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François Rousset

CNRS research director Team Evolutionary genetics
Phone +33 (0)4 67 14 46 30
Localization bâtiment 22, 1er étage



Research interests: evolutionary genetics, behavioural ecology, host-parasite interactions, biostatistics, mostly from a theoretical perspective but with experience of several insect model systems and interest for many other terrestrial organisms.

Some recent works :

The sex life of the black truffle Tuber melanosporum uncovered by Taschen et al.;

the summary likelihood method implemented in the Infusion R package for simulation-based inference, and its performance investigated by Rousset et al.;

the effects of pollen dispersal on the response to climate change by Aguilée et al.;

the extension of the original verbal interpretation of inclusive fitness to provide the two relationships required to determine the two coefficients –c and b: Regression, least squares, and the general version of inclusive fitness by Rousset F (2015) in Evolution 69: 2963-2970. This work confirms the validity of using regression concepts in general formulations of inclusive fitness.

the spaMM R package for analyzing spatial data using generalized linear mixed model (GLMM), and its application for testing environmental and genetic effects in the presence of spatial autocorrelation by Rousset & Ferdy (2014) in Ecography 37: 781-790;

the genetical theory of social behaviour, an in-depth survey of insights from population genetics and game theory by Lehmann & Rousset (2014) in Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 369: 1471-2970.

Leblois et al. (2014) Maximum likelihood inference of population size contractions from microsatellite data Mol. Biol. Evol. 31 : 2805-2823 (and the Migraine software).

Guillot, G., Rousset, F. (2013) Dismantling the Mantel tests, Methods in Ecology and Evolution 4 : 336-344.

and also…

Lehmann, L. Rousset, F. (2010) How life-history and demography promote or inhibit the evolution of helping behaviors. Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. London 365: 2599–2617

Robledo-Arnuncio, J.J., Rousset, F. (2010) Isolation by distance in a continuous population under stochastic demographic fluctuations. J. Evol. Biol. 23: 53–71.

Building models of evolution in spatially structured populations requires some knowledge of what is a “realistic” spatial structure. This has motivated some of my work in the field of statistical analysis of spatial genetic patterns. I have defined and validated (along with several collaborators) a simple but robust set of methods of estimation of dispersal rates under isolation by distance. For an entry point to this line of work see Watts et al. 2007. These methods, and various more traditional ones, have been implemented in the Genepop software. We have also performed a similar validation program for maximum likelihood inferences based on the coalescent algorithms developed by R.C. Griffiths and collaborators (see the Migraine software).


Infusion R package

A standard R package for likelihood inference from summary statistics whose distributions are simulated. Go to the reference page for more information.

blackbox R package

A standard R package for use with the Migraine software, or independently for optimization of functions which are avaluated with some error.

spaMM R package

A standard R package for fitting mixed models, including spatial mixed models. Go to the reference page for more information.

Stand-alone Software

Below are links to the maintained distribution pages of three softwares I (co-)distribute, Genepop, Migraine (written in collaboration with Raphaël Leblois) and IBDSim (mostly written by Raphaël). All are freeware (i.e. you don’t need to pay). They are free software covered by the CeCILL licence (GPL compatible), i.e. they can be used, copied, studied, modified and redistributed in other free software, provided the source is acknowledged.


You will find there links to all files for the latest version of Genepop (Rousset 2008). Also available is a recompiled version of the linkdos program (Garnier-Géré and Dillmann 1992), which was distributed with previous versions of Genepop


implements some coalescent methods for likelihood inferences in population genetics. Go to the distribution page for more information.


simulates samples under models of isolation by distance. Go to Raphaël Leblois’s page for more information.


I teach a bit on social evolution and a moderately bigger bit on statistical genetics.


Head of the Department of Ecology, Evolution, Environment, Earth Sciences & Hydrology (B3ESTE) of the University of Montpellier; representing our University in the board of directors of the Fondation pour la Recherche sur la Biodiversité; member of the managing board of the Institute of Computational Biology; and a few other duties understandable only by those initiated to the secrets of French administration.


Links to some past and current collaborators :


Publication list with links (updated when summer torpor keeps my colleagues unable to disturb me).

Links and post-scriptum for the book Genetic structure and selection in subdivided populations

An example of genetic kin-recognition: the zoning of rotting wood by fungi. The mycelia of different individuals are separated by melanized borders (in black). Photo : Marc-André Selosse. See Rousset, F., Roze, D. (2007) Constraints on the origin and maintenance of genetic kin recognition. Evolution 61: 2320–2330.