Archives de catégorie : Activités de l’association

Offre de thèse : en agroécologie/écologie au Cirad sur l’île de la Réunion

Veuillez trouver ci-joint une proposition de thèse complétement financées sur la thématique des « Interactions cochenilles-fourmis dans les systèmes de culture d’ananas à la Réunion » au Cirad au sein de l’unité de recherche GECO (https://ur-geco.cirad.fr/). Le doctorant sera inscrit à l’école doctorale GAIA de Montpellier.

voir aussi : https://www.adum.fr/as/ed/voirproposition.pl?print=oui&matricule_prop=41340

Nous recherchons un étudiant ayant le gout pour l’écologie comportementale et expérimentale. Des compétences dans la manipulation des arthropodes et dans l’analyse d’images serait un plus.

Pour toute question et pour postuler, n’hésitez pas à me contacter.

Philippe Tixier

CIRAD – Persyst – UPR GECO
TA B-26/C – bureau 205
Campus international de Baillarguet – 34398 Montpellier Cedex 5 – France
Tél : +33 4 67 61 59 90
Email: tixier@cirad.fr
Site: http://tinyurl.com/tixier
https://ur-geco.cirad.fr/

Offre de CDD : laboratoire de recherche Evolution, Génomes, Comportement et Ecologie (EGCE), Université Paris-Saclay

Le laboratoire de recherche Evolution, Génomes, Comportement et Ecologie (EGCE), situé à l’Université Paris-Saclay, recrute sur CDD du 1er juillet au 30 novembre un technicien pour l’élevage d’insectes, dont l’abeille domestique. L’offre est consultable par les liens suivants, qui permettent aussi de candidater en ligne, jusqu’au  3 juin :  Emploi CNRS et Twitter

Vous pouvez contacter Madame H. Legout (helene.legout@universite-paris-saclay.fr),  pour plus d’informations (tel 01 69 15 50 86).

Au cours de ces 5 mois, le/la candidate aura la possibilité de passer le concours du CNRS pour un recrutement pérenne dans la suite du CDD, au sein de l’Institut  Diversité, Ecologie et Evolution du Vivant (IDEEV) dont fait partie EGCE. L’appel à candidature pour ce concours sera ouvert du 7 juin au 6 juillet sur le site du CNRS.

Offre de Post-doc : Evolution of a kin recognition system in social insects at the University of Bristol

The role

We are seeking an experienced and energetic postdoc to work on our Leverhulme Trust Research Project ‘Evolution of a kin recognition system in social insects’. How do altruistic individuals recognise social parasites? In some bees, wasps and ants most individuals forgo reproduction to support the offspring of others. This evolutionary conundrum is explained by kin selection, where helping related individuals indirectly promotes the helper’s overall fitness. However, this strategy is vulnerable to exploitation. An ability to distinguish kin from non-kin is therefore critical for social living to evolve. By combining broad taxonomic sampling with detailed neuroanatomical, genomic and functional characterisation of the sensory structures underpinning kin recognition, we are investigating the neural and chemosensory adaptations that support this behaviour, and the remarkable diversity of Hymenopteran social systems.

What will you be doing?

This role will lead the genomics side of this project, working together with other team members in the UK and France. The work will include collating published genomic data across Hymenoptera, and combining it with newly sequenced genomes to perform phylogenetic analyses of chemoreceptor genes. These analyses will be informed, and combined, with data on neuroanatomical traits.

 

You should apply if

The role will suit someone with experience in handling large genomic datasets, genome assembly, annotation and phylogenetic analyses, and excellent data handling and organizational skills. You will be working with a multidisciplinary team, so must have strong communication skills and an enthusiasm for understanding different branches of biology.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Stephen Montgomery (s.montgomery@bristol.ac.uk).

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.
Closing date :  05 Apr 2022
Salary :  £34,304 – £38,587 per annum

https://www.bristol.ac.uk/jobs/find/details/?nPostingId=120702&nPostingTargetId=268598&id=Q50FK026203F3VBQBV7V77V83&LG=UK&mask=newuobext

Offre de Postdoc : ANT POPULATION GENOMICS, SOCIAL SUPERGENE EVOLUTION

POSTDOC: ANT POPULATION GENOMICS, SOCIAL SUPERGENE EVOLUTION, UNIVERSITY OF LAUSANNEApplication deadline: 15 January 2022 (Incoming applications will continue to be considered until the position is filled)A Postdoctoral position is available in the group of Prof. Michel Chapuisat at the Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. The group studies social evolution. We are currently investigating the origin, evolution, and mechanisms of action of a supergene controlling social organization across Formica ants (see http://www.unil.ch/dee/page7000.html). Recent research showed that some species have three supergene haplotypes. F. selysi and F. cinerea commonly hybridize, raising the possibility of supergene introgression. The postdoctoral researcher will generate and analyse population genomics data to uncover key processes governing supergene evolution, including selection, genetic load, drive and introgression. This project will shed light on how supergenes arise, spread and shape complex alternative phenotypes.Your responsibilities:You will study the evolution of a social supergene. This will involve field sampling of multiple ant species, population analyses (e.g. sex-ratio, male production), sequencing, population genomic and comparative genomic analyses. Depending on your personal interests and skills, projects on genome evolution, molecular evolution, behavioural genetics and ecological genomics are also possible.Your qualifications:We are seeking to recruit an early carrier post-doctoral researcher with a PhD degree in evolutionary biology, genetics, genomics, bioinformatics or related fields. The ideal candidate should have skills and experience in one or more of the following fields: population biology, population genetics, comparative genomics, ecological genomics, molecular evolution. The candidate should have a convincing publication track-record, excellent inter-personal skills and a strong ability to work in a team.Job information:Expected start date in position: 01.03.2022 (or at earliest convenience)Contract length: 1 year, renewable depending on funding availableActivity rate: 100%Workplace: Lausanne – DorignyWhat the position offers you:We offer a nice working place in a multicultural, diverse and dynamic academic environment, with opportunities for professional training. The Department of Ecology and Evolution in Lausanne University hosts research groups working on a broad range of topics, producing a rich intellectual and social life. The working language in the group and in the Department is English for all scientific matters. Good command of English is needed, some knowledge of French would be a plus, but is not mandatory. The University of Lausanne offers state-of-the-art facilities, including excellent computer facilities and molecular labs.Contact for further information:Prof. Michel Chapuisat: Michel.Chapuisat@unil.chYour application:Deadline: 15.01.2022.Incoming applications will continue to be considered until the position is filled.To apply, please upload a single pdf document containing: a cover letter with a short description of your research interests, research experience, and why you are interested in joining our group; Your CV; The contact details of 2-3 referees; A copy of your PhD degree. Ideally, you should have received your PhD within the last 2 years or be about to obtain it in the next four months.To receive full consideration, application documents should be uploaded online through the University of Lausanne recruitment platform.Please apply through this webpage: https://bit.ly/3pDXMs1

