Ecologie spatiale des populations

Doris Gomez

CNRS Researcher

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1919, route de Mende, 34293 Montpellier cedex 5

Phone : +33/0 4 67 61 32 60

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I study visual communication at various scales: color perception, role of coloration in communication/camouflage, informative content of signals, evolution of signal design at large evolutionary scale. At the frontier between biology and physics, I study complex phenomena in birds and butterflies.



I am interested in coloration and visual communication at various evolutionary scales. I characterize coloration and model its perception to assess the informative content of coloration, and identify the potential receivers of the communication process. I manipulate color signals in experiments to understand how receivers use coloration to reach their decision, in relation to other sensory modalities. At a larger evolutionary scale, I run comparative analyses to understand the parts of shared ancestry and selection in driving the evolution of coloration, to ultimately determine the adaptive functions that are fulfilled by coloration. I use different approaches (correlative and experimental designs, comparative analyses) and various biological models (birds, insects, mammals, amphibians) to answer functional and evolutionary questions.

At the interface between physics and biology, my recent work aims to understand the functions and evolution of iridescence, in its optical effects but also in its nanostructures and other physical properties. 

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Sensory ecology - Evolutionary ecology - Animal behavior - Optics

Coloration - Iridescence - Polarization - Transparency - Communication - Camouflage

Spectrometry - Vision modelling - Comparative analyses

Birds - Insects - Amphibians - Mammals



Current projects

- Acoustic and visual reproductive communication in the European treefrog (Hyla arborea)
with Thierry Lengagne (UMR 5023, Lyon 1)


- Evolution and functions of iridescence in hummingbirds
- Transparency in butterflies, diversity and evolution
with Marianne Elias (UMR 7205, MNHN), Serge Berthier (UMR 7588, INSP), Christine Andraud (USR 3224, MNHN)


- Circular polarization in scarab beetles, a channel for communication?
with François Feer (UMR 7179, MNHN), Bruno Gallas, Serge Berthier (UMR 7588, INSP),  Christine Andraud (USR 3224, MNHN)


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 Brief CV

2014-: Centre of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology, Montpellier, France
2011-2014: CNRS (CR1) researcher, Mecadev Laboratory, MNHN, Brunoy, France
2010-2011: postdoctoral fellow, CEFE, Montpellier, France 
2007-2010: postdoctoral fellow, Mecadev Laboratory, MNHN, Brunoy, France
2005-2006: Lavoisier postdoctoral fellow, University of Bristol, UK
1999-2003: PhD in Ecology, University of Paris 6, France




-AVICOL, a software to analyse coloration from spectrometric data. Last update 2015.

Go to AVICOL website

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- Sonio, a program to analyse acoustic data. Last update 2011.

Go to Sonio website






Gomez D, Grégoire A, Del Rey Granado M, Bassoul M, Degueldre D, Perret P, and Doutrelant C. 2014. The intensity threshold of colour vision in a passerine bird, the blue tit. The Journal of Experimental Biology 217:3775-3778. pdf


- Doutrelant C, Grégoire A, Gomez D, Staszewski V, Arnoux E, Tveraa T, Faivre B, and Boulinier T. 2013. Colouration in Atlantic puffins and blacklegged kittiwakes: monochromatism and links to body condition in both sexes. Journal of Avian Biology 44:451-460.pdf 


- Feer F, Ponge JF, Jouard S, and Gomez D. 2013. Monkey and dung beetle activities influence soil seed bank structure. Ecological Research 28:93-102. pdf


- Martin M, Meylan S, Gomez D, and Le Galliard J-F. 2013. Ultraviolet and carotenoid-based coloration in the viviparous lizard Zootoca vivipara (Squamata: Lacertidae) in relation to age, sex, and morphology. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 110:128-141. pdf


Gomez D, Barbosa A, Théry M, Aujard F, and Perret M. 2012. Age affects photoentrainment in a nocturnal primate. Journal of Biological Rhythms 27:164-171. pdf


Gomez D*, Huchard E*, Henry PY, and Perret M. 2012. Mutual mate choice in a female-dominant and sexually monomorphic primate. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 147:370-371.* Equal contribution of both authors. pdf


- Languille S, Blanc S, Blin O, Canale CI, Dal-Pan A, Devau G, Dhenain M, Dorieux O, Epelbaum J, Gomez D, Hardy I, Henry PY, Irving EA, Marchal J, Mestre-Francés N, Perret M, Picq JL, Pifferi F, Rahman A, Schenker EI, Terrien J, Théry M, Verdier JM, and Aujard F. 2012. The grey mouse lemur: a non-human primate model for ageing studies. Ageing Research Reviews 11:150-162. pdf


