Sophie Montuire

Directeur d'Etudes EPHE

Equipe Forme Evolution Diversité - FED

EPHE & UMR CNRS 5561 Biogéosciences

Université de Bourgogne

6 Bd Gabriel

21000 Dijon France

Tél.: 33. (0) - Fax: 63.87

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Paleontological database

Research interests

My main research interests are in paleontology and biodiversity focusing on the evolution of rodents in relation to biotic and abiotic factors.

The three main axes of my research are about:

  • Relations between mammalian communities and climate (size and species richness): The observation of the species richness evolution through time allows to construct some transfert functions in order to quantify climatic parameters. In fact, the correlations between species richness and climatic variations indicate that changes in biodiversity can be used to characterize climatic fluctuations. Several models have been proposed : the ones based on murines and arvicolines allow to quantify past climates since the Pliocene, and a third one has been developed to quantify older climates, especially since the Miocene.
  • Relations between shape and climate: Different parameters characterize biodiversity and are available in paleontological studies, as species richness (number of taxa, abundance), size of organisms and shape. These parameters evolve through time, they can be modified and they can thus registered life histories and environmental conditions. The studies of the evolutionary rates of these different parameters in relation to biotic or abiotic factors will express the dynamic of the biodiversity through time. Rodents and especially arvicolines, my animal model, highlight informations on the relationships between morphological variability and climate at a continental scale through Quaernary times. This group is characterised by a great variability of the tooth patterns both at intra-specific or inter-specific scales in relation to geography or environment.
  • Mecanisms acting on the morphological variability (Evo-Devo): With the new methods developed in morphometry, it is now quite easy to characterize the shape but the origin of the morphological variation and the mecanisms leading to a particular shape are still difficult to understand and to explain. My research concerns the application of a new method in morphometry based on the modularity and integration concept. New studies are now considered to better understand the development of organims, and especially the development of the dental row in the case of arvicolines.


I take part to some education proper to the EPHE or to the University of Burgundy. – The research field developed in Dijon corresponds to the Master EPHE EGB (Environment and Gestion of Biodiversity). Two courses are presented : (1) Data base in Natural Sciences and (2) Morphological analysis. – At the University of Burgundy, I take part to education mainly in palaeontology and for CAPES & AGREG degrees. – I also give courses in evolution in continuing education (IUFM) for schoolmaster.

Publications (1999-2009)

MONTUIRE, S. (1999). Mammalian faunas as indicators of environmental and climatic changes in Spain since the Pliocene. Quaternary Research, 52: 129-137.

COURANT, F., BRUNET-LECOMTE, P., VOLOBOUEV, V., CHALINE, J., QUERE, J.-P., NADACHOWSKI, A., MONTUIRE, S., BAO, G., VIRIOT, L., RAUSCH, R., ERBAJEVA, M., SHI, D. & GIRAUDOUX, P. (1999). Karyological and dental identification of M. limnophilus in Gansu (China), potential host of alveolar Echinococcosis. CRAS Sciences Vie, 322: 473-480.

CHALINE, J., BRUNET-LECOMTE, P., MONTUIRE, S., VIRIOT, L. & COURANT, F. (1999). Anatomy of the Arvicolid radiation (Rodentia): palaeogeographical, palaeoecological history and evolutionary data. Ann. Zoologici fennici, 36: 239-267.

CHALINE, J., ERBAJEVA, M. & MONTUIRE, S. (2000). Upper Pliocene leporids (Mammalia, Lagomorpha) from Montoussé-5 (Hautes-Pyrénées, France). Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, 2: 93-106.

MONTUIRE, S. (2000). Letter to the editor. Reply to letter to the editor by J. Rodriguez. Quaternary Research, 54: 436.

MONTUIRE, S. & MARCOLINI, F. (2001). Palaeoenvironmental significance of the mammalian faunas from Italy since the Pliocene. Journal of Quaternary Science, 17 (1): 87-96.

LANDRÉ, J., TRUCHETET, F. MONTUIRE, S. & DAVID B. (2001). Automatic building of a visual interface for content-based multiresolution retrieval of paleontology images. Journal of Electronic Imaging, 10 (4).

DOMMERGUES, J.-L., MONTUIRE, S. & NEIGE, P. (2002). Size patterns through time: the case of early Jurassic ammonites radiation. Paleobiology, 28(4): 423-434.

