Lennoxville Pollen Monitoring

 

The Lennoxville Pollen Monitoring project is tracking daily allergenic pollen concentrations in Sherbrooke since 2006. Our sampler operates between the end of March/beginning of April (depending on the amount of snow) and the first solid frost (usually the end of September). The goal is entirely scientific (we have no commercial interests)

 

Pollen Types
morning
afternoon
evening
night
maplemediumhighlowlow
birchmediummediumlowlow

 

Why monitor pollen and spores?

For individuals affected by seasonal allergic rhinitis (also called hay fever), pollen forecasts can be used to self-identify which pollen types they are allergic to, and to reduce exposure to those pollen types.

While our web site will not provide pollen forecasts this year, the data gathered will be used to create a pollen calendar for downtown Sherbrooke and will allow us to do make our own pollen forecasts next year. For now, visitors can nevertheless refer to the pollen calendar for the borough of Lennoxville, built on data from a previous project (that was funded by The Eastern Townships Research Center).

 

Pollen calendar for the borough of Lennoxville

 

Bishop's University Pollen Calendar

 

This pollen calendar is based on data collected at Bishop’s University between 2006 and 2008 and at Université de Sherbrooke in 2009. Only pollen types that are the most abundant in the air are included in this calendar (they are produced by anemophilous plants). The beginning and end of pollen season varies from year to year with climatic conditions (grey shading in the table).

Reference: Levac, E., Stretch, V., Sandercombe, S., Ashley, A., 2011. A pollen calendar for the main allergenic pollen types in the borough of Lennoxville (Sherbrooke), Quebec. Journal of Eastern Townships Studies, vol. 37, pages 43-62.

 

Inquiries about the Sherbrooke Aerobiologic Surveillance project can be directed to:

Dr. Elisabeth Levac

elevac@ubishops.ca

 

This project is made possible thanks to funding and support from the Senate Research Committee and the Faculty of Social Studies. We thank Dr. Lorne Nelson for allowing us to install the pollen sampler on the roof beside his observatory. We also thank the Musée de la Nature et des Sciences de Sherbrooke for its support and for providing roof access in 2012 during renovations at Bishop`s.

http://www.naturesciences.qc.ca/

Reseach

The Lennoxville Pollen Monitoring Project has been gathering daily pollen data since 2006. An interesting project for an honours student would be to update the pollen calendar.

Numerous years of data are needed to detect trends and to better understand factors controlling pollen concentrations (temperature, weather conditions etc). The long-term goal is to make forecasts that are locally valid and help allergy sufferers to plan their outdoor activities and self identify what is responsible for their allergy symptoms.

Potential projects for graduate students or honours students

How does weather control airborne pollen concentrations? In other words, how can we better predict daily/hourly pollen concentrations?

How are climatic conditions from the previous months/year affecting the timing and duration of the pollen season?

Pollen Sampler, Solar Panel and Weather Station

Photo showing the pollen sampler, solar panel, and weather station on the roof of the Musée de la Nature et des Sciences de Sherbrooke (April 2012).

Red Maple in full bloom

Red Maple in full bloom, Sherbrooke April 2012.