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

  • Hanna Kokko

    2 juillet 2021, 11h30 (diffusion en visioconférence). Good reasons to live shorter lives

  • Rachel Germain

    25 juin 2021, 16h00 (diffusion en visioconférence). Matters of scale in the ecology and evolution of biodiversity


Article Index


Directeur de Recherche au CNRS / Senior Scientist at CNRS

J'étudie la dynamique des populations sauvages et développe à cette fin des méthodes statistiques.

I study the dynamics of wild populations and develop appropriate statistical methods.

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Campus du CNRS
1919, route de Mende
34293 Montpellier cedex 5
Tél. : +33/0 4 67 61 32 99
Fax : +33/0 4 67 61 33 36

Discipline : Ecologie - Technique : Modélisation - Thématiques : Dynamique des populations - Autres mots clés : Modèles de capture-recapture.

Discipline : Ecology - Technique : Modeling - Theme : Population Dynamics - Other key-words : Capture-recapture Models.

Thème de recherche

A la lumière des théories évolutives et écologiques, je m'intéresse aux mécanismes de la dynamique des populations dans les populations sauvages, notamment survie et reproduction. Le suivi n'étant jamais parfait, j'ai développé un cadre conceptuel qui distingue les informations recueillies du processus biologique et formalise le lien qui les relie. Les processus biologiques et le processus de recueil des données comportent de plus souvent plusieurs étapes qu'on a avantage à distinguer (e.g. décision de départ et choix d'un nouveau site lors d'un épisode de dispersion de reproduction). J'ai consolidé ces idées dans une ontologie et un modèle statistique (multiévènement). Un logiciel associé a été développé dans l'équipe (E-SURGE). Des exemples d'études qui peuvent être réalisées dans ce cadre sont disponibles ici.

Research topic

In the light of ecological and evolutionary theories, I study the mecanisms of wild species population dynamics with an emphasis on survival and reproduction. Follow-up being imperfect, I have developped a conceptual framework that separates the information collected from the biological process and formalizes the link between them. Biological process and information gathering process both often involve subprocesses, which it is advantageous to distinguish (e.g. decision of departure and choice of the new site during breeding dispersal). I have solidified these thoughts in an ontology and a statistical model (multievent). An associated program has been developped in my team (E-SURGE). Here are some examples of studies amenable to this framework.

Pradel, R. 2005. Multievent : an extension of capture-recapture models to uncertain states. Biometrics 61: 442-447.

HDR, Thèse

  • PRADEL, R. (2003). Mesurer et expliquer l'accession à la reproduction dans les populations animales libres. Habilitation à diriger des recherches. Université Montpellier II
  • PRADEL, R. (1992).- Estimation et comparaison de probabilités de survie par suivi individuel et utilisation en biologie des populations animales. Thèse de Doctorat, Université Montpellier II.

Enseignements universitaire

Master Ecologie Comportementale et Gestion de la Faune, Université de Bourgogne.


Statistical ecology to mitigate global change: New tools to account for interactions among individuals in animal demography (PICS 07699 CNRS-CSIC INTERACT 2016-2019)

Researchers and managers agree that good statistical tools are needed to face the impacts of global change. The Population Ecology Group (CSIC) and the “Biostatistique et Biologie des populations” Group at CEFE (CNRS) have previously collaborated to enhance and develop mathematical tools to better understand the dynamics of natural populations. Here we intend to make a leap in Statistical Ecology by developing analytical methods that account for interactions among individuals namely social cohesion and density-dependence. These interactions may be strong and have consequences on demographic parameters and population persistence. We aim to achieve our aim by carrying rigorous and comprehensive analyses of populations for which we have excellent databases and good knowledge of the natural history and the species system. Those are two endemic Mediterranean species with conservation concerns, affected by global change agents: the Audouin’s gull and the Balearic wall lizard.

