Bertrand Fouks

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Work Experiences

November 2023 - present: Postdoctoral position part of PHENOVIGOUR project (ERC funding awarded to François Vasseur), investigating the impact of genome size variation on functional traits in  Arabidopsis thaliana populations, as well as the drivers of this genome size vairation.

May 2021 - April 2023: MSCA fellow on the funded project: "How Transposable Elements drive the Emergence of Phenotypic Innovations (TEEPI)". Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, University of Münster

August 2020 - April 2021: Postdoctoral position on how sociality has arisen in insects, comparative genomics of Blattodea insect order. Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity, University of Münster

May 2018 – May 2020: Visiting Researcher in the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Synthesis, Department of Biosciences, University of Oslo

October 2014 – October 2015: Postdoctoral position on genomic analyses in the genus Apis at Social Insect laboratory of Dr. Olav Rueppell, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro , USA. Project funded by NIH


  • 2010-2014: PhD entitled “Behavioural and social immunity in an eusocial insect, the bumblebee Bombus terrestris”, in the Institute for Biology, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. Disputation date: 15/05/2014
  • 2008-2009: MSc (2nd year) in Insect Sciences (University Francois Rabelais Tours, France)
  • 2006-2007: MSc (1st year) in Ethology (University of Paris 13, France)
  • 2002-2006: BSc in Evolutionary Biology (University of Poitiers, France)

Research Interests

  • Genome Evolution
  • Transposable Elements
  • Evolution of Sociality
  • Evolution of Recombination
  • Evolutionary Ecology of Plant-Pollinator interactions
  • Behavioural Immunity


  • Berger
  • Ariza, M., Fouks, B., Mauvisseau, Q., Halvorsen, R., Greve Alsos, I., &de Boer, H.J. (2022). Plant biodiversity assessment through soil eDNA reflects temporal and local diversity. Methods in Ecology and Evolution,
  • Fouks, B., Brand, P., Nguyen, H. N., Herman, J., Camara, F., Ence, D., ... & Rueppell, O. (2021). The genomic basis of evolutionary differentiation among honey bees. Genome Research, gr-272310.
  • Fouks B, Wagoner KM (2019). Pollinator Parasites and the Evolution of Floral Traits. Ecology & Evolution, 9(11), 6722-6737.
  • Yousefi B, Fouks B (2019). The presence of a larval honey bee parasite, Ascosphaera apis, on flowers reduces pollinator visitation to several plant species. Acta Oecologica, 96: 49-55.
  • Fouks B, Robb EG, Lattorff HMG (2019). Role of Conspecifics on behavioural Avoidance of Contaminated Flowers by Bumblebees. Current Zoology, 65(4), 447-455.
  • Rueppell O, Kuster R, Miller K, Fouks B, Collazo J, Rubio Correa S, Phaincharoen M, Tingek S, Koeniger N (2016). A New Metazoan Recombination Rate Record and Consistently High Recombination Rates in the Honey Bee Genus Apis Accompanied by Frequent Inversions but Not Translocations. Genome Biology and Evolution, 8(12): 3653-3660.
  • Fouks B, Lattorff HMG (2016). Contrasting evolutionary rates between social and parasitic bumblebees for three social effect genes. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 4:64.
  • Sadd BM, Barribeau SM, Bloch G, … , Fouks B, … , Worley KC (2015). The genomes of two key bumblebee species with primitive eusocial organization. Genome Biology, 16: 76.
  • Larsen J, Fouks B, Bos N, d’Ettorre P, Nehring V (2014). Variation in nestmate recognition ability among polymorphic leaf-cutting ant workers. Journal of Insect Physiology, 70: 59-66.
  • Fouks B, Lattorff HMG (2014). Comparison of two molecular diagnostic tools for the quantification of Crithidia bombi, a parasite of bumblebees. Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata, 150:191-197.
  • Fouks B, Lattorff HMG (2013). Social scent marks do not improve avoidance of parasites in foraging bumblebees. Journal of Experimental Biology, 216: 285-291.
  • Fouks B, Lattorff HMG (2011). Recognition and Avoidance of Contaminated Flowers by Foraging Bumblebees (Bombus terrestris). PLoS ONE, 6: e26328.
  • Fouks B, d'Ettorre P, Nehring V (2011). Brood adoption in the leaf-cutting ant Acromyrmex echinatior: adaptation or recognition noise? Insectes Sociaux, 58: 479-485.



This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.PostDoc researcher

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Research questions

How ecological processes and human activities affect biodiversity and ecosystem functioning?

To address this question, I assemble approaches from community ecology, functional ecology and quantitative ecology. I mainly focus on cultivated ecosystems and their associated plant communities, including both cultivated and wild species (i.e. arable weeds). 

My researches hinge on three particular thematics:

1) Plant invasion: Which ecological processes drive plant invasion success? How invaded species affect local plant communities?

2) Weed community ecology: How stochastic and deterministic ecological processes shape weed community assembly in arable fields? Are weeds ecological outliers?

3) Biodiversity-ecosystem functioning: How the different facet of plant diversity (eg: species richness, functional diversity, species relative density) affect ecosystem functioning? How the diversity of cultivated species can be manipulated to increase yield stability?



Mahaut L., Fort F., Violle C., Freschet G., revision. Multiple facets of diversity effects on plant productivity: species richness, functional diversity, species identity and intraspecific competition. Journal of Functional Ecology

Mahaut L., Gaba S., Fried G., 2019. A functional diversity approach of crop sequences reveals that weed diversity and abundance show different responses to environmental variability. Journal of Applied Ecology. 56 (6): 1400-1409. doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.13389

Bourgeois B., Munoz, F., Fried, G., Mahaut, L., Armengot, L., Denelle, P., Storkey, J., Gaba, S., Violle, C., 2019. What makes a weed a weed? A large-scale evaluation of arable weeds through a functional lens. American Journal of Botany.106 (1): 90-100. doi: 10.1002/ajb2.1213

Fried G., Carboni M., Mahaut L., Violle C., 2019. Functional traits modulate plant community responses to alien plant invasion. Perspectives in Plant Ecology Evolution and Systematics. 37: 53-63. doi: 10.1016/j.ppees.2019.02.003

Fried G., Mahaut L., Pinston A., Carboni M., 2018. Abiotic constraints and biotic resistance control the establishment success and abundance of invasive Humulus japonicus in riparian habitats. Biological Invasions. 20 (2): 315-331. doi: 10.1007/s10530-017-1533-y

Mahaut L., Fried G., Gaba S. 2018. Patch dynamics and temporal dispersal partly shape annual plant communities in ephemeral habitat patches. Oikos. 127: 147-159. doi: 10.1111/oik.04415