Ecology and Evolution
leader: François Bretagnole
The three main axes are immuno-ecology and trade-offs, host-parasite interactions, and mating systems (Figure 1, the hatched areas show the interactions between fields of study). The common feature of these three fields is the study of interactions between organisms, which requires an understanding of the degree of interdependence of the partners, the degree of reciprocity of interactions, the potential influence on interaction of any of the partners, and the evolutionary compromises necessary for durability in interaction.
1 – Host-parasite interactions
Various projects are included under this heading (Figure 2).
1-A- Manipulation of hosts by parasites: ecology, evolution and mechanisms
Main model organisms: amphipods and their parasites (mainly Acanthocephala)
Study of behavioural and physiological modifications caused by parasites
Adaptive value of these modifications
Mechanisms of these modifications
Sources of the variations observed in the degree of modification
Correlation(s) between the various modifications
1-B – Parasite specialisation: local adaptations and characteristics
Main model organism: amphipods and their parasites (mainly Acanthocephala); birds and their blood parasites
1-C – Characterisation of the symbiotic relationship between pea crabs (Pinnotheridae) and sea urchins
2 - Immuno-ecology
The various projects included under this heading are presented in figure 3.
2-B – Evolutionary ecology of oxidative stress regulation
Trade-offs between antioxidant activity and secondary sexual characteristics involved in carotenoid use
Early antioxidant activity and its effects on subsequent adaptive characteristics
Heritability of antioxidant defences.
2-C – Immunity, parasitism and sexual selection
Main model organisms: birds (house sparrows, blackbirds, zebra finches) and their parasites (Plasmodium, Coccidiae); amphipods and their parasites (mainly Acanthocephala)
3 – Mating Systems
The projects included under this heading are presented in Figure 4.
3-A – Mating dynamics, mating pairs
Main model organisms: birds (zebra finches); Cichlidae (cichlid fishes)
3-B – Relationships between social organisation and mating systems in Zenaida doves Zenaida aurita
3-C – Mating systems of amphipod crustaceans and isopods: patterns and processes
3-D – Impact of parasitism on the mating systems of amphipod crustaceans
Who does what?