MARCHAND, H., PAILLAT, G, MONTUIRE, S. & BUTET, A. (2003). Landscape fragmentation and stress in populations of bank voles (Rodentia, Arvicolinae). Biol. J. of the Linnean Society, 80: 37-44.

LEROY, A., MONTUIRE, S. & MARCHAND, D. (2004). Analysis of teeth outlines : a morphometric tool for distinguishing three species of Crocidurinae (Soricidae, Insectivora, Mammalia) in France. J. of Natural History, 38 (2): 259-267.

MONTUIRE, S. & BRUNET-LECOMTE, P. (2004). Relation between climatic fluctuation and morphological variability in Microtus (Terricola) grafi (Arvicolinae, Rodentia) from Bacho Kiro (Bulgaria, Upper Pleistocene). Lethaia, 37: 71-78.

MARCOLONI, F. & MONTUIRE, S. (2004). Morphological variability analysis of Mimomys (Arvicolinae, Rodentia) from the Late Pliocene and Early Pleistocene of Central and South Europe. Neues J. Geol. Paläont. Abh, 231 (2): 277-295.

NAVARRO, N., ZATARAIN, X. & MONTUIRE, S. (2004). Effects of morphometric descriptor changes on statistical classing and morphospaces. Biol. J. Linnean Society, 83: 243-260.

NAVARRO, N., LECUYER, C., MONTUIRE, S., LANGLOIS, C. & MARTINEAU, F. (2004). Oxygen isotope compositions of phosphate from arvicoline teeth and Quaternary climatic changes, Gigny, French Jura. Quaternary Research, 62: 172-182.

COUETTE, S., ESCARGUEL, G. & MONTUIRE, S. (2005). Constructing, bootstrapping and comparing morphometric and phylogenetic trees: a case study of new world monkeys (platyrrhini, primates). Journal of Mammalogy, 86(4): 773-781.

LEGENDRE, S., MONTUIRE, S., MARIDET, O. & ESCARGUEL, G. (2005). Rodents and climate III. The use of sigmodontine rodents as analog for European Tertiary cricetids. EPSL, 235: 408-420.

TOUGARD, C. & MONTUIRE, S. (2006). Pleistocene paleoenvironnemental reconstructions and mammalian evolution in South-East Asia : focus on fossil faunas from Thailand. Quaternary Science Review, 25: 126-141.

NAPPI, A., BRUNET-LECOMTE, P. & MONTUIRE, S. (2006). Intraspecific morphological tooth variability and geographic distribution : application to the Savi’s vole, Microtus (Terricola) savii (Rodentia, Arvicolinae). Journal of Natural History, 40: 345-358.

MONTUIRE, S., MARIDET O. & LEGENDRE, S. (2006). Estimations of Late Neogene climates in Europe using rodents. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 238: 247-262.

COSTEUR, L., MONTUIRE, S., LEGENDRE, S., MARIDET, O. & HERAN, M.-A. (2007) The Messinian salinity crisis : what happened to the peri-Mediterranean mammalian communities and local climate ?. Geobios, 40: 423-431.

TOUGARD, C., MONTUIRE, S., BRUNET-LECOMTE, P. & FABRE, M. (2008). Evolutionary history of two allopatric Terricola species (Arvicolinae, Rodentia) from molecular and morphological data. Biol. J. Linnean Soc. 93: 309-323.

ESCUDE, E., MONTUIRE, S., DESCLAUX , E., QUERE, J.-P., RENVOISE, E. & JEANNET, M. (2008). Arvicola Lacépède, 1799 (Rodentia, Mammalia): a useful tool for constructing a biochronological framework? Journal of Archaeological Science 35: 1867-1879.

RENVOISE, E. EVANS, A.R., JEBRANE, A., LABRUERE, C., LAFFONT, R. & MONTUIRE, S. (in press). The evolution of mammal tooth pattern: new insights from a developmental prediction model. Evolution.

LAFFONT, R., RENVOISE, E., NAVARRO, N., ALIBERT P. & MONTUIRE, S. (in press). Morphological modularity and assessment of developmental processes within the vole dental row (Microtus arvalis, Arvicolinae, Rodentia). Evolution and Development.