Yannick HuotYannick Huot - CARTEL research member (Director)

Associate Professor

Canada Research Chair in Earth Observation and Phytoplankton Ecophysiology

Contact information

Faculty webpage


Research program

The ubiquitous phytoplankton are microscopic photosynthetic organisms floating throughout the global ocean which form the base of the marine food web. In my research program, I investigate how environmental changes influence phytoplankton growth and their physiology. I use a variety of scientific approaches ranging from satellite remote sensing to the measurement of molecular biological processes within cells.

Keywords - Biological oceanography, ocean optics, phytoplankton, ocean color, remote sensing, chlorophyll fluorescence, sun-induced fluorescence, primary productivity, photosynthesis, limnology, autonomous observations

Current projects

1. Ecophysiology of Phytoplankton Succession, Growth and Primary Productivity across Aquatic Ecosystems

Duration: 06/2009 - 06/2014
Funding source:
Discovery Grant - Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)

Remote sensing will be used: 1) to study the natural fluorescence of phytoplankton, and 2) to study second order variability in ocean colour. My objective is to evaluate the possibilities for obtaining information on phytoplankton beyond estimates of their biomass.

2. Canada Research Chair in Phytoplankton Ecophysiology and Earth Observation

Duration: 01/2009 - 06/2013
Funding source:
Canada Research Chairs (CRC)

The objective of this Canada Research Chair is to advance our scientific understanding of how environmental changes affect the growth and succession of phytoplanktonic species. Several approaches will be used in the research projects carried out through the Chair: field experiments, laboratory experiments, numerical models and remote sensing.

Yannick Huot's lake profiler3. Automated Lake Observatory System of Plankton and their Abiotic Controlling Factors

Duration: 01/2009 - 01/2012
Funding source:
Leaders Opportunity Fund - Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)

Our main objective is to observe phytoplankton and the factors influencing their growth at high temporal and spatial resolution. Our goal is to understand the factors influencing the growth of different phytoplankton groups (ex. cyanobacteria and diatoms).

(Image at right: Deployment of the instrumented profiling platform for the Lake Montjoie observatory.)


4. Description and Validation of a Coupled Fluorescence and Photophysiology Model of Phytoplankton

Duration: 05/2009 - 05/2011
Funding source:
Établissement de nouveaux chercheurs (ENC), Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies (FQRNT)

To understand the variability observed in the natural fluorescence of chlorophyll in the ocean, we will develop a photophysiological model of phytoplankton that will be validated using laboratory experiments.

5. Malina project (PI : Marcel Babin)

Duration: 05/2009 - 05/2011
Funding source:
Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR), Centre national d'études spatiales (CNES), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Science Foundation (NSF)

The objective of this project is to determine how arctic marine ecosystems respond to climate change and new anthropogenic pressures.

Current research highlights


Postdoctoral Researchers and Graduate Students

Other activities



  • Zhang, X., Huot, Y., Gray, D.J., Weidemann, Rhea, W.J. (2013) Inversion of the volume scattering function and spectral absorption in coastal waters with biogeochemical implications, Biogeosciences Discussions.

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  • Huot, Y., Babin, M., Bruyant, F. (2013) Photosynthetic parameters in the Beaufort Sea in relation to the phytoplankton community structure, Biogeosciences, 10, pp. 3445-3454. doi:10.5194/bg-10-3445-2013
  • Huot, Y., Franz, B.J., Fradette, M. (2013) Estimating variability in the quantum yield of Sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence: A global analysis of oceanic waters, Remote Sensing of Environment, 132:238-253, 10.1016/j.rse.2013.01.003
  • Poulin, C., Bruyant, F., Laprise, M.-H., Cockshutt, A., Marie-Rose Vandenhecke, J., and Huot, Y. (2013) The impact of light pollution on diel changes in the photophysiology of Microcystis aeruginosa, Journal of Planckton Research, 0(0): 1–6. doi:10.1093/plankt/fbt088
  • Zhang, X., Huot, Y., Gray, D.J., Weidemann, A. and Rhea, W.J. (2013) Biogeochemical origins of particles obtained from the inversion of the volume scattering function and spectral absorption in coastal waters, Biogeosciences, 10, 6029-6043, doi:10.5194/bg-10-6029-2013

