PhD candidate – EPHE, IMBE, CEN PACA



Long-lived predatory birds ecology, demography and movement.

I am interested in the population dynamics of long-lived (seabirds and raptors). I study how demography and behavioural mechanisms such as movement are influenced by inter- and intraspecific relationships and the environment (climate, weather, habitat). The aim of my PhD thesis is to investigate the relationship between individual movement and demographic variability in the French population of the Bonelli's eagle (Aquila fasciata).


Supervisors: Aurélien Besnard (DE, EPHE) & Alexandre Millon (MCF, HDR, IMBE).
Co-supervised by Cécile Ponchon (CEN PACA).


Contact information

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CEFE, bureau 202 (2e etage)


About me
My research aims to explore the complex interplay of individual heterogeneity, response to intrinsic and extrinsic factors, behaviour and demographic parameters on population dynamics. I explore these different relationships by trying to link different ecological approaches such as demography and behavioural ecology. I'm particularly interested in better understanding how individual heterogeneity in terms of intrinsic factors, behaviour and response to environmental conditions and pressures might affect population dynamics.

I'm fascinated by birds and their ecology and would like to specialise in the study of long-lived predatory birds, as there are good models to understand long-term processes and population dynamics.

I also have a great interest in modelling ecology, such as CMR model, Integrated Population Model (IPM) and Bayesian frameworks, and would like to work on frameworks and models that allow a better consideration of individual heterogeneity.

I’m also a scientific illustrator (if you want to see my works it’s here).


Project outline

The aim of my thesis is to investigate the relationships between movement behaviour and demographic parameters, and how these relationships might depend on extrinsic and intrinsic factors, using a spatially structured population for which we have both detailed demographic and movement data over several years: the French population of Bonelli's eagle, Aquila fasciata.

Firstly, we look at the demography (survival and fecundity) of the French population of Bonelli's eagle to have a good understanding of the dynamics of the population and to explore a possible effect of density dependence on demography, as well as the difference between old and newly colonised territory. Secondly, to avoid potential bias in understanding the relationships between movement and demographic parameters, we checked that the GPS equipment of the birds did not affect their survival and breeding success. We will then examine the relationships between daily movements within the territory and breeding success, as well as intrinsic factors (experience, recruitment) and extrinsic factors (local weather, habitat use and characteristics) on territorial individuals during the breeding season. As a long-lived species, we expect the Bonelli's eagle to be more variable in its reproduction than in its survival, and in particular to adapt its investment in breeding according to environmental conditions. Finally, we are focusing on understanding the mechanisms that govern the dispersal phase of juveniles (after the parental dependency phase until recruitment) and the consequences of these mechanisms on juvenile survival during dispersal.


Bio (Background, employment)

  • 2021 – Now: PhD – Animal demography in movement: Exploring the link between individual movements and demographic variability
  • 2021: MSc internships – CEBC & CEFE – Dynamics of a prey-predator system of seabirds in Antarctic, supervised by Christophe Barbraud, Maud Quéroué an Olivier Gimmenez
  • 2019 – 2020: MSc internships – WHOI FLEDGE Lab – Quantifying the causes and consequences of variation in satellite‐derived population indices: a case study of emperor penguins, supervised by Stephanie Jenouvrier and Sara Labrousse.


Peer reviewed

  • Labrousse S, Iles D, Viollat L, Fretwell P, Trathan PN, Zitterbart DP, Jenouvrier S, LaRue M (2022) Quantifying the causes and consequences of variation in satellite‐derived population indices : a case study of emperor penguins. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation82), 151-165,