Researcher CNRS

" Movement, Abundance, Distribution" (MAD) Team Leader


Marion Valeix CEFE

1919, route de Mende
34293 Montpellier cedex 5

Tél : +33/0 4 67 61 33 02

Office 311, 3rd floor

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My research activities are anchored in community ecology, behavioural ecology, spatial ecology and conservation ecology, and aim at understanding the networks of interspecific interactions in communities of African large mammals. I am particularly interested in predator-prey interactions, intraguild carnivore interactions, interactions between elephants and other large herbivores, and the interaction between scavenging and active hunting. I study the role of these interactions in the functioning of communities of African large mammals. Ultimately, I try to understand how human activities inside protected areas (e.g. water management), outside protected areas (e.g. trophy hunting), and climate changes shape these networks of interspecific interactions.


Hyaena Stephanie Periquetzebras









I am lucky to work in 3 amazing study sites:

- Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, a CNRS Long-Term Socio-Ecological Research (LTSER; CNRS “Zone Atelier”) site in Zimbabwe, where I have worked for more than 20 years.

- Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park, South Africa, where I have recently developed research projects on the role of climatic and environmental conditions on predator-prey interactions in general, and on the hunting success of African large carnivores in particular (ANR "young researcher" FUTURE-PRED project).

- Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa, which is a unique place to observe spotted hyaenas.


My research is mostly empirical (behavioural observations, biologging, camera trapping, and field experiments). I strongly collaborate with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) of Oxford University. I am a Research Associate at Nelson Mandela University, South Africa.


 Lion young Stephanie Periquet


The students I have/had the privilege and pleasure to supervise - Thank you to them !


On going PhDs

Aïssa MorinAïssa Morin

  • Thesis : "Responses of mammal communities to human imprint: impacts of climate change, management and exposure to humans on carnivores and their interactions"


Elisa Sandoval-Sereselisa sandoval seres

  • Thesis : "Impact of interspecific competition on African wild dogs in an ecosystem with artifical perennial water provision"


Romain Dejeantephoto Romain Dejeante 2

  • Thesis: "Invisible landscapes in spatial ecology: role of social and interspecific interactions in large mammals"


Terry-Lee HoniballTerry Lee Honiball

  • Thesis: "Social dynamics of spotted hyaenas in fenced protected areas: implications for conservation management"


Amauréé Jansen van VuurenAmaurée Jansen van Vuuren

  • Thesis: "The role of spotted and brown hyaena activity hotspots on carnivore interspecific interactions"


Teddy Chief ChikwaneTeddy Chief Chikwane

  • Master Thesis: "Role of large carcasses in the structure and functioning of the vertebrate scavenger guild"



Completed theses


Stéphanie PériquetStéphanie Périquet

  • Thesis: "Sharing the top: how do spotted hyaenas cope with lions?"



Nicolas FerryNico

  • Thesis: "Processes involved in the funcitoning of large mamma communities: the role of the African elephant in the ecology of preadtor-pray relationships"



Moreangels MbizahMoreangels Mbizah

  • Thesis: "The effect of resource abundance and dispersion on the ecology of African lions in a semi-arid landscape"


Elise Say-SallazElise Say Sallaz

  • Thesis: "Ecology of predator-prey interactions in a multi-predator context"


Mellina SidousMellinaSidous

  • Master Thesis: "Effect of management practises on the coupling between predator and prey popoulation dynamics"



Waterbuck Courteney Johnson



[56] Say-Sallaz E, Chamaillé-Jammes S, Périquet S, Loveridge AJ, Macdonald DW, Antonio A, Fritz H & Valeix M (2023) Large carnivore dangerousness affects the reactive spatial response of prey. Animal Behaviour 202: 149-162.

[55] Ferry N, Dray S, Fritz H, Ipavec A, Wigley BJ, Charles-Dominique T, Bourgarel M, Sebele L & Valeix M (2021) Long-term high densities of African elephants clear the understorey and promote a new stable savanna woodland community. Journal of Vegetation Science 32: e13101.

[54] Périquet S, Fritz H, Revilla E, Macdonald DW, Loveridge AJ, Mtare G & Valeix M (2021) Dynamic interactions between apex predators reveal contrasting seasonal attraction patterns. Oecologia 195: 51-63.

[53] Morin A, Chamaillé-Jammes S & Valeix M (2021) Climate effects on prey vulnerability modify expectations of predator responses to short- and long-term climate fluctuations. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 8: 601202.

