Laboratoire d’Ecologie et de Conservation des Amphibiens
Freshwater and OCeanic Science Unit of reSearch (U.R. FOCUS)
Université de Liège, Quai van Beneden 22, 4020 Liège, Belgique
Précédemment Post-Doc In (BeIPD-COFUND fellowship)
My research has been centred in the study of the behaviour, ecology and biology of amphibians, especially in order to understand the different mechanisms that can promote adaptation. My previous works has mainly based in the analysis of the variation of life history traits using skeletochronology methods (age-size variation) in several amphibian species (e.g. Bufo calamita, Calotriton asper and C. arnoldi) and its relationship with genetic variability (molecular markers). I have worked in thermal behaviour and in population dynamics using radiotememetry methods in amphibians (B. calamita) and reptiles (Emys orbicularis). I have also used genetic technics of Next Generation Sequencing (RNA-seq) to detect polymorphisms related to the behaviours of the brown trout (Salmo trutta).
The aims of my post-doc research at ULiege has been focused in the understanding the causes of phenotypic variation in amphibians, concretely in newts (supervision: M. Denoël, in collaboration with J. Michaux). Polyphenism are useful models to explore as alternative developmental phenotypes can be compared in different environments. I am interested in the study of facultative paedomorphosis, a polymorphism that occurs in several species of newts and salamanders. This adaptive strategy results in the coexistence of two different morphs: the metamorphs that develop from an aquatic larvae to an adult through metamorphosis and the paedomorphs that mature in a larval stage. In this study, we evaluate the dynamic of coexistence of the two phenotypes in the same reproductive habitat that brings then the question of their sexual compatibility. The project allows to test the hypothesis that fish presence is a disrupter of developmental pathways in newts through both proximate and ultimate mechanisms.
In addition, we are examining population genetics and phylogeography in brook newts, including aspects related to paedomorphosis.
Study species (post-doc):
Lissotriton helveticus, Calotriton asper
Methodology and technics:
Laboratory experiments in controlled conditions, population genetic analysis, paternity analysis and microsatellites genotyping.