal. I am pursuing my graduate studies at Laval University in Molecular Medicine in Dr. André Marette's team at the Research Center of the University Institute of Cardiology and Pneumology of Quebec. I am passionate about the human microbiome, immunology and microbial resistance.

Kevin McMackin - Website manager

Recently graduated from the University of New Brunswick with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering, I am especially passionate about everything related to web development and computer science. I am currently pursuing studies in programming.