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Conference: Functional Ecology and Environment, July 11-12, 2017 (Toulouse, France)

17 Février 2017,

Publié par Bioécologie

Conference: Functional Ecology and Environment, July 11-12, 2017 (Toulouse, France)

Decades of overharvesting, habitat destruction and pollution, have led to a biodiversity crisis, the so-called sixth extinction. Nations worldwide have established biodiversity action plans featuring actions targeted at halting biodiversity loss and ecosystem services degradation, but also to ensure that the ecosystem services nature provides are protected, valued and restored. These policy changes were implemented in response to a growing concern that development over previous decades, despite considerable benefits to the citizens of nations, was having a significant impact upon biodiversity. In particular, it was recognized that the loss of biodiversity is compounding the problems of global change, and that the two phenomena are mutually reinforcing.

Species are not only valuable in their own right, they are also responsible for the capture, conversion and flow of energy and nutrients through ecosystems.  These processes ensure ecosystem functions upon which humans ultimately depend. In terms of risk, some species also generate nuisances that have ecological, sanitary and economic costs. Global change has already started to affect the distribution of species. However, it is not yet clear how subsequent changes in species distributions will impact the flow of energy and nutrients within ecosystems.

These uncertainties reflect the still unknown relationship between global change, ecological network structure and ecosystem function, calling for the emergence of a system-level ecology that integrates concepts from paleoecology, individual-population biology, community ecology, biological conservation, functional ecology, ecotoxicology, and biogeochemistry.

This conference will therefore aim gathering French and foreign ecologists whom works will illustrate such collaborative research promoted by EcoLab.

Conference language: English


Important dates:

- February 1st – March 24th : abstracts submission

- Mid-April: decision on selected communications

- Mid-April - May 15th : online registration

- July 11th-12th: conference in Toulouse


More information here



Session 1 - Global changes and biogeochemical cycles
What are the main environmental drivers that control matter flow inside and between continental ecosystems? 
What are the impacts of global changes (climate change, creation of man-made landscape, water use, large scale contamination etc..) on those transfers?
This session aims to discuss the major role of interactions between living organism communities and biogeochemical cycles. Potential feedbacks within those interactions with global changes will  be the focus of this session.
Session 2 - Influence of biotic and abiotic environments on the dynamics of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning 
How spatial and temporal changes in biodiversity and environmental conditions affect biotic interactions?
How geochemical environment influence the effect of contaminants on biodiversity, from individual to ecosystem levels?
Session 3 - Functional trajectories of ecosystems after disturbances
What is the resilience ability of ecosystems after disturbance? 
What are the new equilibrium?
This session aims to discuss whether the resistance and resilience of ecosystems to disturbances are related to functional strategies and/or life-history traits of organisms. It also aims at assessing whether biodiversity changes are the driver or the result of ecosystem functioning changes. Another goal will be to discuss how human activities irreversibly affect ecosystems indicating that current ecosystems are inherited from past disturbances. 
Session 4 - Ecosystem services within areas highly sensitive to global changes
How recent global change and local disturbance (past and recent) affect ecosystem services ?
Can we forecast future trends of ecosystem services, and how?
This session aims to discuss these questions by focusing mainly on areas highly sensitive to global changes such as wetlands, arid and desert environments, mountain ecosystems and urban areas.

Conférence: Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement (11-12 Juillet 2017, Toulouse, France)

17 Février 2017,

Publié par Bioécologie

Conférence: Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement (11-12 Juillet 2017, Toulouse, France)

Chères et chers collègues,

Nous avons le plaisir de vous convier à la conférence Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement organisée par le laboratoire EcoLab qui aura lieu les 11 et 12 Juillet 2017 à Toulouse (France).

Cette conférence est un événement important pour le laboratoire puisque nous célèbrerons à cette occasion son 10ème anniversaire. Nous espérons un public large et une forte participation en raison de l’agréable météo à Toulouse à cette période de l’année ainsi que les thématiques abordées dans cette conférence.

Les thématiques de la conférence sont :
Session 1 – Changements globaux et cycles biogéochimiques 
Session 2 – Influence de l’environnement biotique et abiotique sur la dynamique de la biodiversité et le fonctionnement des écosystèmes
Session 3 – Trajectoires fonctionnelles des écosystèmes suite à des perturbations
Session 4 – Services écosystémiques dans des milieux particulièrement sensibles aux changements globaux 

Plus d’informations sont disponibles sur le site internet de la conférence (régulièrement actualisé) : https://fee2017.sciencesconf.org/

Nous vous invitons à participer à cette conférence et à présenter vos travaux de recherche (communication orale ou poster). Vous pouvez dès à présent soumettre vos résumés sur le site internet et ce jusqu’au 24 mars 2017.

