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Laboratories and research groups

Ethnology and ethnolinguistics

Visual anthropology laboratory (LAV)

The visual anthropology laboratory (LAV) stocks a broad collection of ethnographic films, a collection of books and articles on visual anthropology and an audiovisual database, for researchers and students in the ANT3141 - Anthropologie visuelle and ANT3142 - Atelier en film ethnographique courses. It also provides digital equipment (video editing) for students in ANT3142.

The LAV works to foster national and international collaboration in the field of visual anthropology.

The laboratory is located in room C-3078 in the Lionel-Groulx Building.

Simona Bealcovschi, Visiting Researcher
514 343-6111, ext. 2151

Ethnology and ethnolinguistics laboratory

This space is now devoted to processing and analyzing speech, using specific hardware, training and a dialogue space; as such it will bring together researchers analyzing all aspects of speech. Starting in fall 2014, the hardware used in the laboratory was renewed and updated to as to provide the tools required for processing textual, audio and audiovisual data.

In addition, in 2015, the laboratory will become a training facility. Short sessions on producing, archiving and transcribing recordings will be offered, as well as on creating textual databases (Toolbox), archiving and analyzing audiovisual files (Stories matter), and writing theses and dissertations and various intermediate documents (advanced options in MS Word) and on bibliographic management software (Zotero).

Ingrid Hall, Assistant Professor

Laboratory for research on intercultural relations (LABRRI)

The laboratory for research on intercultural relations at the Université de Montréal is a space for research, teaching and expertise in the study and practice of intercultural dynamics. Given the impossibility of clearly defining the term "intercultural" and comfortably using the intercultural relations approach, the LABRRI draws on recent advances in the field of qualitative research. It attempts to empirically understand the actual daily challenges of intercultural relations, especially in the growing context of the cultural pluralism of contemporary societies.

The laboratory's program, combining fundamental and applied research, focuses in particular on the engagement of the different social players involved. It does the same with the development of intercultural competencies that transform individuals and public, private, community and international co-operation institutions. Through its research, teaching and expertise, the LABRRI is looking to contribute to what we already dare to term an intercultural current in the humanities.

Laboratory head

Bob White, Professor



Archaeology and zooarchaeology analysis laboratory

The laboratory works both on conserving artifacts and teaching prehistoric archaeology and zooarchaeology.


The laboratory houses various collections of artifacts from Quebec, borrowed by the Department's archaeologists for research and teaching purposes. It also holds an extensive zooarchaeology reference collection.


The laboratory is used for workshops for 2 courses:

Workshops for ANT2210 introduce some 30 students per year to laboratory work. They are an excellent preparation for the prehistoric archaeology field school internships.

Lastly, this laboratory is used by zooarchaeologists attached to the Osthéothèque de Montréal (see the fact sheet below) for the Department's teaching and research in this field.

The archaeology and zooarchaeology analysis laboratory is located in room C-3105 of the Lionel-Groulx Building.

Laboratory heads
Claude Chapdelaine, Professor
Pierre Corbeil, Archaeology professional

Head of the Ostéothèque
Claire Saint-Germain, Lecturer

Historical archaeology laboratory

The historical archaeology laboratory gives master's and PhD students in historical and maritime archaeology an opportunity to study collections for purposes of their theses or dissertations. It is equipped with microscopes and specialized image-processing, dendrochronology, sonar data analysis and marine magnetometric (Hypack Max) software.

The dendrochronology instruments are used to establish references for Eastern cedar and for dating heritage buildings in the St. Lawrence Valley, on the Île d'Orléans and upstream of Montreal Island.

The historical and maritime archaeology laboratories were created thanks to funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Pointe-à-Callière Museum. Their advanced equipment allows us to collaborate on research with other institutions in Quebec and throughout Canada.

Research in connection with digs conducted as part of the historical archaeology field school internship is carried out in this laboratory, located in room C-3096 in the Lionel-Groulx Building.

See the Internships section of the site for information on the historical archaeology field school.

Learn more about the historical dendrochronology research group (GRDH) at the UdeM.

