University of Western Ontario (Canada)
Marc-André Lachance obtained his PhD in Microbiology at the University of California, Davis, under Herman Phaff’s mentorship. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, where he strayed from his main path to work on the molecular systematics of cyanobacteria, he joined the University of Western Ontario, where he began his exploration of yeast biodiversity. Lifelong collaborations with Herman Phaff and Tom Starmer led him first to study yeasts from necrotic cacti of the Caribbean Islands, the Sonoran Desert, Hawaii, Argentina, and Australia. His interest gradually shifted to the yeast community of flower beetles and in particular the large-spored Metschnikowia species, of which he discovered 22 species. These studies were enhanced by collaborations with Carlos Rosa and other colleagues, not to neglect the important field contributions made by the late Jane Bowles, his field partner of 34 years. Noteworthy are studies of spontaneous Tequila fermentations in Mexico, as well as natural yeast communities of Brazil, Costa Rica, some South Pacific islands, or Malaysia. More recently, his collecting range has vicariously extended to Africa, in partnership with several colleagues, but in particular, members of Carlos Herrera’s research team. Lachance has served as Editor and Publisher of the Yeast Newsletter since 1988 and Associate Editor for the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology since 2001. He is a passionate and celebrated teacher. His classroom activities have covered a broad array of topics, from microbiology to mycology, genetics, ecology, evolutionary genetics, and the theory and application of systematics.