- Published: 11 April 2016
Individuals are programmed to survive, mate, and optimise their fitness. To accomplish these tasks they interact with conspecifics, other organisms, and elements of their environment. Our Group merges animal behaviour and sensory ecology, and aims at studying cues and clues influencing animal behaviour both in the movement’s framework, and the communication among individuals framework.
The cues coming from the environment influence animal behaviour, and individual survival depends upon them. Colours or odours may indicate a source of food, magnetic cues, sounds and winds may indicate a direction to follow during orientation and navigation. Signals coming from other individuals broadcast important information for communication. We are particularly interested in how this information is broadcasted and used in the process of mate choice.
• Olfaction in birds. We mainly focus, in mate choice framework, on links between individual odour profile and MHC. In birds we were the first to show individual odour recognition (Bonadonna & Nevitt, Science 2004), and recently discrimination of MHC distance between individuals by odours cues (Leclaire et al Proc. Royal Soc B 2017)
• Olfaction and taste in marine mammals (cetaceans, sirenians, pinnipeds) both in social and foraging frameworks.
• Study of mate choice in king penguins based on visual ornaments. The originality of our study is that in king penguins both sexes bear ornaments and it exists a mutual mate choice. Both partners invest almost equally in breeding and thus are both choosy in the mate choice process.
• Development of a movement ecology pole focusing on navigation, foraging, and dispersal.
Behavioural experiments (e.g. binary choice in Y-maze)
Chemical Ecology. Development of analytics methods for vertebrates. This group is relatively less studied than invertebrates and plants and we often lack of adequate methodology for sampling and analyzing chemical emissions.
- Development of an original behavioral analytic method complementary to chemical analysis. We use lab mice as a “nose” in a habituation-discrimination paradigm to highlight olfactory labels in animal perfumes such as kin relationship, identity, and gender.
Behavioural Ecology Group
Main species studied