[52] Pays O, Blanchard P, Chamaillé-Jammes S, Valeix M, Loveridge AJ, Macdonald DW, Périquet S, van der Meer E, Duncan P, Mtare G & Fritz H (2021) Disentangling the roles of bottom-up and top-down drivers in the trade-off between food acquisition and safety in prey with multiple predators. Functional Ecology 35: 435-449.

[51] Mbizah MM, Farine DR, Valeix M, Hunt JE, Macdonald DW & Loveridge AJ (2020) Effect of ecological factors on fine-scale patterns of social structure in African lions. Journal of Animal Ecology 89: 2665-2676.

[50] Ferry N, Mbizah MM, Loveridge AJ, Macdonald DW, Dray S, Fritz H & Valeix M (2020) Can a herbivore affect where a top predator kills its prey by modifying woody vegetation structure? Oecologia 192: 779-789.

[49] Randon M, Bonenfant C, Michallet J, Chevrier T, Toïgo C, Gaillard J-M & Valeix M (2020) Population responses of roe deer to the recolonization of the French Vercors by wolves. Population Ecology 62 : 244-257.

[48] Ripple WJ, Wolf C, […], Valeix M, et al. (11 263 signataires) (2020) World scientists’ warning of a climate emergency. Bioscience 70: 8-12.

[47] Ferry N, Cordonnier M, Hulot FD, Dakwa F, Sebele L, Dray S, Fritz H & Valeix M (2020) Heterogeneity of water physico-chemical characteristics in artificially pumped waterholes: do African herbivores show preferences and does it lead to interference competition? Journal of Arid Environments 173: 104014.

[46] Mbizah M, Valeix M, Macdonald DW & Loveridge AJ (2019) Applying the resource dispersion hypothesis to a fission-fusion society: a case study of the African lion (Panthera leo). Ecology and Evolution 9: 9111-9119.

[45] Dickman A, Cooney R, Johnson PJ, […], Valeix M, et al. (133 signatories) (2019) Trophy hunting bans imperil biodiversity. Science 365: 874.

[44] Say-Sallaz E, Chamaillé-Jammes S, Fritz H & Valeix M (2019) Non-consumptive effects of predation in large terrestrial mammals: mapping our knowledge and revealing the tip of the iceberg. Biological Conservation 235: 36-52.

[43] Montgomery RA, Moll RJ, Say-Sallaz E, Valeix M & Prugh L (2019) A tendency to simplify complex system. Biological Conservation 233: 1-11.

[42] Courbin N, Loveridge AJ, Fritz H, Macdonald DW, Patin R, Valeix M & Chamaillé-Jammes S (2019) Zebra diel migration reduces encounter risk with lions over selection for safe habitats. Journal of Animal Ecology 88:92-101.

[41] Kushata JNT, Périquet S, Tarakini T, Muzamba M, Mafuwa B, Loveridge AJ, Macdonald DW, Fritz H & Valeix M (2018) Drivers of diurnal rest site selection by spotted hyaenas. Journal of Zoology 304: 132-140.

[40] Miguel E, Grosbois V, Fritz H, Caron A, de Garine-Wichatitsky M, Nicod F, Loveridge AJ, Stapelkamp B, Macdonald DW & Valeix M (2017) Drivers of foot-and-mouth disease in cattle at wild/domestic interface: insights from farmers, buffalo and lions. Diversity and Distributions 23: 1018-1030.

[39] Loveridge AJ*, Valeix M*, Elliot NB & Macdonald DW (2017) The landscape of anthropogenic mortality: how African lions respond to spatial variation in risk. Journal of Applied Ecology 54: 815-825. (* shared first authorship)

[38] Ferry N, Dray S, Fritz H & Valeix M (2016) Interspecific interference competition at the resource patch scale: do large herbivores spatially avoid elephants while accessing water? Journal of Animal Ecology 85: 1574-1585.

[37] Loveridge AJ, Valeix M, Chapron G, Davidson Z, Mtare G & Macdonald DW (2016) Conservation of large predator populations: demographic and spatial responses of African lions to the intensity of trophy hunting. Biological Conservation 204: 247-254.

[36] Courbin N, Loveridge AJ, Macdonald DW, Fritz H, Valeix M, Makuwe E & Chamaillé-Jammes S (2016) Reactive responses of zebras to lion encounters shape their predator-prey space game at large scale. Oikos 125: 829-838.

