Move-In-Louvain Marie Curie Action postdoc fellow
Earth and Life Institute,
Université Catholique de Louvain
1348 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium
My interests lie in understanding the drivers of variability in phenotypic traits and their implications eco-evolutionary dynamics. I particularly focus on phenotypes involved in communication, cooperation, dispersal and host-microbes interactions. Depending on the question, I use various model species from vertebrates to microorganisms, in order to perform empirical and theoretical research both in natural and experimental systems.
From individual behaviors to population dynamics
I am interested in understanding the drivers of dispersal movements and their consequences at the metapopulation and metacommunity levels. Dispersal has long been assumed to be a random process leading to population homogenization. Conversely, individuals are increasingly recognized to adjust their dispersal decisions to their phenotype and the environmental conditions. Such non-random movements in the landscape might deeply alter metapopulation and metacommunity functioning. Their understanding is therefore crucial for our ability to understand and predict species and community evolution, especially under the current global environmental changes.
I currently study various aspects of dispersal drivers, like other life-history traits (e.g. cooperation), specific environmental characteristics, and the role of communication for acquisition of information about the landscape. I aim to quantify their relative importance (e.g. GxE experiments) and their consequences for ecological and evolutionary dynamics. To do so, I use microcosm experiments of the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila, a highly efficient model for experimental research in ecology and evolution.
Co-workers: Nicolas Schtickzelle,Delphine Legrand, Julien Cote, Alexis Chaine, Jean Clobert, Estelle Laurent, Bart Haegeman, Dries Bonte, Romain Bertrand, Jérome Prunier, Michele Huet.
In a second project standing at the interplay between behavioral and microbial ecology, I am interested in the effects of microorganisms on animal life history traits, and how animals respond to the microorganisms they are affected by to maximize their fitness. Using several species, like tits, lizards, sparrows, lady-beetles and meerkats, I aim to test the effects of the microbiome on host phenotype and life-history traits, and identify and quantify the responses developed by hosts to deal with microbes. Particular interest is devoted to the effects of microorganisms on traits implied in communication, and on the strategies that organisms develop to deal with their microbiome (immunity, antimicrobial behaviors, maternal effects).
Co-workers: Joël White, Julien Cote, Alexandra Magro, Fabrice Helfenstein, Alexis Chaine, Louis Salle, Christine Ducamp, Lucie Zinger, Jérôme Chave, Philipp Heeb.