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General interest

The main focus of our research is morphological variation. This is because variation is the raw material for selection: its amount and nature condition the evolutionary possibilities. Using geometric morphometrics we quantify patterns of shape variation and evolution at various scales using diverse models. We try to place our research at the junction of structural biology (molecular developmental genetics), functional biology (population biology/biomechanics) and phylogeny (historical dimension). Acounting for the real complexity of development-environment interactions is a major challenge of modern evolutionary biology.

Current projects

Evolution of wing shape, color and flight in Morpho butterflies

Why are Morpho blue? How do wing shape and color co-evolve? This project aims at understanding the evolution of wing shape and color patterns in
Morpho butterflies, in relation to flight performance and ecology.

This project is led in collaboration with Violaine Llaurens.
It combines field work in Amazonia (Peru- French Guiana), allowing ecologically  relevant observations; multivariate phenotyping, including geometric morphometrics and color pattern modelling; videography, and computation fluid dynamics in collaboration with Florian Muijres to investigate the evolution of flight behaviour and flight performance in relation to wing shape.
We also  investigate the role of wing color pattern in intra and interspecific interactions, using behavioural experiments in the wild.

The project is largelly based on the work of Camille Le Roy, in collaboration with  Ramiro Godoy-Diana, and  Patrick Blandin.


G matrices and phenotypic plasticity in Drosophila suzukii

We are investigating the evolution of G matrix of wing shape in the context of the worldwide invasion of Drosophila suzukii, that provides a unique opportunity to quantify the effects of strong selection and drift on G.
We study wing size and shape plasticity, and investigate its functional consequences using
videography of flight.

We also study the ovipositor shape plasticity using SEM, photogrametry. 

This was Antoine Fraimout's PhD project, and the postdoc or Ceferino Varon-Gonzalez. Collaboration with Celine Teplitsky, Nicolas Navarro and Patricia Gibert.

Various other things on Drosophilid evolution with Jean David and Amir Yassin.

Genetics of Fluctuating asymmetry

What are the developmental and genetic bases of developmental stability? Using the amazing tools of Drosophila genetics, we study the genetic/epigenetic aspects of the control of Fluctuating Asymmetry in Drosophila melanogaster. The particular role of Cyclin G in stabilizing organ size and shape is investigated. This is a project led by Fred Peronnet.