Damase Khasa was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where in 1980 he earned a Bachelor of Science in Biological Chemistry at the University of Kinshasa. He successively earned a Bachelor of Science (1984) in forest engineering and a Master of Science (1987) at Université Laval in Quebec (Canada), carrying out the pioneering work in the DRC (formerly Zaire) on plant symbioses and their use in tropical environments.
In 1993, he completed a Ph.D. at Université Laval in Quebec and conducted pioneering work on the genetics of acacias. In 1995, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in molecular genetics of tree populations at the University of Alberta. He has taught at the University of Alberta as a Research Assistant Professor, and since 2001 has taught at Université Laval, where he has served as Director of the Master’s program in agroforestry since 2004 and a Full Professor since 2011.
He has also served as Adjunct Professor at the University of Alberta since 2011 and Visiting Professor at the University Mahajanga in Madagascar and the University of Kinshasa in the DRC since 2005. His current research interests are in the areas of integrative ecology of plant symbioses and their use in agroforestry, phytoremediation, and land reclamation; molecular ecology and environmental genomics; and biology of invasive plants.
Since 2011, he has supervised or co-supervised 89 highly qualified personnel (HQP) at the undergraduate (24), Master’s (23), Doctoral (22), Postdoctoral (9), and other (11) levels from 21 countries on four continents: Africa (South Africa, Benin, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Kenya, Central African Republic, DR Congo, Senegal), the Americas and the Caribbean (Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Haiti, Mexico), Asia (India, Indonesia), Europe (Germany, Belgium, France, Romania, Czech Republic).
He is full member of the Centre for Forest Research, the Institute for Integrative Biology and Systems, and is the Canada Research Chair in Forest and Environmental Genomics. He has co-authored over 300 publications, including refereed papers, books, book chapters, communications, and reports (2,316 times cited, h-index: 28 in Google Scholar, Jan 29, 2018). He is the winner of the 2011 International Forestry Achievement award – Recognition of unique and outstanding contributions or achievements in international forestry from the Canadian Institute of Forestry and of the 2007 Honours Award plaque from the Centre RIRE and Quebec Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities for his contribution to the development of Quebec society
Damase serves as Theme Lead, Integrated Water Management for the Network Centre of Excellence, IC-IMPACTS, which funds collaborative research between India and Canada.