Research topics

My research work focuses on the remote sensing of natural plant ecosystems such as forests and wetlands. My main focus is the development of tools for the analysis of 3D data from terrestrial LiDAR in the context of forest inventories (LiDAR is particularly well suited to measure parameters that are otherwise difficult to obtain). I am also looking to improve the ability to measure forest cover with airborne LiDAR and other remote sensing tools such as optical/infrared satellite images of all spatial resolutions. Finally, I spend some time on studies on ecosystem conservation issues and the use of geomatics tools for watershed management.


Current projects

Assessment, modelling and extraction of structural parameters of forest stands using a terrestrial LiDAR (3D): assessment of stem, crown, leaf area and canopy element distribution parameters
Improvement of forest attribute mapping methods using LiDAR data (land, drone and airborne) and satellite images
Mapping, measuring and modelling of forest and tree structural attributes, such as wood fibre attributes, leaf area index, biomass, wood volume, stem scrolling, etc.
Use of geomatics tools for watershed or recreational water management
Mapping of conservation areas



  • Blanchette, D., Fournier, R.A., Luther, J.E., Côté, J.-F. (2015). Predicting wood fiber attributes using local-scale metrics from terrestrial LiDAR data: A case study of Newfoundland conifer species. Forest Ecology and Management, 347 pp. 116 – 129. Bouvier, M., Durrieu, S., Fournier, R.A., Renaud, J.-P. (2015) Generalizing predictive models of forest inventory attributes using an area-based approach with airborne LiDAR data, Remote Sensing of Environment , 156 pp. 322 – 334.
  • He, J., Moffette, F., Fournier, R., Revéret, J.-P., Théau, J., Dupras, J., Boyer, J.-P., Varin, M. (2015). Meta-analysis for the transfer of economic benefits of ecosystem services provided by wetlands within two watersheds in Quebec, Canada. Wetlands Ecology and Management, 23 ( 4 ) pp. 707 – 725.
  • Kotchi, S.O., Brazeau, S., Turgeon, P., Pelcat, Y., Legare, J., Lavigne, M.-P., Essono, F.N., Fournier, R.A., Michel, P. (2015). Evaluation of Earth Observation Systems for Estimating Environmental Determinants of Microbial Contamination in Recreational Waters. EEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, 8 ( 7 ) , art. no. 7112079 , pp. 3730 – 3741.
  • Théau, J., Bernier A., Fournier, R. (2015) An evaluation framework based on sustainability-related indicators for the comparison of conceptual approaches for ecological networks. Ecological indicators 52: 444-457.


  • Béland, M., Baldocchi, D.D., Widlowski, J.-L., Fournier, R.A., Verstraete, M.M. (2014) On seeing the wood from the leaves and the role of voxel size in determining leaf area distribution of forests with terrestrial LiDAR, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol. 184, p. 82-97.
  • Béland, M., Widlowski, J.-L., Fournier, R.A. (2014) A model for deriving voxel-level tree leaf area density estimates from ground-based LiDAR, Environmental Modelling and Software, vol 51, p. 184-189.
  • Leblanc, S.G. and R.A. Fournier (2014) Hemispherical photography simulations with an architectural model to assess retrieval of leaf area index. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 194: 64-76.
  • Lessard, E., R.A. Fournier, J.E. Luther, M.J. Mazerolle, O.R. van Lier. (2014) Modeling wood fiber attributes using forest inventory and environmental data for Newfoundland’s boreal forest. Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 313, p. 307–318.


