Peer Community in Evolutionary Biology

I have become involved as recommender in Peer Community in Evolutionary Biology (PCI Evol Biol). this alternative path for free publication was recently laubched by Denis Bourguet, Benoit Facon and Thomas Guillemaud. PCI Evol Biol is the first community of the parent project Peer Community In.

PCI Evol Biol is  a community of researchers working in Evolutionary Biology who review and recommend articles publicly available from preprint servers (such as bioRxiv) and recommend a selection of already published articles in conventional journals.

This project was driven by the desire to establish a free public system for recommending articles in Evolutionary Biology.  Go and see how it works and get involved in PCI Evol Biol !


E-SPACE a project for the epidemiological surveillance of Mediterranean and tropical crops

E-SPACE is a flagship program of Agropolis Fondation leaded by Claire Neema (Montpellier Supagro – UMR BGPI)

This program aims at improving the knowledge of pathological and epidemiological processes underlying plant disease emergence, and designing innovative approaches for monitoring early warning and crop protection. It will provide national and regional plant epidemiosurveillance programs with key -data and key -tools for continuously adapting them to the evolving challenges of emerging plant diseases.

It falls into 4 workckages :

WP1 – Understanding bioinvasion pathways – P. Lefeuvre & V. Ravigné

WP2 – Understanding epidemiological dynamics and adaptive changes underlying the emergence of plant diseases – O. Pruvost & G. Thébaut

WP3 – Understanding biotic factors associated with the non-emergence or emergence of pathogens – P. Roumagnac, C Tollenaere & C. Vernière

WP4 – Promoting the diffusion of scientific results to stakeholders

Several post-doc and PhD opportunities as well as workshops are open. Visit E-SPACE website.

Nos hivers sont vos étés

Reunion_21.12S_55.51EWe finally settled back in Réunion Island for a few years. Sad to live this far from our families and happy to find our friends again. My new affiliation is PVBMT laboratory. I belong to team 1 on Epidemiology and genomics of emergent plant pathogens. I mostly interact with Olivier Pruvost’s group.


This year, I have obtained my HDR « Habilitation à diriger des rechercher ». Officially, this is a diploma certifying that I have some ability to supervise students. But beyond this, it serves making a point after a few years of scientific career about what one has produced so far and where one would like to go. It is in French. I apologize to the rest of the Universe but sometimes it feels good to write in your own langage and not feel like a four-year-old kid.

Worrying for French junior researchers

French newspaper « Le Monde » has published a text written by the scientific comittee of CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique) about the very worrying situation of employment in public research in France. We all felt that the situation was that degraded, the figures confirm that it is not just a feeling.

After along journey, salmons eventually reach their goal

ElectricFishingThe work I initiated 8 years ago on the population genetics of salmon populations from the Adour catchment is being accepted for publication in Conservation genetics. Many thanks to Jean-Claude and Jérôme, who continued the project after my departure for CIRAD, as well as Charles, for his critical input on the finalization of the paper. Here is the abstract:

Restoration and maintenance of habitats connectivity are major challenges in conservation biology. These aims are especially critical in the case of migratory species using corridors that can be obstructed by anthropogenic barriers. Here, we explored the genetic origin and diversity of Atlantic salmon () recolonizing upstream areas of the largest South European Atlantic salmon population (Adour drainage, France) following restoration of connectivity and stocking. We genotyped at 12 microsatellite loci 924 individuals sampled either in downstream areas or in recently reconnected and recolonized upstream locations. We found a significant fine scale genetic structure, with three main genetic clusters corresponding to the Nive, Nivelle and Gaves rivers. Within each of these clusters, samples collected in formerly inhabited and in recently recolonized areas had comparable allelic richness and effective population sizes and were weakly differentiated. Genetic structure among basins was also similar when comparing formerly inhabited or in recently recolonized areas. The majority of the individuals sampled in newly accessible habitats were assigned to neighboring downstream sites, but noticeable proportions of fish were assigned to more faraway sites or identified as putative hybrids. Overall, this study suggests that the restoration of the accessibility to upstream areas can allow the recolonization and effective reproduction of Atlantic salmon from proximate downstream sites, with neither a decrease of local diversity nor disruption of existing genetic structure.

New paper: a plant pathogen in its native area

Asiatic canker of citrusHappy to annouce that my first paper with the marvellous Xanteam (Reunion Island) is accepted for publication.

The paper is by: C.Vernière, Lan Bui Thi Ngoc, Philippe Jarne, Virginie Ravigné, Fabien Guérin, Lionel Gagnevin, N. Le Mai, N.M. Chau and Olivier Pruvost and it is entitled: Highly polymorphic markers reveal the establishment of an invasive lineage of the citrus bacterial pathogen Xanthomonas citri pv. citri in its area of origin.

It will be soon be available in Environmental Microbiology Reports.

Post-doc position available

Modelling the population genetics of invasive species

We seek to hire a post-doctoral research associate for a Grand Federative Project funded by the French Agropolis Fondation called BIOFIS “Bioagressors and invasive species: from individual to population to species”. The project is dedicated to develop, coordinate and communicate research actions on bioagressors in Europe (insects, mites, trees, fungi and virus) and on their associated natural enemies. It is coordinated by A. Estoup and J.-Y. Rasplus (CBGP, Montpellier, France).

Term: The position could begin as early as December 2013, and as late as December 2014. Support is for one year.

Location: This position is co-supervised by E. Klein (INRA – BIOSP, Avignon France) and V. Ravigné (CIRAD – BGPI, Saint-Pierre, Réunion island, France until July 2014 and Montpellier, France afterwards). We encourage applicants to be based in Avignon, with possibly one or two short stays in Réunion island, but other combinations can be envisaged.

Eligibility: Agropolis Fondation typically considers applications from candidates that have not resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the date of submission of the proposal and that have obtained their PhD degree for no more than 3 years upon the date of application. However, we encourage excellent candidates not entirely fulfilling these conditions to contact us, as these might be funded if no other eligible candidate satisfies scientific requirements for the job.

Project: Developing empirical approaches aiming at detecting traces of selection during bioinvasions relies on the analysis of the spatial genetic structure of populations at a large number of loci in colonizing species (genome scan). However, the strong effects of genetic drift associated to the specific demography of an expansion (in particular successive funding effects distributed in space) interact with selection and might lead to erroneous conclusions. To better understand the interaction between drift, selection, dispersal, we wish to design and analyze spatially explicit simulation models allowing studying the spatial spread of beneficial/neutral/deleterious mutations during a colonization process. We are particularly interested in studying the effect of i) environmental heterogeneity and ii) non-standard mating systems (e.g., mixing sexual and asexual reproduction) on the process. In the end, these theoretical results may be confronted to population genetics data in different species.

We seek a young researcher who combines very good technical talent for modeling (mathematical and computer science skills) with an interest and enthusiasm for invasion processes and population genetics. Experience with programming, bioinformatics and population genetics is required. Skills in data analysis are not necessary but will be considered positively. Facility in writing is important. The post-doc will benefit by working as a member of the BIOFIS project team with an extent network of collaborators interested in dispersal, invasion biology, plant pathology, evolutionary biology and population genetics.


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