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.

Meredith Cenzer

7 mai 2021, 16h00 (diffusion en visioconférence).

Maladaptation in a changing world

mcMeredith Cenzer

Link to seminar:

University ot Chicago


ild populations are increasingly confronted with novel, human-modified environments that can impact phenotypes both through genetic and plastic change. I study the impacts of adaptation to a novel environment (in this case, an introduced host plant) in the red-shouldered soapberry bug. In this system, I show that recent gene flow from populations adapted to the introduced host plant has wiped out local adaptation to the native host (balloon vine). This process of local adaptation loss happened not only through direct gene swamping, but also through the expression of maladaptive plasticity in admixed individuals which masks genetic differences in key morphological phenotypes. Furthermore, maladaptive plasticity extends into behavioral phenotypes, with individuals from native host-associated populations expressing strong preferences for mates from poor developmental backgrounds. I will preview ongoing research into the drivers of dispersal between hosts and consider how maladaptive change may impact other native community members.

Recent publications:

1 Yang, LH and ML Cenzer (2020) Seasonal windows of opportunity in milkweed-monarch interactions. Ecology 101 (1): e02880.

2 Cenzer, ML and LK M'Gonigle (2019) Local adaptation in dispersal in multi-resource landscapes. Evolution 73 (4): 648-660.

3 Cenzer, ML (2017) Maladaptive plasticity masks the effects of natural selection in the red-shouldered soapberry bug. The American Naturalist, 190: 521-533.