Martin Fortier completed his Ph.D. in Biological Oceanography at Université Laval in 1999. From 1999 to 2003, he was the scientific coordinator of two large NSERC-funded Arctic research networks involving more than 120 leading experts in Arctic science from 10 Canadian universities, 4 federal departments, and 9 foreign countries. In 2002, Dr. Fortier was heavily involved in the implementation of the refit and modification of the CCGS Amundsen into a state-of the art research icebreaker. Dr. Fortier has since served as chief scientist on 6 expeditions onboard the CCGS Amundsen, including its inaugural voyage in 2003.
Dr. Fortier served as the Executive Director of the ArcticNet Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) from its inception in 2003 until the spring of 2016. As the world’s largest national Arctic research network, ArcticNet brings together over 1000 scientists and managers in the natural, human health and social sciences with their partners in Inuit organizations, northern communities, government and industry to help Canadians face the impacts and opportunities of climate change and globalization in the Arctic.
In 2012, he led the development of the Arctic Inspiration Prize (www.arcticinspirationprize.ca) together with the Prize’s founders. The $1 million CAD Prize is awarded annually to recognize and promote the extraordinary contribution made by northern-led teams in the gathering of Arctic knowledge and their plans to implement this knowledge into real world applications for the benefit of the Canadian Arctic and its Peoples.
In 2016, Dr. Fortier took over the position of Executive Director of Sentinel North and assistant to the vice-rector research and innovation at Université Laval. Funded at a level of $98 million over a 7-year period (2016-2023) through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund, Sentinel North brings together over 130 Université Laval researchers and their national and international partners in Arctic sciences, optic-photonics, microbiota, cardiometabolic health and brain health to help us monitor and prepare for changes in northern environments using state-of-the-art optical technologies and intervention strategies in the pursuit of sustainable health and development in the circumpolar North.
In recent years, Dr. Fortier he has given over 70 presentations in numerous high-level national and international science and policy conferences on topics such as climate change impacts on Arctic ecosystems, international research collaboration, industry-academia collaborations, Integrated Regional Impact Assessments, Arctic observing networks, Arctic shipping and Arctic security. He has also served as Chair of the organizing and scientific committees for all ArcticNet Annual Scientific Meetings since 2004 and for the international Arctic Change conferences in 2008 and 2014, attracting over 1300 participants from 25 countries.
Dr. Fortier currently serves on numerous national and international boards and advisory committees, including that of the Norwegian Arctic Frontiers Conference, ArcticNet, Amundsen Science, Arctrain CREATE, Sentinel North, POLAR, the Arctic Inspiration Prize and the Polar Medal.