The overarching goal of our research team is to characterize the evolutionary and ecological processes that drive the patterns of biodiversity in space and time. We aim at (i) finely evaluating the role of biological interactions among species, among individuals and among molecules in their respective environments, and (ii) assessing how interactions at one scale can specifically affect processes at other scales.
Our methodological approaches are diverse. We use 1) theoretical modelling based on analytical tools as well as numerical simulations in the study, for example, of species interaction networks or plant mating system transitions, 2) bio-analysis of large molecular sequence datasets in the framework of population genomic or phylogenomic studies, 3) population genetics studies to assess the impact of landscape structure and mating systems on gene flow at the species level, 4) greenhouse and experimental gardens facilities to conduct experiments, e.g. to evaluate the reproductive success of plant species characterized by various breeding systems, 5) quantitative genetics designs to dissect components of phenotypic variation and identify the genetic architecture of traits, 6) large in natura sampling and monitoring to evaluate variation of insect-plant interaction networks through time and latitudinal gradients and 7) functional genetic approaches to characterize the molecular factors involved in e.g. dominance/recessive interactions among alleles of the selfincompatibility locus in Arabidopsis.
Our study systems cover a large panel of diverse organisms, ranging from plants to animals and including multicellular and unicellular models. They allow us to cover distinct spatial and temporal scales, from local population dynamics to contemporary global change. We have a special interest for the regional scale to determine how biodiversity patterns and ecosystems are affected by anthropogenic disturbances. We are putting a special but non-exclusive focus on plant mating system evolution and the adaptation of species and communities to global change or extreme environments.
Structure and scientific animation:
The team “Evolution and Ecology” is structured in four research groups (detailed below) that aim at fostering close scientific interactions around common research interests. Regular follow-up of students (PhD and undergraduates) and post-docs is performed at this scale, typically through monthly meetings to proximally discuss progress of the different projects and follow the literature. Journal clubs are actively organized also at this scale under different formats, and some of them are transversal across different thematic groups. All members of the overall team are invited through the general mailing list and are welcome to participate.
The scientific animation at the team scale is conducted weekly through scientific seminars with invited speakers (ca. 16/year), as well as members of the team themselves (e.g. annual reports of PhD, reports of Master2 students and faculty staff).
The team is coordinated by Vincent CASTRIC and Jean-François ARNAUD. To learn more about the scientific activities of our four research groups :
- Evolutionary genomics of plant mating systems (Céline POUX)
- Evolutionary ecology and genetics across different scales (Sylvain BILLIARD)
- Ecology of interactions in a changing world (Nina HAUTEKEETE)
- Speciation (Camille ROUX)