The objective of this thesis project is to better understand the ecological and evolutionary role of local adaptation in three species of kelps.
These brown algae form large marine forests along temperate coasts and are one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world. The importance of local adaptation along their range distribution will be measured by combining population genetics and genomics approaches with experimental approaches measuring response to abiotic stresses such as temperature.
In order to estimate the evolution of these populations, we will study the spatial and temporal variation of genetic diversity and life history traits (reproductive system, lifetime and age of reproduction) as complementary approaches conducted in the laboratory. In the context of kelp cultivation projects, the thesis will also use knowledge on the processes of local adaptation in order to propose genetic improvement strategies adapted to the ecoregions where the cultivated species will develop ( selection of local varieties) while aiming at maintaining the functioning of these ecosystems in the long term.