[35] Périquet S, Valeix M, Claypole J, Drouet-Hoguet N, Salnicki J, Mudimba S, Revilla E & Fritz H (2015) Spotted hyaenas switch their foraging strategy as a response to changes in intraguild interactions with lions. Journal of Zoology 297: 245-254.

[34] Oriol-Cotterill A, Valeix M, Frank LG, Riginos C & Macdonald DW (2015) Landscapes of coexistence for terrestrial carnivores: the ecological consequences of being downgraded from ultimate to penultimate predators by humans. Oikos 124: 1263-1273.

[33] Oriol-Cotterill A, Macdonald DW, Valeix M, Ekwanga S & Frank LG (2015) Spatiotemporal patterns of lion space use in a human-dominated landscape. Animal Behaviour 101: 27-39.

[32] Grange S, Barnier F, Duncan P, Gaillard J-M, Valeix M, Ncube H, Périquet S & Fritz H (2015) Demography of plains zebras (Equus quagga) under heavy predation. Population Ecology 57: 201-214.

[31] Barnier F, Valeix M, Duncan P, Chamaillé-Jammes S, Barre P, Loveridge AJ, Macdonald DW & Fritz H (2014) Diet quality in a wild grazer declines under the threat of an ambush predator. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 281: 20140446.

[30] Elliot NB, Valeix M, Macdonald DW & Loveridge AJ (2014) Social relationships affect dispersal timing revealing a delayed infanticide in African lions. Oikos 123: 1049-1056.

[29] Benhamou S, Valeix M, Chamaillé-Jammes S, Macdonald DW & Loveridge AJ (2014) Movement-based analysis of interactions in African lions. Animal Behaviour 90: 171-180.

[28] Davidson Z*, Valeix M*, Van Kesteren F, Loveridge AJ, Hunt JE, Murindagomo F & Macdonald DW (2013) Seasonal diet and prey preference of the African lion in a waterhole-driven semi-arid savanna. PLoS ONE 8(2): e55182. (* shared first authorship)

[27] Broekhuis F, Cozzi G, Valeix M, McNutt JW & Macdonald DW (2013) Risk avoidance in sympatric large carnivores: reactive or predictive? Journal of Animal Ecology 82: 1098-1105.

[26] Valeix M, Loveridge AJ & Macdonald DW (2012) Influence of prey dispersion on territory and group size of African lions: a test of the resource dispersion hypothesis. Ecology 93: 2490-2496.

[25] Valeix M, Hemson G, Loveridge AJ, Mills MGL & Macdonald DW (2012) Behavioural adjustments of a large carnivore to access secondary prey in a human-dominated landscape. Journal of Applied Ecology 49: 73-81.

[24] Crosmary WG, Valeix M, Fritz H, Madzikanda H & Côté SD (2012) African ungulates and their drinking problems: hunting and predation risks constrain access to water. Animal Behaviour 83: 145-153.

[23] Davidson Z, Valeix M, Loveridge AJ, Hunt JE, Johnson PJ, Madzikanda H & Macdonald DW (2012) Environmental determinants of habitat and kill site selection in a large carnivore: scale matters. Journal of Mammalogy 93: 667-685.

[22] Pays O, Blanchard P, Valeix M, Chamaillé-Jammes S, Duncan P, Périquet S, Lombard M, Ncube G, Tarakini T, Makuwe E & Fritz H (2012) Detecting predators and locating competitors while foraging: an experimental study of a medium-sized herbivore in an African savanna. Oecologia 169: 419-430.

[21] Périquet S, Todd-Jones L, Valeix M, Stapelkamp B, Elliot N, Wijers M, Pays O, Fortin D, Madzikanda H, Fritz H, Macdonald DW & Loveridge AJ (2012) Influence of immediate predation risk by lions on the vigilance of prey of different body size. Behavioral Ecology 23: 970-976.

[20] Valeix M, Chamaillé-Jammes S, Loveridge AJ, Davidson Z, Hunt JE, Madzikanda H & Macdonald DW (2011) Understanding patch departure rules for large carnivores: lion movements support a patch-disturbance hypothesis. The American Naturalist 178: 269-275.

[19] Valeix M, Fritz H, Sabatier R, Murindagomo F, Cumming D & Duncan P (2011) Elephant-induced structural changes in the vegetation and habitat selection by large herbivores in an African savanna. Biological Conservation 144: 902-912.

