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Evolutionary Ecology Department

RESEARCH Evolutionary Ecology Spatial Ecology of populations


altResearcher at the CNRS institute

Campus du CNRS UMR 5175
1919, route de Mende
34293 Montpellier Cedex 5

Tél: +33/0 4 67 61 32 68

Fax:+33/0 4 67 41 33 36



Head of the "Mandrillus Project"



altMy main area of investigations concerns the study of the evolution of primate social systems, by integrating tools from molecular genetic and behavioural ecology. In particular, I'm studying the evolution of life-history traits, reproductive systems, complex behaviour and more generally the social dynamic of primate species focusing on the influence of genetic factors.



(1) Influence of kin selection on social relationships in matrilineal societies

(2) Communication modes of health through different signals (odours, colours)

(3) Hybrid zone dynamic in baboons


2009-now: Permanent researcher at CNRS (CR1) "Population Biology" CEFE-CNRS UMR 5175, Montpellier, France

2005-08: Post-doctoral positions at Duke University, USA (S. Alberts, C. Drea)

2004: PhD thesis in evolutionary ecology, Université de Montpellier II, France (M. Hossaert)

2000: Master 2 in evolutionary ecology, Université de Montpellier II, France (M. Hossaert)



2012-… Coordinator of the ‘Mandrillus Project’


2012-2015 Coordinator of a ‘Station d’Etudes en Ecologie Globale’ (INEE-CNRS)

2012-2015 Membre of CNU (Comité National des Universités)

2010-... Guest Scientist at the DPZ (Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH)

2010-2017 Responsible of a LIA (International Associated Laboratories), CNRS-CIRMF(Gabon)




2010-2013: Associate editor 'Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology'

2009-2013: Member of the editorial board 'International Journal of Primatology'





