Ecologie Evolutive Empirique, Communication & Coopération

Marie-Jeanne Holveck


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I study how variation in signal production and perception influences (i) the evolution of signals in multiple sensory modalities (acoustic, visual and chemical domains) and (ii) the adaptation (through phenotypic plasticity and/or genetic variability) to different environments, a topic for which there is nowadays a growing interest in the new field of sensory ecology, notably to understand how species cope with their rapidly changing environment due to anthropogenic activities.



In the context of behavioural, sensory and evolutionary ecology, my research activities aim at understanding how variation in communication (signal production and perception, cognition) influences (i) the evolution of multisensory signalling (acoustic, visual, chemical) and (ii) the adaptation (or not) of populations (phenotypic plasticity, genetic variability) to rapid environmental changes, particularly of anthropogenic nature such as climate change, urbanization or biological invasions. I combine complementary approaches (correlative, experimental, comparative; in the field and in the laboratory) on various biological models (birds, frogs, insects, plants) to answer fundamental and applied questions related to signals and their perception.

In the past 15 years, while researchers interested in animal communication were mostly focused in studying information transmission from the sender point of view, in my research, I have simultaneously studied how variation in the processes of perception and cognition of receivers influences the evolution of multisensory signalling, a topic for which there is nowadays an increasing growing interest in ecology.


General fields: Behavioural biology and ecology - Sensory ecology - Evolutionary ecology - Functional ecology - Population biology

Themes: Animal multimodal communication - Sexual selection - Phenotypic plasticity - Eco-evo-devo - Social learning - Maternal effects

Biological models: Birds - Frogs - Insects - Plants

Techniques: Biological material sampling (blood, feathers, eggs, tissue, chemical compounds) - Descriptive, empirical and comparative approach (field, laboratory) - Fine-scale behavioural observations - Laboratory breeding stock management - Metabolic rate - Population survey - Bioacoustic, chemo-sensorial, electo-physiologic (GC-EAD), photographic, spectrophotometric and statistical analyses

Brief CV

2018-2019: Postdoctoral Research fellow in Behavioural and Chemical Ecology at INRA-PACA Avignon (FR) and CIRAD-AMAP Montpellier (FR) - AGREENSKILLS+ fellowship (PI)

2016-2019: Postdoctoral Research fellow in Behavioural and Visual Ecology at CEFE-CNRS Montpellier (FR) - WBI-World Excellence fellowship (PI)

2011-2016: Postdoctoral Research fellow in Behavioural and Chemical Ecology at Univ. Louvain UCL (BE) - Belgium Funds for Scientific Research FSR-FNRS (PI) + Belgium Concerted Research Action (ARC) fellowship

2007-2010: Postdoctoral Research fellow in Behavioural and Visual Ecology at CEFE-CNRS Montpellier (FR) - ANR funds + Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour (ASAB) fellowship (PI) + CNRS funds (PI) + Univ. Montpellier funds (PI)

2003-2007: PhD thesis in Behavioural Biology and Bioacoustics at Univ. Leiden (NL) - Dutch Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) funds


P27. Dutour M, Lévy L, Lengagne T, Holveck MJ, Crochet PA, Perret P, Doutrelant C & Grégoire A. 2020. Correction to: Hissing like a snake: bird hisses are similar to snake hisses and prompt similar anxiety behavior in a mammalian model. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 74(2).

P26. Dutour M, Lévy L, Lengagne T, Holveck MJ, Crochet PA, Perret P, Doutrelant C & Grégoire A. 2020. Hissing like a snake: bird hisses are similar to snake hisses and prompt similar anxiety behavior in a mammalian model. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 74(1).

P25. Muller D, Elias B, Collard L, Pels C, Holveck MJ* & Nieberding CM*. 2019. Polyphenism of visual and chemical secondary sexually-selected wing traits in the butterfly Bicyclus anynana: how different is the intermediate phenotype? Plos One. 14(11): e0225003. *Co-last authors.

P24. Holveck MJ*, Guerreiro R*, Perret P, Doutrelant C & Grégoire A. 2019. Eggshell colouration indicates female condition during egg-laying: a field experiment in blue tits. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 128(1), 181-200. *Co-first authors.

P23. Holveck MJ, Grégoire A, Doutrelant C & Lambrechts MM. 2019. Nest height is affected by lamppost lighting proximity in addition to nestbox size in urban great tits. Journal of Avian Biology, 50(1): e01798. Data accessible at Dryad Digital Repository: 10.5061/dryad.641d25m

P22. Nieberding CM & Holveck MJ. 2018. Commentary on Kehl et al. “Young male mating success is associated with sperm number but not with male sex pheromone titres”. Unnatural experimental conditions inflate the importance of male courtship activity on mating success in a butterfly. Frontiers in Zoology, 15:18.

P21. Nieberding CM & Holveck MJ. 2017. Laboratory social environment biases mating outcome: a first quantitative synthesis in a butterfly. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 71-117. Full-text view-only version of the paper

P20. Holveck MJ*, Grégoire A*, Guerreiro R, Staszewski V, Boulinier T, Gomez D** & Doutrelant C**. 2017. Kittiwake eggs viewed by conspecifics and predators: implications for colour signal evolution. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 1-12. *Co-first and **co-last authors.

