The 29th of May 2017, Mebarek Lamara, Ph.D. candidate in forest sciences at Univ. Laval and member of the Canada Research Chair in Forest Genomics, successfully presented his thesis entitled “Genetic architecture of traits related to wood, growth and spruce budworm resistance in white spruce”. Mebarek’s work has shown that a large number of genes were genetically associated to growth and wood traits, but that these genes were connected to each other through expression networks shown for the first time in conifers. Less genes were found genetically associated to spruce budworm resistance traits such as picein or piceol, but they collectively explained a large part of the observed trait variation. These results should translate into applications such as the monitoring of natural genetic diversity of adaptive value. The evaluation committee consisted of Jean Bousquet, research director (Canada Research Chair in Forest Genomics, Univ. Laval), John Mackay, research co-director (Dept. of Plant Sciences, Univ. of Oxford), Christophe Plomion, external reviewer (Research Director at INRA of Bordeaux), Martin Perron, external reviewer (Direction de la recherche, Quebec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks), and Jean Beaulieu, internal reviewer (Chair in Forest Genomics, Univ. Laval). The defense was chaired by Alexis Achim, Director of the Graduate Program in Forest Sciences. Congratulations Mebarek!