1- New project: reproductive barriers and speciation
- I recently initiated a project focusing on speciation in a complex of interfertile species. Focusing on the Jaera albifrons group (marine isopods) this project aims to analyze the processes that prevent gene flow across species.
- We focus here on two such isolating barriers that were shown to be decisive for the diversification of animals. The first one is behavioral isolation, which results from mate choice preferences for conspecifics during sexual reproduction. One pertaining issue in this context is the link between such mate choice processes between species with sexual selection processes occurring within species. The second isolating barrier that we will be looking at is postzygotic genetic incompatibilities.
Sampling in Normandy
2- Life-cycle, evolutionary forces, and genetic variation in marine invertebrates
- I'm interested in understanding how life-history traits (primarily dispersal and reproductive system) control the dynamics of neutral genetic variation within species.
- My current research along these lines deals with the genetic structure of marine invertebrates, where results from previous studies have suggested that stochastic effects during reproduction (and thus genetic drift) interact with complex patterns of dispersal (and thus gene flow) to create chaotic patterns of genetic variation. I use analytical and simulation-based approaches to formalize and explore the role of genetic drift and gene flow in generating chaotic patterns of genetic structure as observed in marine invertebrates.
- I also use the gastropod Crepidula fornicata (slipper limpet) in empirical studies for analyzing the causes and consequences of genetic drift in a marine benthic invertebrate. This work led to an empirical evaluation of the size-advantage hypothesis of sex-allocation in protandrous species.
Slipper limpets (Crepidula fornicata)
- Genetic study of dispersal and demography of the Ivory gull Pagophila eburnea (collab. Glenn Yannic, Emmanuelle Yannic, the Groupe de Recherches en Ecologie Arctique (GREA), and ivory gull researchers worldwide)