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Pierre-Henri Fabre

University lecturer Team Phylogeny and molecular evolution
Phone +33 (0)4 67 14 35 87
Localization Bât 22, rdc
Mots clés anatomy biogeography mammals macroevolution systematic

Understanding why some lineages display higher taxonomic diversity and eco-morphological disparity is one of the most outstanding question in evolutionary biology and ecology. My research entailed the use of both molecular and morphological databases to produce exhaustive phylogenies, together with molecular dating methodologies to provide a temporal framework. My key work was the incorporation of fieldwork base study, biometric, morphometric and biogeographical data into macroevolutionary analysis. This allows to address questions about diversification rate variations and their link with key innovations or historical events.

I am currently developing research projects on skull evolution of rodents and shrews, with a focus on turbinal bones and cranio-mandibular muscle system. Understanding how species adapted to their environment has been one of the most intensively studied fields in evolutionary biology. The most spectacular shifts in morphology and ecology seem to be the result of historical events, such as mass extinctions or island formation. Such events provide new ecological opportunities to survivors or dispersers and create the conditions for adaptive radiations Within highly diversified lineages, evolutionary convergence often is (1) a prominent feature of adaptive radiation, (2) generates high morphological diversity within replicated environment, and (3) provides compelling evidence supporting natural selection as a primary mechanism of diversification. Recent advances in X-ray microtomography (X-ray µCT), functional anatomy, and genomics give us the opportunity to study the different aspects of how organisms adapt and converge to their environment. My current research projects propose “pheno-genomic” approaches to studying olfactory and cranio-mandibular adaptations and convergences in small insectivorous placental mammals. More details on my research are available at :

Current projects

Contrasting adaptive and non-adaptive radiations in Indo-Pacific “rats”: testing alternative evolutionary models for a hyperdiverse region

Cranio-mandibular convergences and disparity of murid rodents

PEPS SHREWNOSE: Adaptations of the olfactory system in small insectivorous placental mammals

ANR RHINOGRAD: Adaptations and convergences of the olfactory system in small insectivorous placental mammals

MASTER STUDENTS : If you are interested by my area of research, feel free to contact me. There are potential positions currently available!

Fabre P.-H., Herrel A., Fitriana Y.S., Meslin L., Hautier L. (2017). Masticatory muscle architecture in a water-rat from Australasia (Murinae, Hydromys) and its implication for the evolution of carnivory in rodents. Journal of Anatomy, 231, 380–397.

Fabre P.-H., Upham N.S., Emmons L.H., Justy F., Leite Y.L.R., Loss A.C., Orlando L., Tilak M.K., Patterson B.D., Douzery E.J.P. (2017). Mitogenomic phylogeny, diversification, and biogeography of South American spiny rats. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 34: 613–633.

Fabre, P.-H., Patton J. & Leite Y. (2016). Family Echimyidae (Hutias, Coypu South and American Spiny-rats) in Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 6 Wilson D.E. & Lacher TE, Mittermeier RA Jr, Illustrated by Toni Llobet Published by Lynx Edicions.

Fabre P.-H., Pagès M., Musser G.G., Fitriana Y.S., Fjeldså J., Jennings A., Jønsson K.A., Kennedy J., Michaux J., Semiadi G., Supriatna N., & Helgen K. (2013) A new genus of rodent from the Wallacea (Rodentia: Muridae: Murinae: Rattini) and its implication for biogeography and Indo-Pacific Rattini systematics. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 169, 408–447.

Fabre P.-H., Hautier L., Dimitrov, D. & Douzery E.J.P. (2012). A glimpse on the pattern of rodent diversification: a phylogenetic approach. BMC Evolutionary biology, 12:88.

Jønsson K.A., Fabre P.-H., Ricklefs R.E. & Fjeldså J. (2011). Major global radiation of corvoid birds originated in the proto-Papuan archipelago. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences U.S.A, 108:2328–2333.