Offre de thèse : IMPRINTING AND PLOIDY IN BUMBLEBEES

PhD: IMPRINTING AND PLOIDY IN BUMBLEBEES, LEICESTERDeadline for applications: 7 January 2022Project highlights– Building on NERC funded and CENTA PhD work on bumblebees, an important pollinator.– How are imprinted diploid genes used in a haploid sex?– Are different genes imprinted at different stages?OverviewThis project asks how can imprinted genes exist in a haplodiploid organism. Genomic imprinting is when the expression of an allele is dependent on the parent it came from, Genomic imprinting is an important area of research in plant breeding and in evolutionary biology and has relevance to some human cancers and developmental syndromes.Recently, as part of a current NERC funded research grant and a CENTA 1 PhD, we have discovered imprinted genes in bumblebees (see Figure 1). This is a major finding and opens the door to multiple other questions. Bumblebees are haplodiploid, that is fertilised eggs (diploids) become females. Unfertilised eggs (haploids) become males. This leads to a paradox,  genomic imprinting restricts expression of certain genes to one parental allele. As a consequence, both maternal and paternal chromosomes are required for successful development. How can males function, given that we would predict a number of genes to be imprinted and therefore non-functional.A corollary of this, through a quirk of inbreeding in bumblebees, diploid males are easy to produce. How do these animals function give that they presumably have doubled the number of alleles compared to their haploid brothers? Previous work suggests that they have similar expression levels to haploid males, but what about the imprinted genes in these diploids.A final area of interest is imprinting at different stages. Our data shows imprinting in the adult bee. When does this arise? Are different genes imprinted at different stages?MethodologyThe student will produce haploid males from ten normal colonies. Diploid males will come from ten inbred colonies. RNA from these will be extracted. Imprinted gene expression will be analysed using candidate gene RNA-seq analysis.Imprinted genes showing interesting patterns (differences between females, haploid and diploid males) will have their gene expression altered using RNAi to examine the resultant phenotype.The reciprocal cross used in the initial work (NERC funded) will be repeated and this time samples will be taken at larval and pupal stages. They will be analysed using RNA-seq and GLMs to identify stage specific imprinted genes.Training and skillsThe student will be provided with training, as required, in R, a powerful and increasing popular statistical programming language, Python, a general-purpose, high-level programming language widely used in bioinformatics, molecular biology and bee husbandry.Training will also be provided in the preparation of both transcriptomic NGS libraries. The student will also become conversant with general molecular biology techniques such as PCR, qPCR and cloning.Partners and collaborationThis is a collaborative project between the lead supervisor Mallon and co-supervisor Rosato.  The supervisors have complimentary interests and expertise in gene expression and social insects and of next generation sequencing techniques to investigating these areas. Mallon will provide specific expertise in the role of epigenetics and gene expression, while Rosato provides expertise in candidate gene molecular biology. This proposal will benefit greatly from the ongoing collaboration between M and R in co-supervising a current PhD student working on bumblebees.Further detailsPlease contact Eamonn Mallon, Department of genetics and genome biology, University of Leicester, ebm3@le.ac.uk for further details. https://www2.le.ac.uk/projects/selabTo apply to this project please visit: https://le.ac.uk/study/research-degrees/funded-opportunities/centa-phd-studentships Possible timelineYear 1: Haploid males. Bee husbandry. Collecting samples. Carrying out treatments. Production and sequencing of libraries. Begin analysis.Year 2: Diploid males. Bee husbandry. Collecting samples. Carrying out treatments. Production and sequencing of libraries. Begin analysis.Year 3: Reciporcal crosses, RNA-seq and RNAi.Further readingHua Yan, Roberto Bonasio, Daniel F. Simola, Jürgen Liebig, Shelley L. Berger, and Danny Reinberg (2015)DNA Methylation in Social Insects: How Epigenetics Can Control Behavior and Longevity.. Annual Review of Entomology, Vol. 60: 435 -452M Pegoraro, H Marshall, ZN Lonsdale, EB Mallon (2017) Do social insects support Haig’s kin theory for the evolution of genomic imprinting? Epigenetics 12 (9),725-742Marshall, H.  van Zweden, J.S., Van Geystelen, A., Benaets, K., Wäckers, F., Mallon, E.B. & Wenseleers, T. (2020) Genome-wide search for parent-of-origin allele specific expression in Bombus terrestris. Evolution Letters 4 (6), 479-490

Offre de Postdoc : THE GENOMIC BASIS OF SOCIAL NICHE CONSTRUCTION DURING COLONY FOUNDING

POSTDOC: THE GENOMIC BASIS OF SOCIAL NICHE CONSTRUCTION DURING COLONY FOUNDING, MÜNSTER, GERMANYDeadline for applications: 6 January 2022The Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity at the University of Münster, Germany, is seeking to fill the position of a Postdoctoral Research Associate (Wissenschaftliche/r Mitarbeiter/in – salary level TV-L E 13, 100%) from the earliest possible date. The position is within the externally funded project SFB/TRR 212. We are offering a fixed-term full-time position until 31 December 2025 corresponding to the duration of the project.Your tasks:The position is part of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB/TRR 212) entitled « A Novel Synthesis of Individualisation across Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution: Niche Choice, Niche Conformance, Niche Construction » (NC3: https://www.unibielefeld. de/fakultaeten/biologie/forschung/verbuende/sfb_nc3/3) and funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).The project focuses on the genetic, epigenetic and transcriptomic basis of social niche construction during colony founding. Individual Pogonomyrmex californicus ant queens can choose to start a new colony alone (haplometrosis) or they can join or accept other co-founding queens (pleometrosis). During the first two weeks of colony founding, co-founding queens interact in multiple ways and so construct their individualized social niche. They either accept additional queens or they evict/kill them. Matched interactions, where pleometrotic queens interact with each other, lead to a fitness gain whereas mismatched interactions, where haplometrotic and pleometrotic queens interact, lead to a fitness loss (for one or both). The frequency of these alternative founding strategies varies within and among subpopulations. The first funding period revealed the genomic and genetic architecture of this social niche polymorphism. In the second funding period, we will focus on three aims.Confirming and experimentally testing candidate genes and epigenetic mechanisms (histone modification and DNA methylation), that we identified in the first funding period.Develop a generalized evolutionary framework/model that takes into account the relation between genotype, phenotype, individualized social niche and fitness.Understand why colony founding above a certain number of cofounding pleometrotic queens will always fail. Is this a constraint (division of labour) or an adaptation (spitefulness) in the context of the evolution of pleometrosis.The successful candidate will conduct behavioural field and laboratory studies in cooperation with Prof Jennifer Fewell (Arizona State University) in Arizona and California. The secondary emphasis will be on transcriptomic, genomic and epigenetic studies using a variety of methods (dsRNAi, ATACseq, ChIP-seq and pharmacological interventions). Hence practical familiarity and experience with some genomic techniques and bioinformatic tools is required (ideally demonstrated through publications).Our expectations:The successful candidate will be a highly motivated scientist, interested in interdisciplinary work in the framework of the NC3 network. They will have a doctoral degree (or a comparable qualification) in biology, preferentially with a focus on evolution, behavioural ecology, sociobiology, genomics, epigenetics or another related field. They will also have a background, and ideally some postdoctoral experience, in at least two of the following areas: working with live insects, molecular lab skills, genomics/transcriptomics and bioinformatics. They will have excellent communication skills and be able to work both independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team. The working language of the Institute and the lab is English, and good proficiency in spoken and written English is a requirement. German language skills are not a requirement, but a willingness to learn is desirable.Advantages for you:The Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity provides a stimulating research environment with a number of scientific groups researching diverse topics centred on different aspects of evolution. As a part of the Collaborative Research Centre SFB/TRR 212 the project will involve intensive collaboration with consortium partners at the Universities of Münster and Bielefeld. The University of Münster is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing the proportion of women academics. Consequently, we actively encourage applications by women. Female candidates with equivalent qualifications and academic achievements will be preferentially considered within the framework of the legal possibilities. The University of Münster is committed to employing more staff with disabilities. Candidates with recognised severe disabilities who have equivalent qualifications are given preference in hiring decisions, although some restrictions related to the access to field sites may apply. Positions can generally be filled as part-time positions if there are no compelling work-related reasons against doing so.Are you interested?Then we look forward to receiving your application, written in English, in one single PDF file, by 6 January 2022. Applications should be sent to Prof Jürgen Gadau at: gadauj@uni-muenster.de. Please note that we cannot consider other file formats. Applications should include 1) a cover letter with a statement of research interests and motivation (max. 1 page), 2) a CV including details about research experience and publications, and 3) contact details for at least two referees.45,000 students and 8,000 employees in teaching, research and administration, all working together to shape perspectives for the future – that is the University of Münster (WWU). Embedded in the vibrant atmosphere of Münster with its high standard of living, the University’s diverse research profile and attractive study programmes draw students and researchers throughout Germany and from around the world.

