Senior researcher CNRS

Directrice de l'UMI Biologie évolutive et écologie des algues

Myriam Valero Directeur de Recherche CNRS. Director of the international French-Chilean Lab: UMI 3614

I am a population geneticist interested in the study of the processes involved in the patterns and the dynamics of genetic diversity within a species. My work focuses on the analysis of the relative role played by the reproductive system (i.e. clonal propagation vs sexual reproduction; selfing vs hermaphroditism; maintenance of sexual polymorphism as gynodioecy and androdioecy) and dispersal capability in shaping the genetic architecture of species. I have also been involved in several theoretical studies related to life history evolution: (i.e. evolution of mating system and evolution of diploidy). I am also interested in the role of hybridization and its effect on speciation that I have studied using a combination of experimental approaches and population genetics structure analyses. Finally, part of my research activities also focuses on the processes that cause changes in marine coastal biodiversity in relation to climate-oceanographic change and human activities at both community and population levels such as conservation genetics and biodiversity of kelp forest and evolution of seaweed domestication

Research interest

  • Evolutionary Biology: Evolution of sex and mating system and evolution of complex life cycle in plant, seaweed and microalgae.
  • Population genetics and phylogeography , landscape genetics and speciation process (intertidal landscape and ecological gradient of the shore)
  • Conservation genetics and biodiversity of kelp forest and evolution of seaweed domestication

Methodology and study species

  • Experimental approach linking reproductive ecology, demography with population genetics.
  • Development of genetic markers (allozymes, microsatellites and cytoplasmic or nuclear DNA spacers sequences) for population genetics or phylogeography studies.
  • Spatial genetic structure and parentage analyses
  • Controlled crosses design to test for male competition and female choice and to test for inbreeding and outbreeding depression 
  • Demography survey in the field and experimental ecology
  • Red algae (Gracilaria gracilis, Gracilaria chilensis, Chondrus crispus), Green algae (Caulerpa taxifolia), Phaeophytae (kelps: Laminaria sp, Lessonia sp; Fucoids: Fucus spiralis, F. vesiculosus and F. ceranoides, A. Nodosum; Ectocarpus sp), Plants (Dactilis glomerata, Lathyrus latifolius and sylvestris, Arrhenatherum eliatius, Sparganium erectum, Beta maritima)

Research skills

  • Supervisor of 21 master students and 14 PhD students, hosting 11 post-doc

  • Teaching: about 12H to 20H per year: courses for graduate students on population genetics and evolutionary genetics (Master II Spécialité Ecologie, biodiversité et évolution, UPMV, University of Paris 6)

  • Jury member 30 PhD thesis and 10 HdR (French “Habilitation à Diriger des Recherche”)

  • Administration  / participation to 20 grants during the last 10 years (see for exemple: ECOKELP: http:/ ; responsible of WP2 in the project IDEALG:  and responsible of WP2 in the project MARFOR).

  • Elected or nominated representative in several French scientific committees for national scientific programs, administration or research councils (MNHN, IRD, INRA, FRB, CNRS). Referee for scientific program for several foreign countries (NERC, FONDYCIT, DGXII EU). Referee for more than 20 international journals (such as Am. Nat., Aquaculture, Aquat. Bot., Biol. Invas., Biol. J. Linnean Soc., Bot. Mar., Eur. J. Phycol., Evol. Appl., Genet. Sel. Evol., Heredity, Hydrobiologia, J. Biogeo, J. Ecol., J. Evol. Biol., J. Mar. Biotech., J. Appl. Phycol., J. Phycol., MEPS, Mol. Ecol., Phycologia, Plant Ecol., Proc. Royal Soc. London, Scientific Report, Trends Ecol. Evol.)

  • Awards (1) Fondation Bettencourt Schueller (2002): "BIODYGEN: Biodiversité, dynamique et génétique des populations d'espèces natives et invasives du littoral Manche-Atlantique". (2) Prix Trégouboff 2003 de l’Académie des sciences (France).

  • Publications

  • 121 publications including 100 papers in international peer-reviewed journals, 24 invited seminars or communications (Google scholar, March 2017: H=35, 3084 citations).


20 Selected Publications

Arnaud-Haond, S., Aires, T., Candeias, R., Teixeira, S.J.L, Langar, H., Duarte, CM, Valero, M, Serrão, E.A. (in press). Entangled fates of holobiont genomes during invasion: nested bacterial and host diversities in Caulerpa taxifolia. Mol. Ecol. DOI : 10.1111/mec.14030

Avia K, Coelho SM, Montecinos GJ, Cormier A, Lerck F, Mauger S, Faugeron S, Valero M, Cock MJ, Boudry P (2017) High-density genetic map and identification of QTLs for responses to temperature and salinity stresses in the model brown alga Ectocarpus. Scientific reports 7, 43241. DOI: 10.1038/srep43241.