  • 2012

  • Cullen, J. J., R. F. Davis, and Y. Huot, (2012) Spectral model of depth-integrated water column photosynthesis and its inhibition by ultraviolet radiation, Global Biogeochem. Cycles, 26,GB1011, doi:10.1029/2010GB003914. pdf
  • Simis, S.G.H., Huot, Y., Babin, M., Seppälä, J., Metsamaa, L. (2012) Optimization of variable fluorescence measurements of phytoplankton communities with cyanobacteria. Photosynthesis Research, 112 (1) pp. 13-30. Simis et al. 2012
  • Zhang, X., Gray, D.J., Huot, Y., You, Y., Bi, L. (2012) Comparison of optically derived particle size distributions: Scattering over the full angular range versus diffraction at near forward angles. Applied Optics, 51 (21) pp. 5085-5099.

  • 2011

  • Gernez, P., Antoine, D. and Huot, Y. (2011) Diel cycles of the particulate beam attenuation coefficient under varying trophic conditions in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea: Observations and modeling, Limnology and Oceanography 56(1), p. 17-36. pdf
  • Matsuoka, A., V. Hill, Y. Huot, M. Babin and A. Bricaud (2011) Seasonal variability in the light absorption properties of western Arctic waters: Parameterization of the individual components of absorption for ocean color applications. Journal of Geophysical Research, 116, C02007, doi:10.1029/2009JC005594. pdf

  • 2010

  • Huot, Y. and Babin, M. (2010) Overview of fluorescence protocols : Theory, basic concepts, and practice. Chap. 3, p. 31-74, in Suggett, D., Borowitzka, M.A. and Prasil, O. (eds.) Chlorophyll a fluorescence in aquatic science : Methods and applications. Springer, Berlin, Developments in Applied Phycology vol. 4, 323 p. pdf

  • 2008

  • Brown, C.A., Huot, Y., Werdell, P. J., Gentili, B., Claustre, H., (2008), The origin and global distribution of second order variability in satellite ocean color and its potential applications to algorithm development. Remote Sens. Environ. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2008.06.008 pdf
  • Claustre, H., Huot, Y., Obernosterer, I., Gentili, B., Tailliez, D., Lewis, M. (2008), Gross community production and metabolic balance in the South Pacific Gyre, using a non intrusive biooptical method. Biogeosciences, 5:463-474 pdf
  • Huot, Y., Morel, A., Twardowski, M.S., Stramski, D., Reynolds, R.A., (2008), Particle optical backscattering along a chlorophyll gradient in the upper layer of the eastern South Pacific Ocean. Biogeosciences. 5:495-507 pdf
  • Rodolfo-Metalpa, R., Huot, Y., Richard, C., Ferrier-Pagès, C., (2008), Photoacclimation of mediterranean zooxanthelae living in symbiosis with Cladocora caespitosa. J. of Exp. Biol. 211:1579-1586 pdf
  • Uitz, J., Huot, Y., Bruyant, F., Babin, M., and Claustre, H. (2008). Relating phytoplankton photophysiological properties to community structure on large scale. Limnol. Oceanogr., 53:614-630 pdf

