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 for eco-evolutionary dynamics. I particularly focus on traits 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. 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. Our understanding of the mechanisms and evolution of movement strategies 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, niche specialization), specific environmental characteristics, and the role of communication for acquisition of information about the landscape. I quantify their relative importance (e.g. GxE experiments) and their consequences for ecological and evolutionary dynamics using models and microcosm experiments with the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila, a highly efficient model for experimental research in ecology and evolution.
Co-workers: Romain Bertrand, Dries Bonte, Alexis Chaine, Jean Clobert, Julien Cote, Bart Haegeman, Michele Huet, Estelle Laurent, Delphine Legrand, Michel Loreau, Claire de Mazancourt, Chad Pearson, Hervé Philippe, Jérome Prunier, Nicolas Schtickzelle
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 at testing 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: Elvire Bestion, Alexis Chaine, Julien Cote, Christine Ducamp, Philipp Heeb, Sarah Leclaire, Andy Russell, Joël White, Lucie Zinger.