Billot C, Engel CR, Rousvoal S, Kloareg B, and Valero M (2003) Current patterns, habitat discontinuities and population genetic structure: the case of the kelp Laminaria digitata in the English Channel. Marine Ecological Progress Series 253, 111-121.

Blanquart F., Valero M., Alves-de-Souza C., Dia A., Lepelletier F., Siano R., Bigeart E., Jeanthon C., Destombe C., Guillou L. (2016). Evidence for parasite-mediated selection during short-lasting toxic algal blooms. Proc Roy Soc Lond. 283: DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.1870.

Couceiro, L., Le Gac, M.,  Hunsperger, H.M. Mauger, S., Destombe, C.,  Cock, M., Ahmed, S., Coelho, S.M.,  Valero, M.& A.F. Peters (2015). Evolution and maintenance of haploid-diploid life cycles in natural populations: the case of the marine brown alga Ectocarpus. Evolution. 69: 1808-1822

Destombe C, Valero M, Vernet P, and Couvet D (1989) What controls haploid-diploid ratio in the red alga, Gracilaria verrucosa? Journal of Evolutionary Biology 2, 317-338.

Engel C, Wattier R, Destombe C, and Valero M (1999) Performance of non-motile male gametes in the sea: analysis of paternity and fertilization success in a natural population of a red seaweed, Gracilaria gracilis. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Series B Biological Sciences 266, 1879-1886.

Hossaert-McKey M, Valero M, Magda D, Jarry M, Cuguen J, and Vernet P (1996) The evolving genetic history of a population of Lathyrus sylvestris: evidence from temporal and spatial genetic structure. Evolution 50, 1808-1821.

Guillemin M−L., Faugeron S., Destombe C., Viard F., Correa J. A., Valero M. (2008). Genetic variation in wild and cultivated populations of the haploid−diploid red alga Gracilaria chilensis: how traditional farming practices favour asexual reproductionand heterozygosity. Evolution 62: 1500−1519 

Krueger-Hadfield S., Roze D., Correa J., Destombe C. & Valero M. (2015) O father where art thou?. Paternity analyses in a natural population of the haploid-diploid seaweed Chondrus crispus. Heredity, 114, 185–194. DOI 10.1038/hdy.2014.82

Meusnier I, Olsen JL, Stam WT, Destombe C, and Valero M (2001) Phylogenetic analyses of Caulerpa taxifolia (Chlorophyta) and of its associated bacterial microflora provides clues to the origin of the Mediterranean introduction. Molecular Ecology 10, 931-946.

Montecinos A, Guillemin ML, Couceiro L, Peters A, Stoeckel S., Valero M. (in press) Hybridization between two cryptic filamentous brown seaweeds along the shore: Analysing pre and postzygotic barriers in populations of individuals with varying ploidy levels. Molecular Ecology  DOI: 10.1111/mec.14098

Neiva J., Pearson G. A., Valero M., and Serrão E. A. (2010). Surfing the wave on a borrowed board: range expansion and spread of introgressed organellar genomes in the seaweed Fucus ceranoides L. Molecular Ecology 19: 4812-4822.

Perrot V, Richerd S, and Valero M (1991) Transition from haploidy to diploidy. Nature 351, 315-317

Richerd S, Couvet D, and Valero M (1993) Evolution of haploid and diploid phases in life cycles. II. Maintenance of the haplo-diplontic cycle. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 6, 263-280

Robuchon M., Le Gall L., Mauger S., Valero M. (2014) Contrasting genetic diversity patterns in two sister kelp species co-distributed along the coast of Brittany, France. Molecular Ecology. 23: 2669-2685

Tellier F., Meynard A. P., Correa J. A., Faugeron S., and Valero M. (2009). Phylogeographic analyses of the 30°S south-east Pacific biogeographic transition zone establish the occurrence of a sharp genetic discontinuity in the kelp Lessonia nigrescens: Vicariance or parapatry? Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 53: 679–693.

Vassiliadis C, Valero M, Saumitou-Laprade P, and Godelle B (2000) A model for the evolution of high frequencies of males in an androdioecious plant based on a cross-compatibility advantage of males. Heredity 85, 413-422.

Valero M, Richerd S, Perrot V, and Destombe C (1992) Evolution of alternation of haploid and diploid phases in life cycles. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 7, 25-29

Valero M., Guillemin ML, Destombe C., Jacquemin B., Gachon C.M.M., Badis Y., Buschmann A.H., Camus C., Faugeron S. (in press). Perspectives on domestication research for sustainable seaweed aquaculture. Perspective in Phycology. DOI:10.1127/pip/2017/0066.