I am an evolutionary ecologist interested in the responses of organisms to environmental changes.
I try to disentangle the roles of respective roles of eco-evolutionary processes (dispersal, local adaptation, plasticity, mutation, drift) in species ability to persist under altered conditions.
Multi-dimensional phenotypes in multi-dimensional environments
Individuals are mosaics of traits confronted to multiple environmental factors. Using experimental evolution, I study how the accumulation of environmental pressures, especially linked to global change, modifies trait assemblages using the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila. I then measure the fitness effects of the observed phenotypic changes to determine which phenotypic assemblage drives adaptive patterns when environmental pressures accumulate.
Evolution of dispersal
Dispersal, the movement leading to gene flow, is a key process in ecology and evolution. At the phenotypic level, dispersal depends upon several correlated traits linked to morphology, physiology and behavior. I'm studying the evolution of this suite of traits under varying environmental conditions.
Molecular bases of adaptations
Adaptations to new environmental conditions or changes in dispersal abilities can rely on many different molecular mechanisms. I'm using whole-genome sequencing, optical maps (collaboration with the CNRGV, INRA), and the sequencing of candidate genes in the ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila to link adaptive patterns observed in experiments to the genomic regions involved. Special emphasize is put on nucleotidic substitutions, rearrangements and ploidy change.
Patterns of local adaptation in Pyrenean lakes
Pyrenean lakes are important but vulnerable systems. I am involved in a collaborative project realizing biodiversity inventories using eDNA in lakes differentially submitted to human alterations (pollution, tourism, agriculture, ...). We also isolate protist species (ciliates, micro-algae, ...) to run microcosms experiments in the lab searching for the effect of anthropization level on microorganisms' adaptability.
Inter-individual variability has long been neglected in metapopulation dynamic studies, where dispersers were considered as a random fraction of individuals. I work both in semi-natural and natural systems to determine the effects of different levels of phenotypic variability in the dynamics of metapopulations.
CNRS (CRCN), Station d'Ecologie Théorique et Expérimentale, CNRS, Moulis, France
Earth & Life Institute, Biodiversity Research Centre, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium - (F.R.S./FNRS grant, declined after 1 year)
Earth & Life Institute, Biodiversity Research Centre, Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium (FSR incoming fellowship, declined after 6 months)
, Station d'Ecologie Expérimentale, CNRS, Moulis, France (ANR MOBIGEN project)
Station d’Ecologie Expérimentale, MNHN, Moulis and Paris, France (UE FP7 SCALES project)
Laboratoire Mécanismes Adaptatifs: des Organismes aux Communautés, CNRS, Brunoy, France (ANR DIAME project)
Laboratoire Evolution Génomes et Spéciation, Gif-sur-Yvette, France (MENRT grant, french ministry of research)
(2019) - Mobility affects copulation and oviposition dynamics in Pieris brassicae in semi-natural cages. - Insect Science 26(4): 743-752
Staffan J., Chaine A.S., Huet M., Clobert J. & Legrand D.
(2019) - Variability in dispersal syndromes is a key driver of metapopulation dynamics in experimental microcosms. - The American Naturalist in press
Fronhofer E., Legrand D., Altermatt F., Anstart A., Blanchet S., Bonte D., Chaine A., Dahirel M., De Laender F., de Raedt J., Di Gesu L., Jacob S., Kaltz O., Laurent E., Little C., Madec L., Manzi F., Masier S., Pellerin F., Pennekamp F., Schtickzelle N., Therry L., Vong A., Winandy L. and Cote J.
(2018) - Bottom-up and top-down control of dispersal across major organismal groups. - Nature ecology & evolution 2: 1859–1863
Saastamoinen M., Bocedi G., Cote J., Legrand D., Guillaume F., Wheat C.W., Fronhofer E.A., Garcia C., Henry R., Husby A., Baguette M., Bonte D., Coulon A., Kokko H., Matthysen E., Niitepõld K., Nonaka E., Stevens V.M., Travis J.M.J., Donohue K., Bullock J.M. & del Mar Delgado M.
(2018) - Genetic of dispersal. - Biological Reviews 93: 574–599
Saastamoinen M.,Bocedi G., Cote J., Legrand D., Guillaume F., Wheat C.W., Fronhofer E.A, Garcia C., Henry R., Husby A., Baguette M., Bonte D., Coulon A., Kokko H., Matthysen E., Niitepold K., Nonaka E., Stevens V.M., Travis J.M.J, Donohue K., Bullock J.M. & del Mar Delgado M.
(2017) - Genetics of dispersal. - Biological Reviews 93(1): 574-599