Laboratory heads 

Brad Loewen, Professor
Christian Bélanger, System Administrator

Maritime archaeology laboratory

Master's and PhD students in historical and maritime archaeology have specially equipped laboratories available for their studies.

The maritime archaeology laboratory, located in the Roger-Gaudry Building, has all the instruments required for archaeodendrochronology, including dbh tapes, TSAP-Win software, binoculars, a microscope and sampling tools. It is the hub of the historical dendrochronology research group'sactivities.

The laboratory's main role is to study underwater archaeological sites. In addition to tanks and storage for holding and handling archaeological wood, the laboratory has a full range of instruments for underwater scanning and research:

  • Side scan sonar (Edgetech 272)
  • Classic sonar (sector scan, Kongsberg Mesotech MS-1000)
  • Echo sounder (Imagenex DF-1030)
  • Marine magnetometer (Geometrics G-881)
  • Cameras and photography equipment (Nikon, Amphibico)
  • Robot (ROV, Video Ray)
  • Tanks, BCDs, regulators, motor pumps, compressor

The laboratory has a 9-metre boat, the Côte-des-Neiges, specially designed for archaeology research. It was built in 2005 by Fab-Tech of Newfoundland and has a Raymarine navigation system. It is moored at the Saint-Lambert Yacht Club, 20 minutes away from the university.

The maritime archaeology laboratory has conducted a number of projects over the years:

  • Studying lake and river levels in Quebec since the Holocene.
  • Underwater excavations at the Petit-Mécatina Basque fishing station on the Lower North Shore.
  • Studying shipwrecks from the French Regime in the St. Lawrence Estuary.

The historical and maritime archaeology laboratories were created thanks to funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Pointe-à-Callière Museum. Their advanced equipment allows us to collaborate on research with other institutions in Quebec and throughout Canada.

Laboratory head

Brad Loewen, Professor

Mesoamerican archaeology laboratory

The Mesoamerican archaeology laboratory is used for studying artifacts and reconnaissance maps and analyzing images and materials from Mesoamerican sites. The laboratory is to be equipped for GIS technology and have an analytical database, a portable X-ray fluorescence instrument for chemical analysis of artifacts, and tools for analyzing ceramics and an experimental approach for studying their production. It is also used for various courses and seminars.

Laboratory Head
Christina Halperin, Assistant Professor 
Lionel-Groulx Building, Room C-3050

Prehistoric archaeology laboratory

This laboratory houses artifact collections from Quebec and elsewhere, mainly borrowed from the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications. Graduate students do their research paper or thesis work here.

Part of the collections of the prehistoric archaeology field school are stored here temporarily to give students easy access to them. The laboratory is in room C-3088 in the Lionel-Groulx Building.

Laboratory head
Claude Chapdelaine, Professor

Non-destructive chemical testing laboratory

This laboratory is housed by the Department of Chemistry, in room A-641 in the Roger-Gaudry Building. Researchers use a PANalytical Epsilon 5 X-ray fluorescence instrument to analyze a variety of archaeological materials (rock, ceramics, glass, metals, soil and bones), without destroying them. This is a first in Canada.

The Epsilon 5 instrument can also be used to automatically analyze dozens of samples sequentially, targeting major and minor elements, traces and rare earth elements.

The laboratory has dozens of internationally certified calibration devices and a press for making seals for instrument calibration and the testing of the precision, accuracy and reproducibility of analytical results.

Laboratory heads

Adrian L. Burke, Professor, archaeologist

Prehistoric archaeology field school laboratory

This laboratory houses the various collections gathered in the Lac Mégantic region by the prehistoric archaeology field school. It also keeps all documentation produced in conjunction with research associated with the school.

These vitally important collections, not only for Quebec (the only Early Paleo-Indian collection) but also for all of Northeastern North America, are available for theses and research and other projects. They include thousands of stone, ceramic and bone objects, stored in archival boxes or drawers. Thousands of record cards, hundreds of excavation notebooks, maps, plans, drawings and photographs complete these collections. Some of the documentation has been digitized.