Prix Jeune Chercheur 2021

Après examen des candidatures (5 dossiers reçus), le Conseil d’Administration a le plaisir d’attribuer le Prix Jeune Chercheur de la Section Française IUSSI à Hugo Darras dont les recherches sont consacrées à l’étude des mécanismes de reproduction chez les fourmis. Hugo présentera ses travaux le mercredi 1er décembre à 12h00 par visioconférence avant l’assemblée générale de la section.

Raphaël Jeanson

Offre de Post-doc : Modelling honeybee colony resilience from field data à l’EGCE de Gif-sur-Yvette

Modelling honeybee colony resilience from field data – a 2-year postdoc position

  

Working places: Unité Mixte de Recherche EGCE – Evolution, Génomes, Comportement et Écologie – Gif-sur-Yvette – France (IRD, CNRS, Univ. Paris-Saclay; www.egce.cnrs-gif.fr), and fieldwork in several French study sites.

 Job description: We open a 2-year postdoc position related to the ongoing H2020 BeeConnected project (details here). The postdoc main objective is to study the resilience of honey bee colonies (Apis mellifera) along gradients in climate and landscape complexity. To reach that objective, the postdoc will benefit from a large and original dataset of honey bee colony dynamics collected through an automatic standardized monitoring over multiple European countries. The postdoc will explore spatio-temporal trends in the in-hive behaviour of honey bee colonies in order (i) to assess the effects of stress events (e.g. swarming, food shortage, queen failure) on the colony dynamic, (ii) to analyse the colony ability to recover from stress events (exploring potential climate×landscape dependent effects) and (iii) to define endpoints in the colony resilience.

 Targeted profile: The postdoc requires a strong technical expertise in bioinformatics for scientific data analysis with experience in R and/or Python and good modelling practices. Knowledge in evolutionary ecology and life history traits with a PhD and/or a postdoc in those areas are welcome. Further requirements are knowledge in spatio-temporal dynamics of complex biological systems, proficiency in writing and communication skills, self-motivation, and ability to work in an international and interdisciplinary team. Good knowledge in French and English is required.

 Conditions: The postdoc will integrate the UMR EGCE based in Gif-sur-Yvette (southwest of Paris, France, in the green valley of Chevreuse). Project meeting are planned in Europe. Salary and benefits are according to public service positions in France, depending on experience. The postdoc start date is planned on February 2022.

 Application procedures: Send your application in a single pdf file by email to Fabrice Requier (fabrice.requier@egce.cnrs-gif.fr) and François Rebaudo (francois.rebaudo@ird.fr) no later than November 30th, 2021. Title your email “Postdoc application – Modelling honeybee resilience”. Your application must include (i) a letter stating your motivations for this project, (ii) a CV and (iii) the names of two referees (with e-mail addresses). You can contact fabrice.requier@egce.cnrs-gif.fr for any further information.

Programme du VII Congrès Européen de l’IUSSI 2020

Nous mettons les détails du programme au fur et à mesure sur le site web: https://eu-iussi2020.sciencesconf.org/

 

Program overview

05/10: When, why and how does sociality re-shape life history trade-offs?

Organisers: Alice Séguret, Boris Kramer, Romain Libbrecht, Judith Korb

07/10: Not just cogs in the machine: functional morphology and biomechanics of social insects

Organisers : Vincent Fourcassié, Roberto A Keller

12/10: Epigenetics and gene regulation in Social Insects

Organisers : Tali Reiner Brodetzki, Uli Ernst, Romain Libbrecht, Laurent Keller

14/10: Community ecology of social insects

Organizers: Xim Cerdá, Ioan Tausan

19/10: Diversity, plasticity and evolution of communication in insect societies (part I)

Organisers: Luca Pietro Casacci, Alessandro Cini, Volker Nehring

21/10: Developmental plasticity of holometabolous social insects

Organisers : Eva Schultner, Jan Oettler

26/10: Nest architecture and collective building in social insects

Organisers : Andréa Perna, Christian Jost, Guy Theraulaz

28/10: From genes to ecosystems: evolutionary biology of networks

Organisers : Claire Morandin, Pierre Nouhaud

02/11: Understanding social insect pollination: behavioural and genetic approaches

Organisers : Simon Tierney, Olivia Bernauer, Michael Garratt, Anders Nielsen

04/11: Symbionts of social insects

Organisers : Amélie Cabirol, Philipp Engl

11/11: Nutritional homeostasis in social insects

Organisers : Sara Arganda, Audrey Dussutour, Sara Leonhardt

11/11: Diversity, plasticity and evolution of communication in insect societies (part II)

Organisers: Luca Pietro Casacci, Alessandro Cini, Volker Nehring

EU-IUSSI 2020 – virtual symposium series in October and November 2021

We are glad to announce that EU-IUSSI 2020 will take place in the form of a virtual symposium series in October and November 2021, every Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 to 15:00 (UK time).