Les inscriptions à la conférence seront ouvertes à partir de mi-avril.

Pour tout renseignement, vous pouvez contacter le secrétariat administratif : fee2017@sciencesconf.org

Merci de faire suivre cette information aux personnes susceptibles d’être intéressées par cette conférence.

En espérant vous accueillir nombreux à Toulouse en Juillet.

Bourse post-doctorale : Fondation Bettencourt Schueller

14 Février 2017,

Publié par Bioécologie

Créé en 1990, le prix pour les jeunes chercheurs est l’une des premières initiatives de la Fondation Bettencourt Schueller.

Il est décerné chaque année à 14 jeunes docteurs en sciences ou docteurs en médecine, pour leur permettre de réaliser leur stage post-doctoral dans les meilleurs laboratoires étrangers.

La dotation du prix est de 25 000 euros.

Pour en savoir plus, cliquez ici

Bourse post-doctorale : Fondation Bettencourt Schueller

ZEN: Eco-evolutionary Software

13 Février 2017,

Publié par Bioécologie


Figure 1
Deployment of polymorphism in a population subjected to asymmetric competition
(ZEN simulation, model from Kisdi & Geritz 2001).
The distribution of phenotypes is shown along evolutionary time in ordinates.


Ecological models with an evolutionary component allow to study several biological phenomena: host-pathogens interactions, coevolution of plants and pollinisators, mimicry, development of the immune system, evolution of cooperation, evolution of life history traits, and more generally biodiversity and speciation.

What is simulated by ZEN ? The evolution of populations under the mutation-selection process 

ZEN uses an individual-based (in fact ‘phenotype-based’) approach with 3 components:

  • Stochastic equations in discrete time describing the dynamics of finite populations
  • Adaptive traits and their mutations (mutation rates and distributions)
  •  Ecological interactions between phenotypes

During the ZEN simulation, mutant phenotypes created by the triggering of mutations interact with resident phenotypes. They persist or go extinct, possibly leading to evolutionary branching and polymorphism (Figs. 1, 2).

How does ZEN work ?

Models are described in a text file using a reduced declaration language, and studied by means of a simple interface with convenient graphics. The ZEN kernel is a symbolic evaluator handling ‘polymorphic’ variables.

More information here

Richard Lenski: Experimental Evolution

3 Février 2017,

Publié par Bioécologie

The main focus of my lab is on experimental evolution. Evolution is usually investigated using the comparative method or by studying fossils. Our approach is to watch evolution as it happens, in the context of experiments that are replicated and performed under controlled conditions. The idea of watching evolution in action is not new. In fact, Charles Darwin, in the first edition of On the Origin of Species (1859, p. 187), said "In looking for the gradations by which an organ in any species has been perfected, we ought to look exclusively to its lineal ancestors ; but this is scarcely ever possible, and we are forced in each case to look to species of the same group, that is to the collateral descendants from the same original parent-form."

In order to study evolution as it happens requires either a time machine (which we don't have) or else organisms that replicate, mutate, and evolve very fast, so that we can detect changes on a reasonable time scale. In our research, we are now performing experiments with two different fast-evolving systems:

In both systems, we are investigating the dynamics of evolution, including genomic as well as phenotypic changes. We aim to integrate our understanding of these genomic and phenotypic changes by identifying and manipulating the genetic and ecological determinants of organismal performance and fitness. The approaches we use to draw these connections span a wide range, from finding specific mutations of interest to analyzing arrays that summarize the relationship between the entire genome and all the phenotypes that it encodes. By using two very different systems, we seek commonalities that may indicate more general features of evolving systems. Of equal interest, major differences between these systems may lead us to further experiments that explore the reasons for particular outcomes.


More information here

The Geant4-DNA project

1 Février 2017,

Publié par Bioécologie

The Geant4 general purpose particle-matter Monte Carlo simulation toolkit is being extended with processes for the modeling of early biological damage induced by ionising radiation at the DNA scale. Such developments are on-going in the framework of the Geant4-DNA project, originally initiated by the European Space Agency/ESTEC. They are fully included in Geant4.


Microbeam irradiation of a keratinocyte (HaCaT) with alpha particles (see the « microbeam » Geant4 advanced example) - courtesy of L. Garnier (CNRS) -