P19. Hollander FA, Titeux N, Holveck MJ & Van Dyck H. 2017. Timing of breeding in an ecologically trapped bird. The American Naturalist. 189(5), 515-525. Summary

P18. Griffith SC, Crino OL, Andrew SC, Nomano FY, Adkins-Regan E, Alonso-Alvarez C, Bailey IE, Bittner SS, Bolton PE, Boner W, Boogert N, Boucaud ICA, Briga M, Buchanan KL, Caspers BA, Cichoń M, Clayton DF, Derégnaucourt S, Forstmeier W, Guillette LM, Hartley IR, Healy SD, Hill DL, Holveck MJ, Hurley LL, Ihle M, Krause ET, Mainwaring MC, Marasco V, Mariette MM, Martin-Wintle MS, McCowan LSC, McMahon M, Monaghan P, Nager RG, Naguib M, Nord A, Potvin DA, Prior NH, Riebel K, Romero-Haro AA, Royle NJ, Rutkowska J, Schuett W, Swaddle JP, Tobler M, Trompf L, Varian-Ramos CW, Vignal C, Villain AS & Williams TD. 2017. Variation in reproductive success across captive populations: methodological differences, potential biases and opportunities. Ethology, 123, 1-29.

P17. Van Dyck H & Holveck MJ. 2016. Ecotypic differentiation matters for latitudinal variation in energy metabolism and flight performance in a butterfly under climate change. Scientific Reports, 6(36941).

P16. Holveck MJ, Gauthier AL & Nieberding CM. 2015. Dense, small and male-biased cages exacerbate male-male competition and reduce female choosiness in Bicyclus anynana. Animal Behaviour, 104, 229-245.

P15. Holveck MJ & Riebel K. 2015. Corrigendum to "Preferred songs predict preferred males: Consistency and repeatability of zebra finch females across three test contexts" [Animal Behaviour, 74 (2007), 297-309]. Animal Behaviour, 99, 145.

P14. Heuskin S, Vanderplanck M, Bacquet P, Holveck MJ, Kaltenpoth M, Engl T, Pels C, Taverne C, Lognay G, Nieberding N. 2014. The composition of cuticular compounds indicates body parts, sex and age in the model butterfly Bicyclus anynana. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 2, 37.

P13. Holveck MJ & Riebel K. 2014. Female zebra finches learn to prefer more than one song and from more than one tutor. Animal Behaviour, 88, 125-135.

P12. Holveck MJ, Grégoire A, Staszewski V, Guerreiro R, Perret P, Boulinier T & Doutrelant S. 2012. Eggshell spottiness reflects maternally transferred antibodies in blue tits. Plos One. 7(11).

P11. Riebel K, Spierings MJ, Holveck MJ & Verhulst S. 2012. Phenotypic plasticity of avian social-learning strategies. Animal Behaviour. 84(6), 1533-1539.

P10. Holveck MJ, Geberzahn N, & Riebel K. 2011. An experimental test of condition-dependent male and female mate choice in zebra finches. Plos One. 6(8).

P9. Riebel K, Holveck MJ, Verhulst S & Fawcett T. 2010. Are high-quality mates always attractive? State-dependent mate preferences in birds and humans. Communicative and Integrative Biology. 3(3), 1-3. Addendum to P7. Invited contribution.

P8. Holveck MJ, Doutrelant C, Guerreiro R, Perret P, Gomez D & Grégoire A. 2010. Can eggs in a cavity be a female secondary sexual signal? Male nest visits and modelling of egg visual discrimination in blue tits. Biology Letters. 6, 453-457.

P7. Holveck MJ & Riebel K. 2010. Low-quality females prefer low-quality males when choosing a mate. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 277, 153-160.

P6. Holveck MJ, Vieira de Castro AC, Lachlan RF, ten Cate C & Riebel K. 2008. Accuracy of song syntax learning and singing consistency signal early condition in zebra finches. Behavioral Ecology, 19, 1267-1281.

P5. Holveck MJ & Riebel K. 2007. Preferred songs predict preferred males: female zebra finches show consistent and repeatable preferences across different testing paradigms. Animal Behaviour, 74, 297-309.

P4. Verhulst S, Holveck MJ & Riebel K. 2006. Long-term effects of manipulated natal brood size on metabolic rate in zebra finches. Biology Letters, 2, 478-480.

P3. Holveck MJ & Riebel K. 2006. Effects of rearing condition on song and mate preferences in female zebra finches. Journal of Ornithology, 147, 89-89. Abstract for the international congress IOC 2006.

P2. Lode T, Holveck MJ & Lesbarreres D. 2005. Asynchronous arrival pattern, operational sex ratio and occurrence of multiple paternities in a territorial breeding anuran, Rana dalmatina. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 86, 191-200.

P1. Lode T, Holveck MJ, Lesbarreres D & Pagano A. 2004. Sex-biased predation by polecats influences the mating system of frogs. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 271, S399-S401.