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About

I am an evolutionary biologist and ecologist working at the French Institute for Agricultural Reseach (INRA). My lab is located at the Sophia-Antipolis research station (the Sophia Agrobiotech Institute), next to the cities of Antibes, Cannes and Nice (map).

My research is about the theory and modelling of how natural selection causes changes in traits within communities, and the consequences this has. I am particularly interested in the ecological and adaptive implications of spatially subdivided (or fragmented) habitats. For instance, I have studied the hypothesis that divergence in dispersal (colonization) abilities can sustain biodiversity, the so-called “competition-colonization” trade-off mechanism:

The CMJD model is a generalization of CC-tradeoff models allowing for preemption and relaxed competitive asymmetry (see Calcagno et al. 2006). We have reccently implemented an experimental test of CC theory using artificial metacommunities and Pseudomonas bacteria (see Livingston et al. in press)

Left: The CMJD model is a generalization of CC-tradeoff models allowing for preemption and relaxed competitive asymmetry (see Calcagno et al. 2006). Right: We have reccently implemented an experimental test of CC theory using artificial metacommunities and Pseudomonas bacteria (see Livingston et al. in press)

I also study, and test theory on, real-life ecological systems, mostly insects in agricultural ecosystems. During my PhD, for instance, I studied the European Corn Borer (ECB), a phytophagous moth and a major pest of maize crops worlwide:

ECB scaring death

ECB caterpillars seemingly have evolved the tendency to move down maize stalks, to avoid being killed at harvest time (see Calcagno et al. 2010). From NY Times (click on image to see the NYT report).

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