Evolution, Ecologie et Paléontologie
( Evo-Eco-Paléo )

Unité Mixte de Recherche UMR 8198

Species interactions and comparative immunology group

Permanent faculty & staff:

Coordinator: Aurélie Tasiemski (MCF-HDR)
Virginie Cuvillier (MCF)
François Massol (CR CNRS-HDR)
Céline Wichlacz (AI CNRS)
Laurence Debacker (ADT Lille 1)

Students & post-docs:

Clémentine Bernier : PhD student (2016-2019; advisors: V. Cuvillier & F. Massol)
Natasha de Manincor : PhD student (2015-2018; advisors: F. Massol & M. Dufaÿ; very active participation of N. Hautekèete & Y. Piquot)
Chloé Gonzalez : PhD student (2016-2019; advisors: A. Tasiemski & D. Zeppilli, IFREMER Le Plouzané)
Claire Papot : PhD student (2013-2016; advisors: A. Tasiemski & D. Jollivet, CNRS Roscoff)

Group website: http://spici.weebly.com

The “species interactions and comparative immunology” group (SPICI: http://spici.weebly.com/) is interested in the immune adaptation of organisms in extreme environments (hydrothermal vents, coastal, polluted or intratumoral environments, in a collaborative context). The group began in January 2012 with A. Tasiemski (MCF HDR), V. Cuvillier (MCF) and C. Wichlacz (AI CNRS) joining the EEP unit, and the arrival of F. Massol (CR HDR CNRS) in the group in 2015. The complementarity of skills within the group allows answering both proximal and ultimate biological questions in an integrative manner, combining both empirical (molecular biology, transcriptomics, genetics, biochemistry, immunological techniques, microbiology, microscopy …) and theoretical (models in ecology and evolution) approaches. The work of the group is funded through various grants coming from public and private funders (ANR, Fondation TOTAL, Région Hauts-de-France, CNRS, Université de Lille, IFREMER …). Members of the group advise students at all levels (BTS, BSc, MSc, PhD) on a regular basis. Open PhD positions can be found on the group website.


The main research axes of the group are:

  • Ecological and comparative immunology in extreme environments (high pollution, hydrothermal vents …)
  • The role of the immune system in detoxifying symbioses in extreme environments
  • Evolution of anti-microbial peptides and their role in mediating host-bacteria interactions
  • Evolution of life history traits associated with dispersal and immunity functions
  • The evolution and ecology of spatial networks of interacting species
  • Evolutionary models of cancer