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Isabelle Olivieri

University professor Team Metapopulation
Localization Bâtiment 22, 2ème
Mots clés metapopulation dispersal sex allocation gene flow local adaptation

1. Present position

Professor at the University of Montpellier, where I teach formal genetics, population genetics and evolutionary genetics, as well as theoretical biology and population biology applied to conservation and management. I supervise a team of about 20 people (8 CNRS Research Scientists or University Associate Professors, 1 Engineer, 2 technicians, 1 Post-doc, 4 PhD students, plus undergraduate students and temporary workers)

2. Expertise

Mathematical modelling from demographic and evolutionary perspectives, evolutionary interpretations based on molecular phylogenies, conservation and invasion evolutionary biology, life-history evolution, coevolution, population genetics data analyses, speciation processes.

3. Research achievements

I have become interested in the evolution of dispersal very early in my carreer, while I was doing my PhD in an Australian lab based at Montpellier, at a time very few people were actually interested in that topic. During my post-doc with Paul Ehrlich at Stanford, metapopulation biology started to emerge, and with Pierre-Henri Gouyon, we developed our first evolutionary metapopulation models. I presented the very first version of these models at Wageningen in 1984. Emphasizing a level above the population one, allowed us to describe the mechanisms underlying the evolution of several life-history traits, including dispersal, in ephemeral populations. Since then, and essentially because of the increased awareness of habitat fragmentation, hundreds of publications have been devoted to that topic. Dispersal allows species unable to locally adapt to changing conditions to actually track the environment to which they are already adapted. Dispersal and gene flow might enhance, or conversely inhibit the evolution of local adaptation in a heterogeneous environment. Since 1984, I have been trying to model these processes. I have also tried to keep close to field work and the study of the natural history of species, trying to understand what determines the life-history and the geographical distribution of species and what are the processes underlying speciation itself, especially in the context of interacting processes. In 1994, I got involved in programmes of conservation biology, trying to use scientific research to actually offer guidelines for management of rare, endangered species. Simultaneously, rare species are excellent models to use a combination of genetical and ecological approaches, something I have tried to develop during my whole career. My main research achievements, maybe, has been to be able to attract truly excellent PhD students, postdocs and visiting scientists. Most of my former students (Masters or PhD) quickly found a permanent job in the academic world, or, for the most recent ones, are presently enjoying a post-doc somewhere. Part of this attraction is due to the general scientific environment of Montpellier and the Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution more particularly, and part of it is, I hope, the pleasant environment people find in our lab, every member of which is actually very nice.

5. Academic and professional training

Ingénieur Agronome of the Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon (INA PG) (1980) Docteur-Ingénieur of I.N.A. P.-G. (PhD, 1982) Docteur es Sciences of Université Montpellier 2 (U.S.T.L.) (1987)

6. Academic and professional experience

1979-1980 : INRA Antibes (Diplôme d’Agronomie Approfondie INA PG, with J.C. ONILLON) (Masters) 1980-1982 : CSIRO Montpellier (PhD Docteur-Ingénieur INA PG, with A.J. WAPSHERE et G. VALDEYRON) 1983 : Stanford University, Californy, USA (Post-doctorate with P.R. EHRLICH) 1984-1993 : INRA Montpellier (Research Scientist). 1993 – présent : University Montpellier 2 (Professor of population genetics)

7. Research areas

Metapopulation evolutionary genetics and ecology Evolutionary Ecology Population genetics Plant-insect interactions and biological control Conservation biology and biodiversity

8. Honorary positions, awards, editorial activities

-Grand Prix de la SFE (société française d’Ecologie) 2012 (awarded 2013)

-Silver Medal of CNRS (awarded 2007)
- President of the European Society of Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) (2007-2009)
- Descartes – Huygens prize from the Dutch Embassy (2004)
- Vice – President of the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE)
- Vice – President of ESEB

-Panel Chair of « Evolutionary, Population and Environmental Biology” panel for  “Advanced Researchers” of ERC (European Research Council) (2008-2012, even years)

-Current Associate Editor or Member of the Editorial Board of  Acta Biotheoretica, Evolutionary Applications, Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, Plant Ecology, Plant Species Biology, Trends in Ecology and Evolution. (In the past : American Naturalist, Evolutionary Ecology and Ecology Letters)

9. Publications


88. Tonnabel, J., T.J.M. van Dooren, J. Midgley, P. Haccou, A. Mignot, O. Ronce, and I. Olivieri. (in press). Optimal resource allocation in a non-resprouting serotinous plant species under different fire regimes. Journal of Ecology.

87. Kawecki, T.J., R.E. Lenski, D.  Ebert, B. Hollis, I. Olivieri, & M.C.  Whitlock.
 (in press). The value of complementary approaches in evolutionary research : reply to Magalhães and Matos. Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

86 . Macke, E., S. Magalhães, F. Bach, & I. Olivieri . 2012. Sex-ratio adjustment in response to local mate competition is achieved through an alteration of egg size in a haplodiploid spider mite. Proceeding of the Royal Society B London, 279:4634-4642.

85. Kawecki, T.J., R.E. Lenski, D.  Ebert, B. Hollis, I. Olivieri, & M.C.  Whitlock.
 2012. Experimental evolution. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 27 (10): 547 – 560

84. Macke, E., S. Magalhães, H. Do-Thi Khanh, A. Frantz, B. Facon, I. Olivieri. 2012. Mating modifies female reproductive effort in a haplodiploid spider mite. The American Naturalist 179(5):E147-E162.