We are welcoming applicants for talks. Please send your abstract (title, list of authors, affiliations, 200 words description max) by email directly to symposia organizers. The list of symposia and the contacts are available in the « program overview » page. Submission deadline is 15/07/2021.

eu-iussi2020.sciencesconf.org/registration

There are no registration fees. But please register in the « my registration » page (name, email, affiliations) to make sure you receive the zoom links (these will also be shared through IUSSI sections mailing lists).

We hope you will be many to join !

eu-iussi2020.sciencesconf.org

The Toulouse team,

and the European IUSSI sections.

Postdoctoral position in evolutionary genomics, University of Lausanne

Postdoctoral position in evolutionary genomics, University of Lausanne

A Postdoctoral position in evolutionary genomics is available in the group of Prof. Michel Chapuisat at the Department of Ecology and Evolution, University of Lausanne, Switzerland. The group studies social evolution. We are currently investigating the origin, evolution and mode of action of a supergene controlling social organization in ants.  Our approach combines genomics, genetics, behavioral experiments and ecological surveys in the field. For more information, see http://www.unil.ch/dee/page7000.html.

Your responsibilities:
You will study the genomic evolution and mode of action of a supergene controlling social organization in ants of the genus Formica. The research project can be extended towards behavioral genetics, population genomics, ecological genomics or comparative genomics, depending on your interests and background. There will also be scope to accommodate personal ideas or projects.

Your qualifications:
We are seeking to recruit an early carrier post-doctoral researcher with a PhD degree in evolutionary biology, genomics, bioinformatics or related fields. The ideal candidate should have skills and experience in one or more of the following fields: behavioral studies, comparative genomics, population genomics, ecological genomics, molecular evolution, transcriptomics. The candidate should have a convincing publication track-record, excellent inter-personal skills and a strong ability to work in a team.

What the position offers you:
We offer a nice working place in a multicultural, diverse and dynamic academic environment, with opportunities for professional training. The Department of Ecology and Evolution in Lausanne University hosts research groups working on a broad range of topics, producing a rich intellectual and social life. Although French is the common language in Lausanne region, the department research activities and seminars are conducted in English. The University of Lausanne offers state-of-the-art facilities, including excellent computer facilities and molecular labs.

Contact for further information:
Prof. Michel Chapuisat: Michel.Chapuisat@unil.ch

Your application:
Deadline: 21.06.2021.
Incoming applications will continue to be considered until the position is filled.
To apply, please upload a single pdf document containing: a cover letter with a short description of your research interests, research experience, and why you are interested in joining our group; Your CV; The contact details of 2-3 referees; A copy of your PhD degree. Ideally, you should have received your PhD within the last 2 years or be about to obtain it in the next four months.

To receive full consideration, application documents should be uploaded online through the University of Lausanne recruitment platform.
Please apply through this webpage: https://bit.ly/3yY2apo

Hommage à Christian Peeters

 

 

Chères et chers collègues,

C’est avec une grande tristesse que nous avons appris ce 1er septembre 2020 le décès de notre collègue et ami.

Christian était connu de tous comme un chercheur passionné par les fourmis, qu’il a étudiées tout au long de sa carrière, transmettant sa passion à de nombreux étudiants et au grand public via de nombreuses expositions et interventions médiatiques et culturelles.

En plus d’une très grande expertise naturaliste, Christian a su impulser de nouvelles réflexions passionnantes que ce soit sur la reproduction chez les fourmis sans reines, l’évolution de la caste reine et la fondation des colonies, ou plus récemment sur les évolutions morphologiques des ouvrières.

Globe trotter dans l’âme, il a parcouru le monde toute sa vie et rencontré nombre d’entre nous. Discuter avec Christian, de science ou de toute autre chose, était toujours un plaisir. Sa personnalité joviale et dynamique sera regrettée. Nos pensées vont à sa famille.

Mathieu Molet, Thibaud Monnin, Claudie Doums, et toute l’équipe ESEAE à Paris.

 

Ouverture du congrès Européen 2020 – rescheduled for next year

The European Congress of the IUSSI 2020, which was scheduled to be held at the University Paul Sabatier, Toulouse, France in August this year has now been rescheduled for next year (presumably at the same location):

 

Dear colleagues and friends,

 

Given the progression of the coronavirus epidemics (COVID-19), the intensification of confinement measures in many parts of the world, and the lack of visibility about the end of the crisis, it now seems very difficult to maintain the organisation of the EU-IUSSI congress in Toulouse this August. Even after the end of specific confinement actions, probably at different times in different countries, it is likely that travels and human interactions will remain regulated for several months making it difficult to hold any meeting.

 

After discussing with delegates of all European sections and the International Union, we decided to postpone the congress to 22-25 of August 2021, hoping for better times. Plenary speakers, symposium organizers, and invited symposium speakers will be asked to contribute again, as in the initial plan.

 

Although many of you already submitted abstracts on the congress web site, normally no payment could have been done at this date. If you think you did so, please contact us (marie-angele.albouy@univ-tlse3.fr).

 

We are sure you will understand this difficult but important decision

Please take care,

The organizing committee

 

Mathieu Lihoreau,

Raphael Jeanson,

Vincent Fourcassié,

Marie-Ange Albouy,

Aurore Avargues-Weber,

Jean-Marc Devaud,

Audrey Dussutour,

Martin Giurfa,

Tamara Gomez-Moracho,

Christian Jost,

Stéphane Kraus,

Jean-Paul Lachaud,

Gérard Latil,

Coline Monchanin,

Pierre Moretto,

Guy Theraulaz,

Séverine Trannoy,

Antoine Wystrach

 

 

 

 

Le Congrès Européen de l’Union International pour l’Etude des Insectes Sociaux aura lieu cette année a Toulouse, du 23 au 26 aout. La soumission des résumés et l’enregistrement sont désormais ouverts (deadline 3 mai). Vous trouverez toutes les informations importantes sur le site web du congres: https://eu-iussi2020.sciencesconf.org.

On vous attends tous a Toulouse!
Mathieu Lihoreau,
pour le comité d’organisation

IUSSI North west European section

In order for students to apply for funding from the section to attend international IUSSI meetings, students normally need to have been a member of the section for at least one year prior to the application deadline. However, students beginning their studies in October 2019 and registering as a member in October/November will pay their 2020 fees, and still be counted as being a member since 2019.

Two perks:

* Members receive a discount when registering for the winter meeting in London (Dec 16th).

* Students that register this October, are then eligible to apply for travel-funding for the EURO IUSSI 2020 in Toulouse, France.