  • Côté, J.-F., Fournier, R.A., Luther, J.E. (2013) Validation of L-Architect model for balsam fir and black spruce trees with structural measurements, Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 39 ( SUPPL.1 ) pp. S41 – S59.
  • Hopkinson, C., Chasmer, L., Colville, D., Fournier, R.A., Hall, R.J., Luther, J.E., Milne, T., Petrone, R.M., St-Onge, B. (2013) Moving toward consistent ALS monitoring of forest attributes across Canada: A consortium approach.
  • Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 79 (2) pp. 159-173. Leboeuf, A., Fournier, R.A. (2013) Estimating stand attributes of boreal forests using digital aerial photography and a shadow fraction method, Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 39 ( 3 ) pp. 217 – 231.
  • Luther, J., R. Skinner, R.A. Fournier et al. (2013) Predicting wood quantity and quality attributes of balsam fir and black spruce using airborne laser scanner data. Forestry, November, p. 1-14.
  • Mouissa, H., Fournier, R.A. (2013) Mapping stand volumes of Pinus halepensis Mill in a semi-arid region using satellite imagery of the Sénalba Chergui forest in north-central Algeria, Journal of Arid Environments, vol. 92, p. 63-75.
  • Nock, C.A., D. Greene, S. Delagrange, M. Follett, R.A. Fournier and al. (2013) In Situ Quantification of Experimental Ice Accretion on Tree Crowns Using Terrestrial Laser Scanning. Plos One, May, vol. 8, no 5, e64865.
  • Thiffault, N., Fenton, N.J., Munson, A.D., Hébert, F., Fournier, R.A., Valeria, O., Bradley, R.L., Bergeron, Y., Grondin, P., Paré, D., Joanisse, G. (2013) Managing understory vegetation for maintaining productivity in black spruce forests: A synthesis within a multi-scale research model, Forest , 4 ( 3 ) pp. 613 – 631.pdf


  • Allard, M., Fournier, R.A., Grenier, M., Lefebvre, J., Giroux, J.-F. (2012) Forty years of change in the bulrush marshes of the St. Lawrence Estuary and the impact of the Greater Snow Goose, Wetlands, 32 (6) pp. 1175 – 1188.
  • Côté, J.-F., Fournier, R.A., Frazer, G.W., Niemann, K.O. (2012) A fine-scale architectural model of trees to enhance LiDAR-derived measurements of forest canopy structure, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Volumes 166–167, 15 December 2012, pages 72-85, ISSN 0168-1923, 10.1016/j.agrformet.2012.06.007. Mora2012
  • Leboeuf, A., Fournier, R.A., Luther, J.E., Beaudoin, A., Guindon, L. (2012) Forest attribute estimation of northeastern Canadian forests using QuickBird imagery and a shadow fraction method. Forest Ecology and Management, 266 pp. 66-74. Leboeuf_etal_2012_FEM
  • Luther, J.E., Fournier, R.A., Houle, M., Leboeuf, A. and Piercey, D.E. (2012) Application of shadow fraction models for estimating attributes of northern boreal forests. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 42(9):1750-1757. Mora2012 Mora, B.,
  • R. A. Fournier, and S. Foucher. (2012) Mapping the health of mature deciduous forest stands by fusing multisource geospatial data with Dempster’s combination rule. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 33:4, 1139-1163. Mora2012


  • Béland, M., Widlowski, J.-L., Fournier, R.A., Côté, J.-F., Verstraete, M.M. (2011) Estimating leaf area distribution in savanna trees from terrestrial LiDAR measurements. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 151 (9) pp. 1252-1266.
  • Côté, J.-F., Fournier, R.A. and Égli, R. (2011) An architectural model of trees to estimate forest structural attributes using terrestrial LiDAR. Environmental Modelling and Software, Vol. 26, Issue 6, pp. 761-777, DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2010.12.008.
  • Mora, B., R.A. Fournier, and S. Foucher (2011) Application of evidential reasoning to improve the mapping of regenerating forest stands. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, Vol. 13, Issue 3, pp. 458-467, doi:10.1016/j.jag.2010.10.001.


  • Côté, J.-F., J.-L. Widlowski, R.A. Fournier, and M.M. Verstraete (2009) The structural and radiative consistency of three-dimensional tree reconstructions from terrestrial LiDAR. Remote Sensing of the Environment, 113: 1067-1081.
  • Van Lier, O.R., R.A. Fournier, R.L. Bradley and N. Thiffault (2009). A multi-resolution satellite imagery approach for large area mapping of ericaceous shrubs in Northern Quebec, Canada. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, 11(5): 334-343.


  • St-Onge, B., C. Vega, R.A. Fournier, and Y. Hu, (2008). Mapping canopy height using a combination of digital stereo-photogrammetry and lidar. International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 29, No.11, 3343-3364, doi: 10.1080/01431160701469040.
  • Wulder, M. A., J. C. White, R. A. Fournier, J. E. Luther and S. Magnussen (2008). Spatially Explicit Large Area Biomass Estimation: Three Approaches Using Forest Inventory and Remotely Sensed Imagery in a GIS. Sensors 2008, 8, p. 529-560.