The laboratory houses various documentary collections on anthropology in general, prehistoric Quebec and various specific subjects, including the Paleo-Indian period and the Abenakis, who lived in the Lac Mégantic region in the late prehistoric period. The laboratory is in room C-3008 in the Lionel-Groulx Building.

Laboratory heads

Claude Chapdelaine, Professor 
Pierre Corbeil, archaeology professional

Archaeozoology laboratory

The archaeozoology laboratory, in room C-3045 in the Lionel-Groulx Building, is used by researchers and students doing research projects in this field. The laboratory houses a large osteology collection, the Pierrard-Bissaillon Collection, which includes over 1,000 specimens of terrestrial and marine vertebrates. The reference collection, an invaluable tool for archaeozoological research, is also used for undergraduate and graduate teaching. Consult the page for the ANT2270 - Introduction à la zooarchéologie course for more information.

The laboratory has many connections that allow archaeozoology students to organize research internships and take part in university exchanges. Under an agreement between the Department of Anthropology and the Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, in Paris, a number of UdeM students have done internships at the Institut de préhistoire humaine, under the supervision of Ms. Patou-Mathis.

The collection may be consulted with the approval of the laboratory head, Professor Ariane Burke.

Useful archaeozoology links

Laboratory head

Ariane Burke, Professor

Quebec prehistory laboratory

This laboratory, in room C-3103 in the Lionel-Groulx Building, holds Quebec archaeology collections often being studied, in connection with master's and doctoral student projects and those of Professor Adrian L. Burke on prehistoric Quebec.

The collections include objects from the Lower St. Lawrence, the Gaspé Peninsula, Abitibi, the Eastern Townships and other areas.

The laboratory also houses the Centre de référence lithique du Québec (CRLQ). This reference centre, founded by Yvon Codère, contains over 500 geological samples of stones used in the past for tool making in Northeastern North America. This collection is made available to the archaeology community for consultation by appointment.

The laboratory also has a Hund-Wetzlar petrographic microscope and a reference collection of petrographic thin sections, the main source of primary lithic material.

Laboratory head

Adrian L. Burke, Professor

Sample preparation laboratory

This "clean" laboratory, in room C-3081 in the Lionel-Groulx Building, is used for preparing samples for physicochemical analysis. It has a planetary mill, mixers and an oven. Rocks and other geological samples are ground down and compressed into pellets with a hydraulic press.

Laboratory head

Adrian L. Burke, Professor

Ostéothèque de Montréal zooarchaeology laboratory

The Ostéothèque de Montréal is a non-profit organization housed by the Department of Anthropology. It has over 700 disarticulated skeletons of Quebec mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish used in teaching and research in the Northeastern North American context.

The Ostéothèque shares knowledge and expertise in the fields of zooarchaeology, comparative anatomy, zootechnics, diet and subsistence strategies.

Students enrolled in ANT3270 (Méthodes d'analyse en zooarchéologie) have access to the laboratory during the course. It is located in rooms C-3105 and C-3034 in the Lionel-Groulx Building.

For further information on the Ostéothèque de Montréal, see the website of the Ministère de la Culture et des Communications du Québec.

Director of the Ostéothèque de Montréal 

Michelle Courtemanche

Laboratory and collection head
Claire St-Germain
514 343-7518

Historical dendrochronology research group

The historical dendrochronology research group is a non-profit organization housed in the UdeM Department of Anthropology. It is made up of researchers interested in advancing dendrochronology and the dating of historic and prehistoric sites in Quebec.

The group's objectives are as follows:

  • Finding, sampling and studying early structures and archaeological sites.
  • Constructing dendrochronological reference curves.
  • Helping to train and hire students and researchers.
  • Providing free and open access to data acquired.


Hominid Dispersals Research Group (HDRG)

The Hominid Dispersals Research Group (HDRG) is made up of researchers from the Université de Montréal and McGill University. The team was established in 2005 with funding from the Fonds de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture (FQRSC) for the purpose of exploring the evolutionary basis for hominid dispersals.