Having a subscription to IUSSI is a great way to support the world of social insect research. Membership is cheap (£7.50 for students, £15 for full members). One additional perk of being a member is that it provides large discounts when registering for IUSSI conferences. Applications for section membership can be found at: http://www.iussi.org/NWEurope/subs.htm

The section newsletter has now been re-imagined on-line, and is accessible to all: The September newsletter can be found at: https://sway.office.com/FthDa2n0HB7fLTen The October newsletter will be on-line shortly (see http://www.iussi.org/NWEurope/newsletter.htm)

« We felt the yearly format resulted in newsletters that were long and time consuming to read. Therefore, we are (provisionally) changing to a monthly format. We hope this will result in more engaging & easy to digest content. This format also allows us to make announcements such as new job opportunities more easily. »

Offre de stage Master : Weaver ants as natural pest control, Sabah, Malaysia

MSc: WEAVER ANTS AS NATURAL PEST CONTROL, SABAH, MALAYSIA

 

A research-based MSc studentship is available to work on: Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) as natural pest control in oil palm plantations

 

A highly motivated postgraduate student is sought to join a project exploring how arboreal weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina; Malaysian common name « Kerengga ») can be used to control insect herbivore pests in oil palm plantations. Previous surveys have demonstrated that palms inhabited by these ants have less herbivore damage (Pierre & Idris, 2013 Asian Myrmecology 5: 163-176). The student will conduct experiments to explore whether ants really do reduce numbers of herbivores. They will also conduct surveys to see which factors can increase abundance and persistence of weaver ants. This will also show how variation in weaver ant abundance affects abundance of herbivorous insects, herbivory rates, and consequently palm oil yields. They will then explore the feasibility and economic viability of strategies to introduce and maintain weaver ant colonies in oil palm plantations. Finally, they will explore methods for mitigating negative impacts of weaver ants in plantations, such as symbioses with sap sucking insects, and aggressiveness of colonies towards workers in plantations. We envisage that the results of our study will allow reduction is use of pesticides, improved yields for plantations, and conservation of biodiversity in oil palm landscapes. This work also has potential to inform Malaysian government policy through incorporation into guidelines for growth of sustainable palm oil (Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) standard), and also to inform the international palm oil sustainability guidelines, laid out by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The position will provide the opportunity to work in collaboration with the Sabah research and development unit of the oil palm company FGV Sdn Bhd.

 

The student will be registered at Universiti Malaysia Sabah and will be jointly supervised by Dr Kalsum Mohd Yusah (www.kalsumyusah.com) at the Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ITBC), Universiti Malaysia Sabah, and Dr Hasber Salim (School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia). This research is jointly carried out by two other collaborators, Dr. Tom Fayle (www.tomfayle.com; ITBC and Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre of Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic) and Assoc. Prof. Dr Homathevi Rahman (ITBC, UMS). A monthly stipend of RM 1300 will be provided for the full two-year period, which is sufficient for paying university fees (see https://www.ums.edu.my/pascav2/en/fees-and-financial/fees) and living costs. All field related expenses, including travel to field sites and accommodation in the field, will be provided. This position is open to both Malaysian and non-Malaysian applicants. The deadline for applications is 31 October 2019.

 

Required:

* An undergraduate degree in a related topic.

* Interest in the ecology of insects.

* An A- or above in Ecology or a related subject and an overall CGPA of 3.0 or above.

* Enthusiasm for working in the field for extended periods in oil palm plantations.

* Ability to work independently.

* Some experience in the use of ecological statistical analyses.

 

 

Desirable

* Previous experience of field work.

* Research experience with insect ecology.

 

To apply please send a CV, contact details for two references (we will contact referees directly for shortlisted applicants), and a cover letter stating qualifications, previous work and motivation to Dr Kalsum Mohd Yusah (kalsum@ums.edu.my).

Offre de thèse : Social insect collective behavior, Macquarie and Monash Universities, Australia

PhD & RESEARCH ASSOCIATES: SOCIAL INSECT COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOUR, MACQUARIE & MONASH, AUSTRALIA

 

Positions for research associates and PhD candidates are in an exciting project that studies collective behaviour in social insects.

You will work within a cutting-edge multidisciplinary collaboration of experimental biologists and mathematical computational modellers at Macquarie and Monash Universities, and international partners in a project funded by the Australian Research Council (see https://tinyurl.com/yxuagwol).

 

We are seeking applications for:

Research Associate – this requires a highly motivated candidates with field or laboratory experience in animal behaviour, ideally but not necessarily dealing with ants or other social insects.

PhD Candidate – we are looking for a candidate with the same experience as above and broad conceptual interests in biology that will allow them to place their empirical work in a theoretical context. Students in this project will be able to profit from the modelling work being conducted by other specialised team members but will have the opportunity to learn cutting-edge computational modelling techniques, should they wish.

 

If you are interested in working at the intersection of ecology, behaviour, and complex systems science, in a project that meshes experimental biology and computation science we encourage you to contact us for further discussion.

 

Prof. Bernd Meyer: bernd.meyer@monash.edu

Dr Chris Reid: chris.reid@mq.edu.au

Request for Monomorium samples

Dear myrmecologists,

I’m Rohini Singh, a 5th year Ph.D. student working in Tim Linksvayer’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania. I have been investigating the effects of infection by the endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia on Monomorium pharaonis colonies (for more information, please see a recent biorxiv preprint; doi.org/10.1101/574921).

I would like to further assess the prevalence of Wolbachia infection in Monomorium pharaonis samples collected around the world, and also in as many additional Monomorium species as possible.

We would greatly appreciate if you could send us samples of workers from Monomorium pharaonis, or other Monomorium species. We are especially interested in Monomorium species related to M. pharaonis, but ultimately are interested in all Monomorium species.

Please send us samples in 95% ethanol to the address below. We would prefer 25-40 workers per colony, but we are also very interested in smaller samples if only a few workers are available. Recently collected material would be ideal, but we are also interested in older material.

Please send us as much and as detailed collection information as possible, such as, collection date, site, and habitat, collector name, species identity (if known) and any other collection notes.

 

Shipping Address

Rohini Singh

Department of Biology, Leidy 325

University of Pennsylvania

433 South University Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6018

 

We are happy to answer any questions.

Thank you very much in advance!