  • 2007

  • Grob C., Ulloa, O., Claustre, H., Huot, Y., Alarcón, G., Marie, D. (2007). Contribution of picoplankton to the total particulate organic carbon (POC) concentration in the eastern South Pacific. Biogeosciences 4:837-852 pdf
  • Huot, Y., Babin, M., Bruyant, F., Grob, C., Twardowski, M. S., Claustre, H., (2007), Relationships between photosynthetic parameters and different proxies of phytoplankton biomass in the subtropical ocean. Biogeosciences 4:853-868 pdf
  • Huot, Y., Brown, C. A., and Cullen, J. J. (2007) Retrieval of phytoplankton biomass from simultaneous inversion of reflectance, the diffuse attenuation coefficient, and Sun-induced fluorescence in coastal waters. J. Geophys. Res., 112, C06013, doi:10.1029/2006JC003794. pdf
  • Matsuoka, A., Huot, Y., Shimida, K., Saitoh, S-I., Babin, M. (2007) Bio-optical characteristics in the Western Arctic Ocean: Implications for ocean color algorithms. Can. J. Remote sens. 33:503-518. pdf
  • Morel, A., Huot, Y., Gentili, B., Werdell, J. P., and Hooker, S. B., Franz, B. A. (2007) Examining the consistency of products derived from various ocean color sensors in open ocean (Case 1) waters in the perspective of a multi-sensor approach. Remote Sens. Environ. 111:69-88 pdf
  • Twardowski, M. S., Claustre, H., Freeman, S. A., Stramski, D., Huot, Y., (2007), Optical Backscattering Properties of the "clearest" natural waters. Biogeosciences, 4:1041-1058. pdf

  • 2005

  • Huot Y, Brown CA, and Cullen JJ. (2005). New algorithms for MODIS sun-induced chlorophyll fluorescence and a comparison with present data products. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods. pdf appendix1.pdf appendix2.pdf

  • 2004

  • Brown, C. A., Huot, Y., Purcell, M.J., Cullen, J.J., and Lewis, M.R. (2004) Mapping coastal optical and biogeochemical variability using an autonomous underwater vehicle and a new bio-optical inversion algorithm. Limnology and Oceanography: Methods 2: 262-281. pdf
  • Lehmann MK, Davis RF, Huot Y, and Cullen JJ. (2004) Spectrally-weighted transparency in models of water-column photosynthesis and photoinhibition by ultraviolet radiation. Marine Ecology Progress Series 269: 101-110. pdf

  • 2003

  • Borra EF,. Content R, Tremblay G, Daigle A, and Huot Y. (2003) Mechanical and thermal tests of the containers of liquid mirrors. Experimental astronomy 15: 147-169. pdf

  • 2001

  • Callieri C, Morabito G, Huot Y, Neale PJ, Litchman E (2001) Photosynthetic response of pico- and nanoplanktonic algae to UVB, UVA and PAR in a high mountain lake. Aquatic Sciences 63:286-293. pdf
  • Neale PJ, Litchman E, Sobrino C, Callieri C, Morabito G, Montecino V, Huot Y, Bossard P, Lehmann C, Steiner D. (2001) Quantifying the response of phytoplankton photosynthesis to ultraviolet radiation: Biological weighting functions versus in situ measurements in two Swiss lakes. Aquatic Sciences 63: 265-285. pdf
  • Neale PJ, Bossard P, Huot Y, Sommaruga R. (2001) Incident and in situ irradiances in Lakes Cadagno and Lucerne: A comparison of methods and models. Aquatic Sciences 63 :250-264. pdf

  • 2000

  • Huot Y, Jeffrey WH, Davis RF, Cullen JJ (2000) DNA damage in bacterioplankton: a model of damage by ultraviolet radiation and its repair as influenced by vertical mixing. Photochemistry and Photobiology 72 :62-74. pdf

  • 1997

  • Borra EF, Tremblay G, Huot Y, Gauvin J. (1997) Gallium liquid mirrors: Basic technology, optical-shop tests and observations. Publication of the astronomical society of the Pacific 109 :319-325. pdf




  • Huot, Y. and Babin, M. (2010) Overview of fluorescence protocols : Theory, basic concepts, and practice. Chap. 3, p. 31-74, in Suggett, D., Borowitzka, M.A. and Prasil, O. (eds.) Chlorophyll a fluorescence in aquatic science : Methods and applications. Springer, Berlin, Developments in Applied Phycology vol. 4, 323 p. pdf