[18] Valeix M (2011) Temporal dynamics of dry-season water-hole use by large African herbivores in two years of contrasting rainfall in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Journal of Tropical Ecology 27: 163-170.

[17] Davidson Z, Valeix M, Loveridge AJ, Madzikanda H & Macdonald DW (2011) Socio-spatial behaviour of an African lion population following perturbation by sport hunting. Biological Conservation 144: 114-121.

[16] Fritz H, Loreau M, Chamaillé-Jammes S, Valeix M & Clobert J (2011) A food web perspective on large herbivore community limitation. Ecography 34: 196-202.

[15] Valeix M, Loveridge AJ, Davidson Z, Madzikanda H, Fritz H & Macdonald DW (2010) How key habitat features influence large terrestrial carnivore movements: waterholes and African lions in semi-arid savanna of north-western Zimbabwe. Landscape Ecology 25: 337-351.

[14] Périquet S, Valeix M, Loveridge AJ, Madzikanda H, Macdonald DW & Fritz H (2010) Individual vigilance of African herbivores while drinking: the role of immediate predation risk and context. Animal Behaviour 79: 665-671.

[13] Valeix M, Loveridge AJ, Chamaillé-Jammes S, Davidson Z, Murindagomo F, Fritz H & Macdonald DW (2009) Behavioral adjustments of African herbivores to predation risk by lions: spatiotemporal variations influence habitat use. Ecology 90: 23-30.

[12] Valeix M, Fritz H, Loveridge AJ, Davidson Z, Hunt JE, Murindagomo F & Macdonald DW (2009) Does the risk of encountering lions influence African herbivore behaviour at waterholes? Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 63: 1483-1494.

[11] Valeix M, Fritz H, Canévet V, Le Bel S & Madzikanda H (2009) Do elephants prevent other African herbivores from using waterholes in the dry season? Biodiversity and Conservation 18: 569-576.

[10] Loveridge AJ*, Valeix M*, Davidson Z, Murindagomo F, Fritz H & Macdonald DW (2009) Changes in home range size of African lions in relation to pride size and prey biomass in a semi-arid savanna. Ecography 32: 953-962. (* indicates shared first authorship)

[9] Chamaillé-Jammes S*, Valeix M*, Bourgarel M, Murindagomo F & Fritz H (2009) Seasonal density estimates of common large herbivores in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. African Journal of Ecology 47: 804-808. (* indicates shared first authorship)

[8] Valeix M, Fritz H, Chamaillé-Jammes S, Bourgarel M & Murindagomo F (2008) Fluctuations in abundance of large herbivore populations: insights into the influence of dry season rainfall and elephant numbers from long-term data. Animal Conservation 11: 391-400.

[7] Valeix M, Fritz H, Matsika R, Matsvimbo F & Madzikanda H (2008) The role of water abundance, thermoregulation, perceived predation risk, and interference competition in water access by African herbivores. African Journal of Ecology 46: 402-410.

[6] Chamaillé-Jammes S, Fritz H, Valeix M, Murindagomo F & Clobert J (2008) Resource variability, aggregation and direct density dependence in an open context: the local regulation of an African elephant population. Journal of Animal Ecology 77: 135-144.

[5] Valeix M, Chamaillé-Jammes S & Fritz H (2007) Interference competition and temporal niche shifts: elephants and herbivore communities at waterholes. Oecologia 153: 739-748.

[4] Valeix M, Fritz H, Dubois S, Kanengoni K, Alleaume S & Saïd S (2007) Vegetation structure and ungulate abundance over a period of increasing elephant abundance in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Journal of Tropical Ecology 23: 87-93.

[3] Chamaillé-Jammes S, Valeix M & Fritz H (2007) Managing heterogeneity in elephant distribution: interactions between elephant population density and surface-water availability. Journal of Applied Ecology 44: 625-633.

[2] Chamaillé-Jammes S, Valeix M & Fritz H (2007) Elephant management: why can’t we throw out the babies with the artificial bathwater? Diversity and Distributions 13: 663-665.

[1] Poisbleau M, Fritz H, Valeix M, Perroi PY, Dalloyau S & Lambrechts MM (2006) Social dominance correlates and family status in wintering dark-bellied brent geese, Branta bernicla bernicla. Animal Behaviour 71: 1351-1358.