Gomez D, Richardson C, Théry M, Lengagne T, Léna J-P, Plénet S, and Joly P. 2011. Multimodal signals in male European treefrog (Hyla arborea), and the influence of population isolation on signal expression. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 103:633-647. pdf


Gomez D, Théry M, Gauthier A-L, and Lengagne T. 2011. Audiovisual bimodality facilitates mate choice at a cost in a nocturnal anuran (Hyla arborea). Behavioral Ecology 22:889-898. pdf


- Gomez D, Richardson C, Lengagne T, Derex M, Plenet S, Joly P, Léna J-P, and Théry M. 2010. Support for a role of colour vision in mate choice in the nocturnal European treefrog (Hyla arborea). Behaviour 147:1753-1768. pdf


- Holveck M-J, Doutrelant C, Guerreiro R, Perret P, Gomez D, and 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. pdf


- Legagneux P, Théry M, Guillemain M, Gomez D, and Bretagnolle V. 2010. Condition dependence of iridescent wing flash-marks in two species of dabbling ducks. Behavioural Processes 83:324-330. pdf


- Perret M, Gomez D, Barbosa A, Aujard F, and Thery M. 2010. Increased late night response to light controls the circadian pacemaker in a nocturnal primate. Journal of Biological Rhythms 25:186-196. pdf


- Richardson C, Gomez D, Durieux R, Théry M, Joly P, Léna J-P, Plenet S, and Lengagne T. 2010. Hearing is not necessarily believing in nocturnal anurans. Biology Letters 6:633-635. pdf


- Théry M and Gomez D. 2010. Insect colors and visual appearance in the eyes of their predators. Advances in Insect Physiology 38:268-353. pdf


- Gomez D, Richardson C, Lengagne T, Plenet S, Joly P, Léna J-P, and Théry M.2009. The role of nocturnal vision in mate choice: females prefer conspicuous males in the European treefrog (Hyla arborea). Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 276:2351-2358. pdf


- Lenouvel P, Gomez D, Théry M, and Kreutzer M. 2009. Grooming behaviours affects visual properties of feathers in male domestic canaries (Serinus canaria). Animal Behaviour 77:1253-1260. pdf


- Amy M, Monbureau M, Durand C, Gomez D, Thery M, and Leboucher G. 2008. Female canary mate preferences: differential use of information from two types of male-male interaction. Animal Behaviour 76:971-982. pdf


- Doutrelant C, Grégoire A, Grnac N, Gomez D, Lambrechts MM, and Perret P. 2008. Female coloration indicates female reproductive capacity in blue tits. Journal of Evolutionary Biology 21:226-233. pdf


Gomez D and Théry M. 2007. Simultaneous crypsis and conspicuousness in color patterns: comparative analysis of a Neotropical rainforest bird community. The American Naturalist 169:S42-S61. pdf


- Loyau A, Gomez D, Moureau B, Théry M, Hart NS, Saint Jalme M, Bennett ATD, and Sorci G. 2007. Iridescent structurally based coloration of eyespots correlates with mating success in the peacock. Behavioral Ecology 18:1123-1131. pdf


- Moyen F, Gomez D, Doutrelant C, Pierson J, and Théry M. 2006. Interacting effects of signalling behaviour, ambient light and plumage colour in a temperate bird, the blue tit Parus caeruleus. Revue d'Ecologie (la Terre et la Vie) 61:367-382. pdf


- Théry M, Debut M, Gomez D, and Casas J. 2005. Specific color sensitivities of prey and predator explain camouflage in different visual systems. Behavioral Ecology 16:25-29. pdf


Gomez D and Théry M. 2004. Influence of ambient light on the evolution of colour signals: comparative analysis of a Neotropical rainforest bird community. Ecology Letters 7:279-284. pdf


- Gomez D and Voisin J-F. 2002. Spectrometry validates subspeciation in the Kerguelen Tern Sterna virgata. Marine Ornithology 30:19-24. pdf



Useful links

 - Color and Vision Research Laboratory

useful to get information about vision, reference spectra for illuminants or human vision...


- Okhra, Conservatoire des Ocres et des Pigments

useful if you want to buy pigments or get training regarding coloration, during CNRS Thematic Spring Schools