 

Sincerely,

Rohini Singh

srohini@sas.upenn.edu

Stage césure : Comportement de défense des abeilles domestiques, Apis mellifera, en réponse à la pression de prédation exercée par le frelon asiatique, Vespa velutina

  • Projet :
    Le frelon asiatique à pattes jaunes, Vespa velutina, a été introduit accidentellement en Europe dans les années 2000 et ne cesse depuis d’étendre son aire de répartition. Cette espèce invasive se nourrit massivement sur les colonies d’abeilles domestiques, Apis mellifera, pouvant aboutir à l’effondrement de la colonie. La pression de prédation n’est pas homogène au sein même d’un rucher mais n’est cependant pas dépendante de la force de la colonie. Cela suggère que les colonies d’abeilles répondent différemment d’un point de vue comportemental à la présence du frelon et que certaines ruches seraient plus enclines et plus efficaces à se défendre. En effet, les colonies d’abeilles se comportant comme un superorganisme, leurs traits de personnalité et leur réponse face à un stress peuvent être particulièrement variables d’une colonie à une autre. Dans ce projet, le but est donc de caractériser des traits de comportement lié à la défense de la colonie (agressivité, capacité à recruter des gardiennes) au cours de la saison de prédation du frelon. Pour cela des tests classiques d’évaluation de l’agressivité (drapeau, phéromone) et un suivi rapproché des colonies seront réalisés.
  • Missions :
    (1) Mener les tests d’agressivité sur le terrain 2 à 3 jours par semaines du début du stage jusqu’à fin octobre/début novembre.
    (2) Préparation du matériel nécessaire à la conduite des expérimentations
    (3) Analyse des données vidéos et photographiques
  • Profil recherché :
    (1) Intérêt pour l’écologie comportementale
    (2) Intérêt pour la pratique de terrain
    (3) Rigueur et autonomie
    (4) Pas d’appréhension ni d’allergies concernant les abeilles et les frelons

 

  • Durée du stage : à déterminer, pouvant commencer en août/septembre 2019
    Lieu : INRA Nouvelle Aquitaine (UMR 1065 Save), Villlenave d’Ornon
    Indemnité de stage : 554,40 €/mois

Superviseur.e.s : Célia Bordier (UMR 1065 Save) / Denis Thiery (UMR 1065 Save) / Karine Monceau (UMR CNRS 7372 CEBC – La Rochelle Université)
Envoyer par e-mail (celia.bordier@gmail.com) un CV et une lettre de motivation.

Interview de Luc Passera par Alain Lenoir

Bonsoir,

Déjà le 1er juillet. Vous trouverez ci-joint les dernières infos sur le monde des fourmis (et autres) : http://www.dictionnaire-amoureux-des-fourmis.fr/Nouveautes-juin-2019.htm

Et en cadeau une superbe interview de Luc Passera, passionnant, qui doit intéresser tout le monde je pense. Merci Luc. D’autres interviews à venir, les volontaires seront bienvenus. Envoyez aussi vos photos !!!

http://www.dictionnaire-amoureux-des-fourmis.fr/Noms%20propres/P/Passera%20Luc/Luc%20Passera.htm

http://www.dictionnaire-amoureux-des-fourmis.fr/Noms%20propres/P/Passera%20Luc/Interview-Luc-Passera-2019.htm

Nouveautés en repos cet été.

A Lenoir

Université d’été « International Student Course in Behavioural Biology »

L’Institut Francilien d’Ethologie organise une université d’été « International Student Course in Behavioural Biology » les 19 et 20 septembre 2019, sur le campus de l’Université Paris 13 à  Villetaneuse.
Cet événement est dédié à  la formation des étudiants de Master et des doctorants en biologie du comportement.

Voir ci-dessous pour les détails :
http://ife.univ-paris13.fr/images/Documents/studentcourse_sept2019_paris13.pdf

Nous serons ravis de vous accueillir à  Villetaneuse à  cette occasion.

Inscription : ife.registration@leec.univ-paris13.fr) avant le 31 juillet.

Le bureau de l’IFE

============================================================

Dear students in animal behaviour / behavioural ecology,

The ‘Institut Francilien d’Ethologie’ organises a summer school entitled ‘International Student Course in Behavioural Biology’ on the 19 and 20 September 2019, at the campus of Villetaneuse of the Unviersité Paris 13. Please find more details following this link

http://ife.univ-paris13.fr/images/Documents/studentcourse_sept2019_paris13.pdf

Students are invited to present posters (in English) of their research projects, which will be evaluated and discussed by an international team of scientists. The course is limited to 120 participant (Master and PhD
students); thus we recommend to register by mail (ife.registration@leec.univ-paris13.fr) as soon as possible, before the 31 July.

We will be pleased to welcome you in Villetaneuse for this event.

Heiko Rödel [on behalf of the IFE organisational committee]

PhD COURSE: SOCIAL EVOLUTION, COPENHAGEN

 

A PhD course in « Social Evolution » will be held at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, from 4-8 November 2019.

 

This PhD course will introduce the key concepts in social evolution and the use of social insects as a model system to understand the evolution of sociality. The following topics will be covered by local and invited scientists who are experts in the field:

 

Conflict and Cooperation, Communication, Social Cognition, Social Organization, Social Immunity, Mutualism & Parasitism, Genetics and Genomics in social insects

 

Through this course, students will develop a firm platform on which to build their own knowledge and ideas. It will train students to critically address key literature, through questioning, debating and presenting research papers. Importantly, the course will provide students the opportunity to build connections with their peers and the invited scientists. Therefore, we highly encourage early-stage PhD students to apply.

 

Lecturers: Prof. Ashleigh Griffin (Oxford) Dr. Elli Leadbeater (Royal Holloway), Dr. Nathalie Stroeymeyt (Fribourg), Dr. David Nash (Copenhagen) , Dr. Michael Poulsen (Copenhagen), Dr. Christopher Pull (Royal Holloway).

 

Organisers : The course is being organized by Nick Bos, Christopher Pull and Michael Poulsen.

 

Target audience : PhD students studying social evolution . Spaces will be limited to ~ 20 participants .

 

Accreditation : The course is being supported by Copenhagen University, and participants will therefore be awarded a certificate and 3 ECTS points .

 

Contact: nbos@bio.ku.dk

Website and registration : https://tinyurl.com/socev

 

Registration deadline : 31st August, 2019

PhD COURSE: TAXONOMY, IDENTIFICATION AND ECOLOGY OF EUROPEAN ANTS, COPENHAGEN

PhD COURSE: TAXONOMY, IDENTIFICATION AND ECOLOGY OF EUROPEAN ANTS, COPENHAGEN

 

The course « Taxonomy, Identification and Ecology of European Ants » will be held for the fourth time this year at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, From 19-24 August.

 

The course is designed to give an introduction to the diversity of the European Ant fauna, and to give hands-on experience of methods for collecting, preserving, mounting and identifying ant specimens. During the course, we will have a series of short lectures on diversity and ecology from two guest lecturers, one an expert on the Southern European ant fauna, and the other an expert on Northern European ants. These will be supplemented by lectures by experts from Copenhagen on general topics of European ant ecology, including invasive species and social parasites. The main body of the course will then provide a practical introduction to the taxonomy and morphology-based identification of ant specimens, using specimens from the Natural History Museum of Denmark. A mid-week field excursion to several sites with different habitats will then allow students to collect their own ants, which they will subsequently mount and identify. We will finish the course with discussions on tips and tricks to use in the identification of « difficult » groups, and alternatives to morphology-based taxonomy and identification.

