e-vol Entomologie évolutive


We study the intricacies of the interactions between plants, the insects that feed on them and the natural enemies that attack these herbivores. Our research is at the interface between ecology and agriculture. We address ecological and evolutionary questions on multitrophic biological systems of agricultural importance. 

We have two main lines of research:

Plant-mediated multitrophic interactions

We have been studying a multitrophic system comprising several species of bean plants (wild and cultivated), leaf herbivores, seed beetles, parasitoids and ants. We aim to understand how early season herbivores affect the performance, behavior and genetic structure of late season herbivores and their natural enemies and the extent to which plants mediate the interactions among different insect guilds and trophic levels.

Consequences of plant domestication on insect interactions

Crop domestication is the process of artificially selecting plants to increase their suitability for human use. These changes have brought about an increase in yield, which often has been accompanied by a reduction in toxic compounds and an increase in nutrient content in crop plants compared to their wild relatives. In our research we use systems comprised of cultivated plants and their wild relatives as models to examine the consequences of plant domestication on the interaction between plants, the herbivores that attack them and the natural enemies of these herbivores. To do this, we use a combination of field studies, behavioral, chemical and molecular analyses. We conduct our field-work in Mexico, the center of origin of these plants and where the greatest diversity of cultivated and wild forms is concentrated. By studying these plants and their associated organisms in their region of origin where they have coexisted for thousands of years we wish to unravel the natural selective pressures and the anthropogenic effects that have molded the interactions and communities that we see today.


site de laboratoire de recherche fondamentale et appliquée d'écologie chimique
Site du pôle de recherche national "Plant Survival"
Description de Bachelor ès science en biologie
Description de Master ès science en physiologie et écologie des plantes