I'm an associate professor of Ecology & Evolution at Toulouse 3 University (Evolution & Biological Diversity lab EDB). I aim at understanding the evolution of physiological and behavioral responses of wild birds and fishes to stressors (pollution, urbanization, parasites) in the context of global change. Here you can find some information about my research and teaching activities.
Maître de Conférences- Associate professor
Université de Toulouse
Laboratoire Evolution et Diversité Biologique EDB UMR5174, UPS CNRS IRD
Bat 4R1 bureau 24, 118 route de Narbonne
31062 Toulouse cedex 9, France
+33 (0)5 61 55 64 74
Keywords: Evolutionary Ecology, Host-parasites interactions, Ecoimmunology, Life-history strategies, Melanin-based coloration, Evolutionary Ecotoxicology
Main research topics:
- Evolution of physiological and behavioral responses to stressors
- Host-parasite interactions in birds and fishes
- Evolution of melanin-based coloration in vertebrates
ived a grant from Agence de l'Eau to launch the project! We focus on the effects of pollutants (pesticides and trace metals) on fish health at different biological levels, from molecules to the whole organism. We are testing whether some populations developed specific physiological or behavioral abilities to cope with water pollution, and how this can affect their responses to pathogens. We are using a combination of field and lab approaches on freshwater fishes (gudgeon, chub, brown trout). This is a collaborative project with several labs and colleagues. Jessica Côte (postdoc) and Quentin Petitjean (PhD candidate) just joined the team. Stay tuned for upcoming results! More info on this project here.
- PHYPAT (PI) (2016-2019): Evolution of physiological responses to pollution in wild gudgeons (Univ Toulouse EDB/Ecolab/SETE Moulis). Funding: AEAG
- ECODYN (co-PI) (2017-2018): Intraspecific variability of physiological and behavioral responses to multiple stressors (EDB/Ecolab) Funding: CNRS EC2CO
- AX (participant) (2016-2018): Biomarkers of health in brown trout from altered rivers (EDB/Ecolab/Fédé pêche) Funding:AEAG
- AARC (participant) (2013-2015): Coloration and adaptive responses to global changes in brown trout (Université de Toulouse EDB/Université d'Anglet/INRA St-Pée-sur-Nivelle, Pays Basque). Funding: AARC
One of my favorite field site in Pays Basque
- FRAIB (co-PI) (2015-2016): Complex phenotypes and intraspecific variability in freshwater fishes (EDB/SETE) financement FRAIB
- Fyssen (PI, 2013-2014): Transgenerational effects of parasites and oil pollution on behavior in Trinidadian guppies (Université de Toulouse EDB/McGill University, Montréal, Canada). Funding: Fyssen fondation.
- ATER project (2012): Effects of acanthocephalan parasites on gammarid behavior (CEREEP/UPMC/Université Versailles-St-Quentin)
- PhD project (2009-2012): Adaptations to parasites and trace metal pollution in pigeons (Université Pierre et Marie Curie EcoEvo/Université Paris-Ouest LECC/MNHN)
- Master/PhD project (2009-2010): Ecological immunology and maternal effects in pigeons (UPMC/CEREEP)
1. Alternative strategies and wild immunology
Individuals of the same species respond very differently to parasites, but the causes and consequences of such intra-specific diversity remain unclear. We investigate the costs and benefits of immunity in variable environments. Because the costs of mounting an immune response are tightly linked to environmental factors (such as resource availability or pollution), we study how exposure to multiple biotic and abiotic stressors interact to shape the evolutionary trajectories of wild populations.
2. Parental effects
I'm interested in how physiological and behavioral defenses against parasites and pollution are shaped across generations through parental investment. During my PhD I focused on the transmission of maternal antibodies and its effect on parasite resistance in pigeons. Our current studies on fishes aim at understanding how parental exposure to parasites and pollutants can affect the behavioral and physiological traits of their offspring through parental effects.
3. Evolution of melanin-based coloration
Many vertebrate species display a wonderful color diversity, but the biological significance of animal coloration is still unclear. Our work suggests that melanin-based coloration could be linked to individual strategies, with each morph being specialized in the exploitation of a particular microhabitat. For instance, darker pigeons seem better adapted to heavily urbanized and parasitized environments compared to paler ones. Our recent studies also suggest that differently colored fish (trout and gudgeon) respond differently to environmental stressors. We are now testing whether color variability in birds and fishes could reflect alternative niche use and whether more variable populations are better able to cope with environmental perturbations.
"Some pigeons are more equal than others". Artistic project by J Charriere
4. Adaptation to global change and urbanization
We aim at deciphering which key physiological and behavioral traits are involved in the responses of birds and fishes to human-induced perturbations (pollution and urbanization), and at understanding the evolutionary processes leading (or not) to local adaptation inhuman-altered environments (especially cities). The next step will be to assess their consequences for population persistence, hoping to provide useful knowledge and tools for managers.
Nice view of Montréal from McGill University- typical North American urban landscape!