 

Guest lecturers this year will be Dr. Riitta Savolainen (Helsinki) and Dr. Christos Georgiadis (Athens/United Arab Emirates University).

 

The course is free to attend, but participants are responsible for organizing their own travel and accommodation for the course. Seats are limited to 25 students, and priority will be given to PhD students, but other students and postdocs can also participate if space allows. For informal inquiries, please contact David Nash (DRNash@bio.ku.dk)

 

For further details, and to apply, visit: https://phdcourses.ku.dk/DetailKursus.aspx?id=105903

 

Closing date for applicants is 31 July 2019

Bourses de la section francophone : résultats 2019

La section à le plaisir de vous annoncer que cette année la section francophone délivre 5 bourses de 200 euros chacune pour permettre a des étudiants de participer au 30eme congres de la section qui aura lieu a Avignon du 28 au 30 aout (https://colloque.inra.fr/insectes-sociaux2019).

Les lauréats sont:

Romain HONORIO (iEES-Paris, Molet/Doums)
Adam KHALIFE (iEES-Paris, Peeters)
Lauren JACQUIER (iEES-Paris, Molet/Doums)
Sophie VAN MEYEL (IRBI Tours, Meunier)
Valentine BARASSE (Champollion, Treilhou)

Bravo a eux! Merci de rentrer en contact avec Joël Meunier notre trésorier pour le transfer d’argent.

Mathieu Lihoreau (secrétaire)

Call for symposia EU-IUSSI 2020 Toulouse / Deadline 30/09/19

Dear colleagues and friends,

 

The next European meeting of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects (EU-IUSSI) will be held in Toulouse, France, on 24-26 Aug 2020 at the University Paul Sabatier. We hope to fill this conference with many great talks and posters, and this will only be possible with contributions from symposium organizers. Therefore, we would like to announce that the call for symposia is now open. 

Like for previous editions, the three days of conference will be organized with topic symposia and open sessions. We aim to cover a broad range of emerging as well as classical topics, and preference will be given to symposia that are not restricted to only one taxon. Each symposium should contain four invited talks (one long talk and three short). The sessions will then be completed with a number of non-invited talks (short) selected from the spontaneous abstract submissions. The length of long and short talks will be adjusted depending on the number of abstract submission received. If your symposium is accepted, you will commit to select speakers from the submitted abstracts and chair the session during the meeting.

The proposals will be evaluated by the scientific committee of the meeting, which contains representatives from all the active European sections of the IUSSI: Serge Aron, Cristina Castracani, Sylvia Cremer, Claire Detrain, Patrizia D’Ettore, Christoph Grüter, Juergen Heinze, Elli Leadbeater, Tom Wenseelers.

If you would like to organize a symposium, please send your proposal (symposium title, name and address of organizers, 300 word summary, names of invited speakers)before the 30th of September 2019 to mathieu.lihoreau@univ-tlse3.fr. It is highly recommended that the task is shared by at least two organizers, ideally from different institutes.

We are looking forward to your proposals, and to seeing you all in Toulouse!

Cheers,

The organizing committee

 

MADELEINE BEEKMAN 
Behaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Lab | School of Life and Environmental Sciences | Faculty of Science

THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
Room 239c, Macleay A12 | The University of Sydney | NSW | 2006
T +61 2 9351 8779  | M +61 437 871 542
E madeleine.beekman@sydney.edu.au  | W http://sydney.edu.au/science/biology/socialinsects/

30eme congres de l’Union Internationale pour l’Etude des Insectes Sociaux

Le 30eme congres de l’Union Internationale pour l’Etude des Insectes Sociaux (section française) se tiendra du 28 au 30 Aout 2019 a l’université d’Avignon.

Le site d’inscription et de soumission des abstracts est désormais ouvert ; Vous y trouverez aussi toutes les informations sur le déroulement du congres.

https://colloque.inra.fr/insectes-sociaux2019/

 

O  5 avril 2019 : Ouverture des inscriptions, Appel a communications et soumission des résumés.

O  20 mai 2019 : Clôture de la soumission des résumés.

O  01 juillet 2019 : Clôture des inscriptions.

 

L’objectif du congres est de partager les nouvelles avancées dans l’étude de la biologie des insectes sociaux (abeilles, fourmis, termites…) et dans l’étude du fonctionnement de leurs sociétés, ceci a travers des disciplines tres diverses comme l’écologie, la chimie, l’éthologie, les neurosciences, la modélisation ou les mathématiques.

 

Parmi les intervenants, nous aurons le plaisir d’accueillir Cléo Bertelsmeier (Université de Lausanne) et Denis Thiéry (Inra Nouvelle-Aquitaine) qui nous donneront une conférence pléniere chacun. Dans un contexte de changements globaux de plus en plus présent, Cléo Bertelsmeier nous présentera ses travaux sur l’impact de la mondialisation sur les invasions de fourmis, et Denis Thiéry fera une synthese des avancées sur la biologie du frelon asiatique et desméthodes de lutte.

De plus, a chaque congres, la section francophone de l’UIEIS décerne un Prix Jeune Chercheur/euse. Le lauréat sera invité a donner une conférence pléniere lors du colloque et se verra remettre le prix par le Président de la Section.  Date limite de candidature le 15 avril et a envoyer a mathieu.lihoreau@univ-tlse3.fr.

 

En espérant vous voir nombreux sous le soleil de Provence !

 

Le comité d’organisation

Prix jeune chercheur 2019

C’est avec grand plaisir que nous vous annonçons qu’Axel Touchard (INU Champollion, Albi) vient d’obtenir le Prix Jeune Chercheur 2019 de la section francophone. Ce résultat est le fruit des votes indépendants des 9 membres du bureau. Bravo donc a Axel et aux autres candidats! Axel sera invité a nous parler de ses travaux lors du colloque national qui aura lieu a Avignon au mois d’aout.

 

Vous pouvez retrouver l’interview d’Axel ici

 

 

Interview d’Axel Touchard (post-doctorant, Albi) par Alain Lenoir (IRBI, Tours)

Interview d’Axel Touchard (post-doctorant, Albi) par Alain Lenoir (IRBI, Tours)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– quel a été ton parcours ?

