Ecology is a young scientific discipline that uses varied research methods, from conducting experiments to statistical data analysis and model building. Each of these methods raises epistemological issues with regard to the rational operation mobilized (induction or deduction), the criteria of validity or the predictive power. These various approaches also differ in their objects of research (focusing on the identification of processes, or on the description of patterns) or even by the ecological, geographical and time scales involved. In spite of the recent call for developing interdisciplinary approaches and for the development of philosophical perspectives in ecology, these epistemological issues have hardly been studied.
I started my PhD in 2011 with Vincent Devictor (EEC ISEM) and Virginie Maris (CEFE-CNRS) with the aim of reconciling the philosophical investigation and the scientific practice of ecology. My general research theme is to explore epistemological peculiarities of different research stages of ecology, from data collection to the methods used and their potential applications.