I am a junior researcher at INRA (CR2, lab « Wildlife, Behaviour and Ecology », Toulouse, France) interested in applying molecular biological techniques and methods in population and quantitative genetics to questions in evolutionary ecology, conservation, and behavior.
My research seek to identify and understand the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms (neutral and selective) that shape the genetic variation within and among populations and ultimately the evolutionary potential of fitness-related traits.
My topic of interests presently include the influence of landscape on genetic structure (landscape genetics), the genetics of reintroduced populations (reintroduction genetics), the genetics of parasite resistance (immunogenetics) and more recently the genetic basis of inter-individual variation in morphological, life-history and behavioural traits related to fitness (wild quantitatitve genetics).
Current research :
- Evolution of roe deer in a changing world: a quantitative genetic analysis
Main collaborators : Mark Hewison (INRA, Toulouse), Jean-Michel Gaillard (CNRS, Lyon), Joséphine Pemberton (University of Edinburgh)
The roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) is an income breeder, relying on current resource intake for survival and reproduction. In the context of ongoing changes in regional climate and land-use, the overall goal of this project is to elucidate the evolutionary mechanisms by which this species adapt to the increasing unpredictability in the distribution of resources both in space and time. Using a cutting edge quantitative genetic approach and focusing on long-term monitored roe deer populations exhibiting contrasting environmental conditions, I aim to assess the relative contribution of additive genetic variation and plasticity to morphological (e.g. body mass, antlers), behavioural (e.g. movements tactics, personality) and life-history traits (e.g. phenology) and the genetic correlations between traits and fitness variation among individuals (selection analysis) .
I used data from long-term, individual-based monitoring of roe deer collected by ONCFS (Chizé, Trois-Fontaines), the Grimsö Wildlife Research Station (Bogesund) and INRA (Aurignac). Relatedness among phenotyped individuals are obtained either by recontructing pedigrees (using microsatellite/field observations) or from genomic data (thousands of SNPs throughout the genome using RADsequencing) .
- Genetics of parasite resistance in wild ungulate populations
Main collaborators : Emmanuelle Gilot-Fromont (University of Lyon), Nathalie Charbonnel (INRA, Montpellier)
To detail …
- Landscape genetics of red deer
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Former projects :
During my former projects (PhD and first postdoc), I investigated the roles and impacts of historical or contemporary, natural or anthropogenic factors (e.g. habitat fragmentation, stocking) on the genetic structure of wild primates and salmonids populations using recent statistical approaches to model their functional connectivity and demographic history.
2010-2011: Influence of marine life history and seascape heterogeneity on brown trout population connectivity
in collaboration with Sophie Launey, Jean-Marc Roussel (INRA ESE, RENNES)
We studied populations of brown trout (Salmo trutta) that exhibit a high level of variation in life-history traits in rivers of the French Channel coast. Along an East-West gradient, these populations display a large continuum of migratory strategies from complete freshwater residence to anadromy. To assess population connectivity and clarify the influence of life-history strategies and natural environmental factors on migration patterns, we used an integrated approach that combines GIS data on landscape structure, patterns of life history variation and inferences of dispersal based on neutral genetic markers. More specifically, we tested the hypotheses that the patterns of connectivity at the meta-population scale reflect (i) the spatial variation of migratory behavior and (ii) the seascape/riverscape heterogeneity, in terms of sediments structure and prey accessibility.
2005-2009: Conservation genetics of sifaka populations and history of deforestation in norther Madagascar (PhD project)
in collaboration with Lounès Chikhi and Brigitte Crouau Roy (CNRS, EDB, Toulouse)
By combining field observations, spatial and population genetic analyses, I studied the influence of landscape structure – i.e. habitat connectivity, anthropogenic and natural environmental features – on the rates and patterns of gene flow of an endangered lemur populations species, the golden-crowned-sifaka (Propithecus tattersalli). I also used neutral genetic data and bayesian modeling to address issues related to the origin of deforestation in northern madagascar using the demographic history of sifaka populations as a proxy of the dynamic of their forest habitat. Lastly, I investigated the spatial variation in dietary diversity in this species and its determinants using a DNA-based metabarcoding approach combining barcoding and Illumina next-generation sequencing.