  • Fournier, R.A., M. Grenier, A. Lavoie, R. Hélie (2007). Towards a strategy to implement the Canadian Wetland Inventory using satellite remote sensing. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 33(Suppl. 1), p. S1-S16.
  • Grenier, M., A.-M. Demers, S. Labrecque, M. Benoit, M., R.A. Fournier, and B. Drolet (2007). An object-based method to map wetland using RADARSAT-1 and Landsat-ETM images: test case on two sites in Québec, Canada. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, 33 (Suppl.1), p. S28-S45.
  • Leboeuf, A., A. Beaudoin, R.A. Fournier, L. Guindon, J.E. Luther and M.-C. Lambert (2007). A Shadow fraction method for mapping biomass of Northern boreal black spruce forest using QuickBird imagery, Remote Sensing of Environment, vol. 110, p. 488-500.


  • Labrecque, S., Fournier, R. A., Luther, J. E., Piercey, D. E. (2006). “A comparison of four methods to map forest biomass from Landsat-TM and inventory data in western Newfoundland”. Forest Ecology and Management, vol. 226, p. 129-144, doi : 10.1016/j.foreco.2006.01.030.
  • Luther, J.E., Fournier, R.A., D.E. Piercey, L. Guindon, and R.J. Hall (2006) “Biomass mapping using forest type and structure derived from Landsat TM imagery”. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation, vol. 8, no 3, p. 173-187.


  • Thiffault, N., Munson, A., Fournier, R., Bradley, R. (2005). « La relation éricacées – conifères. Bonheur d’oppression? » Le Naturaliste canadien, vol. 129, no 2 – Été 2005, p. 57-61.


  • Fournier, R.A., J.E. Luther, L. Guindon, M.-C. Lambert, D. Piercey, R.J. Hall and M.A. Wulder.” Mapping aboveground tree biomass at the stand level from inventory information : test cases in Newfoundland and Quebec” Canadian Journal of Forest Research, no 33, p. 1846-1863.
  • Walter, J.M.N., R.A. Fournier, K. Soudani, E. Meyer (2003). “Integrating clumping effects in forest canopy structure: an assessment through hemispherical photographs”. Journal canadien de télédétection, vol. 29, no 3, p. 388-410. pdf


  • Fournier, R. A. (2001). “Global and Regional Vegetation Fire Monitoring from Space: Planning a Coordinated International Effort (by F.J. Ahern, J. G. Goldmanner, C.O. Justice)”. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing, vol. 27, no 6, Dec, 2001. p. 698. Book Review.
  • Frazer, G. W., R. A. Fournier, J. A. Trofymow and R. J. Hall (2001). “A comparison of digital and film fisheye photography for analysis of forest canopy structure and gap light transmission”. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, Vol. 109, Issue 4, p. 249-263, doi:10.1016/S0168-1923(01)00274-X. pdf


  • Fournier, R. A., P. M. Rich and R. Landry (1997). “Hierarchical characterization of canopy architecture for boreal forest”. Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 102, No. D24, pp. 29,445-29,454, doi:10.1029/96JD03879.



Fournier, R.A., D. Mailly, J.-M.N. Walter, and I.G.C. Jonckheere (2011) Acquiring hemispherical photographs in forest environments: from planning to archiving photographs. In: Hemispherical photography for forest science: theory, methods, and applications. Eds.

Fournier R.A and R. Hall. Kluwer. Frazer G.W., R.A. Fournier, S.G. Leblanc, and J.-M.N. Walter (2011) Measurement of element clumping for spatially heterogeneous forest using hemispherical photography. In: Hemispherical photography for forest science: theory, methods, and applications. Eds.

Fournier R.A and R. Hall. Kluwer. Leblanc, S.G. and R.A. Fournier (2011) Measurement of forest structure with hemispherical photography, In: Hemispherical photography for forest science: theory, methods, and applications. Eds. Fournier R.A and R. Hall. Kluwer.


Mora B., R.A. Fournier and S. Foucher (2009) Comparative performance between Free DSm model and the Dempster-Shafer Theory to map regenerating forest stands, In Smarandache F. and J. Dezert (Editors), Advances and Applications of DSmT for Information Fusion (Collected Works), American Research Press, Rehoboth, Chapter 21, p. 529-547.


Fournier R. A.; Mailly, D.; Walter, J.-M. N. and Soudani, K. (2003). “Indirect measurement of forest structure from in situ optical sensors”. In: Methods and applications for remote sensing of forests: Concepts and case studies, Wulder M. and S. Franklin (Eds). Avril 2003, p. 77-113.