One of its goals is to explore the uses of ecological modelling as a means of testing hypotheses related to dispersal events and modelling the evolutionary mechanisms that lie behind these events. Its primary objective is to establish which modeling tools are most suitable for the study of prehistoric population movements and it is examining the uses of correlative, GIS-based models; simulations; and mixed models.

Biological anthropology

Human bioarchaeology laboratory

The human bioarchaeology laboratory contains a number of osteology collections borrowed from a variety of organizations (the city of Montreal, Parks Canada, etc.), used for different analyses (age, sex, diet, pathologies, morphology, variations, origins). They are used for many master's and doctoral research projects and for bioarchaeology teaching purposes, for presenting concrete case studies (ANT3470ANT6470ANT3891).

Dental and bone pathologies are documented on site macroscopically and it will soon be possible to do so with X-rays thanks to the creation of a CFI laboratory. Analyses are conducted in part thanks to a partnership with Professor Anne-Marie Grimoud of the Université de Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier. The France-Canada Research Fund (FCRF, 2012-2014) has made it possible to expand the study of historical Euro-Quebec populations by this laboratory to other potentially ancestral French populations (Caen).

The laboratory, located in rooms C-3044 and C-3042 in the Lionel-Groulx Building, is also a hub for the various students invested in studying these collections. The collections are sampled for different analyses to be conducted in outside laboratories, including those of Geotop in Montreal (UQAM, professors R. Stevenson and J.-F. Hélie), which focuses on paleochemical aspects (diet, place of residence).

Laboratory head

Isabelle Ribot, Associate Professor

Paleoanthropology and osteology laboratory

The Department of Anthropology has a human paleontology and osteology laboratory, a valuable resource for teaching and research.

The laboratory contains 500 cranial and postcranial casts (copies) from various specimens of primates and fossil hominids, dating from the Eocene to the present. It also houses a collection of over 85 recent primate skulls (mostly macaques) and a few complete skeletons, including from chimpanzees.

The laboratory also has a collection of human skeletons, including 45 skulls and recent postcranial bones, as well as a few other specimens from different parts of the world.

The Department of Anthropology offers 2 courses (ANT2430 - La paléontologie humaine and ANT2470 - Méthodes d'ostéologie humaine) that are taught in the laboratory. This allows students to become familiar with some aspects of the collection. The laboratory is in rooms C-3035 and C-3041 in the Lionel-Groulx Building.

Laboratory head

Michelle Drapeau, Associate Professor

Paleoanthropology laboratory

This laboratory has a few human archaeological collections from Quebec, including a dozen European-born individuals dating approximately from the 18th century, and all the primates in the Piérard and Bisaillon zoological collection. It also includes a number of pieces of portable equipment for studying bone specimens (NextEngine and Microscribe 3D surface scanners, vernier scales, etc.) and various types of software used for analyzing this 3D data. The laboratory is in room C-3041 in the Lionel-Groulx Building.

Laboratory head

Michelle Drapeau, Associate Professor

Biological anthropology and archaeology

Ecomorphology and paleoanthropology laboratory

This laboratory was designed for doing ecomorphological analysis. Ecomorphology explores the complex relationship between a species' morphology, its ecological, social and genetic context, its adaptations and its mobility. This laboratory allows us to explore the relationships between ecology (e.g., the degree of mobility, nutrition) and bone and tooth morphology, using a comparative approach for terrestrial vertebrates (Burke), primates and fossil hominids (Drapeau) and humans (Ribot).

We offer users training on and the use of: Olympus DSX-100 macroscope (making 3D images; osteometry); Olympus BX043 Turboscan microscope (reading histological slides at very high resolution); pQCT scanner (quantifying bone density; 3D high-definition images); X-rays; 3D NextEngine scanners).

We also offer the possibility of making and analyzing (under polarized light) thin sections of mineralized tissues.

For further information, consult the laboratory's website.

Laboratory head

Ariane Burke, Professor

Laboratory co-heads
Michelle Drapeau, Associate Professor
Isabelle Ribot, Associate Professor