Simone Tenan, Giacomo Tavecchia, Daniel Oro, Roger Pradel. Assessing the effect of density on population growth when modeling individual encounter data. Ecology, 100(3), 2019, e02595. ⟨10.1002/ecy.2595⟩. ⟨hal-02104959⟩

Ana Sanz-Aguilar, Roger Pradel, Giacomo Tavecchia. Age-dependent capture-recapture models and unequal time intervals. Animal Biodiversity and Conservation, 2019, 42 (1), 91-98. ⟨hal-01911556⟩

Mosquito Vectors Adaptation to global environmental changes (ANR MoVe=>ADAPT 2019-2022)

We advocate to study how adaptation of mosquito vectors to environmental modifications associated with global change impact their fitness and the life-history traits influencing vectorial capacity, in order to predict more accurately the epidemiological consequences of niche expansions and the spread of mosquito-borne pathogens. Such predictions are essential to adapt disease control programmes and avoid the emergence of vector-borne diseases. Toward this aim, we propose to apply the multi-state/multi-event mark-recapture (MSMR) analytical approach, that hase been instrumental to obtain unbiased field estimates of vertebrate populations demographic parameters, to the study of natural mosquito populations. Individual capture histories will be obtained by ‘marking’ mosquitoes with genetic fingerprints, using environmental DNA collected non-invasively. We propose to verify whether the recent invasion of urban-polluted and coastal- brackish water habitats by populations of the Anopheles gambiae complex and Aedes aegypti, which are among the best vectors of malaria and dengue in the world, is adaptative, and to assess the cost of adaptation by comparing fitness trade-offs in reciprocally transplanted natural populations occurring in contrasting environments. To gain insights about the generality of the patterns observed, we propose to conduct these field and semi-field experiments using mosquito populations from four African countries and two environmental stressors, i.e. water organic pollution and salinity.

African biodiversity dynamics: interactions between ecological processes and conservation actions (AFROBIODRIVERS (FRB-CESAB), ESCAPADES (OASIC-CNRS), CESAB_AFTER : AFROBIODRIVERS)

Africa is home to the richest and most spectacular communities of large mammals on the planet. This
exceptional but threatened biodiversity plays an essential role in the functioning and maintenance of ecosystems and represents an important natural resource for human societies. Development in Africa can still be adjusted to conserve biodiversity on a scale not possible elsewhere where human densities are higher. Protected areas are the cornerstones of the conservation effort, but the decline of wild life is not homogeneous across the continent, indicating different dynamics across countries, regions and biomes.
The AFROBIODRIVERS project aims at studying the patterns and processes of change in the status of the populations of large mammals, with various indices*, focusing on the interactions between the ecological processes (especially in relation to global change and human uses) and conservation actions. We hope that this project will contribute to the definition of public policy for the management of biodiversity. To complement the dataset available for sub-Saharan Africa, the project will initially focus on Central and Western Africa and Madagascar where the data are mostly scattered and unpublished.

Ajustements comportementaux des grands mammifères en réponse aux activités humaines à l’interface d’une aire protégée en savane africaine, Zimbabwe – Mobilité des animaux et perméabilité de la zone d’interface (PEPS ECOMOB PERMEAB 2019)

Le projet a pour but d’étudier la réponse spatiale et temporelle de la communauté de grands mammifères d’une zone d’interface de savane tropicale africaine. La zone d'étude sélectionnée se situe à l’interface entre le parc national de Hwange et les zones villageoises en périphérie au sein de la Zone Atelier Hwange (Hwange LTSER) au Zimbabwe. Elle se caractérise par un gradient d’intensité agro-pastoral et d'utilisation des ressources naturelles, allant de la zone intégralement exempte à l’intérieur du parc aux zones villageoises en périphérie. Par l’étude de la dynamique journalière des probabilités de présence de la grande faune le long du gradient, ce projet permettra d’étudier (1) les rythmes d’activités et la dynamique d’occupation spatiale des espèces, (2) d’évaluer la perméabilité de la zone d’interface, (3) d’identifier les activités humaines qui agissent comme des catalyseurs ou inhibiteurs de la connectivité écologique de ce territoire d'interface. Ainsi, l’impact des pratiques agricoles, l’occupation/densité humaine et les effets inhérents à la présence de l’homme dans le paysage et des espèces domestiques (e.g. bétail et chien) sur cette perméabilité sera étudiée. Même si les méthodologies permettront de mesurer comment la structure de la communauté de grands mammifères évolue le long du gradient, une attention particulière sera portée aux déplacements encore mal connus des espèces plus discrètes (e.g. kudus, impalas, hypotragues, carnivores…).