  1. Benoit L, Mboumba S, Willaume S, Kappeler PM, Charpentier MJE. 2014. Using next-generation sequencing methods to isolate and characterize 24 simple sequence repeat loci in mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). Conservation Genetics Resources. Sous presse.
  2. Beaulieu M, Mboumba S, Willaume S, Kappeler PM, Charpentier MJE. 2014. The oxidative cost of unstable social dominance. Journal of Experimental Biology. 217: 2629-2632.
  3. Galbany J, Romero A, Mayo-Alesón M, Itsoma F, Gamarra B, Pérez-Pérez A, Willaume E, Kappeler PM, Charpentier MJE. 2014. Age-related tooth wear differs between forest and savanna primates. PlosOne 9: e94938.
  4. Charpentier MJE, Drea CM. 2013. Victims of infanticide and conspecific bite wounding in a female-dominant primate: a long-term study. PlosOne. 8(12): e82830.
  5. Charpentier MJE, Mboumba S, Ditsoga C, Drea CM. 2013. Nasopalatine ducts and flehmen behavior in the mandrill: Reevaluating olfactory communication in Old World primates. American Journal of Primatology. 75: 703-714.
  6. Huchard E, Charpentier MJE, Marshall H, King A, Knapp L, Cowlishaw G. 2013. Paternal effects on access to resources in a promiscuous primate society. Behavioral Ecology. 24: 229-236.
  7. Charpentier MJE, Huchard E, Widdig A, Gimenez O, Sallé B, Kappeler P, Renoult JP. 2012. Distribution of affiliative behavior across kin classes and their fitness consequences in mandrills. Ethology 118: 1198-1207.
  8. Charpentier MJE, Barthes N, Proffit M, Bessière J-M, Grison C. 2012. Critical thinking in the chemical ecology of mammalian communication: Roadmap for future studies. Functional Ecology 26: 769-774.
  9. Tung J*, Charpentier MJE*, Mukherjee S, Altmann J, Alberts SC. 2012. Genetic effects on mating success and partner choice in a social mammal. The American Naturalist 180: 113-129. *These two authors contributed equally to the manuscript.
  10. Charpentier MJE, Fontaine MC, Cherel E, Renoult JP, Jenkins T, Benoit L, Barthès N, Alberts SC, Tung J. 2012. Genetic structure in a dynamic baboon hybrid zone corroborates behavioral observations in a hybrid population. Molecular Ecology 21: 715-731.
  11. Renoult JP, Schaefer HM, Sallé B, Charpentier MJE. 2011. The evolution of the multicoloured face of mandrills: insights from the perceptual space of colour vision. PlosOne 6: e29117.
  12. Charpentier MJE, Crawford JC, Boulet M, Drea CM. 2010. Message 'scent': lemurs detect the genetic relatedness and quality of conspecifics via olfactory cues. Animal Behaviour 80: 101-108.
  13. Boulet M, Crawford JC, Charpentier MJE, Drea CM. 2010. Honest olfactory ornamentation in a female-dominant primate. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23: 1558-1563.
  14. Starling AP, Charpentier MJE, Fitzpatrick C, Scordato ES, Drea CM. 2010. Seasonality, sociality, and reproduction: Long-term stressors of ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta). Hormones and Behavior 57: 76-85.
  15. Setchell JM, Charpentier MJE, Abbott KM, Wickings EJ, Knapp LA. 2010. Opposites attract: MHC-associated mate choice in a polygynous primate. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 23: 136-148.
  16. Boulet M*, Charpentier MJE*, Drea CM. 2009. Decoding an olfactory mechanism of kin recognition and inbreeding avoidance in a primate. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9: 281. *These two authors contributed equally to the manuscript.
  17. Setchell JM, Charpentier MJE, Abbott KM, Wickings EJ, Knapp LA. 2009. Is brightest best? Testing the Hamilton-Zuk hypothesis in mandrills. International Journal of Primatology 30: 825-844.
  18. Huchard E, Benavides J, Setchell JM, Charpentier MJE, Alvergne A, King JA, Knapp LA, Cowlishaw G, Raymond M. 2009. Studying shape in sexual signals: the case of primate sexual swellings. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 63: 1231-1242.
  19. Alvergne A, Huchard E, Caillaud D, Charpentier MJE, Setchell JM, Ruppli C, Féjan D, Martinez L, Cowlishaw G, Raymond M. 2009. Human ability to visually recognize kin within primates. International Journal of Primatology 30: 199-210.
  20. Charpentier MJE, Boulet M, Drea CM. 2008. Smelling right: the scent of male lemurs advertises genetic quality and relatedness. Molecular Ecology 17: 3225-3233.
  21. Jones et al. 2008. Senescence patterns determined by species ranking on the fast-slow life-history continuum. Ecology Letters 11: 664-673.
  22. Charpentier MJE, Van Horn RC, Altmann J, Alberts SC. 2008. Paternal effects on offspring fitness in a multimale society. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 105: 1988-1992.
  23. Charpentier MJE, Williams CV, Drea CM. 2008. Inbreeding depression in ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta): genetic diversity predicts parasitism, immunocompetence, and survivorship. Conservation Genetics 9: 1605-1615.
  24. Charpentier MJE, Tung J, Altmann J, Alberts SC. 2008. Age at maturity in wild baboons: genetic, environmental and demographic influences. Molecular Ecology 17: 2026-2040.
  25. Tung J, Charpentier MJE, Garfield DA, Alberts SC. 2008. Genetic evidence reveals temporal change in hybridization patterns in a wild baboon population. Molecular Ecology 17: 1998-2011.
  26. Charpentier MJE, Prugnolle F, Gimenez O, Widdig A. 2008. Genetic heterozygosity and sociality in a primate species. Behavior Genetics 38: 151-158.
  27. Charpentier MJE, Deubel D, Peignot P. 2008. Relatedness and social behaviors in Cercopithecus solatus. International Journal of Primatology 29: 487-495.
  28. Leigh SR, Setchell JM, Charpentier MJE, Knapp LA & Wickings EJ. 2008. Fitness and canine size in male mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). Journal of Human Evolution 55: 75-85.
  29. Peignot P*, Charpentier MJE*, Bout N, Bourry O, Massima U, Dosimont O, Terramorsi R, Wickings EJ. 2008. The first release project of captive-bred mandrills, Mandrillus sphinx: Results of two-years' monitoring. Oryx 42: 122-131. *These two authors contributed equally to the manuscript.
  30. Charpentier MJE, Widdig A, Alberts SC. 2007. Inbreeding depression in primates: An historical review of methods used and empirical data. American Journal of Primatology 69: 1370-1386.
  31. Charpentier MJE, Peignot P, Hossaert-McKey M, Wickings EJ. 2007. Kin discrimination in juvenile mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). Animal Behaviour73: 37-45.
  32. Setchell JM, Charpentier MJE,Bedjabaga IB, Reed P, Wickings EJ, Knapp LA. 2006. Secondary sexual characters and female quality in primates. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology61: 305-315.
  33. Charpentier M, Setchell JM, Prugnolle F, Wickings EJ, Peignot P, Balloux F, Hossaert-McKey M. 2006. Life-history correlates of inbreeding depression in mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). Molecular Ecology 15: 21-28.
  34. Charpentier M, Setchell JM, Prugnolle F, Knapp L, Wickings EJ, Peignot P, Hossaert-McKey M. 2005. Genetic diversity and reproductive success and in mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 102: 16723-16728.
  35. Charpentier M,Peignot P, Hossaert-McKey M, Gimenez O, Setchell JM, Wickings EJ. 2005. Constraints on control: factors influencing reproductive success in male mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). Behavioral Ecology16: 614-623.
  36. Charpentier M, Hossaert-McKey M, Wickings EJ, Peignot P. 2005. Consequences of a one-male harem reproductive system and inbreeding in a captive group of Cercopithecus solatus. International Journal of Primatology 26: 695-708.
  37. Setchell JM, Charpentier M,Wickings EJ. 2005. Mate-guarding and paternity in mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx): factors influencing monopolisation of females by the alpha male. Animal Behaviour70: 1105-1120.
  38. Setchell JM, Charpentier M,Wickings EJ. 2005. Sexual selection and reproductive careers in mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 58: 474-485.
  39. Prugnolle F, Manica A, Charpentier M, Guégan JF, Guernier V, Balloux F. 2005. Worldwide HLA diversity and pathogen-driven selection. Current Biology 15: 1022-1027.
  40. Charpentier M, Peignot P, Hossaert-McKey M, Wickings EJ. 2004. Changes in social interactions during adolescence in male mandrills (Mandrillus sphinx). American Journal of Primatology 63: 63-73.


Book chapter


41.  Lucas C, Charpentier MJE. 2012. Odeurs en sociétés. In: Ecologie chimique. Le langage de la nature. Cherche-Midi, Paris. p73-85.



ESP Team

David Grémillet
Thierry Boulinier
Marie Charpentier
Claire Doutrelant
Marie-Jo Galan
Arnaud Grégoire
Marcel Lambrechts
Philippe Perret

Jacques Blondel

Denis Réale

Doris Gomez
Elisa Lobato
Clara Péron

Matthieu Authier
Emilie Tew Kai

Audrey Arnal
Romain Garnier
Matthieu Paquet
Aurore Ponchon
Ravichandra Mondreti (sept. 2011)

Andrea Soriano-Redondo
(Erasmus - sept. 2011)