Biodiversité, flux et changements globaux

Justine LAOUE

JustineResearcher in ecology, specialized in plant chemical ecology and ecophysiology


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Postdoctoral research in BIOFLUX team:

I am currently working on the BELOW project which aims to understand how soil biodiversity drives multiple ecosystem functions (greenhouse gas emissions, soil C storage, nutrient cycling) and how it is affected by changes in water availability (drought, inundation).

My postdoctoral project mainly focuses on a long-term controlled experiment conducted at the CNRS European Ecotron of Montpellier ( The aim is to test the interactive effects of functional diversity of soil fauna and increased summer drought on the functioning of a Mediterranean forest ecosystem with a total of 16 mesocosms (1m3 of soil and air volume each).

Such an experimental set-up, combined with field experimentation could allow to assess the underlying mechanisms of the interactive effects of both changing soil biodiversity and changing water availability on ecosystem functioning.

PhD research:

During my PhD, I investigated whether amplified and recurrent long-term drought (> 10 years) in a Mediterranean forest increased the physiological stress level of trees (Quercus pubescens Willd.) and led to modulation of chemical (i.e. carotenoids, chlorophylls, flavonoids, cuticular waxes) and morpho-anatomical (i.e. stomatal and trichome densities, leaf thickness, SLA) leaf traits.

Key words: 

climate change, drought, plant metabolism, ecophysiology, functional ecology, soil biodiversity


October 2020 – February 2024: PhD student in ecology: “Physico-chemical leaf defenses of Quercus pubescens in response to amplified drought: A long-term study in the Mediterranean region” (IMBE, Marseille, FRANCE).

2017-2020: Master degree in forest genomics: “Combining QTL mapping and RNA-Seq to gain insights into the genomic architecture and transcriptional control of phenolic compounds production in white spruce” (Université Laval, Québec, CANADA).

2014-2016: Master degree in “Biology and Biotechnology of Plants” (Université de Bordeaux, FRANCE).

2011-2014: Bachelor degree in “Biology of Organisms and Ecosystems” (Université de Bordeaux, FRANCE).


Laoué, J., Havaux, M., Ksas, B., G., Orts, J-P., M. Reiter, I., Fernandez, C., & Ormeño, E. (2024). A decade of rain exclusion in a Mediterranean forest reveals long memory and trade-offs of leaf chemical defenses. Accepted in Scientific reports.

Laoué, J., Gea-Izquierdo, G., Dupouyet, S., Conde, M., Fernandez, C., & Ormeño, E. (2024). Leaf morpho-anatomical adjustments in a Quercus pubescens forest after ten years of partial rain exclusion in the field. Accepted in Tree physiology.

Laoué, J., Havaux, M., Ksas, B., Tuccio, B., Lecareux, C., Fernandez, C., & Ormeño, E. (2023). Long‐term rain exclusion in a Mediterranean forest: response of physiological and physico‐chemical traits of Quercus pubescens across seasons. The Plant Journal, 116(5), 1293-1308.

Laoué, J., Fernandez C., & Ormeño E. (2022). Plant Flavonoids in Mediterranean Species: A Focus on Flavonols as Protective Metabolites under Climate Stress. Plants, 11(2), 172.

Laoué, J., Depardieu, C., Gérardi, S., Lamothe, M., Bomal, C., Azaiez, A., ... Bousquet, J. (2021). Combining QTL Mapping and Transcriptomics to Decipher the Genetic Architecture of Phenolic Compounds Metabolism in the Conifer White Spruce. Frontiers in Plant Science 12, 793. doi:10.3389/fpls.2021.675108