 Après mon BAC scientifique, je suis parti faire mes études supérieures à l’université du Maine, au Mans pour y suivre une licence de biologie avec la spécialisation « biologie des organismes ». Je suis passionné par l’entomologie depuis tout petit et ces études m’ont conforté dans l’idée d’étudier les insectes. J’ai donc poursuivi mon cursus universitaire en faisant un master portant sur la biologie des insectes à l’université François Rabelais, à Tours. À ce moment-là j’ai beaucoup hésité entre un parcours professionnel et un parcours recherche. Mais au moment de choisir mon stage de master 2, un stage déterminant pour l’orientation définitive de mon parcours, j’ai opté par un stage de recherche dans une société de biotechnologie (VenomeTech) afin d’étudier la biochimie des toxines de fourmis. Ce stage de recherche a été pour moi une sorte de déclic et m’a permis de lever mes derniers doutes sur mon envie de poursuivre dans cette voie. Ce fut également l’élément fondateur de ma thématique de recherche actuelle, car ce stage s’est ensuite transformé en une thèse en Guyane. J’ai soutenu ma thèse en 2015 à Kourou et je suis désormais en post-doctorat à Albi, à l’université Champollion, afin de continuer à étudier la thématique des venins de fourmis.

 

– comment tu t’es intéressé aux fourmis ?

Avant toute chose, il faut que j’explique comment je me suis intéressé à l’entomologie. Quand j’avais 12 ans, un insecte m’a vraiment marqué et a probablement changé le cours de ma vie. Je m’en souviens comme si c’était hier. En allant pêcher, je suis tombé sur insecte magnifique, bleu métallique. Je l’ai ramassé et ramené à mon collège pour le montrer à mon professeur de biologie qui m’a indiqué qu’il s’agissait d’un coléoptère, un carabidé plus précisément. Ensuite, j’ai demandé à mes parents de m’acheter un livre sur les insectes et la tout a commencé. Je me suis mis à ramasser tous les insectes que je croisais et à les identifier grâce à ce livre. Ensuite, j’ai commencé à faire une collection de coléoptères, puis de papillons. Je ne m’intéressais pas vraiment aux fourmis à ce moment-là. Mon intérêt pour les fourmis est venu beaucoup plus tard, à l’université. C’était pendant ma dernière année de licence de biologie. J’ai décidé de suivre un stage volontaire pendant l’été avec un chercheur qui étudiait l’écologie du papillon myrmécophile, Maculinea alcon. Le but de ce stage était d’étudier la biologie de ce papillon particulier. Pour étudier ce papillon nous avions besoin de collecter et de mettre en élevage les fourmis hôtes, c’est à dire plusieurs espèces de fourmis du genre Myrmica. En réalité, pendant ce stage, nous avons surtout étudié le comportement des fourmis lorsqu’elles étaient au contact des chenilles. J’ai trouvé ce stage fascinant et c’était surtout l’organisation sociale des fourmis qui me semblait incroyable. Ensuite, pour en apprendre plus j’ai lu un livre de Luc Passera qui s’intitulait « la véritable histoire des fourmis ». C’est ce livre qui m’a définitivement fait basculer dans la myrmécologie.

 

– ta thèse ?

J’ai fait ma thèse en alternance entre le laboratoire d’écologie de Kourou en Guyane et la société VenomeTech en France. Ma thèse avait pour but d’explorer la diversité des toxines (peptides) des venins de fourmis avec une dimension de biodiversité. Ainsi dès mon arrivée en Guyane j’ai été complétement immergé dans la forêt pour collecter un grand nombre d’espèces de fourmis. Une mission incroyable de 10 jours en forêt amazonienne, à avancer dans la forêt la machette à la main, à farfouiller sous les troncs, dans les épiphytes, dans les palmiers, etc., pour trouver le plus d’espèces possibles de fourmis venimeuses et ensuite récupérer leur venin. Le ton était donné pour mes trois années de thèse. L’objectif de la société VenomeTech était d’explorer les venins d’animaux pour trouver de nouvelles molécules thérapeutiques. Ainsi, en Guyane, je participais aussi aux missions de collecte des autres animaux venimeux comme les scorpions, les mygales, les scolopendres, … J’avais un peu l’impression d’être une sorte d’explorateur et j’ai trouvé cela très cool. L’aspect biochimie de ma thèse ne pouvait pas être géré en Guyane et donc je partais tous les 6 mois environs en mission à VenomeTech pour analyser les venins. C’était un sujet qui à l’époque était complétement nouveau et vraiment peu d’études avaient été faites sur les peptides des venins de fourmis. Ma thèse a permis de montrer qu’il y avait un vrai potentiel de découverte. Par exemple, nous avons décrit une nouvelle famille de neurotoxine animale qui pourrait avoir un potentiel applicatif pour le développement de molécules à visées thérapeutiques ou insecticides.  Ce qui me fait plaisir, c’est que ce sujet semble maintenant intéresser de plus en plus de groupes de recherches et je me dis que ma thèse y est peut-être un peu pour quelque chose.

Axel en pleine dissection de Paraponera (piqûre très douloureuse !!)

 

– et tes centres d’intérêt actuels ?

A la fin de mon doctorat j’ai choisi de poursuivre la thématique des peptides venins de fourmis. Ça n’a pas été simple tous les jours, car la plupart des offres de post-docs publiées concernaient des sujets très éloignés qui ne m’intéressaient pas vraiment. J’ai choisi la stratégie de postuler à plusieurs bourses de recherche afin de continuer mon sujet, mais malheureusement sans succès. À ce moment-là j’ai beaucoup douté sur mon avenir. J’ai été au chômage plusieurs mois, mais j’ai persévéré et j’ai finalement trouvé un post-doc dans une équipe qui développe exactement cette thématique de recherche, en France. Je pense que j’ai eu un peu de chance en choisissant cette stratégie. Quoiqu’il en soit, je cherche désormais à développer cette thématique en y intégrant des aspects fonctionnels, écologiques et évolutives. J’utilise une approche intégrative pour caractériser l’ensemble des peptides puis j’essaie de relier cette diversité vénomique avec l’écologie et la phylogénie des espèces. À la fin de ce post-doc je vais retourner en Guyane pour un autre post-doc en collaboration avec un laboratoire australien pour étudier l’évolution et le potentiel applicatif des venins de fourmis amazoniennes.

 

Quelques publications
Touchard, A
., Dauvois, M., Arguel, M.-J., Petitclerc, F., Leblanc, M., Dejean, A., Orivel, J., Nicholson, G. M., and Escoubas, P (2014). Elucidation of the unexplored biodiversity of ant venom peptidomes via MALDI–TOF mass spectrometry and its application for chemotaxonomy. Journal of Proteomics 105, 217-231.
Touchard, A., Brust, A., Cardoso, F. C., Chin, Y. K., Herzig, V., Jin, A.-H., Dejean, A., Alewood, P. F., King, G. F., Orivel, J., Escoubas, P (2016). Isolation and characterization of a structurally unique β-hairpin venom peptide from the predatory ant Anochetus emarginatus. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – General subjects 1860 (11), 2553-2562.
Touchard, A., Téné N., Chan Tchi Song, P., Lefranc, B., Leprince, J., Treilhou, M. and Bonnafé, E (2018). Deciphering the molecular diversity of an ant venom peptidome through a venomics approach. Journal of Proteome Research 17(10), 3503-3516.