Welcome to the CEFE

The CEFE is currently the largest French research center in Ecology and Evolutionary Ecology. Our Mission: perform independent, fundamental scientific research on the dynamics of biodiversity, planetary environmental change, and sustainable development. The links between society and ecology is a theme of increasing importance in oour research.

If you are interested in who does what on a specific theme or topic at CEFE, please go to the WHO DOES WHAT tab and use the proposed tags. You will have direct access to the pages of the persons listed for a given tag.

If you are interested in what the different research Departments at cefe do and the focus of their respective teams, please go to the RESEARCH tab and navigate the Departments and their teams.

Seminars of ecology and evolution of Montpellier

  • Meredith Cenzer

    7 mai 2021, 16h00 (diffusion en visioconférence). Maladaptation in a changing world

  • Sutirth Dey

    16 avril 2021, 11h30 (diffusion en visioconférence). Size matters: Population size and adaptation in bacteria.

Csaba Pal

15 janvier 2021, 11h30 (diffusion en visioconférence).

 Phenotypic novelties by compensatory evolution.

Csaba Pal

Link to seminar: https://umontpellier-fr.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_wTTvvIjbSDu-SnIf-hOVsg

Synthetic and Systems Biology Unit Biological Research Center, Szeged, Hungary


Since the early 1920s, Ronald Fisher pioneered the view that adaptation is by and large a hill-climbing process: it proceeds through progressive accumulation of beneficial mutations. However, as slightly deleterious mutations are far more abundant, they have a significant contribution to genetic variation in natural populations. In the long run, the wealth of such detrimental mutations is expected to promote the fixation of compensatory mutations elsewhere in the genome. In this work, we ask whether deleterious mutations promote adaptive genetic changes and what the side consequences of such a process might be. Using laboratory evolution, we demonstrate that deleterious mutations act as stepping stones in adaptive evolution by providing access to phenotypic novelties


Recent publications:

Pál, Cs., Papp, B. (2017) Evolution of complex adaptations in molecular systems. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1, 1084–1092

Szamecz, B, Boross, G, Kalapis, D, Kovács, K, Fekete, G, Farkas, Z, Lázár, V, Hrtyan, M, Kemmeren, P, Groot Koerkamp MJA, Rutkai, E, Holstege, FCP, Papp, B, Pál, C (2014) The genomic landscape of compensatory evolution. PLoS Biol 12(8): e1001935

Papp, B., Notebaart, R.A., Pál, C. (2011) Systems-biology approaches for predicting genomic evolution. Nature Rev. Genet. 12: 591.