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

Unité Mixte de Recherche UMR 8198

Maxime Pauwels

Maxime Pauwels


Equipe Evo-Eco

Thème : Changements Environnementaux et Adaptation

Unité Evo-Eco-Paléo (EEP) - UMR 8198
CNRS / Université de Lille - Sciences et Technologies
Batiment SN2, bureau 201
59655 Villeneuve d'Ascq - FRANCE
Tel : 33 (0)3-20-43-40-33


Mail : Maxime.Pauwels@univ-lille1.fr


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Research Topics :

I investigate the evolution of Zn tolerance and hyperaccumulation in A. halleri, using phylogeographic (Gonneau et al., 2017; Pauwels et al., 2012), ecogeographic (Meyer et al., 2010; Pauwels et al., 2006), molecular evolution (Roux et al., 2011; Roux et al., 2013) and quantitative genetics (Meyer et al., 2016) approaches. He also developed external collaborations on other plant (Babst-Kostecka et al., 2014), including N. caerulescens (Gonneau et al., 2017), or animal (Pauwels et al., 2013; Souleman et al., 2016) species. Recently, he developed experimental, quantitative genetic and epigenetic approaches on N. caerulescens (ANR JCJC ELocAnth, 2014-2017, coord. H. Frérot; PhD thesis of J. Nowak)

Keywords :

Abiotic stress tolerance

Adaptive gene

Evolutionary ecology

Local adaptation

Molecular evolution


Population genetics

Teaching :


Molecular evolution


Plant Biology

Population genetics

Brief CV :

  • 2009-: Lecturer (University of Lille). "Genetics & evolution of adaptation to environments polluted by heavy metals". Hosting laboratory: EEP (UMR CNRS 8198).
  • 2007-2009: Post-doctoral fellow (University of Lille). "Molecular evolution of genomic region surrounding the Self-Incompatibily locus in Arabidopsis halleri (Brassicaceae). Hosting laboratory: EEP (UMR CNRS 8198). Group leader: X. Vekemans
  • 2006-2007: Temporary lecturer (University of Tours). "Characterization of the RNAse T2 multigenic family in Cotesia congregate polydnavirus". Hosting laboratory: IRBI (UMR CNRS 6035). Group leader: J. M. Drezen
  • 2006: PhD in Population Genetics (University of Lille). "Origin and Evolution of zinc tolerance in Arabidopsis halleri (Brassicaceae)".Hosting laboratory: EEP (UMR CNRS 8198). Supervisor: Dr. P. Saumitou-Laprade.

Selected Publications  :

  • Gonneau C, Noret N, Godé C, Frérot H, Sirguey C, Sterckeman T, Pauwels M. 2017. Demographic history of the trace metal hyperaccumulator Noccaea caerulescens (J. Presl and C. Presl) F. K. Mey. in Western Europe. Molecular Ecology
  • Meyer C-L, Pauwels M, Briset L, Godé C, Salis P, Bourceaux A, Souleman D, Frérot H, Verbruggen N. 2016. Potential preadaptation to anthropogenic pollution: Evidence from a common quantitative trait locus for zinc and cadmium tolerance in metallicolous and nonmetallicolous accessions of Arabidopsis halleri. In press DOI: 10.1111/nph.14093
  • Babst-Kostecka A, Parisod C, Godé C, Vollenweider P, Pauwels M. 2014. Patterns of genetic divergence among populations of the pseudometallophyte biscutella laevigata from southern poland. Plant and Soil 383(1-2): 245-256.
  • Roux C*, Pauwels M*, Ruggiero MV, Charlesworth D, Castric V, Vekemans X. 2013. Recent and ancient signature of balancing selection around the s-locus in arabidopsis halleri and a. Lyrata. Molecular Biology and Evolution 30(2): 435-447. * These authors contributed equally to this work
  • Pauwels M, Vekemans X, Godé C, Frérot H, Castric V, Saumitou-Laprade P. 2012. Nuclear and chloroplast DNA phylogeography reveals vicariance among european populations of the model species for the study of metal tolerance, Arabidopsis halleri (brassicaceae). New Phytologist 193(4): 916-928.

Scientific influence:

  • Coordinator (2016-2020) of the international research network LOCOMET (Transport, localization and complexation of metals in hyperaccumulating plants, CNRS, 2012-2020). The network brings together researchers and students from 16 laboratories from 7 European and non-European countries. The aim of the network is to facilitate exchanges between evolutionary biologists, functional geneticists and biophysicists or biochemists to unravel the intriguing mechanisms of metal tolerance and hyperaccumulation in extremophile plants. The network organize an annual meeting and support exchanges of material, personal and knowledge among partners. It favors the elaboration of new research projects to submit common proposals to national and international calls.
  • Member of the scientific committee of the regional nature parks (PNR) of the Hauts de France region (http://www.wikiwand.com/fr/Conseil_scientifique_de_l%27environnement_du_Nord_-_Pas-de-Calais). I am regularly in contact with officers of the Scarpe-Escaut PNR (http://www.pnr-scarpe-escaut.fr/en) in charge of the conservation of a natural site including metallicolous grasslands. Indeed, metallicolous grasslands are rare and fragile habitats that frequently face severe threats of extinction. Accordingly, they are mentioned in the EU Habitats Directive Annex I and are protected by legislation Europe-wide (Hallberg et al., 2010) (Whiting et al., 2004)